5 Must-do’s If You Work From Home

Big companies have rigid IT policies and systems to protect intellectual property. These policies prevent employees from installing software, visiting certain sites, using USB drives and more. So when the pandemic required people to work from home, a lot of security was already in place.

But what about the companies who were not set up for remote work? Or who don't have an entire IT department to set up and enforce such policies?

The pandemic forced us to find quick solutions so that employees could work from home. But we still need to protect sensitive data, often without the resources of a big IT department.

Here are five essential things that you must do if you are working from home - regardless of the size of your organisation.

#1: Check physical security

Remember Myth #9 from last week? Physical security is part of digital security. Laptops and work phones can be stolen from your home office.

Keep your home work space as secure as you keep your normal office. Lock your doors and don't leave your devices out in plain sight. Never leave your devices in the car. Use anti-theft locks when you are working at other locations.

#2: Secure your home router

Your home router is your virtual door to the internet - keep it locked! Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for home routers with default passwords.

Make sure you set a strong password on your router. Install firmware updates as soon as possible, to stop any known vulnerabilities.

#3: Separate work and personal devices and data

I know that, especially for small companies, this is easier said than done.

Keep work data on work devices. For example, don't use your personal cell to check your business email. If you can't do this, then your personal devices will need the same security as work devices.

If you use your work device for personal use, know that your personal data will be subject to some control. Set up separate profiles for work and personal use, and be diligent about using those profiles.

Do not let other family members use your work device. If other people do have access to your device, make sure they use their own logins. Never, ever let them use the same login that you use for work.

#4: Encrypt your devices

If your employer hasn't already done this, encrypt your hard drive, your tablet and your cell phone. Make sure that a thief cannot access the contents of your device without the password, PIN, or biometrics.

Set up the ability to remotely wipe your cell phone if it is stolen.

#5: Manage your passwords

We all know the importance of strong, unique passwords. But knowing what we should do, doesn't mean that we are actually doing it. If you haven't yet, install a password manager. Make sure every site has a different password. And make sure that your screen saver or lock screen kicks in quickly, and requires a password to unlock.

As always, please share your thoughts and comments.

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