When you work remotely, you are solely responsible for your security and that of your information. In your home, you do not have the same benefits that you have in an office, such as access control or security cameras. This makes working remotely from home risky and an easy target for property theft, competitors, or criminals.
Risks of Working Remotely
Working remotely without good security habits can result in the loss of data and property. Your laptop can be stolen, resulting in not only the loss of physical property, but also confidential and proprietary information, client information and intellectual property, or company plans that could be especially useful to a competitor.
Some tips for working from home securely
- Do not leave personal effects (thumb drives, computers, external hard drives) lying around.
- Discard papers or files securely, the same way you would in the office.
- Beware of unknown open networks in your neighborhood. Make sure you are connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
- Get a privacy screen for your laptop which makes it difficult to see the data on the screen.
- If you decide to work outside your home (for example, in a café or on a plane) be aware of your personal belongings and your surroundings. In a public setting, social engineering attacks, such as shoulder surfing, can occur. There are two ways to conduct this type of attack: (a) by looking over the victims shoulder to directly see the data; and (b) by using binoculars or espionage devices that allows the perpetrator to observe from a distance.
The most common scenarios in which identity theft can occur through shoulder surfing are the following:
- Entering an email on a web page.
- Registering in an application.
- Withdrawing cash from your bank account.
- Accessing corporate applications or reading confidential corporate information.
How to be Secure while Working Remotely
Whenever we enter confidential information, we must ensure that no one around us is attentive to what we do, seeking the greatest possible privacy. As for our computer, make sure that it is safe. Not only is the computer valuable but also the information it contains.
Many people have been victims of computer or hardware (think USB drive) theft, which resulted in the loss of sensitive information, including employee information and corporate secrets. We must make sure that our computer is up to date and with all the security patches installed.
Additionally, if available, it is recommended to activate Bitlocker to protect the information on the hard drive. With Bitlocker activated, if the computer is stolen, the information on it will be inaccessible.
Make frequent backups so that if the computer is stolen, the problem can be instantly mitigated by restoring the latest backup.
Be aware for any bulletins from your company about new policies, procedures, security issues, and other valuable information about working remotely. Communication between you, your office, and your co-workers is one of the most important parts of remote work. Without this, it is easy to lose touch with critical changes and miss valuable information.
Being at home means not having the same security benefits that we have in the office. Although our home is a controlled environment, we must pay special attention not only to physical security but also to the security of our information. Our home networks may be vulnerable to external attacks or may not have encryption strong enough to protect us against threats.
- Always be aware of your personal effects (your computer) and information.
- Be cautious when working in a public environment.
- Pay attention and always follow your IT team’s recommendations for operating system updates and patches.
Working at home securely is important for you, your valuables, and for your information.
At Globalization Partners International, data security is our utmost priority. From providing security awareness training to our employees, to using only accredited software and proprietary GPMS, our clients can benefit from a seamless workflow of our language services.