Motivating Security-Resistant Employees to Protect Office Data

Motivating Security-Resistant Employees to Protect Office Data

Showing Security-Resistant.jpg IT professionals lose sleep over security-resistant colleagues who just don’t get it when it comes to protecting office data. We’ve found that these employees are likely to be just as baffled about protecting their personal data. When this happens, office data protection (like charity itself) may begin at home.


By giving your security-resistant colleagues a brief crash course on why they need to protect their personal data and by showing them how protecting their data can be an enjoyable experience, they will be more empowered to protect office data as well. So here’s our two-part course:


I. Demonstrate the Need to Protect. Have your colleagues enter a personal email address at security expert Troy Hunt’s ‘;–have I been pwned site. Then watch jaws drop as they see the details of their breached accounts materializing on screen.


BreachAlram Next, have them sign up for the free Email Watchdog feature at the BreachAlarm site. This gives early notice of breaches, usually within days of a breach. Your security-resistant colleagues will now have time to scan news reports, identify the breach target, and close accounts as necessary, probably before a buyer of their stolen data on the Dark Web has time to exploit it.


The Dark Web? Everyone on planet earth should know about the Dark Web, where vast hoards of stolen personal data are sold for next to nothing. “Buyers are currently willing to pay just $1 for a Social Security number”, Fortune magazine reports.


Now it’s time to ask your security-resistant colleagues if they would like to learn about a fun, free way to protect their personal data.


II. Make Data Protection Enjoyable: Use a Good Password Manager. There’s a certain magic to using a user-friendly password manager like those discussed in our July 7 post . It’s a game, actually. Once they get the hang of it, security-resistant employees can become security-minded almost overnight.


Case in point? Recently a Chi Networks Customer told us how she hated updating her typewritten list of 60 passwords. She felt insecure, said the constant updates were driving her nuts. So we gave her a 20-minute tour of LastPass. That changed everything. 18 strong new passwords later, she beamed with pride about her improved score at the LastPass Security Challenge. (The KeePass Security Audit gives a comparable overall security score.) She had raised her initial score of 35% to 51%. Not impressive, perhaps, but enough to show her that she was on the right track. .


The Password monkey was off her back. Data security was now more a game than a chore, with clear rules and obvious safety benefits. She was actually looking forward to raising her score higher. What’s more, she had bonded with her IT tech guy, and had a positive new attitude about protecting office data.


Suddenly she was open to idea that data security, at home and office, entails a commitment to developing good habits:


  • Using a good virus protection tool.
  • Maintaining an always-on firewall
  • Opening emails with care. Recognizing and avoiding phishing attacks.
  • Being careful when clicking on Internet links and using free public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Making regular automatic data backups
  • Keeping operating systems and software up to date.


There’s no denying that this game and employee-centered approach to personal and office cyber security takes time. It’s an investment. If you decide to make it, we’d like to know how, and whether, it worked for you.


A final thought: It’s amazing how many people still don’t how to Google things like “KeePass change database password” or “Dashlane lost master password”. Showing them how will itself be empowering.

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