What employees at Equifax, Yahoo and Wells Fargo have in common
By Alessandra Malito, MarketWatch
This is how to respond to hiring managers and friends when your company's in the news
Consumers are always at risk when a company's data is breached, but there's an entirely other category of people affected: employees.
Quite a few big-name companies have been in the headlines lately for breaches of sensitive data and company scandals: Equifax (EFX) is still reeling from announcing hackers had access to data of 143 million Americans, including their Social Security numbers, for three months (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-you-one-of-the-143-million-customers-in-the-equifax-data-breach-do-this-now-2017-09-08); the spread of people affected by Yahoo's (AABA) hack in 2013 is even wider than previously stated, with all 3 billion accounts affected (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/every-yahoo-account-was-affected-by-2013-hack-verizon-now-says-2017-10-03).
The chief executive officer of Wells Fargo (WFC) was grilled by U.S. senators this week over last year's scandal, where the bank opened 2 million fake accounts and charged hundreds of thousands of customers for auto insurance they didn't need or want (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-in-gods-name-were-you-thinking-senators-grill-wells-ceo-2017-10-03). It's hard to watch as an innocent bystander, but imagine being an employee.
Also see: Were you impacted by the Equifax breach? You risk financial chaos by doing nothing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/equifax-breach-why-you-should-freeze-your-credit-report-today-2017-09-14)
Working at a company in the midst of a scandal could be a blow even to the employees who had nothing to do with the error. Image and communication are important for workplace morale, said Johannes Prueller, head of global insights and communication at kununu, an online employer reviewer site, and working for a company in the news for all the wrong reasons can impact employees long after the headlines are yesterday's news.
Companies see that. "The environment in which people work is critical to their experience every day, so we need to focus on that culture and the accountability needs to be with senior leaders to take action around culture," a spokesman at Wells Fargo said. (Yahoo and Equifax did not respond to request for comment.)