In the workplace, safety is a significant concern. It’s primarily a result of society’s shift toward a digital economy. Almost every company depends on technology in some capacity to run its operations. Technology is becoming more widely available, which makes organizations rely on it even more. It’s fair to say that IT has invaded the contemporary office.
Take how digital or smart locks are revolutionizing office storage as an example. Gone are when people relied on mechanical locks to secure storage compartments and lockers. A digital lock for lockers is an excellent alternative to old mechanisms for much-improved security. Companies are investing in this not only because it’s modern. But they’re very secure as well. Plus, employees can configure custom lock combinations.
But on a sadder note, the frequency of cybersecurity attacks has increased. Consequently, in the context of contemporary society, the subject of data protection has gained even more significance. Businesses or organizations, in particular, are required by law to protect employee data.
Businesses often need help to balance the need to monitor staff for data protection with the need to increase productivity. But it’s critical to make a distinction between the two. Understand that employees have privacy rights. So employee information must be kept secure to maintain compliance.
Below are some workplace safety tips to protect your employees’ privacy.
1) Employee Privacy Rights
Employers must pay close attention to employee privacy laws in their states or regions. It is important to stress this because employers typically have access to sensitive information, making it possible for them to overstep their bounds.
Most companies monitor staff activity to improve productivity. It may entail listening in on some work conversations and examining how employees interact via emails. However, privacy laws exist to restrict how much an employer can monitor their employees. Therefore, businesses should be aware of the rules and regulations on employee privacy.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), for instance, forbids employers from listening in on private phone calls. However, it permits them to monitor client and employee phone calls. Employers should be aware of these laws to avoid potential legal repercussions.
The policy should specify how your company safeguards its personal information. It can also identify the steps it will take in the event of a data breach. In addition, for transparency, it should specify the type of information gathered and how it is used. It should also outline all privacy laws for employees, so they know their rights.
3) Secure Devices
Hackers are after private, sensitive information. So, businesses should never let their guard down. The goal is to prevent anyone from entering or any data from leaking. It would be best if you protected company devices to accomplish this. Invest in firewalls and antivirus programs to protect your devices against malware or phishing attacks. It provides a layer of protection for your database.
4) Provide Support for Remote Teams
For some businesses, remote working has become standard practice since the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work undoubtedly has its benefits. However, it might be challenging for businesses to verify the integrity of the networks and home devices employees use.
Employees who use unsecured networks and devices risk having company servers compromised. Businesses should, therefore, actively support their remote employees by ensuring they have firewalls and antivirus software.
5) Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)
In terms of protecting the data of remote employees, a VPN can be a handy tool. In essence, it encrypts data within the system to prevent access by unauthorized parties. VPNs have the advantage that your company can invest in a single solution for all employees. Good thing most high-quality VPNs are reasonably priced. Employees can also use their preferred VPN service provider.
6) Conduct Cybersecurity Training
Organizations indeed bear the brunch of the responsibility of protecting team member information. Employees, however, also have some obligations. Reckless staff behavior could cause cybersecurity breaches. Therefore, organizations need to invest in cybersecurity training.
Training should be mandatory because this is a great way to make employees accountable for their actions. Training teaches them how to behave online to avoid any security breaches. It enables them to understand how to recognize unusual activity and what to do if they encounter suspicious emails.
Ensure all employees participate in the training if you want it to be effective. Also, consider doing regular retraining programs to inform employees of potential new threats. Forewarned is forearmed.
7) Set Access Restrictions
Access controls are necessary because they lessen the likelihood of information leaks. They ensure that people only have access to the information required to perform their jobs. Establishing access controls is easier if you have a cloud system in place. Depending on the company’s organizational structure, the administrator or managers must grant permission before a person or department can access restricted information.
8) Dispose of Records Properly
It is standard practice for employers to destroy staff records when they part ways. These records should be disposed of safely to prevent them from getting reconstructed or stolen. Physical documents can easily be shredded. However, when discarding electronic files, more caution is required. Digital trails may be left if you don’t delete files carefully, which could be problematic. Therefore, if you need help properly disposing of employee records in compliance with applicable laws, consider looking for a third party to assist you.
9) Enable Two-Factor Authentication
With two-factor authentication, the system will only grant access to the account to those who complete the verification process. Whenever the account owner enters their details, the system will send a verification code to their phone or email to confirm. You can only access the account if you have this code.
10) Utilize Password Protection Tools
Hackers frequently exploit weak passwords to gain access to profiles or systems. Therefore, you should encourage your staff to create secure passwords. Some individuals create weak passwords out of concern that they will forget them. People also make the error of using the same password across all of their profiles. But you can solve this by simply investing in a reliable password manager for you and your team.
Every organization should place the privacy of employee data as a top priority. It’s especially true in light of the law’s governments are implementing to ensure their protection. Businesses must abide by these privacy laws to remain compliant. Companies should be aware that there is a thin line between staff monitoring and protecting their privacy. It’s possible to overstep beyond what the law allows. The secret is to strike a balance, which you can do if you know the relevant legal framework. Nonetheless, you can use the rest of the above tips to keep your employee’s data safe and secure.