In Australia, the move to cloud payroll has been pushed along not just by tech advocates, but thanks to Single Touch Payroll and the Australian Government, many Australian businesses have had to, or are looking at moving payroll online.

As with any move to online services, there is a question about security, this question becomes so much more important when we talk about payroll.

Why is it so important to protect employee data?

Employee data is some of the most precious data that a business can hold. It contains enough information to steal someone’s identity, including name, date of birth, tax file number, bank details, and more.

As a business owner, how can I keep it safe?

There are some keys steps that you can take to protect your business payroll information online.

The first step is to always use a reputable and well-known provider. Do your homework before jumping into a product, check their reviews and history, and if you can speak to other people that have used the program.

Ensure that you have appropriate anti-virus and web browsing protection software on any device that you use to access the cloud. This will reduce your susceptibility to a data breach and hackers.

Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is an extra layer of security over your data that requires you to not only know the password, but you must also have a second way of verifying your identity. For example, you may receive a text message to your phone with a code to enter to the application before you are allowed access. This extra step adds a further layer of protection. If the payroll software you are considering doesn’t have a 2FA option – then look elsewhere.

Use a strong password and don’t let your browser save your passwords. If remembering your password is an issue, look into using a tool or app that can safely manage your passwords for you (again make sure they are reputable and safe!)

I am still worried, should I move to the cloud or not?

It is important to say that nothing is completely foolproof or 100% safe. This is particularly true of the assumption that holding data on in-house server or on a local computer makes it safe.

If the location of your data has any way to connect to the internet, then it can be hacked. You must always ensure that employee information is safeguarded, whether physically stored in your office, or stored online.

The reality is that nowadays if you employ a series of safe steps and protect your data with multiple layers of security, then your payroll information can be just as safe in the cloud, as it is on your desktop.