During this strange time, we are all having to learn new skills daily. New words and phrases are being added to our dialogue like ‘furloughed’, ‘Zoom bombing’ and ‘Social distancing’. We’re now expected to be teachers, chefs, fitness instructors, artists.
It’s safe to say that there has been a lot to pick up and digest. So, we have created a checklist of tasks to complete, to pave the way to IT success during the lockdown. Thinking about these steps will help you work towards having adequate protection in place while working from home.
Install Malware Protection
What is malware, I hear you say? Malware is software that aims to access data on your systems or track your usage and is often via an unsuspicious looking website or advertisement.
When working from home, you are likely using your home technology to carry out work related tasks, and although your work systems will probably have malware protection software which regularly check for threats and reduce risk, it’s likely that your home devices may not have the same level of protection.
This could mean that malware is transmitted to the company network as you’re working, which let’s say, wouldn’t be ideal.
So, first thing to tick off the checklist:
- Install malware protection across all devices.
Check your software authorisations
Working from home has led to many of us conducting meetings, taking part in webinars and running courses through software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. As well as creating elaborate backgrounds for your calls, there have been some slightly less ‘wanted’ appearances in public calls.
When setting up meetings on these platforms, our first tip here is to:
- Set any meetings up with password protection, and only give links to participants.
You may have also seen some articles and talk of privacy concerns linking to software, specifically Zoom. Investigations have been undertaken into how Zoom collects and uses the data of its users.
Zoom themselves state that they do not sell the collected data, however industry experts warn consumers about the vulnerability of their data within the backend of the program. It is important when downloading any new piece of software for your business that you understand which data you are authorising them to have access to.
So, our next checklist point is:
- Check the T&Cs and settings of any recently downloaded software and check what data they are collecting from you; and that you are happy for them to have access to this.
Little fingers make for big problems
You’re having to share the dining table as a workspace with your children as they keep up with schoolwork, and so have set yourself up a station with everything you need – stationery, a whiteboard leant against the wall, your favourite mug and your laptop.
You nip out of the room and come back to find one of your little ones pretending to be you at your station.
Except, in this version of ‘pretending’ they have tasks to do, and in doing so appear to have gotten to a file and, you guessed it, pressed delete. You haven’t had chance to back this one up yet, and so are going to have to start all over.
“Why did I not lock the screen?!” You can probably guess what our next tip is going to be:
- Password protect your devices and lock them when you leave them.
This is a restricted area
One of the best solutions for accessing work from home, is to set up a remote desktop access.
This means that you can access your work computer/network from another laptop or computer, as if you were sitting in front of it.
It makes the whole working processes more flexible, quicker, and generally more accessible. Too accessible?
This might be the case if you realise three weeks into lockdown that you have accidentally given your staff access to confidential files relating to company finances, or salary information for staff. They were only meant to have access to files relating to their department.
To avoid something like this from happening the first thing to do is:
- Create an inventory of all confidential information on your network – find out where it all is on your computer, label folders clearly, with notes of who should have access.
Once you have done this, you will know exactly what areas of your online system is off-limits to certain people.
Having completed this, the next step is to:
- Check that permissions and the remote access are set up correctly.
To do this you can bring in someone like us to have a quick scan over it – a secondary eye can easily spot any mistakes which you have stared at for days.