A good cook is much more than a craftsman, in fact a good cook is a knowledge worker and creative artist who masters several disciplines: selecting the ingredients for a dish, using the appropriate technologies to blend them, cook them and present them. A cook that fails to maintain good kitchen hygiene could cause food poisoning, be taken to court and suffer reputational damage.
In the corporate world, a high proportion of the workforce are also knowledge workers. Their ingredients are data and information and their tools an array of information technology tools and services. Just as fresh food can deteriorate, data can degrade or be lost. To what extent should the corporate knowledge worker care about the hygiene of the digital ingredients and tools they use, particularly when they their personal property?
Why does “hygiene” mean in this context? The basics include ensuring all software (operating systems, browser, applications, etc.) are up-to-date, that data is backed-up, that the device is protected by anti-malware and firewall products, that sensitive data is not exposed through the use of unencrypted public “free” WiFi or shared with unauthorised parties, that care is taken with downloads and attachments and much more.
Regrettably, not everyone is motivated to do these simple things due to lack of knowledge of what, why and how these things are done and in the worst case, because some people simply don’t care.