Info and Cybersecurity tips - working from home


Working from home - hints and tips

Pretty sure you will have seen so many hints lately about working from home, using laptops and so forth. 

First, if you have not heard of KanSecurity Ltd - it is based in Carlisle, Cumbria, and in fact has been for a good number of years. As a company it provides, advice; guidance; help; training, on all matters related to information and cybersecurity.  Nigel, the owner, is a veteran [25 years] and has been working in the world of information and cybersecurity for over 30 years. So, work is mainly with larger organisations and businesses BUT, KanSecurity Ltd is here to help micro, small and medium businesses in any way it can. 

Lets face it information and cybersecurity is complex, and not always fully understood by your IT Service Provider. KanSecurity works with your IT Service Provider, not against them. So whilst they will do a brilliant job of sorting out IT - is that IT Security, Computer Security, Information Security or Cybersecurity? There's a question for you. KanSecurity looks at it all!

Here are some tips if you are working from home with your own or work laptop/workstation/device of any other kind:

Follow health and safety guidelines

  • Make sure cables do not become trip hazards,
  • Do not create a fire hazard when using electrical sockets
  • Place drinks away from any devices so that in the event of spillage there is no impact on the device
  • If eating, take time away from the device to do so
  • If possible use anti-bacterial wipes [or similar] to keep the keyboard and mouse or trackpad clean

Using your laptop

  • Sit comfortably
    • Not too far, not too close
    • Adjust your seating if necessary
  • Follow the company policy [if there is one of course] on using display screen equipment 
    • The display should be positioned so that you look down into the monitor
    • Take a break away from the screen, at least every hour
  • Avoid glare on your screen
    • Draw the blinds if necessary
  • Keep pets away from the laptop and the cables.

Communicate

  • Communication is important; don’t become isolated when working on your own
    • Talk to your manager and team colleagues 
    • Call them,
    • Use online conferencing apps if you have one. If not try Skype. 
  • If email is your only means of communication work through them methodically
    • Acknowledge receipt of emails and if necessary go back with more detailed responses later; but don’t forget.
  • Do not become embarrassed or stressed or pressured with technical challenges 
    • Talk with a colleague,
    • Talk to your help desk
    • Someone will help you.

Online security

  • Always have a virtual private network [VPN] active before doing any personal or work related stuff. I use two types - one on my phone and one on all laptops. So, before accessing the WWW or sending out emails make sure the VPN is active. Why? It keeps the communications between your device and the big bad world private [for want of a better word].
  • If you are using a company laptop - do not go hunting for dodgy websites - your company will know. Just because you are working from home with a company device, it still means the IT team will have an inkling that you are on a bingo site [or some such thing]. If it is your own device - still don't do it! This is when your IT is most vulnerable and there are bods [aka criminals] out there that will take full advantage.
  • If not required, keep your webcams covered up; switch-off the device microphone. And if your laptop has a rear facing cam, cover that up as well.
  • Please do not click on links in an email or a text message if you do not know the source of the mail or message. Get rid! If you have an IT Help Desk, let them know - they will take the appropriate action.
  • Make sure that any anti-virus, anti-malware apps you have are working, up to date, and monitoring for malware. 
  • Don't plug external devices into your laptop USB [or similar] ports, unless you are specifically enabled to do this.
  • If your laptop or other device becomes infected with malware
    • do not panic
    • don't touch anything
    • call your help desk immediately [you should have been given full instructions on this beforehand]
      • explain exactly what is happening and they will advise from there on in.
    • If you are able - switch off the Internet Access on your device
      • Win 10 - bottom right of your screen you will see the access icon,
      • Left click mouse,
      • On the list that pops up you will see your home router showing - click - disconnect.
    • Still do not touch anything - listen to help desk.
    • If it turns out to be a false alarm - do not be embarrassed or stressed - you did the right thing - you reported it. 
      • Switch your Internet Access back on - make a cuppa - crack back on.
  • Always remember that some of the data [information] you are working with may be confidential - keep it that way. 
  • If you print something - keep it covered up and lock it away at the end of the day. 
    • When the lockdown has ended, take any printed material back into work for filing or secure destruction.
  • Whilst it would be good to suggest that your home router [and indeed home network] is fully secure - but unless you know exactly what you are doing - don't start trying to muck around with stuff.  
    • The ideal is that the home router passwords are not set at the default, and that your home network is segregated - work stuff and personal stuff. 
    • If you have the time [at yep, that may well be possible now] change the default passwords on the router [get the instructions - in one of the kitchen draws probably - if not go to your ISP's webpage and look for instructions] and then let those in the household know. Any they don't share it with anyone else! 
Don't be clicky-click happy - look at what you are doing first, ask yourself the question, is this legit  - then go clicky-click if you are good with it.

Communicate - this is one is so important - don't feel isolated - chat to someone if you are getting stressed, pressured or simply you don't know how to do something with your IT.  It is alway far better to ask the question or seek help, than to sit there getting into a tiswas.  

Keep well and if you need help - email me
KanSecurity [Nigel



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