A home based job allows workers to work from the comfort of their own home, be free from daily commute and still earn while having a great work-life balance.
As amazing as it can be, with the freedom and flexibility that comes with the job, a home-based worker is prone to security risks that may occur while working outside a protected corporate network. Though your employer may provide access to a Virtual Private Network, your information might still be compromised if your home network or the public hot spot you are connected to is hacked. Employees could be partly blamed for the company information getting compromised.
Best practices for remote workers
Here are the recommendations of our expert sources on how you can protect sensitive corporate data and protect yourself when you’re working from home.
Invest in antivirus software
Though the most basic step to take, it is quite effective when securing your company’s data. Even if you are using recommended software for company-issued devices, it is essential to keep your system protected if continue using a personal laptop for work. Viruses can strike all internet enabled devices, therefore, it is imperative your employer provides you with software to protect your security. There are many affordable plans for software if your employer does not provide or you are self-employed.
Don’t allow family members to use your work devices
It is emphasised that company issued computers for home use are strictly for office use only and it should not be used as a family computer. Treat your work computer like how you would treat it if you were in the office, it includes sensitive data that does not need to be accidentally deleted by family members. This will ensure you exercise a security-first mindset and are aware of the data protection measures needed. If your computer was at an off-site office location, your child would not be able to access your computer to play games and movies, therefore treat it the same at home. Your work computer is a business asset and should remain that way.
Keep your physical work space secure
It is known that though virtual and online security is important, it is equally crucial that your physical home office or any office is safe and secure for work. Offices usually contain sensitive documents and expensive equipment so it is vital to protect these assets and take necessary security measures. While it may not be possible to have a 24/7 security guard super high-tech scan entry system some more manageable security measures include reliable gate automation systems as well as gate locks that are high quality to keep any intruders out. You can use a DIY home security system or check out recommended surveillance systems for business-grade video, depending on your needs. There are many easy to install surveillance systems and motion detectors available on the market so you should have no problem installing some.
Follow company policies precisely
Policies for accessing the company network outside the workplace are usually established by most companies. Those guidelines and rules should always be followed religiously, especially important when you’re working remotely. Any suspicious or strange online behaviour should be reported to the IT department as soon as possible and don’t forget to exercise basic computer protocols such as updating operating systems and antivirus software and regularly scan the system for any changes. Don’t forget to change passwords regularly and store them in a secure place.
Use a centralised, company-approved storage solution
There are many tech innovations available to store data and documents securely, such as cloud software and mobile devices. Make sure you comply with the requirements of your company and only use approved programs to do your work even though you may be more familiar with another program. This is important as the IT administrator can keep on top of all the users without having to deal with numerous systems and file locations. Ensure that file storage and backup is carried out appropriately, and files are placed in a secure location accessible to you and your company but not intruders. Sensitive data should be stored centrally so management can keep track of it and control ownership, access and reduce the threat of loss or breach of protocols.
Implement and follow safety management guidelines
All workplaces require personal safety management strategies to exercise injury prevention and ensure employees are healthy and happy. Sitting at a desk all day can be harmful and lead to a sedentary lifestyle and back and neck issues. Ensure that there are safety procedures in place in case of emergencies and alert your employer to any health conditions you may have. It is a good idea to participate in falls prevention training through your company so you know how to identify obstacles and reduce the risk of an accident.