5 Data Policies That You Should Include in Your Employee Handbook

Aug 21, 2021

Over the last 20 years, many businesses have had to add a new section to their employee handbooks: Data Security. With the fast pace of technology, companies had to quickly integrate new devices and software into their business models and how employees must go about utilizing them.

It may seem like some policies and practices are obvious, but if they aren’t clearly stated in an employee handbook, your North Dakota business won’t be able to do much if employees don’t follow them.

Here are five data policies every business employee handbook should include by default.

  1. Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

One document all new employees should sign upon hiring is an Acceptable Use Policy or AUP. This document states what practices employees are expected to follow while using the network and what actions cannot occur on the network.

For example, when an employee signs an AUP, they usually agree to limit their personal use online and understand they may not have access to social media or certain websites. Not only does this help maintain productivity during work hours, but it can also assist in preventing malware and viruses from entering the network.

  1. Password Policy

Each business or organization can set its own requirements for creating and resetting passwords, and employees should be aware of these expectations. In addition to following these requirements, many businesses will state passwords must be unique from outside or personal passwords to ensure greater security.

  1. Email Policy

In addition to creating strong spam and malware filtering on a business network, businesses should include a policy that spells out email expectations to employees. Regardless of what’s included, all companies would benefit from also providing employees cybersecurity awareness training to recognize when they receive phishing emails or other spam. Completing this training can be included as a requirement in the email policy portion of the employee handbook.

  1. Information Transfer Policy

Even though we transfer much of our data virtually these days, many enterprises still rely on USB sticks, external hard drives, laptops, or even good old-fashioned paper to get the job done. When employees use these forms of data transfer, it must be clear how they are to go about doing it and if any of these physical devices are allowed to leave the premises or not.

Many companies found themselves frantically creating regulations surrounding this aspect of data when the pandemic began, and everyone was working remotely. If it’s already included in the employee handbook, there won’t be any confusion or unexpected data breaches.

  1. Termination Policy

It may be a sensitive subject for newly hired employees. Still, part of new employee onboarding should include sensitive or personal data when an employee ceases to work for the company. In most cases, they should be required to return all data in all formats before termination. Doing this protects everyone involved and prevents any post-contract issues.

Keep Your Data Safe

If your North Dakota business is looking for other ways to keep its data out of the wrong hands, see what SEAM can do for you. We specialize in data destruction and computer/hard drive recycling so that you don’t have to worry about where your information goes once it’s no longer needed.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.