identity-theft-240px-471858816Small businesses have to maintain payroll for their employees. This means that business owners cannot avoid collecting and maintaining personal information about their employees, both current and former.

For long established business, it’s possible that there are boxes of old personnel files in storage somewhere. The data contained in those records makes the business and its employees an attractive target for identity thieves. It doesn’t matter if the records are paper or electronic. They hold a huge amount of information to scammers who might get their hands on them.

Physical Records

Small business owners should take a long look at their company’s data security to assess vulnerable areas. For instance, are paper records kept in a locked office? And if so, how many people have access. Old files should never be kept in a general storage area where anyone could see them. It should be a priority to find a lockable storage space that has limited access. Also, old files that no longer are required to be kept should be properly destroyed. Staff members who need to handle sensitive documents should be instructed to never leave them unattended where unauthorized individuals could see them.

Online Security

Set up stringent policies for online access to confidential documents. Small business owners should go over these policies with staff on a regular basis. If a business is large enough to have a technology manager, make sure that person has the right protections in place, and keeps them updated. When scams come up, meet with staff to make sure that they know how to avoid them. It sounds obvious, but small business owners need to regularly remind staff to never click on or open questionable messages.

Why Outsourcing Payroll Provides Protection

Many businesses are outsourcing payroll, as these companies keep a tight focus on information security. While no system is foolproof, outside payroll companies keep the risk down by collecting only necessary information, and making sure that records are destroyed on a timely basis. They also strictly limit access to employee information. The data is encrypted, and all systems are password protected, with important verification processes.

Outsourcing payroll duties gives small business owners peace of mind, as well as freeing up valuable time that can be spent on running the business. To learn more about payroll management, contact Filler & Associates.