What are you doing to protect your employees’ digital privacy?

It seems like every other week there’s a breaking news story about a devastating hack that jeopardizes the security of people’s private information. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to guarantee digital privacy, especially as hackers continue to adapt their methods. Many organizations underestimate their risk, assuming such attacks won’t happen to them, but the truth is any company of any size can be targeted. Even if yours is a mom-and-pop shop, you likely store sensitive data about your employees, including their home addresses, phone numbers, health care information, social security numbers, etc. You owe it to your staff to protect this information, so here are some best practices.

  1. Use trusted, encrypted programs. In the quest for a great deal, employers sometimes overlook security in favor of lower prices. Unfortunately, you often get what you pay for when it comes to data security, so be sure to consider trusted, proven solutions even if they cost more. Encryption is also a must because it safeguards information from unauthorized access. Whatever options you choose, make sure encryption is a feature.
  2. Only collect information when absolutely necessary. The more data you store, the more you have to lose in the event of a security breach. It can also be expensive to host redundant data on servers, so refrain from gathering information unless you truly need it.
  3. When possible, give employees the option to use programs anonymously. There are situations in which it’s best to let employees decide how much information they wish to share with you. For instance, many employees are reluctant to access mental health care services because they’re concerned about the stigma surrounding issues like addiction. An effective way of overcoming this and encouraging use is to guarantee employees that their use of such resources is completely confidential and anonymous.
  4. Create a privacy policy and honor it. Generally, people understand that HR needs to collect their personal information for identification and payroll purposes, but if you use that data for any other reason you need to openly explain why. Even if the data is only used internally, it’s crucial to map out the situations in which it will be used (ex: reports or whitepapers) in order to establish transparency and minimize risk.
  5. Promote cyber literacy. Despite all your efforts, everything could fall apart if your employees aren’t cautious while online. Some of the ways they can be more careful include using longer, more complex passwords and signing out of computers after use. Two-factor authentication is also key, especially if your employees use popular programs like Google Docs or Dropbox. Teach them about the danger of phishing scams and how to avoid accidentally installing malware on their devices. And don’t forget to insist they keep their software updated. All of these steps will help keep their data secure.

Your employees’ information is safe with us

Employee safety and privacy is our utmost concern, so we are reluctant to collect any data that we don’t absolutely need. For instance, our users can sign in anonymously and still enjoy full access to all 1500+ expert-led resources in our library. We don’t require anything beyond an email address to create a personal account, meaning employees can get started without sacrificing too much personal information. To learn more about how we can provide your employees with access to renowned experts while maintaining their privacy and confidentiality, book a demo with us today.