So you don’t trust IT pros as much as your hairdresser?

I refer to a recent survey of the most trusted professions as published by the ever-so-reliable Readers Digest.

As a pilot and a scientist (well that’s as close to engineer as I could find), I am delighted to see that these professions rank 5th and 11th on the list, but I am amused that we trust our hairdresser more than we trust our computer technician, 11th versus 23rd.

I guess it is pretty important to me that people trust me, so my ego is damaged by the hairdresser winning.

Clearly, people who answered the survey, and I hope you were not one of them, do not understand the risk they take on with the selection of their computer technicians. I don’t mean to scare you but we have access to everything you ever wrote and most of what you read. We have access to your email, if we try a little, and that means we can go to any website you use and put in your email address and ask for a reminder of your password. My peers hate me for telling you that little truth.

If you do not absolutely trust your IT company or IT provider it is probably time you invested in finding a better, more trustworthy provider. Would you give your password to your flight attendant or a passing firefighter (the number one trusted profession)?

We need to rethink and shift from blind faith to ensuring we select trustworthy companies and individuals to look after our data.

These are some simple things you can look for in an IT provider:

  • Do they hire university graduates with industry experience (who fall into a very low crime rate category)?
  • Do they run police checks on all staff hired?
  • Do they have a professional code of conduct?
  • Do they consider governance to be an important part of their work?

Unfortunately, IT services is still a completely unregulated industry, so we can have any unqualified pretender selling themselves as an IT expert. Knowing more than you do is often the only qualification required to get the job.

IT is now critical in every business transaction and communication and needs to be as secure as it can be. So, if you trust your hairdresser more than your computer technician or you think of a nurse as a better person to trust than an IT guy, it is time to think about who has their hands on your data and who has control of your IT systems.

David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that ensures IT is never an impediment to growth.

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