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5 Ways to Help Employees be #PrivacyAware

Posted Monday, April 17, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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Data Privacy Day is here and an important reminder of the value of privacy and security when it comes to protecting our data, both at home and within the workplace. Getting our employees involved in the conversation about being #PrivacyAware is a good place to start in creating a culture of privacy within your organization. Follow Kirkpatrick Price on Twitter @KPAudit to join the conversation and share how you help employees be #PrivacyAware.

In the meantime, here are a few tips we’ve come up with. What other ways are you encouraging employees to be #PrivacyAware?

1. Create a Culture of Privacy

When trying to create any kind of culture, it’s important to recognize that the impact is greater when the stakeholders and leaders are clearly invested. So, when trying to create a culture of privacy within your organization, it’s important to remember that it must start with the tone from the top.

Other great ways to encourage Privacy within your organization can be things such as hanging posters around the office with tips and best practices for ensuring the privacy and security of data.

2. Talk frequently about Privacy and Security

Continuous conversations surrounding privacy and security and what is expected of employees when it comes to protecting sensitive data is a great way to keep these things on the forefront of employees’ minds. How is privacy and security important to your business and what role do your employees play in achieving these business goals? Regular meetings or updates on new privacy and security trends and reminding employees of best practices is a good way to keep the conversation going and keep it relevant.

3. Teach Employees to recognize Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks

Every minute, someone becomes the victim of a phishing attack. Ransomware and social engineering attacks are constantly evolving as the cyber threat landscape grows. It’s more important than ever to teach employees to recognize phishing and social engineering attacks so they can be prepared to avoid giving out sensitive information that could lead to a breach or loss of data. Phishing emails and fake links that look like legitimate websites are still the most common form of attack. Social engineering is another common way to manipulate others into giving out sensitive information and employees should be taught to never give sensitive information out over the phone such as passwords and usernames without thoroughly vetting and verifying the identity of the person on the other end of the line.

4. Utilize a secure wireless network at work and at home

Connecting to free/public Wi-Fi leaves your information vulnerable and at risk. Be sure to connect only to secure networks to ensure data security during transfer over wireless networks. Consider subscribing to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to reduce the risk of your sensitive information being stolen by cybercriminals. Securing your home network so that others can’t access your wireless network is another best practice for managing privacy and security. It’s important to remember that it’s equally critical to secure the privacy of your data at work and at home.

5. Regularly install updates

Keeping operating systems and applications updated to the latest version is a critical task that must be done to ensure privacy and security of data. Updates are complete with the latest patches for vulnerabilities and bugs, which can be used to exploit your network and gain access to sensitive data. When possible, enable automatic updates to add an extra layer of security and help reduce the risk of being vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks.

Follow Kirkpatrick Price on Twitter @KPAudit and share how you’re helping your employees to be #PrivacyAware.