Four Tips to Improve Employee Awareness of Internet Security

All of the security protocols in the world won’t help when your employees insist on making their passwords “password.” Not even the equally clever “drowssap” is enough to fool a talented hacker. With SaaS utilities on the rise in many markets, companies need to impress upon their employees the importance of Internet security. A data security breach doesn’t just cost companies significant amounts of money, but it could also potentially damage the company’s reputation with its clients for many years to come.

Virus

Virus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Explain It in Terms They Understand

Many employees may not become familiar with internet security protocols because they don’t understand how important they are. You can impress the importance of security upon them by explaining the consequences. According to Symantec, most companies lose over $7 million to a data breach on average. Explaining the risk in concrete terms may help employees connect. You can also explain to them on a personal level by outlining the personal cost of identity theft and how many people go the extra mile to protect themselves with services like LifeLock’s identity theft protection. Companies run in much the same way but on a larger scale.

Reach Out to All Levels of Expertise

Different types of employees will have varying levels of computer expertise. Some employees may not follow proper protocols simply because they don’t really understand the mechanisms by which the system functions. Company-wide seminars are a fantastic way to get everyone on the same page. Materials can also be provided to aid employees that may not be as web savvy as others and supervisors should always check to make sure that every employee understands what is being requested of them. It may not always be obvious when an employee simply doesn’t get it.

Don’t Get Lazy

English: Jart Armin, internet security researc...

English: Jart Armin, internet security researcher and HostExploit editor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Employees may become lax in their standards if the company doesn’t seem to check them as effectively as they should. Redmond Magazine covers some tips employers can use if they’re interested in monitoring their employees without being extremely obtrusive or increasing their overhead by too much. Employees that know they are being actively monitored may be more willing to follow the proper steps, even if the monitoring isn’t extremely extensive. This could be as simple as the IT department glancing at usage statistics and discussing potential red flags with employees.

Appeal to Their Selfishness

Company profit-sharing or bonuses for departments that follow Internet safety protocols and do not experience any high risk alerts can be a fantastic way of getting everyone on board with new safety protocols. Incentives often help a department work as a team and keep them active and engaged, as IntelliSpend notes. Not only will this motivate employees, it will also make sure that Internet security is always on their mind in one form or another. In this area, vigilance can be extremely helpful.

Internet security begins from the top. The system will only be as strong as the weakest link. While employee education is one very important step, it isn’t everything. Scott and Scott, LLP report that 85 percent of businesses have experienced a breach. Forming a comprehensive security plan is vital for a growing and thriving business. It’s also important that executive staff members follow the same or greater security protocols as the rest of the staff.

Ryan Bloom

Ryan is a digital security consultant and amateur painter. He owns an original Bob Ross.

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One Response

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