4 Ways To Work At Home Securely
August 19th, 2020
One of the biggest things that have changed for many people living and working in Austin, TX has been the professional and lifestyle changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. For some, this has resulted in drastic action to stay safe while working a job.
Many white-collar positions in Austin, TX are now, when feasible, employing a work from home approach on a much larger scale than ever attempted before. Some are speculating that this may even become the new normal. However, while working from home using a computer is undoubtedly feasible, there are security risks that come with it. Here are four ways to ensure when you work from home, you protect yourself and your employer.
Don’t Use Random USB Sticks
These days, additional external storage is easy to come by. USB sticks are cheap and easy to find, and in some cases, are even randomly given away as promotional items, or even abandoned in public spaces. However, free doesn’t mean good or safe.
Using a random USB stick for storage when you don’t know the source could inadvertently be introducing a virus into your computer. A popular tactic to seize control of computer systems is to include viruses on “free”/promotional items.
Don’t Use Personal Computers
If your company has issued you a laptop or even a smartphone for use with work and work-related software, the temptation to switch to other machines may be there. Some people have desktop or laptop machines they feel work faster or with more familiarity than a work-issued machine.
However, these devices often do not have the same safeguards and defense mechanisms against intrusion that a device issued by an IT department will have. Using your personal hardware risks making your work data vulnerable.
Restrict Access To Work Devices
In some instances, an employee may be issued computing hardware that is high performance. This can, for other members of the household, lead to the temptation of using that device for other purposes, such as gaming, or even online gaming, if the specifications of the computer are impressive enough.
However, unauthorized access to such hardware for insecure, non-work related activities, such as gaming or socializing, can lead to the system being co-opted.
Use A VPN
While working from a home network may be secure, deciding to work outside, on public access wifi hotspots, is not. For the most reliable way to get online, the use of a Virtual Private Network or VPN is the way to get the job done. VPNs are a way to hide sensitive data. Using a public access wifi network means, typically, that any information sent along this network is vulnerable to observation and duplication since no security protocols are in place.
People that use a VPN service, however, have an extra layer of security and anonymity that makes it much safer with less exposure compared to using an unprotected public wifi hotspot.
If you’d like to know more about working from home safely in Austin, TX, let us help. Contact us to find out more about having a more secure property.