Covid 19 has been with us for more than a year now and whilst we are doing all we can to eradicate its threat we are still being advised to work from home when we can. As of writing this the advice states we should be working from home until April 2021 at the earliest, and the transition from workplace office to kitchen table has suited some companies so well they are encouraging work from home as the new norm Covid or not.
Staying safe while working from home is essential both for you and your company. A single employee who accidently lets in any type of malware to their computer at home has the potential to bring the entire organisation to its knees. And this can be done by simply clicking a dodgy link in a seemingly genuine email.
So how do you protect yourself and your company whilst working remotely?
5 Online Safety Tips For Working From Home
Secure your WiFi: This is not exclusive to those working from home – we should all be making sure our wifi network has been secured. Default passwords to access router settings are a weak link in any WiFi and network security, so make sure you have set your own password. You could also consider using a VPN which will encrypt all your do online and make it ‘unreadable’ to anyone trying to snoop.
Encrypted Cloud: For both colleague collaboration and for backing up all data. Everything that you do for work should be stored in your business cloud NOT on your laptop or desktop. Giving you the added security of being protected by the firewall attached to your company’s centralised storage solution, it also ensures that should an accident happen to your computer you will not have lost your precious work. Cloud collaboration tools can also be set up with ‘permissions’, levels of access, ensuring that certain employees can access only certain parts of the data held by your business.
Passwords: Bla, bla, bla, passwords, passwords, passwords…. So boring right? But what if we told you we can guess yours? And if we can, could we get into your laptop? Phone? Router and WiFi? Facebook account? Favourite online shopping store? If your password is 123456 you share it with an estimated 2,543,285 other people and it will take a hacker less than a second to get in.
Passwords are still important, still need to be difficult to ‘guess’, still need to be different for different access, and still need to be reviewed on a regular basis.
Buy New: Your excuse now to tap your boss up for a new computer. You are the boss? Then here’s why you should treat yourself as well to a new computer. ‘Never mix business with pleasure’ may have become more difficult if you are working from home. The pandemic has further blurred the lines between home and work, the lines that were being eroded by more of us eschewing the commute and preferring to work away from the office. But keeping the two aspects of your life as separate as you can, will help both with your own wellbeing and that of security. Your work should only be on your work laptop – you don’t want your family using the same machine to play RoadBlocks, or to watch You Tube videos, or to inadvertently download something you really, really don’t want your colleagues to see. Keeping your computer, or your smart phone, as a purely work device will help protect you and your business.