The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has urged insurance companies to implement social media policies for their employees. The revised guidelines were published in April 2023, with updates made on acceptable usage of social media.
Guidelines on information and cyber security for insurers were initially introduced by IRDAI in 2017 to ensure they were capable of handling and mitigating information and cyber security risks, while also equipping insurers with all the essential resources to prevent potential security threats. It was later extended to include all insurance intermediaries in 2022.
The IRDAI guidelines are applicable to all entities which are to be covered:
- Insurers (Life, Non-Life, Health, Re-insurer, and Foreign Re-Insurance Branches)
- Corporate Agents
- Web Aggregators
- Third-Party Administrators
- Insurance Marketing Firms (IMFs)
- Insurance Repositories
- Insurance Information Bureau (IIB)
- Corporate Surveyors
- Insurance Self-Networking Portal (ISNP)
- Motor Insurance Service Provider (MISP)
- Common Service Centers (CSC)
To safeguard confidential information and prevent cyber-attacks, all insurers, insurance intermediaries, and insurance information bureaus are required to adhere to these mandates. “Those entities who have already completed a security audit for FY 2022-23 shall ensure compliance with these guidelines from next financial year” the insurance regulator added.
How do IRDAI’s social media guidelines impact insurers?
Compliance with guidelines is essential in preserving the insurance company’s reputation and credibility. Employers should put a social media policy in place to ensure that employees are thoroughly trained in compliance procedures. IRDAI further added, “The CISO ‘Chief Information Systems Officer’ shall conduct training and awareness programs along with corporate communication teams to educate the employees about information security-related, social media guidelines, existence, and usage of enterprise DLP ‘Data Leakage Prevention’ tools by the Organization.”
Insurers must establish boundaries on how they use social media in managing customer information and data privacy. Thus, guidelines issued by IRDAI circulars shall be incorporated in the operation of the insurance company.
Understanding IRDAI social media guidelines
To ensure that insurers in India use social media ethically and responsibly, the IRDAI has released a set of guidelines for social media usage which specify the dos and don’ts for social media activity.
IRDAI emphasized that the conduct of employees within an organization directly affects its reputation, and all information released in public reflects the general perception of the organization. “Social media should be used in a way that adds value to the organization’s business,” it said.
Guidelines include a section on ‘Acceptable usage of social media’ to guide all insurers when using these platforms in their workplace. This section states that employees should refrain from disseminating any unverified and confidential information related to their company on “any Blogs/Chat forums/Discussion forums/Messenger sites/Social networking sites.”
Why use social media screening?
With social media being such an important part of many people’s lives, it is not surprising that it has also influenced the world of recruitment, with human resources professionals using social media screening to make informed decisions and determine if a candidate’s online activities align with the job requirements.
In a recent report by Sterling, which provides a realistic outlook on the state of hiring, background screening, and candidate experience — as expressed by more than 1,200 HR professionals and over 3,700 recent job seekers globally, representing 13 countries with India as the second largest respondents.
Recruiters revealed that 59% of employers within the APAC region are considering adding social media checks to their background screening program to make hiring more robust.
It is important to understand how social media screening can support in the recruitment process – to become a crucial part of hiring, and something that will be essential in engaging the best quality talent and reducing the risks associated with recruitment. Social media screening is a helpful technique in the hiring process for evaluating a candidate’s internet presence and suitability for a job. After all, insurance companies do not want to recruit anyone who may present a risk to the security of their information assets.
According to IRDAI human resource security policies “Background checks shall be performed on all personnel (including temporary and contract personnel) performing sensitive or critical job roles before they are selected for the position or transferred to the position.” HR teams are crucial for an organization’s security framework as per IRDAI’s recommendations. Their responsibilities extend to cultivating a work environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, hate speech, or toxic language. By doing so, they protect the organization’s reputation, prevent potential legal suits, and foster a healthy and inclusive work culture.
Social Media Screening with Sterling RISQ
Since toxic hires can result in significant costs, insurance companies can rely on Sterling RISQ for legal, comprehensive social media background checks. These checks can identify any red flags in a candidate’s online activity, helping to only hire the best talent for your organization.
We provide our clients with screening programs aligned with evolving government regulations and privacy laws that make thorough background and identity checks increasingly important.
Are social media checks on your organization’s radar? Get in touch with us today to find out more.