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Human privacy error strikes again

I don’t watch the Today show, but there was a great example of a self-inflicted privacy breach on the air on Friday. While demonstrating the new Samsung watch phone, Hoda Kotb revealed her cell phone number. Kathie Lee Gifford warned Hoda to be careful to not show her cell phone number due to a similar experience Kathie Lee had in April, Hoda, seemingly not paying attention, forged ahead. The results…within a few minutes Hoda had received over one thousand text messages not to mention the voice mails she received.

According to the Ponemon Institute, 35% of data breaches are due to human error. Hoda’s error was typical of what you could find in your organization, someone trying to do the right thing for the business or a customer (in this case doing a live demo) while not thinking through the potential implications of their actions.

Explaining expected behaviors to your organization is an important part of an awareness program. What may leave a more lasting impressions may be to provide examples of what not to do and share the consequences. Don’t wait for the heat of the moment to deliver these messages; you’re staff’s mind will be on other things.