Privacy Expert Boss

Why the boss should also be the privacy expert

If you’re the head of a company, it’s your duty to be no less than a privacy expert. Cyber criminals are betting on the fact that you aren’t one, and your whole company could suffer if you don’t take action to become one.

We’ve discussed before the necessity of keeping employees well-trained against cyber attacker’s tricks, such as spear-phishing. Well, it turns out that the big bosses are actually even more likely to fall for social engineering attacks according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

The article quoted a study by Verizon that indicates these executives are often exempt from company-wide security rules and are more likely to open email or click on links that expose their company’s secure information.  Especially at a time when so many are hit with phony emails, no one can afford to be lax on cyber security. CEOs and other high-level bosses are usually highly visible, public-facing, have access to proprietary information, and are often disengaged from the online security process: in other words, they are the perfect target. 

It might stem from a sense of superiority comma or simple ignorance, but whatever the cause, bad behavior is bad behavior, no matter who’s doing it. So what can a boss do to be more of an space here online privacy expert? Try these tips:

  • Encryption: Take special care to encrypt and password-protect data on your devices. All of them.
  • Attend training: Acting high and mighty can have real consequences if you don’t attend, or worse, don’t provide training for your employees. Instead, seek out and gain knowledge from a privacy expert.
  • Physically secure sensitive information: You wouldn’t leave your filing cabinet open for anyone to access. Why do the same with your data? Don’t demand special privileges because you’re the boss.  Keep your firewalls enabled and guard your personal information, especially when on social networking sites.

The sort of attacks that can take down giants won’t spare your company either. The higher up you are, the more responsible you need to be, because it’s not just your name on the line: it’s the security of everything in your organization.

John Sileo is a digital privacy expert and professional speaker on building digital trust. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer, Visa, and Homeland Security. See his recent media appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.