Tips for working at home securely

May 19th, 2020
Tips for working at home securely

Out of necessity, many businesses are allowing their employees to work remotely. Working from home offers employees and employers alike many benefits. As an employee, you no longer have to commute to the office, you can sleep in longer, and you will likely get more done because you aren’t distracted by coworkers. As an employer, you can save a lot of money on rent and office expense by asking employees to work from home. Plus, it improves employee satisfaction and reduces attrition.  However, remote work also presents a few drawbacks. For one, working from home opens your business up to new security risks.

Below are 3 tips you can use to work from home safely and securely.

1. Find a secure workspace

Choose a place that’s private and away from as many distractions as possible. Find a spot where no one can look over your shoulder and see any sensitive data. Perhaps somewhere with a wall behind you. And if you’re having conference calls or video meetings, select a place in your home where there will be no background noises. Also ensure your Wi-Fi network is encrypted with WPA-2.

2. Keep your data protected

If you’re using personal devices to access company data, you must ensure your equipment is secure. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible. MFA uses multiple layers of security whenever you try to access your accounts. For instance, after you enter your password, a unique PIN is sent to your mobile device that must be entered for you to gain access. Or you might be required to enter a password and scan your fingerprint to fully authenticate your identity and grant access. By using MFA, it makes it harder for hackers to get into your accounts.

It’s also a good time to double check your passwords. If you’re using simple passwords, it’s time to make them more secure. Use a minimum of 8 characters (the longer the better) and never use the same password for multiple accounts. Finally, make your password difficult to guess but easy to remember. For e.g. Ruth1sag00dcat1.

3. Stay connected

Do your best to stay in touch with your company and IT provider while working remotely. If you are evaluating new hardware or software tools, run them by your IT provider to ensure that they are secure and compatible with your technology infrastructure.

You should also beware of communication that is sent to you. Since you are working remotely, you may be using numerous methods to communicate with your partners, vendors, team, and clients. For e.g. you may use Zoom or Skype for virtual meetings, Microsoft teams for instant messaging, and of course, email for daily updates. Be alert for phishing scams. Hackers are always sending emails that appear to be from someone you know containing corrupt hyperlinks or attachments. When clicked, the email spreads a virus onto your computer. If you get a malicious email, confirm with your team and IT provider to determine if it’s fraudulent or valid. If you receive an email that seems suspicious, call the person who sent it directly, or log in to the relevant account directly to validate. The last thing you want to do is click on a link and infect your computer with a virus.

While working from home has become the new reality for many, it’s vital that you take security seriously and follow best practices. The tips above will help ensure that you and your team work from home in a safe and secure way.

If you are looking for tips and best practices around remote work, or if you are concerned about the security of your remote employees , check out a few resources that we’ve put together at https://www.connectability.com/covid19/. These include checklists, templates, guides, and best practice documents around remote work, cyber security , disaster recovery, collaboration and communication.