Information Security Across the Generations (originally published February 2007)

Generation X paved the way with Napster. Their younger cohorts, the Millennials, have fully embraced sites like YouTube and MySpace to share information freely. Compare this with older generations’ attitudes toward proprietary information and you have a costly culture clash. Personal electronic devices are everywhere - cell phones, Blackberries and iPods are only the beginning - and how your employees use them and view intellectual property will have drastic consequences for your business.

Many organizations are updating their information security policies and procedures taking the differences in generational attitudes and practices into account. Here are a few suggestions to help you follow in their path:
  • Conduct a 3rd party assessment of the technological and physical security of your organization’s proprietary information
  • Create policies and train employees on the sharing and downloading of company information
  • Provide training on appropriate Internet, email, instant messaging, and camera phone use on site and off
  • Educate employees on the appropriate use of social networking websites for personal and business purposes
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