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7 tips for maintaining security while working from home

21 July, 2021

These past 7-8 months have brought some changes with them, one of them being working from home. When you are not used to doing so, you risk not maintaining your security in the midst of it all. Cybercriminals can expose the weaknesses that arise and it is therefore especially important to remember your online digital hygiene.

While your “new” office might be temporary, it is still important to remember that the company’s rules on the use of IT tools still apply. Many organizations lack experience in supporting so many employees working from home at the same time. How can you as n individual support your workplace through this situation?

First and foremost, you should be aware of where you are sitting. Some might need to shield themselves from by-passers on the street or your next-door neighbor, but what about the people you live with? If there are several people in your household that currently work from home, you should make sure that you are not sitting so that you can see each others screen and that you are not visible in the background of a video meeting.

Furthermore, it is important to have a secure password. You might want to use a password manager for this. A good tip is to turn on multi-factor authorization wherever that is possible. Remember to not reuse your company’s login details. Password hygiene is important regardless of the Covid-19 situation.

Do not forget the password to your network! None of your passwords should be visible on yellow post-it notes. Belive it or not, cases of this are still happening. The same goes for papers with customer data – they should not be visible or available to others.

A trend these days has been to post a picture of what your “home office” looks like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so, but it is extremely important to pay attention to what is visible in such images. There is a lot of information you can compile based on an e-mail subject field and sender, which later on can be used against you or your company. Therefore, you should be very aware of what is visible on your screen and your desk when you take a picture.

When communicating with your colleagues, partners, customers and vendors, it is important to be aware of what information you share through which channels. Use communication channels that protect your company’s information (your IT department knows which). For example, Facebook Messenger is not encrypted by default so this is a bad choice for sharing information you do not want others to see.

You also need to be aware of what is being shared with you. Do not take for granted that all emails you receive is from the one you think. Most people are concerned with keeping up to date on the development of Covid-19, which many malicious actors now use to their advantage. Pay special attention to phishing attempts with corona information. Obtain information from sources you trust, in the usual way.

Lastly, it is important to make sure the software on your computer is up to date. The company you work for most likely provides several layers of protection, but these are not necessarily transferred to the home office. A firewall is important to have, especially now that your partner, your children or others you live with work on the same network. It is not easy to know the level of security on other people’s equipment, do not trust that those you share the network with have a secure setup. If you have not yet encrypted your WiFi, this is a good measure to start with.

To summarize, these are our seven tips:

  1. Be aware of where you sit
  2. Use secure passwords
  3. Store data securely
  4. Be aware of what you post on social media
  5. Use a secure service for communicating with colleagues, partners, vendors and/or customers
  6. Be aware of any phishing attempts
  7. Update the software regularly