Workplace Data Security – 5 Things HR Managers Should Know

Data security is important for anyone working in an organization. It is especially important for recruiters who interact with a large number of candidates. They gather lots of information that needs to stay private and confidential during the course of their duties.
Any type of security breach can have serious repercussions, not just on the HR department, but on the entire organization. Data protection doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few tips you can apply right away to keep sensitive information safe.

Basic Protection

Security begins with installing high-quality antivirus and antimalware software. To protect you from the latest threats, you should update this software on a regular basis. This is easier now than ever before. Most programs automatically download and install updates without requiring any action on the user’s part.
You should also pay special attention to security if you work from home or use a mobile device to interact with candidates. Take the time to install security software on your home PC or mobile devices if you use them for work-related purposes. If you have any concerns about security, don’t hesitate to ask your IT team to recommend the best security solutions.

Website Security

The majority of medium-sized and large companies are now using their websites to post job offers and recruit candidates. If you let candidates fill out job application forms on your website, you need to make sure their private data remains safe.
Your website should use secure sockets layer (SSL). This technology encrypts all information entered in forms on your website. This way, malicious individuals can’t intercept it as it travels through the Internet.
Pay special attention to how you store and process information submitted by job candidates. It should be accessible only to authorized personnel involved in recruiting, screening and interviewing candidates. This will reduce the chances of data misuse.

Email Encryption

In today’s world, most correspondence between a job candidate and the company they’re applying at takes place via email. While this may be highly convenient, it also opens the door to various forms of security breaches. Email conversations often contain personal information, especially if a candidate attaches their CV, reference letters or other documentation.
Keeping email secure is easier now, as many of the world’s top platforms, such as Google, support built-in email encryption. Both the recruiter and the candidate should use the encryption provided by Gmail. In this case, there will be little chance of messages being intercepted along the way. There are also many other third-party plugins and software programs that let you encrypt your email communications.

Employee Education

A company’s management needs to make sure that every recruitment team member is aware of the importance of data protection. All employees should know how to minimize the chances of security breaches. This includes knowing how to create strong passwords and minimizing human errors. Your employees should also know how to securely share files both within an organization and with third parties. This will prevent unauthorized parties from accessing private files.
If you have employees that work remotely, you need to pay special attention to security. Free Wi-Fi networks may be very convenient. They allow employees to catch up on work when they’re out of the office without using up their cellular data plan. At the same time, these networks are not secure and should only be used together with a VPN that encrypts all data sent and received.

Data Collection

Finally, you should limit the amount of private information you collect during the recruiting process. This will help you cut the impact that a potential security breach would have on your company. When creating the job ad only ask the questions that are absolutely necessary. Focus on those that can help you determine how qualified the applicant is for the chosen position.
Avoid collecting sensitive personal data. This includes the applicants’ contact information. Your should only collect enough data to get in touch with the applicant to continue the recruitment process. A phone number and email address should be enough. There’s usually no need to ask for someone’s home address or contact information of references at this point.

Final Thoughts

Keeping private data safe is important for any department in an organization. Recruiters should pay special attention to how they handle personal information belonging to job candidates. There are several things that you can do to protect your applicant’s private data. The tips above will help you prevent it from falling in the wrong hands.'

Author: Lisa Michaels

Lisa is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

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