When Privacy Protection Is Not a Private Matter

· Deutsche Version
When Privacy Protection Is Not a Private Matter

In a world where life increasingly takes place online, the protection of privacy and personal data is also becoming more important. To put a spotlight on the significance of privacy protection, the international Data Privacy Day is held every year at the end of January. However, the topic remains relevant far beyond that day – and doesn’t only concern the private sphere.

We spend around a third of our life at work, and a large part of it online. The lines between the private and the business sphere increasingly become blurred. For example, working from home often leads to employees using their personal mobile phones for work purposes. Employers can no longer ignore the fact that confidential information and sensitive company data might be shared via insecure and questionable channels – often unintentionally. This makes it all the more important for employers to assume their responsibility and do everything in their power to protect company data, trade secrets, and their employees’ privacy appropriately.

It’s of vital importance, for example, to clarify organizational aspects with employees and set out clear rules: what are they allowed to do, what not? In regard to privacy protection, this includes not storing personal files on the company laptop (for the IT department, for example, might need to access to the company laptop and the files stored on it at some point). In addition, it is strongly recommended for employees to use a VPN in public networks to avoid that third parties can access their data traffic.

Bring Your Own Device

If employees are allowed to use their own mobile phones for work purposes and company data is stored and processed on them, that’s a so-called “Bring Your Own Device” environment. Find out on this page what measures a company should take regarding mobile devices in this scenario: Data Protection Despite “Bring Your Own Device”

It is further important to make employees aware that they should only use the online tools specified or recommended by the company. Not every application offers sufficient privacy settings, and it’s the management’s responsibility to evaluate the apps available and provide employees with suitable solutions. Just the choice of browser, for example, can make a difference: while there are countless options, they can differ in terms of integrated security and privacy features.

An important guideline for companies is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which offers a standard regulation for protecting personal data. If a company disregards the GDPR, i.e., doesn’t protect their employees’ personal data adequately, they may have to face steep fines.

When it comes to communication, GDPR compliance also needs to be ensured, and the privacy of employees has to be protected, too. Everyday messengers such as WhatsApp are not privacy-compliant and, therefore, not suitable for business communication. It’s crucial to provide a secure solution for internal and external communication to ensure that employees, partners, and stakeholders can communicate without having to fall back on services like WhatsApp. As a dedicated business messenger, Threema Work is the ideal solution: the app is 100% GDPR-compliant and doesn’t require a phone number, thus allowing employees to use Threema Work for business purposes without having to disclose personally identifiable information.

Do you want to find out for yourself how Threema Work can be used in your company? Test the business messenger now free of charge and without obligation for 30 days.