How to Secure your Data: Top 5 Tips when Working from Home
Working from home is becoming increasingly popular in recent times, whether it be easier for the employee, smarter for self-protection, or for the budding self-employed. In the conventional workplace, your data can be protected by the server (from the company themselves). However, working from home, although seemingly easier, can pose its own problems. The average user may not be aware of the threats to their personal devices on the internet, that they otherwise wouldn’t have to worry about.
That’s why today, we will be diving into a few useful tips to increase your personal protection to the fullest, and to aide any potential other employees on your force.
It may be a good idea to consider backing up your information, and any of the work your business creates. There are two reasons why this is a good idea. Firstly, it creates a centralized set of information. Whether you work on a tablet, phone, laptop, or PC, at home or in the workplace, you should save your files in a collective storage location. This makes it very useful to not have to sift through devices looking for a pesky folder you need. You can spend some money on a ‘server’, or collect your files on USB drives or SSDs, and upload them again to the main system when you get the chance.
Be careful what system you upload them on to, as the second reason follows this. Backing up your data is a safe way to alleviate the stress of losing a computer, and not being able to get back your files. The place you save your files will have to be reliable, as you don’t want that going down. That being said, having a central data bank is a much safer way to manage your files, as it reduces the potential of you losing your work. Working from home means that you will have to pay closer attention to remember to save your files, so it’s good to comb through your files once every one or two days to make sure everything is saved to the central bin.
The most efficient and accommodating method of this is a 3-2-1 backup. What this means is that you can have 3 copies of data. The one you work on, and two backup copies of previous work. On top of this, it should be saved to 2 different types of media, so one on your computer, and one on an SSD for example. (an SSD is an external bank, like a bigger USB, but it’s also faster and more reliable). However, we understand that this is a bit demanding of the average person, but you can follow this a little easier by making sure you have your files backed up onto a separate drive to the one saved on your computer.
Enable Essential Encryption
This can be quite complicated, but we can explain it quite simply. When you work on your devices, your information is connected to the stream of the internet. Other people on the internet, if they are determined enough to, can get into your stream, and access your information through the internet. Regardless of your size or business, hackers can do this with ease and compromise your work, and sometimes your personal details. Some devices have this built-in, like tablets and mobiles, and messaging services, but you should cover your computers, laptops, and have extra coverage where you can on your devices.
Multi-Factor Authentication is one of these, and many websites can supply this as a feature. It means that you can’t access your own account unless you enter a code, which is sent to another location, like your e-mail or phone number. This adds an extra wall that only you can pass. Another tactic you can use is called a VPN. Your internet that you work on at home has a code, which essentially is a set of coordinates to your location. If a hacker gets hold of this, they can know your round-a-bout location. Using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, you can scramble this code to point anywhere in the world, and it makes it difficult for strangers to access your network, making it easy to protect your stream of information from others, and therefore your account information.
Set-up Security Standards
This is a great idea if you have your own work-force, and want them to follow your safety guidelines. The work-place in common office space would protect their employee’s data, so you must simulate a similar environment. For example, for people working at home, their own home devices could be at risk, and their family also at risk, because they are on the same network as your work devices.
You should double-check that your employees follow similar precautions to you and that they are following them well, using VPN, Log-in safety, and backing up their data on separate devices. You can double-check to make sure that your team knows how to properly secure their devices, and in using shared networks. Take steps to make sure that any anti-virus software you use on devices, and that your devices themselves are updated to the latest versions, as even company updates provide anti-virus and anti-hacking software. Lastly, notice your employees on looking after their products physically, as although it’s a small notice, it can make a big difference.
Take Time, Team
Working, in general, can seem like a drag, but working at home can provide far more of a challenge. If you have kids running around, you have chores to do, or… you just want to relax. The work-home setting can be a tempting place to do anything but your work. At the office, you can leave all of this at home, but at home, well it speaks for itself. At home then, it’s important to remember not to rush, but to take your time and pace yourself while working.
Trying to cram all of your work in fast to get it over with isn’t a good idea. It can create some user errors. If you rush, you might forget to encrypt a file before you send it, or you might forget to log in through your VPN. Any small thing you do can be a facet in the breaking down of that wall of safety. On top of this though, it’s good to work practice in general to take your time, so you know what you have to do and you do it well. As a team leader, you can supply a to-do list at the start of each work-day to make sure your employees follow safety precautions and work at a schedule.
When using the internet, it may seem to the average user like a useful tool, and that is all. However, it’s much riskier. Because of this, you should use the internet with some caution. When you work at home, you may most likely rely on the internet to save your files, so you should choose your websites carefully to save files. Even the best of file-sharing sites can have their own downfalls, and sometimes it can be expensive to have the internet to accommodate all of your work-space.
Because of the internet-usage that you may need to access files that are online, you should keep a copy on your own personal data drives, so that you can edit any work on the fly, and upload them at a later date. If you don’t need to use large amounts of space, then that’s where your issues can end. However, if you DO have a demand for lots of data storage space, you can either look for a server-host online that has secure connection, but you may have to pay monthly. Therefore, we recommend that you use something called a NAS. This is a device that acts as one of these servers, for a very manageable price-point. They’re easier to get a hold of, and not as hard to set-up. They function like a data-bank, so you can drop in and out the files you need, serving a great usage for any work-from-home frequenters.
We hope that these five steps provide a comprehensive view on the tips you need to work at home rest-assured so that when you’re working, you’re feeling right at home. Follow these tips closely, and if you have any other members in your work-force, you can explain and supply some common standards to get the job done safely and securely. Remember that your data is your livelihood when it comes to working and that it’s the most valuable tool you have, so protect it before it’s too late!