How To Protect Your Employees' Personal Details

Protecting employees’ personal details from cybercriminals should be a top priority for any business owner.

Without a doubt, cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated, which is why it’s crucial to have procedures in place to avoid your staff being the latest victim of cunning identity thieves.  

Shockingly, in a study carried out by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it was shown that cybercrime costs the U.S. government and businesses around $100 billion every year.

In today’s digital age, though, it’s not only the security of the computer that you assign to an employee you need to be concerned with.

The advent of mobile technology – laptops, smartphones and tablets – means businesses should be prepared to deal with all kinds of potential security breaches.

Indeed, with many employees using personal devices to access company details, it can present a difficult problem for you and your IT department to safeguard sensitive data.

Luckily, a few easy methods can be followed to prevent company information from falling into the wrong hands.

Beware of personal devices

Accessing email on your iPhone or Android handset is great – but if the device is lost or stolen, it can lead to a security headache for your business. Ensure each device is password protected and that they can be wiped remotely should the device go missing. Additionally, with Android becoming increasingly popular, anti-malware software should be downloaded if the device is used to gain access to company data or networks.

Safeguard your business’s computers

Whether it’s the computer you use personally or the machine the security guard plays solitaire on every day, it’s crucial it is installed with the latest antivirus software and firewall to prevent harmful malware from creeping in. From an employee’s perspective, limit the information they have access to (all they need is enough to do their job), and ensure they never share their password information with anyone else.

In addition, the personal data you hold about employees, whether it’s on your time and attendance software or elsewhere, it’s important to make sure it’s encrypted to prevent any hackers from drilling in to all the information they need to commit a cybercrime.

Anti-spyware is your friend

Spyware has the potential to observe activity on an infected machine, which means sensitive information such as passwords, bank account details or credit card information can be easily captured. In order to avoid this, it pays to invest in reputable anti-spyware software to scan the computer regularly and avoid a potential identity theft.

Secure your emails

Admittedly, email can now be considered the elder statesman of the internet world, but it’s still important to ensure the information you send or receive is encrypted to prevent it falling into the wrong hands. Have your IT expert make this happen immediately.

Keep your staff in the know

Well-trained staff are perhaps the key to preventing serious breaches of your company’s data or network. By ensuring they are well versed in what kind of security precautions they should take when browsing the web, it will go a long way to averting a crisis. Additionally, put guidelines in place for employees to choose a password that safeguards their accounts (usually 8-10 characters and containing letters, numbers and symbols) and their personal information.

Undoubtedly, much of the advice given here can be considered common sense – but when it comes to keeping you, your company and your employees’ details secure, very little chances should be taken. What’s more, while you may up to speed with the latest safety threats, not everyone will be quite so au fait with the intricacies of internet security. 

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