Procurement · 15 August 2019

4 sure-fire ways to guard your company’s right to privacy


In our technologically reliant age, where employers are facing both increasingly sophisticated cybercrime threats and the rising importance of workplace wellbeing, guarding a company’s privacy has never been more important. This not only includes things like data but staff members and their personal rights to privacy too. But first, let’s start with the human aspect of maintaining privacy levels at work. Namely how to maintain good levels of employee privacy:

Employee privacy

If you use CCTV in your workplace, it’s important that you have a transparent conversation with your employees about where this is located and how it is used.

Under the Data Protection Act, it is within employers legal rights to use CCTV in the workplace.

To maintain good inter-work relations you should not use CCTV excessively to “check-up” on staff activity. The workplace is not an episode of big-brother and having a healthy level of trust will make employees feel valued and respected. This element of ‘over monitoring’ staff is also something to consider if you choose to block recreational digital sites such as Facebook or Youtube on your office computers.

Research by IDC shows that up to 40% of employee internet activity is non-work related, costing employees thousands of pounds in lost employee productivity and increased exposure to outside attacks of the corporate network.

If you choose to remove such content on work devices, it may harbour certain levels of frustration amongst colleagues, who believe you are implying they are doing more social scrolling than productive work-related activities.

Employers are also allowed to access staff’s company emails, however it’s important to clearly highlight this within employee contracts and when interviewing and onboarding new staff.

Protecting company information online

privacy
Data breaches cause SME owners a lot of stress.

As companies become increasingly tech-reliant, there are elements that teams must aware of to upkeep the safety of a business and it’s precious data.

1. Secure your wifi

Remember to secure your wireless network. This prevents unauthorised individuals from hacking into your company’s wifi. Having open internet access can make you susceptible to sharing private information with strangers using your wifi.

Six out of 10 UK SMEs have been cyber-attacked.

2. Don’t put too much faith in the “Cloud”

The number of UK firms reporting cyber incidents has risen from 45% last year to 61% in 2019. Storing information on cloud software has largely played a role in this.

Many employers put too much faith in these services, unaware of how easy they are to access from third parties, therefore it’s recommended that you back up your data on an external hard drive that only your team has access too.

3. Invest in cyber insurance 

The UK has the lowest cybersecurity budgets with less than £900,000 on average compared with an average across the EU of £1.46 million. As business owners, it’s easy to forget to invest in technology protection plans as they are not as physical as other property that requires protection i.e your building or company cars. However, failing to protect your business data could cost you dearly. – Cyber breaches cost the average global small business £25,700 in basic ‘clear up’ costs every year.

4. Train your employees in cybersecurity

Most cyber breaches occur due to human error such as an employee clicking a link containing malware or losing a hard drive containing important information. Today, you can access many cyber training courses online and they are quick and efficient to complete.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Laura is the Junior Reporter at Real Business and Business Advice. She's the first point of call for any PR, business owner or industry insider looking to tell a story of entrepreneurial inspiration, retell some key advice, or a ground-breaking news story. She is the core ambassador for the brand(s) and can be found attending high profile events and meeting disruptive business owners across London – and beyond.

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