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Firing an Employee? 4 Tips for Protecting Your Technology Against Retaliation

Firing an Employee? 4 Tips for Protecting Your Technology Against Retaliation

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, April 25 6:00

We ve all heard the horror stories. A terminated employee logs into a secure business account and erases all of the data inside. Or an angry dismissed worker retaliates by sending emails to every client, damaging that business s reputation. When a business fires an employee, tempers can flare in the days that follow and the result can be long-term damage.

Even if you have a small staff and can t imagine a day when you ll need to fire someone, you should have processes in place to protect your business. This will ensure that from the day you first assign computer equipment and/or mobile devices to your new employees, you re preparing for the remote possibility a termination will someday become necessary. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

Set Up Remote Device Control

At one time, equipment remained on site, where it could be supervised at all times. Today s workers take their laptops, tablets, and smartphones on the road with them. Set up your systems so that you re able to remotely control each of your devices, including the ability to wipe, lock, or change passwords. If you have the right technology in place, you ll remain in full control of your business-issued devices even when they aren t in the office.

Block Account Access

Before you terminate an employee, make preparations to block all accounts as soon as the employee has been notified. If you have a security administrator, discreetly clue that person in just before the meeting to ensure he or she will be on site once the termination is complete. As soon as the meeting ends, contact the security administrator to give the go-ahead to disable the employees network accounts. If possible, set it up so that this can be done in one or two steps.

Have Security on Call

Businesses escort terminated employees out for good reason. Not only can they delete vital files and send inappropriate emails, they can physically damage the property they ve been issued. Your policy should be to escort each terminated employee out, even if you don t feel there will be a problem. Make sure security will be available if for some reason you should need it in the minutes following a termination meeting.

Conduct Annual Inventory With so many mobile devices, it s important that businesses keep track of them. Each year, conduct a thorough inventory of all equipment, including laptops and mobile devices. Require employees to bring those items in to be visually verified. In some cases, you may find that cuts down on the number of devices out in the field, since some employees will decide they want to return something they aren t using anymore. Over the long term, though, this type of inventorying means you ll learn about lost devices much sooner than you would have otherwise.

Terminating an employee can be difficult but with the right approach, you ll find your technology is safeguarded against retaliation. Hopefully you will rarely have to dismiss employees but when you do, a good policy can make all the difference.

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