As anyone who’s worked in IT for any length of time will tell you, convincing the average user to care about cybersecurity is an uphill battle. Most days, one can’t help but feel like Sisyphus with his boulder - except the boulder is on fire, you have to get it to the top of the hill by morning, and everyone’s yelling at you about unrelated problems.
It’s curious, really. The past few years have been some of the worst for data privacy we’ve ever seen. Amidst scandals like Cambridge Analytica, it’s hard to believe that more people don’t care about keeping their personal information safe
It’s baffling that more people aren’t cognizant of the connection between enterprise cybersecurity and their own digital mindfulness.
Here’s where Taylor Swift comes in. See, the world-leading is actually incredibly keyed-in to the dual issue of security and privacy. Arguably more so than any of her contemporaries.
“Swift has frequently shown a keen understanding of why - and how - digital security is important to her,” writes The Guardian’s Alex Hern, in a piece that refers to her as a a cybersecurity icon. “In 2017, Ed Sheeran revealed that collaborating with Swift involved NSA-level security...Swift’s extreme caution has even led to the creation of a Twitter fan account, SwiftOnSecurity. It is genuinely the most informative cybersecurity resource on the internet.”
Alright, Swift knows her stuff. But what does any of that have to do with you? Why am I telling you any of this?
Simply put, people listen to celebrities - and you can use that to your advantage.
Just look at the anti-vaccination movement if you want an example of this. For some reason, there are people who trust Jenny McCarthy more than scores of doctors and physicians. We have a tendency to view famous men and women as authorities.
When the celeb doesn’t know what they’re talking about, that’s problematic. Dangerous, even. But in the case of people like Taylor Swift who demonstrate formidable knowledge of digital privacy?
You need to educate end users on the importance of mindfulness, caution, and digital privacy. But you aren’t going to do that by repeatedly beating training programs and knowledge-bases over their heads. You aren’t going to do that with draconian security measures.
Instead, what you need to do is talk openly with your users.
Share advice like Swift’s. Show them that cybersecurity doesn’t need to be boring, difficult, or inconvenient. Demonstrate to them that the people they love to listen to on the radio or watch on TV care about digital safety, and why.
You might be surprised at the progress you make in doing so.