Last updated on May 12, 2022
Creating a privacy-conscious company is no easy task.
Your organization can spend thousands of dollars on high-tech solutions to protect personal information but all it takes is a careless slip by an employee to cause a massive privacy breach.
This is why employees need constant reminders about the importance of handling personal information properly and why privacy officers need solid ideas to foster privacy awareness in their organization.
Here are seven ways to raise privacy awareness in your business:
1. Write for the Company Newsletter
Most medium-to-large-sized organizations have a company newsletter that gets circulated through the office. This is a great opportunity to deliver privacy-related information to employees at regular intervals. For example, you can use it to write articles on various privacy topics, such as the importance of keeping personal information private, the consequences of not complying with privacy policies and procedures, and tips for protecting personal information.
2. Provide Practical Tips
In addition to writing articles, you can also use the company newsletter to provide practical tips for protecting personal information. For example, you can provide tips on choosing strong passwords, encrypting personal information, and avoiding phishing scams.
Chances are, many of the employees in your organization manage online profiles such as Facebook. Use this opportunity to show employees how to keep their profiles private and show them what type of personal information they shouldn’t share with the entire world.
3. Show Consequences for Failing to Comply with Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures are easier to comply with if employees know why they should be following them.
For example, if your organization uses a document destruction policy to instruct employees to shred all paperwork containing sensitive information, you can refer to news stories where employees have contributed to a privacy breach by throwing personal information into a dumpster rather than using the shredder.
4. Report on Privacy News
Keeping employees up–to–date on privacy news is another great way to raise privacy awareness in your business. Privacy news, especially if it is relevant to your industry, may interest many of your employees. You may choose to provide snippets from articles or rewrite and summarize news stories for your audience.
5. Make Privacy Officers Open and Accessible
Consider publishing the names and contact information of all privacy officers freely in the organization.
Depending on the size of your organization, you may also consider posting a picture and location of the privacy officers in the office. Employees will feel more comfortable approaching privacy officers if they know who they are, where they are located, and if they are open to questions, comments, and suggestions.
Another thing to consider is having your organization create an email specifically designated for privacy related inquiries (e.g. email@example.com). This will ensure that employees always remember where to send inquiries via email.
6. Deliver Introductory and Refresher Privacy Training
One of the best ways to raise privacy awareness in your business is to provide training for all employees on your privacy policies and procedures. This will ensure that everyone who handles customer data is aware of their responsibility to protect that information. Deliver privacy training for new and existing employees in person. This will allow you to meet employees and promote privacy awareness on a personal level.
7. Write a F.A.Q. Document
After a few years there will be numerous questions that will be frequently asked by employees. In addition, you can use the F.A.Q. to provide answers to common questions about privacy, such as “What is personal information?” and “What are the consequences of violating privacy laws?” Consider creating a Frequently Asked Questions document and putting it online or making it available in hard copy.
Are there any other ideas that work in your organization? Share them below for all to learn from!