Last year, in the papers there was a heart-warming story of a man and a woman who were married in south London after they met on a train. The man caught the eye of the lady who was sitting next to him, reading his magazine. He then very kindly shared it with her, they started chatting, went on a date. And the rest they say is history. While you are reading this, probably on your mobile or tablet, just consider who can see what you are reading? Who is looking over your shoulder now? What is on show for others to see if they look in your direction?
But this categorically is not Baker Charles playing cupid around Valentines I am afraid.
Today, the ability to work anywhere at any time is incredible (though probably unhealthy) and is at the reach of everyone. We are guilty of this more than most. The proliferation of technology has allowed us all to do our jobs via mobile, tablet and smaller laptops. Working while travelling and outside the office is common place plus, makes commercial sense. However, people are taking it for granted that no one else can see what they are doing. Users have become complacent about using their phone, tablet and laptop anywhere in public places. How many times have you caught Ol’Jonny big eyes sneaking a glimpse of your screens? People rarely ensure they take the correct precautions to ensure company or personal confidentiality. Now, this is not some kind of paranoid rant, big brother watching you speech or a promotion to buy a privacy filter to fit on the top of your iPhone. However, people are happily going about their day working on sensitive subjects, sending confidential emails and amending secure documents in the direct view of others. It constantly occurs on trains, buses, cafes, restaurants and the rest. It is particularly surprising because people act with much wider and detailed discretion when actually speaking on the phone. Without a second thought, they would go to a quiet area, speak covertly or go into a meeting room.
We are a recruitment business and part of our job is to ensure any opportunity remains highly confidential and we constantly exercise the utmost privacy and discretion to our clients and candidates. We are always reassuring both that our integrity and reputation depends on it. Which it does. And before anyone thinks this is about self-preservation, this is a mere observation about how technology is effecting us. Why should confidentiality be any different inside the confines of your office to outside in public?
And if we do play cupid in the aftermath of this, please do send us an invite to the wedding marked ‘private and confidential’.