Check out the security of your home-working environment

Remote working staff member

Check out the security of your home-working environment

Many people are now working from home and for some people this is a new experience. Even if you are already used to working from home, you may now have additional people in your household sharing your workspace and this can add to the challenges especially if you have school age children.

Team Lichfield advocate First Class Technologies have looked at some basic steps you can take to help keep personal data and confidential information secure.  They may also spare you some embarrassing situations.

Over the past week or two, social media posts have revealed some amusing bloopers.  “I was on a call last week and a colleague’s half-naked boyfriend walked behind her” was one such event.

Even without video, conference calls can be revealing. One person reported that a client was on a call while in the bath, and he could hear splashing and the tap running. The client then realised the microphone was on, panicked and dropped the phone into the bath. He jumped out the bath to get another phone, slipped and fell down the stairs.

A friend of the company sent out an email sharing some of the amusing videos trending on YouTube. The recipients included both his work friends and family within the same email.  This of itself caused no problem, but when one of his work colleagues later replied to him using ‘Reply all’, the email was also received by the family.  Luckily, no harm was done but this could easily have led to a data breach. 

It is easy to overlook the boundaries between work and home, when you are working from home.  

To keep a professional image, we need to work at keeping a virtual distinction as much as possible between the two.  

By dedicating specific time and space for work in your home environment you will reduce the likelihood of making errors such as these.

That said, many companies are understanding of intrusions from family members during this difficult period; however, you should still make sure you know employees know what you expect from them when working from home through clear communication and a good Remote Working policy. With common sense from employees and understanding from employers, we will all get through this challenging period.

Here are some tips to bear in mind when home working:

  • Before taking part in a video meeting, prepare ahead by finding a suitable location in which to place your laptop. Test out the video and microphone settings to ensure you can be seen and heard if needed, or muted and not seen according to the requirements are.  
  • Remember to check what is behind you if you are doing a video conference.
  • Consider whether you need to secure any company paperwork containing personal information or confidential company data in a lockable cabinet or drawer.
  • When making work telephone calls, ensure that other household members are not able to overhear the content of confidential conversations.
  • When using email to send or receive work related content ensure you and your team use the company VPN. If your company does not have one, then ensure you password protect documents which contain personal data and double-check the recipients of your emails before you send them.
  • Office wastepaper should not be disposed of in domestic dustbins. Wastepaper should be stored securely until it can be taken to company premises for disposal.  Ensure that confidential wastepaper is shredded.

For more advice on IT or cyber security please contact Team Lichfield advocate Richard Hinton on 01543 414152 or email him at [email protected].

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