All employers have access to confidential employee data- social security numbers, bank account details, addresses, details of wages etc; all of which comprise payroll data. Payroll data is sensitive and it is the responsibility of the employers to keep it safe and confidential. Unfortunately, data security is a major problem in today’s world and data breaches are a common affair. No company is safe from data breaches; all you can do is ensure you take steps to keep your business records and data safe from attacks. So what can you do to ensure the safety of your data?
- Divide Payroll Responsibilities– The best measure against employee fraud is to involve more than one individual for sensitive responsibilities, in this case payroll. If you can afford to, you can assign tasks like reviewing time sheets, preparing payroll data, how to calculate payroll taxes and generating payments to different individuals. This can greatly reduce the incidence of pay check theft and fraud.
- Spread Awareness of Phishing among Employees– There has been an increase in the number of companies falling victim to phishing schemes. These emails generally claim to be from company executives and request for personal information. Educate employees of the dangers of such schemes and also how they can identify phishing emails, such as checking the email address it is sent from (whether it is a company email address or not). When in doubt, it is always better to contact the concerned executive before sending out the details.
- Invest in Reliable Computer Security Systems– Secure your payroll system. Studies show that over half a billion personal records were stolen via data breaches in 2015 alone. So make sure you have a strong firewall and spam filters set up, keep your systems neat and up-to-date, while figuring out how to calculate payroll taxes. Back up your data regularly and change passwords frequently. Get professional help to ensure your security systems are in place.
- Keep Physical Data Safe– Ensure you have everything covered; make sure your paper files, CDs and USBs are also secured. Keep all such materials in secure locations with limited staff access.
Data breaches can happen at any time in any place. Be on your guard at all times and take all necessary steps to keep your data safe in the event of an attack.