Digital offboarding best practices to keep your data secure

Your business changes every time you hire someone new to help its growth and optimise potential. The new employees begin to make an impact the moment they are hired. From day one, they are using various applications logins and exchanging email conversations with your clients, co-workers, and stakeholders. They also connect to your business social media accounts. This list can go on. 


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The last thing you want is the sensitive files left on a former employee's computer. This could leak months later, and be accessed or stolen by an unauthorized person. 

In fact, a recent survey revealed that 20% of asked businesses have experienced a data breach connected to a former employee.

Digital offboarding is a critical process for each former staff member to reduce the risk of data breaches. 


Below, we have listed the best digital offboarding practices to help with the safety and protection of all your business assets. 


Change email password

Changing the employee’s email password should be one of the first steps you do. This keeps a former employee from getting sensitive business information. It also disables them from emailing as a representative of the company.

Note that accounts are usually not closed with immediate effect because emails need to be stored. Instead, make sure to change the password, so the employee no longer has access to your email accounts.


Identify all logins for the apps and files the person has been using for work

Ensure you know of any apps and accounts the employee may have used for business activities. Make sure you will change the logins if you plan to continue using them or close them altogether if it's safe to do so.


Knowledge transfer

Extensive corporate knowledge can disappear when a person leaves a business. Ensure to employ a knowledge download with an employee during the exit interview. It’s important to capture this during a digital offboarding process.

To improve security within your business, your teams should regularly document their workflows and procedures. This way, you are informed of what apps or other digital platforms they use and in control if something needs changing.


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Close employee accounts & transfer data ownership

Don’t keep a former employee's cloud accounts open indefinitely. Instead, ensure you choose a user account to which you can transfer their data, and then close the account. Leaving any unused cloud accounts open can be a target to a hacker. With no one monitoring the account, it can increase the risk of a data breach. An identified person could gain access to and use data completely unnoticed.


Change employee passwords for cloud business apps

Make sure you change all other apps’ passwords. Remember that anyone can access your business apps and online accounts with the right login details. Just because they can’t access their work computer, doesn’t mean they can’t access online accounts. 

Changing passwords is vital to keep them out of your business apps and other accounts, no matter what device they are using.


Recover any company devices

If your employee worked from home, ensure the recovery of any company-owned devices.

You should do this as soon as you can, to avoid loss of the equipment. Once people no longer work for a company, they may want to sell, give away, or trash devices.


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Recover data on employee personal devices

If you use the “Bring your own device (BYOD)” policy, ensure you’ve captured all company data on those devices. If you don’t already have a backup policy in place for this, you should ask an IT support business that can help set up a backup recovery system and monitor this for you.


Remove all admins from social media accounts in the company

Make sure that a former employee is removed from your company’s social media accounts as an admin. They can otherwise still access the backend of social media, message people, publish posts and look at analytical data.


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You should always implement digital onboarding when your employee leaves the business. Even if you trust the person that he/she would never use your business accounts after leaving your company, you should protect your business data and only share the business credentials with people who work within your business.

If you would like to find out more information about digital offboarding, contact our IT team. We have years of experience working with many small to medium businesses, everything IT, cybersecurity best practices and many more digital solutions that can help your business performance with a minimum of risk.

Our extensive experience in delivering diverse IT solutions for our clients in Bristol and across the South West has helped their businesses to operate better from day one. If you are looking to improve your IT systems, and wish to improve digital security of your IT systems. Contact us and  find out about the IT solutions and services we can deliver to help your business today help.





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