As a payroll and HR software company, we at Dominion take security very seriously. With so much sensitive employee information stored on our servers, keeping that secure is a top priority, and we have a team working constantly to make sure nobody has access to this information who is not permitted. While this system works great for us, what do companies do that don’t have the resources to commit to this issue? Well, there are four primary steps you can take in order to ensure that your payroll information is safe. Following these will help keep your employees’ financial and personal information protected.
Create a Secure Physical Environment
As strange as it may sound, keeping physical copies of sensitive information locked up can go a long way in increasing payroll security. If somebody wants to access certain information, they won’t always attempt to do so electronically. That is why it’s important to lock up filing cabinets and office doors, and position computer screens so they are not visible to anyone who might be walking by. It’s amazing how much damage somebody could do with even the most trivial information, and a good general rule to follow is the classic “better safe than sorry.”
Establish Electronic Security
So we’ve covered physically protecting your payroll documents, but it’s also vital to secure all electronic information as well. These days the majority of payroll is handled electronically, so having firewalls in place to protect this data is instrumental. Utilize your company’s IT department to upgrade and maintain your security. If you don’t have an IT department, consider finding an independent consultant to assist you with this process and do regular assessments to make sure your system is functioning properly.
If your business uses a software as a service solution to process payroll, chances are there are measures they have put in place to limit who has access to certain information. For example, employees should have access to their own pay stubs and W-2 documents, but not their colleagues’. Supervisors and administrators, on the other hand, might need access to some of this information for all of their employees. Limiting who has access to sensitive information will greatly increase your company’s payroll security.
Standardize External Requests
It isn’t uncommon for creditors, mortgage companies and other such entities to contact you and request payroll information, and it isn’t always possible to verify that the person you are speaking to is who they say they are. However, if you come up with a standard system for inquiring about this information and ensure that all your payroll employees are fully trained on the proper procedures for releasing personal information, you can decrease the chance of a potential breach.
If you’re unsure about how well your company is handling their payroll security, it might be a good time to reevaluate your process. Contact your payroll provider and see what steps they have implemented to protect your employees’ privacy, and what other tips they might have for you.