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Top Tips To Be Compliant Whilst Working From Home 

The recent pandemic has led a lot of people to work from home for the very first time. However, people who quickly shifted to working realized that the two are quite not the same and that a few changes need to be made in order to achieve the same level of success as that at the office. 

Perhaps, the biggest challenge for people who work remotely is to figure out when, where, and how to work. Also, how to balance work and personal life. Then, there is the additional difficulty of managing office equipment, training opportunities, career development, and building relationships with colleagues. 

Here are the top tips for leading a better and more productive remote-work life. You will find tips for both individuals and organizations. 

#1 – Don’t Accidentally Upload Confidential Information on Social Media 

Tips for Individuals: 

If you love posting photographs of your work from home setup, then pay extra attention to not capturing confidential information. This could an entry on your wall calendar, open documents lying on the table, or handwritten notes. 

In case you are clicking a view from your desk, check if your location could be figured out from the local landmarks or street signs. Cybercriminals often use this information to make fraudulent calls and emails more convincing. The less information they can find out, the less convincing their attempts would be, and the safer you will be. 

Lastly, you should also lock your screen when you are away from your desk or if you live with others. 

Tips for Organizations: 

The first thing organizations should do is put clear policies in place about confidentiality. Though it might sound draconian, a ban on posting workstation photos would be your best bet. Also, consider spreading regular reminders on cybercrime risks by focusing on current trends and customizing the reminders. If you keep sending the same warning repeatedly, people will likely delete it without reading it. 

#2 – Ensure the Home Computer is Secure 

Tips for Individuals: 

It is rightly said that a network is only secure as its weakest link. If you are using your personal computer to access work systems, ensure your operating system is up to date. Also, check all recent security updates. If you are unaware of how to do this yourself, don’t hesitate to ask your IT team for assistance. They will be able to help you remotely. 

Furthermore, be extra vigilant about recognizing fraudulent and malicious emails. Scammers often take advantage of people’s concerns about COVID-19 these days to trick them into clicking links or giving access to account details. If you feel you have clicked something you shouldn’t have, immediately reach out to your IT team. 

Tips for Organizations: 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has put forward a list of home working guidance for organizations titled “Home Working: Preparing Your Organization and Staff.” IT support teams are under increased pressure at the moment. So, circulating an FAQ of common support queries with quick fixes will help lighten the load. 

In case you haven’t done so recently, it is high time you assess the security of your networks. Additionally, have your staff move confidential files or information outside of the organization’s ecosystem. 

#3 – Be Careful of the Software and Apps You Use 

Tips for Individuals: 

You are working from home, and you don’t have a scanner to send out a signed document, so download a PDF conversion app to create a PDF from the photo. You are unable to open a specific file type on your computer, so you have to download a free software solution recommended by your search engine. 

Before downloading any app that you will use to access or modify confidential data, check to see if your organization has recommended an alternative. If not, adopt these best practices before using an app or software solution. 

  • Have you heard of the app before? If not, figure out whether the publisher is reputable? Also, see where they are based and what the rating and reviews say about the apps. 
  • Are you sure that the app will keep your information confidential? Does the app store the information locally on your system or upload it to the server? Does it use encryption? 

Lastly, if your organization doesn’t allow installing new software, you might have to speak with your IT team for assistance. 

Tips for Organizations: 

You might want to produce a list of approved software for different purposes, such as video conferencing, document sharing, team chats, PDF creation, etc., and share it with your employees. Also, put a clear policy in place for staff who wish to leverage other software for various purposes. 

Additionally, have a list of providers used by your organization to process personal data. This should include all the software and online service providers, and any changes should be reviewed and updated by your Data Protection Officer (DPO). 

If your provider is based overseas, then you will have to introduce additional safeguards before you can lawfully upload personal data to the app.  

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