How To Work From Home And Be Digitally Safe?

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

  1. Mike Tyson

With Coronavirus, we all just got punched in the face. Plans you previously made now may not apply.

But you know what? Though this is like a punch to the face, you can actually prosper during these difficult times.

Thanks to the coronavirus situation, business-as-usual is forcing organisations to change their practice. One of the key measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 is “social distancing”. Many organisations are encouraging to support the day-to-day running of their business where most or all of their staff work from home.

But moving at short notice from a trusted office environment to working remotely can create security risks. On top of this, nasty opportunist miscreants are already using the Coronavirus as subject matter for their phishing scams, hoping that the unwary will click through and hand over of personal data.

When the organisation has decided that you need to work from home, what does this mean?

  1. For the remote worker, it’s all about access to their files, applications and interaction with others, that they’d do on a regular basis.

  2. For the organisation, it is inevitable that big changes have to be made to the organisation operating procedures to accommodate remote working.

New rules have to be quickly drafted and approved by the organisation’s management team. And in this rush, many safeguards are likely to be missed, overlooked or downplayed

What behaviour measures do you need to take?

When working remotely, you will have to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work life and personal life.

Importantly, there are a number of tips to ensure that your time spent on working is productive and effective for you

  1. Maintain regular hours – Set a schedule and stick to it! Having a clear guide of when to work and when to call it a day helps you maintain a work-life balance.

  2. Be clear on your priorities – Be clear on what is required for you to do and what the result you want to achieve each day. Distractions of any forms will steal from you in achieving your outcome.

  3. Set up a positive state – With all the anxiety and apprehension, it is essential that “FEAR” is placed aside, which will allow you to focus on what needs to be done. Therefore change your state. Get dressed as if you were going to work, smile as if you are on camera and act like “life is great”.

  4. Set ground rules with the people around you – Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time.

  5. Schedule breaks – Like at work, take breaks, including lunch pauses. Consider going for a walk. Get away from the screen and your smartphone.

What security measures do you need to put into place at home?

Here are some vital security advice for home working that has been taken out from my new and upcoming book – “How To Protect Your Business from Cyber Breach In Only 2 Minutes A Day.”

  1. Check that all your software is up to date

  2. Ensure that your Endpoint (anti-virus/anti-malware) protection is up to date

  3. Have a back-up strategy and remember to do it daily – All important files should be backed up regularly.

  4. If possible, have a dedicated computer for work – Do not share your computer with your family.

  5. Make sure you have unique login credentials for every online critical application – Use complex and memorable passwords. Use a password manager to manage all your credentials.

  6. Ensure that your Wi-Fi/router is correctly secure – If you haven’t done so, change the default password to something that is not easy to guess.

  7. If you have a firewall device, make sure it is correctly secure – If you haven’t done so, change the default password to something that is not easy to guess.

Here are several useful security behaviours to adopt

  1. Never respond to email or other requests that you never initiated in the first place– If someone sends you an urgent request, ignore! If someone sends you a link or an attachment ignore! If you think, it is legitimate, contact the person to see if it is valid.

  2. Be wary of unsolicited phone calls and text message.

  3. Be cyber vigilant – You will receive a tidal wave of malware loaded Coronavirus phishing attacks. Cybercriminals are paying off people’s anxiety from the pandemic.

  4. Practice safe browsing. Utilise secure web browser such as brave.com. It is also quicker.

  5. Only download applications from trusted sources.

  6. Lock your screen when you take a pause.

  7. When not using your computer, switch it off.

  8. Limit to what you publish online – Never leave your personal details online. It will be an easy way to steal your identity.

  9. Never believe who is on the other line – In social media, anyone can be anyone.

What Can You Do Moving Forwards?

This crisis is an excellent opportunity to push past fear.

Listen, we’re not minimising the challenges in your business right now. But instead of feeling like you’re walking down a dark alley all alone not knowing what’s ahead, with our help, it’s like we’re walking side by side with you.

If you follow the above advice, your digital life will be well protected.