Information Security Awareness, Training and Motivation — Native Intelligence, Inc.

How To Use Security Awareness Posters

Use posters as part of your program to raise awareness and focus increased attention on:

  • Security-related events and activities (e.g., awareness days, contests)
  • A specific issue, as with a themed campaign with specific messages
  • Current, new, and updated policies
  • Preventable errors
  • How to report problems
  • Threats and vulnerabilities

Put Posters in Visible Locations

Display posters at eye-level in areas where people gather, such as cafeterias, lobbies, meeting rooms, and break rooms. Other poster locations include hallways, loading docks, guest waiting areas, office doors, or by entrances and exits.

Change the Posters Monthly

We recommend changing posters monthly to keep up with current topics and to prevent attenuation (when the brain tunes out information that it has become used to).

Effective Posters

While those who view posters placed in rest room stalls or elevators may have more time to contemplate the poster's message, many people look at posters only for a few seconds as they walk by. This is why effective posters should:

  • Attract attention with color, large fonts, or a striking design.
  • Be easily read from a distance of 20 to 30 feet.
  • Convey a single, clear, concise message. Follow Rule 17 of Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style."

    Which is better?

    "Log off when you leave"    
    "Please remember to log off of your computer or work station when ever you will be away from your desk, even if it's only for a short while, such as when you take a break or attend a brief meeting."
  • Fit in with the culture of the organization where the posters are used. If there is a risk that the posters may provoke anxiety or touch on sensitive areas, test market the posters before using them on a wide scale. Ask for and pay attention to the feedback about the posters, while being aware that few poster designs will please everyone.  Be careful with human models and consider diversity as well as the nature of the message. If the poster shows a poor security behavior, consider conveying the message with illustrated animals or using masked features (e.g., show a PDA being removed from an unguarded location by a medium-sized, gloved hand that is no particular gender, age, race, hairstyle, or political party.)
  • Be instantly recognizable as part of your security awareness program. Posters should share a similar style with the rest of your security awareness materials (courses, newsletters, pamphlets, etc.).

Are the Posters Working?

In addition to checking the posters against the criteria above, you can evaluate the effectiveness of a poster or poster campaign in the following ways.

  • Have a test group review the posters before they are distributed and displayed.
  • Once the posters are up, ask for feedback. Put up a poster suggestion box (physical or virtual).
  • Create an e-mail address for use on the posters only and track the number of messages received.

Measure the response to activities that involve staff with the posters. For example, create a poster idea, slogan, or mascot contest (offer professional illustration of the winning idea and allow artwork to be entered as well). Let staff vote for the winning poster, or have an executive or celebrity choose the winner. Criteria for poster contest winners could include:

  • Clarity of message (a single, simple message is often best)
  • Quality of visual imagery (artwork provided or in detailed text description)
  • Widest audience appeal (does the message apply to a wide or diverse audience?)
  • Bonus points for appropriate use of humor, rhyme, or incorporating the organization's logo or security contact information in a creative or unique way)

To Protect the Posters

  • Frame or laminate the posters for longer life or to protect them from damage. Clear acrylic frames with smooth edges are available in 17" x 11" vertical and horizontal formats from Display USA.  Off site link
  • Posters can be placed inside bulletin boards (some lock to protect the contents from damage or theft).
  • Replace damaged or stolen posters promptly.
  • If the posters are dated or used for a specific event, take the posters down promptly when they have served their purpose.

Ideas for Customizing Posters

Customize posters by adding your organization's name, logo, mascot, slogan, tag line, the URL of your security Web site, contest information, or contact information for your security office, incident response, help desk, or privacy office. You may want to tailor the terms to suit your line of business, such as replacing the word "customer" with "client," patient," or "resident."

For a low-cost customization, order standard posters and print your company-specific information on clear or white labels. Attach the labels to the posters and you're ready to go.