Your Employer Has You Working At Home
New home office. New work routine. It’s time to figure out what the best work-at-home network security practices are and how to incorporate them. In early 2020 the landscape for many workers worldwide changed. Although it is possible in most cases to get as much work done at home as in the office there are additional challenges to address. There are distractions at home that are not present in the office. There are kids that are home from school to deal with, pets to feed, and spouses looking for attention. It’s a whole new work environment.
There are new software programs and teleconferencing applications to learn. And, there is the issue of making sure your environment and work practices are suitable for working with sensitive and perhaps proprietary information. The network, laptops, and other devices must be secure in order to protect your privacy.
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While you’re getting your work-at-home systems set up, here are some practices for protecting your devices and personal information.
- Secure Your Home Network — Start by ensuring your home router is secure, including having a firewall and having encryption enabled. Ensure the level of encryption is at least Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). If your router does not offer at least WPA2 encryption update it new model.
- Don’t Forget About the Basics — Make sure you are using antivirus software and that it is automatically updated. All passwords on all devices and apps should be long, complex, and unique. Long and complex means at least 12 characters long and containing a combination of lowercase case and capital letters, numbers, and special characters and symbols.
- Dedicate Specific Equipment for Your Work — The computer you use to access work-related networks and intranets should be dedicated to work-related projects. It should also be password-protected and encrypted. This device should not be left unattended outside of your working environment, including not to be left in your automobile.
- Protect the Data of Your Company — This includes hard copies of files as well as files located inside the computer. The best work at home network security practices includes obtaining and dedicating a locking file storage cabinet. Be sure to incorporate a paper shredder in your home office. Disposed Documents left intact may contain personal or otherwise sensitive information about customers or your employer.
- Create and Practice Security Policies at Home — Your home has now become an extension of your company office and should be treated accordingly. Take note of any specific policies and requirements dictated by your employer. Remember to not become complacent just because your not in the office. Still, practice common things like locking your computer when you walk away from it.
- Ensure Secure Remote Connection — Always make sure the connection to your company intranet, website, or cloud services is secure. If not using a dedicated connection utilize the services of a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider. Most companies will supply their remote employees with a secure VPN connection.
- Always Backup Your Devices — Bad things happen. It’s not a matter of if they will happen, it’s a matter of when they will happen. A good option is using a secure cloud backup service. Many companies will have a dedicated cloud backup in place for you to use. As a last resort, a local device can be used for backups. Local backup in an employee’s resident may not be a good choice because it creates additional potential risk.
Read more: How to Create Complex and Unique Passwords
It’s not easy to always utilize the best work-at-home network security practices. It’s an adjustment. Whatever effort is required to train yourself in the best work at home network security practices should be done. Home offices are becoming the trend of the future.
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How can I work using the best home network security practices?
Figure out what the best work at home network security practices are and how to incorporate them. Utilize company policies at home just like you would in the workplace. Keep an emphasis on data security. Protect data in transit and at rest.
What is a security best practice to employ on a home computer?
Keep antivirus software up to date, use strong and complex passwords, and encrypt data, especially while in transit.
Read more: Home Network Security Beyond 2020
Read more: How Does a VPN Work?Featured photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash