Tips to prevent data theft and unlawful competition

Prevention is always better than cure - the solicitors in our Business Protection Team have set out below tips on simple things you can do to make unlawful competition and data theft by employees less easy:

  • Limit access to databases to only those employees who need to access them
  • Change access passwords regularly
  • Always disable access for ex employees immediately upon termination of employment or on giving notice if you suspect they might compete (you would be surprised at the numbers of employers who fail to do this even years after the event)
  • Conduct occasional spot checks on laptops and mobile devices
  • Keep an eye out for unusual behaviour by employees in working early, late or at weekends if not required by the job, huddled meetings or newly formed cliques of employees
  • Ensure your contracts of employment are up to date and provide for all laptops or mobile devices and drives to be handed over on demand
  • Have an exhaustive and up to date IT use policy and regularly police this area
  • If you suspect data theft contact computer forensics professionals immediately to secure images of the hard drives. 

Smell a rat?

Should you suspect unlawful competition and/or data theft you cannot afford to sit around.

An injunction is a discretionary remedy and the Court requires employers to act swiftly to bring any application. If all the damage has already been done the Court may be less likely to grant an injunction and may simply award damages which impecunious employees are often unable to pay and the realistic solution is get the data or intellectual property secured directly in any event.

Contact us

For more information, please contact one of the solicitors in our Business Protection team. In Cambridge, please contact Stephen Oliver, in Milton Keynes please contact Neil Gibbs