Security: loose lips sink ships

Real life isn’t like films. It is unlikely (though possible), in real life, that you are being deliberately tailed by an industrial spy trying to overhear your phone calls or read your computer screen with binoculars.

However, when using public transport such as buses, trains, or planes, you are usually surrounded by other people. These people may or may not have a professional interest in whatever you are talking (or writing) about—you just don’t know.

The person sitting next to you, or standing nearby, might be a competitor or a journalist/blogger, or they could be a current or prospective client. The information that you disclose could be useful to a competitor or a journalist, potentially damaging your sales prospects or your reputation. Or the relationship that you have with your client could be damaged by the lack of discretion about their business.

Now think about how hard it is not to glance at someone else’s screen when they open their laptop next to you. It’s even harder not to hear their part of any phone conversation or meeting, even when you’re not interested. Humans are curious by nature, and the cocktail party effect means that a single familiar name will attract attention.

What are you—or your staff—inadvertently revealing to the person sitting next to you (or, more likely, standing next to you) on the train?

We suggest a regular reminder to your staff about the importance of keeping details of your company’s business private. You could also consider providing privacy screens for devices that may be used in public places, to reduce the risk that someone sitting alongside could read emails or other documents.

For more information and advice on information security for your business, contact the Click and Protect team on 0113 733 6230 or use the contact form.