As we progress through 2022, growing numbers of Gen Zers will be entering the workforce. When millennials entered the workforce, they brought with them different attitudes and behaviors, and we should expect Gen Zers to come with their own unique qualities too. Although they are the first full generation to grow up in the digital age, you may expect them to be well-prepared for any technological challenges and security issues that arise. Unfortunately, the opposite may be more true.
Since most Gen Zers grew up with a smartphone and social media, they’re more likely to share information without any regard for security. According to Entrepreneur magazine, many Gen Zers struggle to distinguish between friends they met online and in real life. Cybercriminals could use this knowledge to carefully craft social media profiles to gain access to valuable information about the individual and possibly even their workplace.
But that may not be the worst of it. Many Gen Zers are plagued with other more troubling cyber security failings. Take passwords: according to a recent Harris Poll, 78% of Gen Zers us e the same password across multiple accounts. That’s 10 – 20% more than millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. Another common issue: safe browsing habits.
How to Prepare
Over the next few years, there’s a good chance that you will hire a Gen Zer for some role in your business. How can you prepare your cyber security so it’s ready to handle whatever the next generation brings? It’s important that you’re proactive in your strategy. Waiting until you already have Gen Zers in your workplace could leave your information unprotected or make your company open to cyber-attacks.
Before anything else, you need to develop an information security training program. It’s imperative that your company have a well-established cyber-secure culture that everyone has bought into. That way, when you have new hires, you can put them through the same training while your other employees demonstrate proper techniques through behavior. Make sure your training is up-to-date and that you continue to update it whenever new software or technology is released.
As for passwords, it’s important that Gen Zers don’t use the same one for their personal and professional accounts. To nip this potential vulnerability in the bud, start implementing password manager programs in your business as soon as possible — current employees will appreciate it as well. Password managers make more complicated and secure passwords that your average hacker can’t crack.
If you truly want to keep your business protected from cybercriminals, it’s important to be proactive about managing your IT. If you have any questions about creating an IT program to monitor your systems around the clock, ensure data encryption and backups, have network and firewall protections in place, and security awareness training for staff, please reach out and we would be happy to help. Having these things in place helps you worry less about the next generation making things more difficult.
As Gen Zers enter the workforce, it’s important that business owners prepare for their arrival. Don’t wait for them to start at your business to make changes to your cyber security plan. Be proactive and do what you need to ensure that your business is fully protected.