As home tech and Internet connection speeds improve, more people than ever are working away from the office. Remote workers enjoy greater flexibility and don’t have to endure the stress of a daily commute, simply getting their work done from any comfortable space with good Wi-Fi.
Many remote workers choose to complete tasks from the comfort of their own homes, setting up their very own office spaces. While this option is well-suited to many, there are some security risks involved with working outside the protected corporate network and keeping data safe should be a priority.
Experts from Syntax IT Support London provide their top tips for remote workers to ensure sensitive data stays secure.
Install an antivirus software
In-office computers are likely to come with antivirus protection installed, but if you are working from home it is likely that you’ll be using your personal device for work. The first step to making sure you don’t put company data at risk is to invest in good antivirus software and to perform regular system-wide checks.
Keep your office space well-secured
Digital security isn’t the only thing that’s important when it comes to protecting company assets, and it’s equally important to ensure your physical office space is secure. Home offices may have expensive equipment within them as well as documents containing sensitive information. Try installing traditional security features such as a strong lock, or consider investing in a DIY home security system.
Dispose of old documents safely
If you have physical copies of documents that you no longer need, it is vital to dispose of them in a secure manner. Simply recycling or throwing them away means they could end up in the wrong hands, which is why any home office should have its own shredder. It is good practice to shred all documents you no longer need before disposing of them.
Stop sharing devices
You’ve probably shared your personal computer with family members before, whether they’ve been borrowing it to browse the web or using it to stream a movie. While it’s fine to do this with personal devices, any machine being used for work should be used exclusively by you.
The computer you work on is for employee use only, and must stay this way to ensure access to sensitive data is controlled. Your family probably aren’t interested in company data, but certain information is confidential and shouldn’t be put at risk. What if your child viewed something they shouldn’t, or accidentally deleted important files?
Follow company policies
It’s easy to get comfortable when working from home, but there are still a set of security guidelines to abide by. Company security policies are even more important to follow when working from home as you are more at risk of security issues, so be careful and remember basic computer hygiene such as keeping operating systems up to date and performing regular security scans. Don’t ignore anything suspicious, either; all unusual activity should be reported to the IT team as soon as possible.
Use a centralised storage solution
When storing files and performing backups, you should only be using designated, company-approved software. Your employer will likely have a set of preferred programs, which are used throughout the whole workforce to make data easier to protect. When storing data from your home office, make sure you are using a secure location that is accessible to your company, ensuring that sensitive data is stored centrally.
Centralised storage means there is a reduced risk of duplicate files residing on unsecure devices, and when files are protected centrally it also allows IT management to control ownership, access and security of information.