With a large proportion of us working from home – and looking like we will be for a while to come, it’s very easy to slip into bad habits now the novelty has worn off. Here are some general tips and best practices to consider from a security point of view.
1) Keep work and personal devices separate – how achievable this will be depends on what work provided equipment you have. A clear dividing line between work time and personal time can have great mental health benefits, but it’s also important for the security of your work materials eg. try not to be tempted to check work emails on your personal mobile. Keeping clear boundaries will also make it easier for your company’s IT department to do their job.
2) Physical security of work equipment – those with families, or living with housemates will likely be working in close quarters with others. This has become part of the new normal so you can begin to forget they are there; but it’s important to remember to not leave work devices unsupervised for a long time, especially unlocked/logged in. While you will trust everyone you live with, it’s important to remember the information on screen is still privileged to some degree or another. Also you don’t want to find out what trouble a young child randomly pressing buttons could cause!
3) Use a password manager – this is always a good idea, and hopefully most companies will be setting these up for employees. If they have then definitely use it, they take the burden of having to remember all those passwords away, meaning you can use stronger and more secure ones.
4) Be extra vigilant – working from home has given hackers and scammers new avenues to try and attack your company’s IT infrastructure. If anything seems odd – think again. Especially in regard to emails or phone calls (where you really expect a call from ‘IT’?!). If you aren’t sure about something, check directly via another communication channel or with someone else in the company who would know. It’s always worth double checking!
5) Home Wifi – a few simple steps can make your home internet connection a lot more secure. It should have a strong password just like everything else. It is also useful to log into the routers admin panel and check that the software is up to date, and isn’t flagging up any issues. If you’ve got any questions about this, support from the Manufacturer or the ISP who provided it should probably be the first step, but your company’s IT department will also be invested in making sure it’s set-up right.