Major sporting organisations – like football and rugby clubs – process huge amounts of sensitive information. Contract negotiations, training plans, performance analytics, match strategies are all communicated via texts, apps and emails that are unsecured.

Apps like WhatsApp might be fine for you and your mates to use while organising Friday night drinks, but as soon as you start communicating sensitive and confidential information on them, you’re in trouble. You can’t control where it ends up, and when information gets out, it makes headlines. What can sports clubs do to stop this?

Take security seriously

People will always gossip and look for ways to share salacious stories – but you can stop them getting their hands on the information in the first place.

Clubs will share game strategies with their players, but do they really need to follow Manchester United’s lead and use an unsecured app to do it, and risk it landing in the national news? Team members need a secure, easy to use space for them to chat and strategize. They don’t want to put the team’s performance at risk, but it’s not often that they’re given an alternative.

Security is a player issue, not just a club issue

Like most people, a sports star might not think twice about taking someone’s number in a bar and messaging them on Snapchat or WhatsApp. The difference is there’s a much better chance that their conversation is going to end up in the next day’s Sun.

Clubs can’t force players not to use Snapchat for a personal message. But they can provide an alternative. They can, and should, promote a strong culture of digital security to protect the player’s reputation and the club’s.

Shepherding human nature

It’s almost impossible to change human behaviour. We’re a chatty bunch. As long as clubs and players continue to share sensitive information, someone, somewhere will want to make a quick buck out of leaking it.

The answer is to make sure that information can’t end up in the wrong hands. Pushfor stops documents, data and messages getting into the wrong hands, by ‘pushing’ information – projecting it from the security of it’s original location – rather than sending it. Not only that, it lets you set an expiry date on the content and allows you to monitor who opened it, where they opened it and how long they spent reading it. It even stops people from taking screenshots on their phones.

Leaks can be damaging, not just to the personal and professional reputation of the player involved, but to the morale of the team and the long-term success of the club. It’s time we did something about that.

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