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Emma Woods

How To Get Your Employees To Give a Damn About Data Protection

If you ran a poll in your office asking your fellow coworkers whether or not they care about data protection, chances are, you’d probably leverage less of a response than when asking who wants to put the kettle on. So, how do you get your employees to give a damn?

As much as you've had it drilled down your ears, the fact remains - data protection is the responsibility of everyone in the business, not just the IT folks.

But how do you get employees to take notice of this? After all, it’s hardly just the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world that are feeling the wrath of poor data handling these days - and with GDPR Awareness Training seemingly on our doorstep, shiny new security-driven tools aren’t going to be your complete answer to staying compliant.

 

Why your employees couldn't care less about data security

From speaking to an endless list of businesses over the last couple of years, we’ve found one common security effort that often seems to be performed halfheartedly… at best. The guilty culprit? Security policies.

Simply getting an employee to sign a security policy and then expecting them to generate positive and tangible results around data security is, bluntly put, dreaming - yet this is still highly adopted.

It should go without saying that the average employee isn’t going to take much notice of a text-heavy document being planted in front of their face, let alone memorise and act on the stuff. But it isn’t just the mind-numbing thought of battling through these documents that encourage them to dodge the matter - it’s also the fact that many employees simply aren’t aware that a serious data breach can be caused by them.

There are many reasons for that, but perhaps one of the biggest is that the consequences of choosing weak passwords and storing sensitive data in public clouds are rarely felt immediate. This makes it easier to assume that they have ‘gotten away with it’, meaning that the behaviour continues.

 

Changing behaviour- Getting your employees to care about data security

Let’s make something clear; Most employees will never be ecstatic to learn about the importance of data protection (which you no doubt already know), but that doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate the importance of just how vital it is for them to keep this information secure.

To do that, there needs to be a change in behaviour which, for creatures of habit, is a lot easier said than done. After all, we learn by watching others - which is a point perfectly proven by employees who conduct huge security mishaps, like writing their passwords down on post-it notes and sticking them to their screens.

One of the most proven ways of changing the security behaviour of employees is with regular, engaging and convenient awareness training that stresses the importance of data security for all employees - even the c-suite. Senior staff need to practice what is preached and take part in a company-wide ‘security for all’ approach (as cheesy as it may sound).

Don’t get us wrong, shiny new tools are always going to be important, but a robust data protection policy aligned with behaviour-changing security awareness training is just as important in this day in age.

 

How to educate employees on data protection

Like we said, changing behaviour ain’t easy, but there are some perfect security awareness training tools out there that can effectively educate your users on data protection - and without taking over your’s or your employee’s work life.

Our very own uLearn security awareness training platform comes equipped with eLearn-inspired GDPR, data protection and security best practice online modules. Want to try them for free? Feel free to test some out (we won’t ask you for card details, we just want to show them off!).