10 tips to avoid tipsy digital disasters at office parties

In a digital age many of us won’t leave our work behind when we head for the bar for a festive tipple. Smart phones, iPads and laptops are likely to contain our work contacts at the very least and, in some cases, may store even more confidential information.

Making a fool of yourself on the dance floor will be the least of your worries if your phone or laptop is lost or stolen. Data falling into wrong hands could cost you your job; your employer their reputation or even, in the worst case scenario, their business.

Here are my 10 seasonal security tips

1. Phones, laptops and tablets all come with the facility to set a password – so use it.

2. Twitter and alcohol don’t mix. Your Tweets may seem witty after a few glasses, but you may embarrass or even offend.

3. You may be keen to share photos of your festive fun on Facebook but colleagues who over indulged won’t thank you.

4. Lock your laptop in the office rather than take it out with you.

5. Empty pockets and handbags of USB sticks and take them off your keyring. Lock them safely in a drawer.

6. If you’re an employer consider the timing of your office party. Will staff work productively, and securely, with a hangover?

7. Is your office party being held in the office? If so, remind your employees about the need to clear desks, lock down computers and screens.

8. As an employer, introduce a clear desk concept and stick to it all year round. That way no one leaves confidential information or data lying around ….ever.

9. Don’t be tempted to access company data on the free wifi available at your Christmas party venue.

10. Finally, if you’re a boss don’t leave IT and social media security until the festive season. Build cyber security and awareness into your culture and have policies in place, including guidance on social media use.