The gift of digital safety

In a world that appears to be in a digital frenzy, let’s help each other be more aware of our digital surroundings so that we can continue to experience all of the joy that technology and the tides of this season bring.

01 holiday phishing
Thinkstock

Many of us are still grappling with how we can best leverage all the new technology-driven opportunities at our fingertips in secure and responsible fashion. It’s not easy, as evidenced by the steady drumbeat of media reports on data breaches and ransomware attacks that hold data hostage. When multimillion-dollar organizations are having difficulty with digital safety, it makes it feel that much more challenging at the individual level.

“Challenging,” though, does not mean “impossible.” We have the final say in the level of digital safety we bring to our world. It’s up to all of us to commit to being part of the solution. This holiday season, consider spreading the gift of safety in our digital world. There are many steps that we all can take, and each of them lead toward a more secure future:

Encourage your girls and boys to consider rewarding careers in tech

If your children are telling you ‘I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,’ tell your son or daughter to take their interest in technology and build upon it. Bill Gates was 13 when he worked on a computer for the first time, and it fostered a passion that helped to build Microsoft.

There is an excellent chance someone in your family will excitedly open a new technology gadget this holiday season … make sure it has security baked in by design

There are plenty of technology-laden gifts in the marketplace now, so it is imperative that you choose wisely. Well-secured tech gifts, with security and privacy built in, come with the added benefit of peace of mind that the device can be enjoyed without the fear of potentially harmful vulnerabilities wreaking havoc.

You can never have enough training

As we approach the new year, be a champion for cybersecurity training at your organization. There is no such thing as being ‘too well-prepared’ when it comes to enterprise cybersecurity, and undertrained staff members pose a major threat to your organization’s well-being.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to digitally transform your enterprise

If your enterprise hasn’t already undergone a digital transformation, 2018 should be your year to do so. Emerging technologies hold promise, but only if sound security and privacy practices remain driving forces in enterprise decisions about deployment. Distributed ledger technologies, digital currencies, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things—these technologies and others are poised to radically change the global economic and societal landscapes. It is therefore increasingly important that sound security and privacy practices are top-of-mind for those developing products, services and solutions. The global digital marketplace is growing, not shrinking. The sooner your enterprise is optimized to take advantage of these opportunities, the better off it will be.

There is no need to take a Scrooge-like approach to digital safety; quite to the contrary, in fact. Among the most important priorities for us as we care for families and friends is their well-being, their health, and their safety. In a world that appears to be in a digital frenzy, let’s help each other be more aware of our digital surroundings so that we can continue to experience all of the joy that technology and the tides of this season bring.  

Until 2018, I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, prosperous and safe new year ahead.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

NEW! Download the Fall 2018 issue of Security Smart