Companies usually assume that end users will operate corporate computers in a safe manner, avoiding damage to the computers and theft of the company’s information assets. Even if you write and publish formal policies about appropriate use of company computers, many users will still have a relaxed attitude about computer security.

So what can you do to raise awareness of IS security issues in your shop? One way is to remind your users on a regular basis that information systems security is the responsibility of every employee. The raw materials you need to launch a security awareness campaign are available right here: Download our tech support posters and customize them for your company’s needs.

A poster is worth a thousand words
In the download, you’ll find five sample tech-support posters that use humor to communicate serious messages about how users should handle corporate computers. The posters included in the download are:

  • Log off before you run off
  • Please don’t water the equipment
  • IT corporate software policy
  • Protect your password
  • Help desk contact information

If you published formal security policies, your end users’ eyes may glaze over when they read the legalese in those documents. But I hope your users will be entertained enough by these support posters to pay attention to the important messages they convey. If you have end users who like to keep their potted plants on top of their computer displays, you’ll want to share with them a copy of the “Please don’t water the equipment” poster, shown in Figure A.

Figure A
Use our sample posters to remind users about the proper way to treat company computers.

Feel free to use any of the posters as is or customize them. Then use any of these methods to get them in front of your users:

  • Show the posters in new-employee orientation.
  • Post them on bulletin boards in employee break rooms.
  • Send them in companywide e-mail messages from the IT department.
  • Post them on the company intranet.

Circulating humorous posters around the company may not immediately reduce the number of calls your help desk receives. But the posters will get your users thinking and talking about security issues, which is a good first step toward protecting your company’s computer assets.

Getting the word out

How do you educate your end users about IS security matters? To share your advice, please post a comment or write to Jeff.