Staff negligence exposed students’ personal information

We are human, we are imperfect machines and consequently we sometimes fail to do our jobs through carelessness or a lack of awareness. Consequences of our behavior can be as bad as missing a deadline or, worse, putting the entire company in a very bad position or in danger.

When it comes to information security, there is no space for mistakes

Information security has now become a hot topic for every company board and, although it should be a top priority for every organization, it is extremely important, if not vital, in sectors like health care and education, where even the slightest mistake can put lives in danger or expose minors.

Recently, personal information relating to many students was inadvertently exposed due to staff negligence.

  • A laptop belonging to a Niskayuna, NY, school psychologist and paper reports on five individual students were taken when the psychologist’s car was broken into. Although password protected, the laptop contained names, dates of birth, and addresses of 945 former and current students. Any device containing sensitive information should be securely stored – a locked car isn’t the safest solution.
  • Documents with students’ names, addresses, and other personal information belonging to Mallard Creek High School, NC, were found blowing in the wind. Papers showing personal information should be shredded before disposal to reduce the chance that someone might find them.

All these students whose contact details were exposed are now at risk of identity fraud.

Raise staff awareness to reduce security risks

Sending an email to the wrong person, using unsafe public Wi-Fi networks, and using the same password across multiple accounts are all behaviors that no one can prevent but ourselves. No matter how strong your company’s security technologies are, it only takes a single act to cause a data breach.

Raising awareness of the risks your company faces due to staff carelessness is the solution to your problem. You might object that training the whole staff can be time-consuming and expensive, but have you ever considered an e-learning course? The more user licenses you buy, the cheaper the cost per user, and your staff won’t waste much time because they can fit course attendance around their busy schedules.