Compliance is a hot topic right now, and it’s easy to see why. Employees and job applicants care more about their privacy than ever before. That’s why employee data security is important to implement in your organisation, and HR plays a crucial role in that compliance. An HR department is full of personal data, whether it’s of employees, their next of kin or candidates responding to job adverts.
With such an active role in processing sensitive information, HR staff must make sure they’re doing everything necessary to protect employees and meet their regulatory requirements.
In this article, we share the practical ways companies can ensure employee data security to keep their employees’ information safe.
What Is Employee Data Security?
Employee data security is the act of keeping your employees’ personal information secure. Personal information is any employee information that can identify them. This includes:
- Phone numbers
- Tax information and refs.
What Are Australia’s Employee Data Security Laws?
You may not know it, but there are several threats to your employee data security that you may encounter every day in your organisation. Below are some of the top threats to look out for.
Weak Passwords or Password Management
Weak passwords that are easy to guess are one of the easiest ways for cyber-hackers to access your company’s sensitive data.
Your employees might be using simple words for their passwords, or they may be using their personal information, such as their birthday.
Sometimes an unsatisfied employee, or one who has recently been let go, may steal your company’s information with malicious intent. Although this isn’t a common occurrence, there’s still a risk of this happening.
This is one of the worst forms of data theft, as internal threats can also potentially harm your reputation as an employer.
Tips for Enhancing Your Employee Data Security
If your employee data security isn’t currently as strong or compliant as it could be, it’s never too late to fix that. There’s more you can do beyond complying with Australia’s Privacy Act and data protection law.
Here are some additional tips for strengthening your employee data security to keep your employees’ information safe:
Make Sure You Have Consent
Your employees have the right to know what personal information you collect and how you use it. To maintain this right, you should have the formal consent of all of your employees to collect and use their data for company purposes.
The best way to ensure that you have your employees’ consent to their information is to implement formal processes and procedures, including training and formal paperwork for your employee to sign. They should be coherent, easy to understand, and updated to ensure you’re constantly following employee data security best practices.
Only Collect the Data You Need
One of the top ways to minimise any risk to your employees’ data is by only keeping necessary data. You should only collect personal data and documents relevant to your employee’s employment and job. This information may include:
- Payroll information
- Relevant medical information
- Compensation and benefits
What’s more, you should be aware of all the data you hold and keep track as you collect it to prevent being caught off guard if a breach does happen.
Implement Cybersecurity Measures
One of the top ways to enforce employee data security is having proper cybersecurity practices across your organisation.
Here are a few simple ways to enhance your data security:
- Choose the right software and cloud services
- Encrypt employee data stored in a database
- Set access permissions to all information
- Ensure that only authorised personnel has access to data
- Enable two-factor identification for devices and accounts
- Train your employees on cybersecurity best practices.
Conclusion: Ensure Your Company Is Compliant With Employee Data Security Laws
Applicant and employee data security should be one of your priorities as a company. Your employees trust you with their personal information, and it’s your responsibility to hold that trust and maintain proper data security practices.
If you need help working out your obligations around employee data security laws, talk to the HR professionals at HRonHand on 0499 452 839 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.