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Take these 10 essential precautions if you're working from home

Published : Mar 25, 2020, 3:43 pm IST
Updated : Mar 25, 2020, 3:43 pm IST

As the 21-day lockdown begins, here are tips to ensure your company’s data is protected and your work remains as professional as in office

If you're safe, you won't be sorry. That's the mantra for a good work-from-home experience.
 If you're safe, you won't be sorry. That's the mantra for a good work-from-home experience.

Chennai: Working from home may be a hassle or a convenience, depending on various factors. But now that most of India’s white collar workforce has had to shift base to their homes, here are some important points to keep in mind while using the home network.

1) Use a VPN to protect your home WiFi network. This will help you keep your company’s sensitive documents safe from hackers. Most companies have assisted their employees to set up VPNs. But don’t worry if you’re on your own, search for safest VPNs and download one. The setup is usually self-explanatory

2) Some offices have installed the work desktops at the homes of employees. But if you are using your own personal computer for work, you must open a separate folder and save work files only in that destination. If your office IT department is allowed remote access to your system, ensure that only the work folder is accessible. This is to protect your privacy.

3) Use a separate browser for personal use. Never use the work browser for personal browsing. It avoids embarrassing searches from showing in the auto-fill bars once you return to office. Alternatively, clear all browsing history, auto-fill forms and cookies every day before shutting down.

4) Ensure that you follow all data-handling protocol that you do while in office, such as where to save documents. Saving on personal gmail drives or dropbox could leave the office data vulnerable to leaks.

5) Do not use personal social media accounts while working, if your job involves managing social media for your company. Remember what happened with the PIB twitter accounts recently. Some porn showed up on the English and Hindi handles, presumably because the person handling the accounts ‘liked’ the content under the impression that the personal handle was being used. To avoid such a fiasco, use your personal social media on different browser, if you must.

6) Lock your computer even if you’re stepping away for just a minute, especially if you have children around. What if one of the kids presses the wrong button and deletes some important file, or ends up on video chat with your unsuspecting boss?

7) Be very careful about what you share on social media. Never reveal anything about your work from home experience, as you might inadvertently compromise the data safety of your sensitive official files. For the same reason, don’t discuss work on a public forum or crack even seemingly innocent jokes about it.

8) Never post photographs of your home work station on social media. You never know what detail is seen and mined for information by hackers or competitors trying to get a peek at your company’s confidential files.

9) You may work different shifts from your spouse, and yet you should not share the same computer system, so that either of you don’t end up deleting important files or cluttering up the desktop.

10) Use the option to create separate desktops on the same system for work and personal use. This helps you keep a clean desktop without mixing up files. The work desktop can be cleared at the end of each day, whereas the personal desktop could have longer-term content on it.

Tags: work from home, vpn, browser, social media, data safety