It is essential to ensure that employees stay vigilant and safe when handling confidential information and secure systems. Sending out a Security Awareness Tip of the Day to employees can be a great way to help them keep security in the front of their minds. Employers should address a range of topics, like social engineering, phishing, and other cyber threats in order to create a comprehensive security culture within their organization. The trick is to make the tips memorable and impactful, so that employees read and remember them. You don’t want to send so many boring, dry reminders that employees actually learn to tune them out.
Varying the topics you discuss will keep your employees interested and engaged. For example, one day you could focus on vishing, another day how to use your building access cards, or how to spot the signs of malware. Security tips of the day should not be static or repetitive.
One other benefit of using variety is that, by rotating through topics, and changing the types of information you discuss about that topic, you are more likely to make sure none of your employees has a blind spot. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what you don’t know. By changing it up, you come at key information in a variety of ways, which might give an employee the exact “A-ha!” moment they needed.
Make Them Laugh
Humor can also be an effective tool for memory retention. People learn better when they laugh, so if you’re sending a security tip of the day, consider adding a joke or two in there to make it more engaging and memorable. For example, perhaps you could end with a funny cartoon, or light-hearted pun. You could also use a funny anecdote to illustrate how serious the issues can be, by showing a funny but true example of why security is important. By making them laugh, they’ll remember the message better and likely take it more seriously.
Rhyme it up! Rhymes are a great way to make sure people remember your message. They get stuck in our heads like an “earworm”, and we can subconsciously recall them later on when we need them. One of the most common examples of this is the phrase “Look before you leap.” You don’t necessarily have to use rhymes in every Security Awareness Tip of the Day, but sprinkling them throughout can be a great way to help people remember your message. It works especially well when you are discussing topics like phishing, social engineering or password security. The rhythm and rhyme make it memorable.
Sometimes you can use a pop quiz to make sure everyone is paying attention and retaining the information you circulate. For example, in the day’s tip, you can ask one or two questions that employees have to answer via an email to their supervisor. This will test them on what they’ve learned. This can be a great tool to solve the problem of employees tuning out your security tips. If they aren’t paying attention, their boss will know because they won’t respond to the tip.
Don’t forget the power of visual aids. Diagrams and images are a great way to illustrate the point you’re making without having to rely on long explanations. Your tip of the day should be short and memorable, not long winded and boring.
Using images also helps those who are visual learners understand the concept more easily than reading text alone. So if you have a diagram, graph or cartoon that helps bring your message to life, don’t hesitate to use it. Visual aids can really help increase the impact of your Security Awareness Tips of the Day and make sure everyone is being more mindful about security in their daily work.
Invite Employee Participation
Finally, to make sure your Security Awareness Tips of the Day are really effective, consider asking employees to contribute tips or stories from their own personal experiences. Everyone has had a close call with phishing, for example, so why not share those real-life stories with your teams? People learn better when ownership is involved, and hearing real stories from their coworkers can be a great way to build ownership and make the message more relatable.
Mnemonics can also be a great tool for helping employees remember key security steps. Mnemonics are funny phrases that help you remember complex or long strings of information. For example the popular mnemonic “Every Good Boy Does Fine” is used to remember the musical notes on the lines of a treble clef staff. You can use funny mnemonics to help your employees remember important passwords or security steps that keep the workplace safe. By making them funny, memorable, or even silly, everyone will be more likely to stick with it!