Though today’s consumer digital communications tools are designed to be the ultimate data mines, businesses can’t afford to take data security risks when it comes to internal communications. With personal data being an increasingly profitable commodity, the tracking of online activity is occurring on an unprecedented level, which calls for much more secure internal communications.
In this context, it’s never been more important from a data security perspective to distinguish between consumer and private messaging tools and to consider how to secure your internal communications with solutions that provide better and more secure team communication tools for your workforce.
Protect Your Workforce From Data Security Issues
The recent Facebook data breach revelation raises important questions regarding company responsibility when it comes to data security. In this case, user data was collected by a researcher from a quiz app downloaded via Facebook’s app marketplace.
Downloaded by 270,000 Facebook users who did grant the app access to their own data, the quiz app also obtained the personal data of those users’ friends––who, importantly, did not consent to their data being accessed––to the staggering recently updated estimate of 87 million people. That data was then sold to UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Facilitating Employee Connection Without Sacrificing Data Privacy
The Facebook data breach spotlights an unfortunate reality regarding employees’ use of consumer messaging apps in the workplace: questionable access to data and data security. If companies don’t provide an official internal communication solution, employees will self-select consumer-grade messaging alternatives like Facebook’s WhatsApp that pose potentially devastating privacy issues which could prove costly to your business.
These consumer messaging apps are not designed for business use, and thus not business compliant, requiring employees to exchange personal information such as cell phone numbers and personal email with company unauthorized users. What’s more, employee data is stored in these unsecured and unmonitored chats via the consumer messaging app.
The Benefits of Secure Internal Communications Solutions
Unlike consumer messaging tools such as WhatsApp, subscription-based internal communications apps are explicitly created with data security and privacy front-of-mind because they are designed for business communication, not as data mines and vehicles for advertising revenue.
Unlike consumer-facing messaging apps, where your personal data is exchanged for your free usage of the app, subscription-based team communication apps alleviate GDPR non-compliance risk as well without compromising on quality employee connection.
Here are nine of the most impactful differences between consumer apps and digital workplace communication platforms for optimal employee connection and data security:
- Dedicated communication streams. Defined working groups filter information to get the input of workforce colleagues who most need to weigh in on decisions without unnecessarily involving other team members.
- Automated administrative operations. Workplace communication apps can automate frequent messaging like onboarding or even be pre-populated as part of crisis planning. Confirmation campaigns can track compliance for health and safety regulations.
- Centralized platform. Project updates and company announcements are shared in a centralized space, so your workforce shares knowledge and gets answers faster.
- Assess workplace culture. A built-in analytics dashboard provides a secure method to gauge workplace culture based on interactions. Employee polls and surveys are simple to push out and give quick insights into what is happening within the organization.
- Avoids information silos. Without access to communication, people aren’t getting the crucial information they need to effectively do their jobs.
- Richer collaboration. Two-way communications allow feedback to be exchanged between departments and locations, across time zones and offices.
- Integrations with HRMS systems. Sync personnel profiles across systems to ensure information is always up-to-date, and to easily activate and deactivate user accounts.
- User-powered content selection. Unlike algorithm-based content delivery, using an internal communications platform with intentional streams empowers employees to select the content most relevant to them and their roles. Pinned posts at the top of each stream can convey helpful reminders and posting guidelines.
- Intuitive navigation. A simple, familiar user interface means better workforce adoption.