According to population estimates released in April of this year by the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials are officially the nation’s largest living generation. The Pew Research Center reports that adults between the ages of 18 and 34 (Millennials) now make up one in three American workers.
As our nation’s demographics continue to shift and the number of Millennials in the workplace continues to rise, so too does the number of personal mobile devices present at work. Tech-savvy Millennials tend to bring their own technological devices into the workplace, not just for personal matters, but to use in their work. In many ways, this may be advantageous to employers. And, there are some potential risks that are inherent in employees using their own devices to access company information and/or proprietary information.
Today’s workplace tends to allow more flexibility than the workplace of decades past, including the ability of many employees to work remotely. While this is of great benefit to employees and employers for multiple reasons, it also increases the potential for data breaches or hacks. If employers allow remote working options, it is important that they consider the safety and security of websites or applications that employees may access remotely and make sure that appropriate cybersecurity measures are in place and communicated regularly to employees.
In the modern business world, everyone has many passwords to manage for all of the different websites and apps that are used on a regular (and sometimes not-so-regular) basis, which can lead to poor password practices. Many of the typical practices employees use to manage all of their passwords can create cybersecurity threats for organizations. For example, when employees share their passwords with other employees, have their passwords written on paper or saved as a document on their computer, or use the same password for multiple sites, the organization’s electronic data may be at risk. To mitigate this risk, organizations should have guidelines surrounding proper use of passwords and be sure to remind employees of these guidelines from time to time.
Again and again, studies report that Millennials tend to have less distinction between the personal and professional than the preceding generations. This trend has the potential to create some cyber-safety concerns. As such, it is important that management establish rules around using business email and social media accounts for personal matters, and vice versa.