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Our Private Lives: The Importance of Personal Connection in Privacy and Security Training

By Patti Caswell and Ann Allsopp

If you’re working from home right now, there’s probably a lot on your mind. Maybe you’re feeling anxious about the latest news article you read and are struggling to focus on work. Maybe you’re wondering how to participate on your next Zoom call and help your kids with their remote learning at the same time. Or maybe you’re just trying to figure out what lunch you can piece together with whatever’s left in the fridge.

Whatever’s on your mind, privacy and data security probably aren’t at the top of that list.

And yet, as Kirsten pointed out in her most recent blog post, cyber attacks are one of the biggest risks facing companies right now, as more employees work from home. According to Wired, when people are stressed or distracted, they’re more likely to fall for phishing scams or other cyber attacks, and home networks often have fewer security protections in place than the office. Cyber criminals know this and have already started taking advantage of weakened security with coronavirus phishing scams and malware attacks.

On top of that, companies have added pressure to comply with regulations like GDPR and CCPA to make sure they’re keeping personal data safe and employees are protecting confidential information.

If it was a challenge to get employees to care about privacy and cyber security in the past, it’s an even bigger challenge now, when they’re trying to adjust to a slew of changes and a new emotional reality. That is top of our minds right now as we introduce “Our Private Lives,” a spoken word video created in collaboration with Gary Turk, to help employees understand their vital role in data security.

So How Do You Get Employees to "Buy the Butter?"

Back in 2018, we similarly challenged ourselves to “rethink” anti-harassment training in the wake of the #metoo movement. At that time, we turned to our staff members who came from the marketing and advertising world and knew a thing or two about techniques to influence consumer buying habits. Their advice came down to this:

You aren’t in the training business — you’re in the persuasion business.

Influencing the behavior of others — whether it is getting them to buy your brand of butter or getting them to take the time to encrypt sensitive information properly — is an art. There is no one-size-fits-all. But there are common threads that all great advertising — and, in our case, training — should start from: Make them care, make it personal, and make it engaging.

Watch how Gary, a poet and persuasive communicator, does all three of these.

1. Make them care.

Empathy can be a powerful persuasion tool. One of the things we love about this new video is the way it brings privacy and security concerns to life by making them personal. Just listen to this line: “That could be your credit card information, your browsing history, your medical records — each illness and injury.”

2. Make it personal.

“Behind every bit of data is the life of a person — a life you have the power to better or worsen, depending on how much you care.” The video encourages employees to be aware of the risks and treat other people’s data as if it were their own.

3. Make it engaging.

Spoken word videos are great for capturing attention. The rhyming pattern makes us listen carefully to each word. And the format is not something employees have ever seen in their annual privacy and security training before.

At Rethink Compliance, we believe effective communication is fundamentally about connection and persuasion. At this moment, as employees struggle to adapt to new working conditions and changes in every area of their lives, it’s more important now than ever to put aside facts and logic and simply connect.

If you want to reach employees and actually influence their behavior in this area, we’d love to show you our latest training (featuring this video!). We’ve developed a short video wrapper that acknowledges the new reality we’re all living in and shares leading practices for working remotely. And, as always, our courses are ready to roll off the shelf — or be quickly and easily customized with your own policies, your own images, and your own branding to truly reflect your industry and company culture.

Email us at hello@rethinkcomplianceco.com to get started!

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