5 Data protection tips for recruiters

Taking the security of professional data and files for granted is a recipe for disaster. You only have to look at the recent NHS computer hack to see how significant poor investment in anti-virus software and digital security can be. This blog provides simple but invaluable tips on how to ensure your clients and candidates data is kept safe against potential cyber-attacks.

 1. Email encryption
You deal with sensitive information every day, whether it’s in the form of candidate personal details, temp staff bank account details, or client contracts. Sending this information in an email or as an attachment without using encryption runs the risk of sensitive data being intercepted by unintended audiences. Leading email platforms such as Outlook and Gmail have built in encryption, but to ensure the safety of both incoming and outgoing emails it’s worth investing in added software.

2. Invest in good virus protection software
When was the last time you checked your level of anti-virus protection? While your office network may be fully secure, if you work from home or use your phone to email clients and candidates the chances are you’re putting sensitive data and personal information at risk. Speak to your IT team about the best way to upgrade your anti-virus protection, and ask your employer to invest in any software recommended.

3. Shred paper documents
Candidate personal information forms, passport copies, bank details – how many of these do you have paper copies of? More importantly, how many of these have you lost to office clutter? First things first, keep paper documents safely filed away in a lockable cabinet. But if you no longer need paper documents shred them and remove the possibility of sensitive data being misused. Many companies offer onsite corporate shredding services, but you can also buy a shredder if you’re on a budget.

4. Spring clean your server
In line with keeping your digital network and servers up to scratch anti-virus software, make sure you clean your digital database and servers to permanently delete any documents, folders and information no longer needed. The Data Protection Act offers key points for how you should manage sensitive data, so if you’re unsure visit the government website for expert advice.

5. Password protect sensitive folders
By password protecting documents and folders containing sensitive information created a barrier against hackers, as only those who know the password will be able to open and read documents. Ensure you password protect any delicate information you send via email and keep on your desktop or server. And remember, always send passwords in separate emails to recipients of attachments.

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