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How HR Onboarding Documents Put Your Personal Data at Risk

July 19, 2022

Have you recently started a new job? Or are you an employer about to bring on new employees? You’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people start a new job every month and with each new hire comes the chance for stolen data. The HR onboarding process is often fraught with endless rounds of paperwork that is sent back and forth between you and the new company’s HR or Talent Management department often leaving data exposed and at risk.

As you fill out employment verification forms, I-9 and W-4 documents, direct deposit forms, and enroll in employer provided benefits, you could be putting your personal identifiable information (PII) at risk. This is especially true if you are sending these onboarding documents via an unsecured and unencrypted email platform, like Hotmail or Gmail, which further leaves your data exposed.

Working remotely increases the need for better data security

Nearly 60% of people now work remotely. Since the pandemic, 94% of organizations shifted to some sort of hybrid work structure. In this environment, every company has faced the adoption of new security solutions and a greater investment in security and risk management. This effort goes beyond networks to the very way employees share data, including data shared with, and used by, Talent Management, Human Resources, Benefits and Staffing teams within the organizations, as well as those external firms hired by companies for recruiting, as an example.

Employment documents require sensitive PII, which includes Social Security numbers, financial or medical records, driver’s license numbers and more. If these forms, or scanned pictures of Social Security cards,  are emailed to HR, both new employees and employers are setting themselves up to be targets for cybercriminals.

HR, and the bevvy of PII and sensitive employee data they have on file, remain one of the most targeted departments by cybercriminals. The fact that there were 22 billion personal records exposed by data breaches in 2021 further drives this point home.

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How to protect your PII and onboarding data

In 2021, PII was the most common type of information stolen in data breaches. Specifically, a recent investigative report found that a hacked Gmail account can be sold for $80, while a cloned Mastercard and PIN might go for $25. Other types of PII, like the data found on a passport, could be worth thousands. By sharing your onboarding documents via email, you’re practically handing your PII over to hackers.  

While sharing PII is a necessary part of the employee onboarding process, compromising on data security doesn’t have to be. Every organization and employee can easily protect this data and control who has access and when and where they can access it.

Our solution, EB Control, keeps PII data out of harm’s way. You hold the power with EB Control, deciding who can access your data, when and where it can be accessed and how it can be accessed. Once your onboarding is complete, you can also revoke access with the click of a button. Click here to learn how EB Control can set you up for success with your next onboarding experience.