If you have had to start working from home in the last year, there's a lot that you've had to get to grips with. It's a whole different experience than working in the office, and there's so much you've had to learn. The one thing you haven't thought of is security. In the office, there's going to be a data security plan in place. At home, there's more that you'll have to manage yourself. Here are 7 tips that will help you improve your security.
If your company uses cloud based services, then you can use their built in data protection services to keep your own data safe. For example, QuickBooks Online allows you to manage the business's finances online, around the clock. There are plenty of other services out there that you can use to make working at home a lot easier, and there's probably several that you're using right now.
By using these services, anyone in the company can access the needed files as long as they are granted access, wherever they are. It means you can still work safely and securely from home. Of course, to be totally secure you'll need to take some extra steps. For example, ensure only those that need the access are given it, and have staff change their passwords regularly. Check the security policies of any cloud based service you use, to ensure that you are using one that takes proper security steps with your data.
Password managers are becoming more and more in vogue, as we deal with more accounts and sites in day to day work. The best security measure is to always use a different password for each site, but how can you remember them all? You can't write them down or keep a record somewhere, as that's also unsafe. That's why password managers are becoming more popular.
A password manager will not only store passwords for you, but it will also give you randomized passwords that make your account even more secure. It's a good idea to invest in a service like LastPass or Password Boss now, to ensure you're safe. If you already use one, you can change up the passwords in it periodically, again to make your accounts harder to crack.
This is something that most people are already doing, but you need to check if you have the right anti virus software. New PCs usually come with a form of anti virus built in, but it may not be enough for your company's standards. They may need extra security if you're handling customers' sensitive data, for example.
In these cases, they should provide you with a key to a more comprehensive anti virus software. This will help secure any data on your PC or laptop as you work from home. Ensure you install it and use it, to keep your PC safe. Keep an eye out for updates too, and install them as needed.
If you're choosing your own anti virus software, look for something that's well reviewed and has good reports from other customers. There's lots of round ups out there for the best modern software, so do some research before you go ahead and buy one. Most recommend software that has a high malware detection rate, and email and web protection. That's something you'll need as you're sending more emails than usual.
There are many different devices you could be using for work, from PCs to laptops to iPads and more. As you're working from home, those lines between work and play become over more blurred. When it comes to security though, you need to draw a firm line. You should only be using work devices for work, and home devices for home use.
Keep those work devices for work only. If you have kids or other family members at home, don't allow them to use the devices when you're not using them. It doesn't seem like a big deal, when they just need to look something up, or use a program that's on that computer. However, even an innocent slip up on their part could lead to a security breach for you. That's the last thing you want, so draw those lines now. It'll also help you on a personal level, as it's much easier to decompress after a day at work if you're getting away from the PC.
If your business isn't already using a VPN, then you should be looking into one right now. Virtual Private Networks are highly useful in workplace life, but they do need to be as strong as possible. A VPN is something that a lot of businesses are using right now. They're excellent for helping teams work on the same projects, no matter where they are in the world.
When using a VPN, ensure only those who need access are given it. Enhance the encryption methods used, and have all users update their passwords regularly as you wou8ld with cloud based services.
At home, you don't need to worry about the network security as that's the role of the IT staff. However, as you're using your home network, you need to ensure its secure as can be. There are several ways you can enhance your security, such as creating a strong password, changing the SSID, or the name of your network, and upgrading your firmware.
There are lots of guides online that will help you do this, and ensure that your home network is as safe as it can be. This will benefit you too in your home life, as you will find that shopping and doing other tasks online will be safer. You can combine this with other security measures to be as safe as can be.
Most of your meetings right now are done over video, and that means you'll need to identify the security risks here. For example, you don't want details being leaked because a password was breached. You also want to ensure that only the right people are involved in the meeting. You may have heard reports of businesses having their meetings breached by outsiders. While this is rare, you do want to be sure that this won't happen to you.
There are a few ways you can secure calls though. Use paid features for advanced security, create unique Ids and passwords for each meeting, and lock a meeting as soon as everyone has joined. If you're careful when setting up meetings, then you shouldn't have any problems. You'll often see that video meeting clients, like Zoom, have plenty of security options. Use them when setting up meetings, and you shouldn't have a problem.
With these tips, you can ensure that working from home is just as secure as being in the office. The best part is, it's not that hard to implement these measures either. If you can beef up your anti virus and home network, protect your passwords, and take extra care with work accounts and devices, you'll be home clear.
If you would like to support Open Sourced Workplace:
Elizabeth Hines is an expert in digital marketing, and creates content for Simple Grad.
You must be logged in to post a comment.