The workplace of today is undergoing a paradigm shift. The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted the world, and many businesses worldwide have been forced to run from home. The boundary between work and home is slowly dissolving, and if ‘work from home’ was a luxury before, then the pandemic has made it a necessity.
Organizations worldwide are devising long term plans to function in this remote setup efficiently. For example, the Indian IT giant Tata Consultancy Services has communicated that almost 75% of its workforce is allowed to permanently work from home, even after the pandemic is over. Other big companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are expected to follow suit.
Nevertheless, ‘work from home’ comes with its share of concerns, and the biggest concern is related to ‘data security.’ When an employee works in an office setup, he/she is working under a sphere of the company’s security controls. These controls are established to ensure that employees adhere to the company’s policies, mostly related to access to the company’s data. In a remote setup, there are no security controls, and any lapse can lead to a serious data breach.
Let’s explore a few policy guidelines which can help you protect your data while working from home.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Many people have access to public Wi-Fi setup, and without a firewall, hackers can exploit your vulnerable data from across the room. Also, hackers can easily monitor your Internet traffic over the public Wi-Fi network. This is the reason it is recommended to avoid public Wi-Fi as they present a significant security risk.
One remedy to the problem is to use a personal hotspot instead. Having a hotspot prevents you from the downside of exposing your data to malicious hackers. Another alternative is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs protect your traffic from being tracked, and they are a must-have if you are concerned about not exposing your online activities.
Encrypt Sensitive Data
Encrypting data such as emails or sensitive files prevents an unintended person from accessing the information. Take one scenario. When you send an unencrypted email over an unsecured network (which is not uncommon in a remote workplace), there is a chance that a third party will intercept the data. Nevertheless, you eliminate this possibility when you encrypt that email. Encryption also protects your data in case of device theft.
Backup Your Data
Regularly backing up your data while working from home is always a good idea. This way, your data is protected if calamities such as virus attacks, accidental deletion, device malfunction, hardware/software crashes, device thefts, etc. occur.
There are many ways to back your data. The easiest way is to use an external USB drive, which you can use to transfer your computer data regularly. Another way is to upload your data on the cloud. If you are using Windows, then you can opt for OneDrive, and for Mac users, there is iCloud. Both these applications offer a limited amount of storage for free. For example, with OneDrive, you get 5GB of free storage. If you want extra storage, then you have to purchase plans.
You can also choose to back your data on third-party cloud services like Dropbox, Zoho, etc. However, please check with your company before using a cloud provider to upload sensitive company data as it can lead to privacy concerns. The most significant advantage of having a backup in the cloud is that you can access your data anytime and on any device. And, don’t worry about data security as the Cloud vendor manages this for you.
Data Recovery Software
A data recovery software protects you in the unfortunate scenario where you happen to lose your valuable data while working from home. It ensures that you don’t lose your data even if there is no backup. Say, if you are working on an important project, and the computer suddenly dies down. You haven’t backed your data, and the device won’t start. Take one more example. Suppose while working from home, you accidentally delete an important file, which you had to share with your supervisor. In such scenarios, data recovery software saves the day.
A data recovery software operates by scanning the system for lost data and then restoring it. It also works on crashed devices where the system won’t start. In this case, the software has to be loaded via bootable media. A data recovery software, therefore, is an indispensable tool for remote employees.
One of the best data recovery software is Stellar Data Recovery, which offers a variety of data recovery functionalities for both Windows and Mac devices. Stellar Data Recovery uses advanced data recovery techniques to locate and then restore data and is useful in any loss scenario. Explore the family of Stellar Data recovery products from the two links below.
The pandemic has blurred the gap between work and home, and we need to take extra precautions to protect our work data. However, at home, we cannot follow the security protocols followed in office premises. It becomes an individual responsibility to take care of the data on their work devices. The post above illustrates important guidelines to achieve that. These guidelines can ensure business continuity while users can safeguard their data in a better way.