According to a study by airbackup, women handle company data more responsibly than men. But an all-female team can hardly be the solution. So what conclusions can companies draw from this?
This happens when you conduct a study: you don’t always get the results you were expecting. The airbackup behavioral study concluded that women typically handle company data much more responsibly than men. According to this study, women lose their electronic devices less often than men do – at least according to their own statements.
But why is this? Do women really always carry a purse where they can safely stow their smartphones or tablets in the blink of an eye? Or is it maybe because men frequently consider technical devices status symbols that can be used to play to the gallery? And in the end, after a device is thus passed around with jovial exuberance it lands somewhere – just not with its owner. Is that really it?
If so, how can this be changed? An attempt to equip men with appropriate bags would likely be doomed to failure from the start. Thus companies’ only option is to take conventional measures, which prove useful every now and again.
1. Increase awareness
Data loss nearly always has something to do with a lack of awareness. Moreover, the survey demonstrates that it is not always clear to employees which kinds of behavior are dangerous: you leave your desk without locking your computer, or you only save data locally instead of on the company server. But the list of such “small details” goes on and on. And this is precisely what users must understand. Even more so since the study clearly shows that potential data loss triggers a rather strong emotional response among those users surveyed.
2. Taking action is gold
Talk is silver, but silence is not always golden. This is particularly true if somebody has made a mistake; the user cannot just hope to escape under the cloak of forgetting. For speed is of the essence if the IT department is to have a realistic chance of implementing effective countermeasures. To make users aware of this and to promote appropriate behavior, written instructions via e-mail, FAQ, and other texts with warnings are a good start. However, it makes more sense for companies to ensure their employees understand the dangers that arise due to thoughtless behavior, for example by means of training programs with a hands-on approach that also provides a to-do list for emergencies. Regardless of whether a man or woman – when it comes to risk prevention, it is necessary to talk first, then act.
3. Establish routines
Luckily, people are creatures of habit. Precisely when the concern is backing up data stocks, fixed courses of action can help. Even for creative types who resist routine, a regular data back-up should be standard at the company. This is even more important because it can be handled automatically in the background without compromising employees’ everyday work. This is where the online back-up shows its best characteristic: it protects people against severe errors without their even noticing that this is happening.
4. Backing up data online
As the airbackup survey shows, devices are not just lost on company premises but also when employees are on the road. Salesforce employees collect important data each day they are traveling, so this must be backed up – even if the employees are still on the road. This is easiest when using an online back-up solution, which should employ strong encryption technologies since salespeople often use unencrypted wireless services in hotels.
5. Do not process any data with your smartphone
Men lose their electronic devices more frequently than women. But both – men and women – tend to lose their mobile phones rather than their laptops. And this brings about an easy conclusion: You simply should not edit files on your smartphone. A smartphone can and should receive valuable information, however it should not be used to process it. Not only does this help to avoid data loss, but very likely improves the quality of your work as well. While you’re in a taxi, it’s easy to make calls or read e-mails, but do you really have to create texts there? Wouldn’t it make more sense to think through the information you have received and then edit it later on your office computer or using your laptop in your hotel room, where you have some peace and quiet?
6. Take appropriate measures to prevent data loss
Regarded separately, each of these steps may seem small and insignificant. However, taken together they are effective and important – particularly for small and medium-sized companies: According to a Gartner study, after a fire that burns IT systems and causes data loss, 80 percent of companies have to declare bankruptcy. Certainly the loss of a device or engaging in risky behavior is not a smoldering fire, but it is well known that fires start with sparks. And it’s precisely this that you must tackle appropriately. Deploying the fire department is not always necessary. Sometimes it’s enough to practice the safe “use of matches” – especially with men, who still seem to like playing with fire, even once they are grown.
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