How can you protect yourself when working from home? Some top tips…

It’s always nice to be asked to be on the radio. Especially when it’s to talk about technology and the future of work. I LOVE talking about this. That and #EmployeeEngagement and #CompanyCultures and new ways of working and changing the world.

A world — I hope — is lot more free.

Yet, almost paradoxically, one MAIN thing that will stop us all enjoying this future freedom that remote working can bring. When working from home. Is the potential increase of IT problems. And security issues arising from our treating our front rooms as the new office.

We will have to become a lot less free about HOW we do this.

For me this is simply about resources. We need to give this problem more thought. More money. More resources. To the potential problems that arise from working from home. The key thing is that this is the new world. The world has changed. And business owners and managers MUST change too.

The Remote Work Revolution.

Around two years ago — the percentage of people that said they remote worked — was 4%. And that percentage. Hadn’t moved for years. Now it’s at least 40% working from home or remotely.

Indeed, a Gartner survey has found that 47% of organisations will give employees the choice of working remotely full-time. Once the pandemic is over. And 82% said employees can work from home at least one day a week. This “hybrid approach” to work goes up to 97% …. in financial services and tech businesses.

In Your FLOCK we are 100% remote. But we are a management team that knew this as a competitive advantage from almost day one. As we have a remotely working team across the globe. But not everyone has had this so…

Management HAS to change — that’s the key — not us but them. AND to be clear I am a manager and a boss of a small business myself. Where with new employees we know we have to give our working from home people more help. Not just from an employee experience and employee engagement POV. But also from a technological and security POV.

MORE HELP PLEASE!

According to the Velocity Smart Technology Market Research Report 2021:

  • 70% of remote workers said they had experienced IT problems during the pandemic.
  • 54% had to wait up to three hours for the issue to be resolved. Which might be too long in a security breach situation.
  • An industry survey, from the BBC article, found 56% of senior IT technicians believe their employees have picked up bad cyber-security habits while working from home.

So now, there are businesses like Chris Herd’s First base. A remote work SaaS platform that lets companies track and manage physical equipment assets.

And now there are whole industries that help you. From communications like zoom to employee engagement platforms like Your FLOCK.

The new sector of working from home is a vertical in itself. Whether we like it or not. But what can WE do for cyber security — as much as 90% of it — is our own fault (so to speak)

Some top tips — you might not have thought about.

A quick win when you mass zoom — make sure you identify all participants in online meetings.

Teleconferences and video conferences are an excellent substitute for in-person meetings. At the same time. However, it’s more difficult to verify whether everyone on the line has actually been invited. It’s especially easy for unauthorized persons who have acquired the dial-in data. To sneak into large online meetings with lots of participants. That’s why everyone displayed in the meeting software needs to briefly identify themselves. Particularly if you’re discussing sensitive topics and sharing presentations on the screen.

A much trickier one. Is to not mix personal and business use of devices

You need to make a clear distinction between devices and information for business and personal use. And don’t transfer any work data to personal devices. This will prevent any unintended outflow of information. As a side effect, it also helps to psychologically separate the time you are “at work” from the time you are “at home”.

If you do have your work machines at home.

Log off when you stop using your devices and store them securely. AND bring home only the devices and information that are absolutely necessary.

For more advanced thinking. Safeguard your home network and communicate via secure connections.

As Siemens says in their great article on this:

“Because you’ll be using your private network at home. You’ll have to protect it accordingly, with strong WLAN encryption, a unique and complex password, and regular updates. Always work via a secure connection established by VPN, especially if you’re also exchanging sensitive information or are accessing the Intranet.”

So on that note — keep the software on all your devices up to date

Which might sound obvious but it is tempting to not do this. As Working from home, company and personal devices use the same network. As the Siemen’s report says:

“Data traffic passes through that same router that’s connected to many other devices including various smart home appliances which, in the worst case, may not have any up-to-date protection. All these are potential gateways for hackers. Which is why it’s recommended that you allow all your devices, whether company or personal, to update automatically.”

And a crazy one — but it’s so right too. Switch off voice controlled smart devices at your home.

Voice assistants like Alexa and Siri listen to what’s being said in the room and transmit it to the provider. The possibility of these recordings falling into the wrong hands can’t be ruled out. Such devices have no business being in rooms where you discuss important matters. Or should at least be switched off.

And I have friends that even — cover the webcam when it’s off.

Some of them are in cyber security, and many that aren’t but are just hyper aware. Cover their webcam on their PC when they are not using it. For me, I don’t go that far but definitely be careful what you share via the video function.

Also on that note — be careful what you show on your camera. Make sure it’s NOT your password. Even on photos or selfies of yourself zooming!

You might be surprised who does that one…

About the Author.

Dan Sodergren is co founder of Your FLOCK. His is a guest, speaker and trainer on #tech, the #futureofwork, #remotework, and #digitalmarketing. With the BBC and on podcasts and webinars he talks about #startups, #diversity, #inclusion, #companyculture, and #diversityandinclusion as well as the future of work and Your FLOCK.

Your FLOCK is a new employee engagement tool based on values.

That identifies Your disengaged team members. So YOU can take action.

Join Our Waiting List

✅ As a Team Leader. Sign Up.

✅ Invite other people. Get points.

✅ Be in the top 10. Get Early Access*

References:

The interview on BBC Radio Scotland — about 2:33:15 in…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000y71z

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57847652

https://new.siemens.com/global/en/company/stories/research-technologies/cybersecurity/how-to-be-secure-in-the-home-office.html

https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/the-cyber-security-risks-of-working-from-home

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/business/north-of-scotland/3095662/13m-investment-for-rgu-graduate/

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Dad. Husband. Speaker. Trainer. Adviser. Media expert for #Tech #DigitalMarketing and now #Type2Diabetes. As seen on @BBC1 @Ch4 @ITV and heard on the radio too.

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Dan #Tech4Good Sodergren

Dan #Tech4Good Sodergren

Dad. Husband. Speaker. Trainer. Adviser. Media expert for #Tech #DigitalMarketing and now #Type2Diabetes. As seen on @BBC1 @Ch4 @ITV and heard on the radio too.

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