As we progress through 2022, more and more Gen Zers will be entering the workforce. When millennials entered the workforce, we saw different attitudes and behaviors than ever before, and we should expect Gen Zers to come with their own uniqueness and differences. You may think that since they are the first full generation to grow up in the digital age they will be well-prepared for any technological challenges and security issues that arise, but that isn’t always the case.
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, 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.
There are many common issues that plague Gen Zers when it comes to cyber security. Password issues seem to be the most prevalent. According to a recent Harris Poll, 78% of Gen Zers use the same password across multiple accounts. That’s up 10% to 20% when compared to millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. Other common issues include safe browsing habits and tracking basics.
Over the next few years, there’s a good chance that you will hire a Gen Zer for some role in your district. You’re probably wondering how you can 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 district open to cyber-attacks.
Before anything else, you need to develop an information security training program. It’s imperative that your district 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.
Remember when I said that many Gen Zers struggle with password security and often use the same password for every account? If they continue to do that and use the same password for their personal and professional accounts, it could leave your district vulnerable. Start implementing password manager programs in your district as soon as possible to avoid this dilemma with any current or future employees. Password managers make more complicated and secure passwords that your average hacker can’t crack.
If you truly want to keep your district protected from cybercriminals, you can hire a managed services provider to take care of your IT needs. MSPs are all about being proactive. You’ll get around-the-clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, network and firewall protection, security awareness training and so much more. Basically, all of your cyber security concerns will be covered when you hire an MSP, and you won’t even have to worry about the next generation making things more difficult.
As Gen Zers enter the workforce, it’s important that district administrators across the country prepare for their arrival. Don’t wait for them to start at your district to make changes to your cyber security plan. Be proactive and do what you need to ensure that your district is fully prepared.