At the workplace in the company, the employer usually ensures the appropriate data security. But now the topic also plays an important role in the home office.
In some cases, however, greater personal responsibility on the part of employees is also required. Especially if the work takes place on your own PC or laptop and the employer does not provide the appropriate equipment.
The following tips can be of great help for data security in the home office.
Tip # 1: set up two-factor authentication
With two-factor authentication, your own account is not only secured by entering your user name or e-mail address and the associated password, but also via an additional query. This can differ depending on the provider.
This system is already known, especially in online banking, in which, for example, a code is transmitted via SMS via the smartphone for the complete login into the application or for the execution of a transfer, which must be entered in a corresponding field of a mask so that the desired Transaction is carried out.
What few people know: Even common applications such as Facebook or cloud services such as your own Dropbox can be protected against unauthorized access from outside in this way.
Even if the input is sometimes annoying: Especially if a computer is used by several users, this can massively increase the security of your own data in order to prevent unintentional access.
Tip # 2: use a VPN client
In the course of data security, VPN is mentioned again and again. This is the abbreviation for “Virtual Private Network”. This means an encrypted and therefore secure connection between computers via the Internet.
The areas of application of VPN are extremely diverse. The main advantages include:
- Protection against hacker attacks when working with confidential data
- The anonymity when surfing the Internet
- The prevention of data collection by specialized companies
- Access to content blocked in the respective country (keyword: streaming services)
- Cheaper online shopping by bypassing dynamic pricing
In connection with data security in the home office, the first point is particularly crucial. In order to be able to use VPN in the home office, a corresponding client is required.
EXTRA: VPN: more security and improved communication
Tip # 3: Regularly install updates for operating systems and user software
Most operating systems are now well protected against attacks. This is mainly due to the fact that the companies employ specialists in their own ranks who are very familiar with the current threats and who can quickly take appropriate countermeasures if there is any news. However, these only take effect on your own computer if the corresponding updates are installed regularly.
This not only affects the operating system itself, but also the applications installed on the computer. Hackers are constantly working to identify the security gaps in various programs such as Microsoft Office and to use them accordingly to their own advantage.
The main danger here is that confidential and business-critical data could end up in the hands of third parties. For this reason, the recommended updates should also be carried out here regularly.
Tip # 4: Use the latest security software
Most operating systems are now well protected against the attacks. But it should not be forgotten that, according to IT experts, around 350,000 new variants of computer viruses are created around the world every day. For this reason, anyone who also uses their computer or laptop for professional purposes is well advised to provide additional protection to protect themselves from malware and other threats.
Appropriate anti-virus software provides the basis for this. The best-known products on the market include:
- Total AV
- PC Protect
Almost all providers grant interested parties a free test period in order to be able to convince themselves sufficiently of the actual advantages of the software. Subsequently, the monthly costs are in most cases around 20 to 60 euros per year, depending on the scope of services.
In addition to their actual function, the constant protection against the virus threat, the programs often also have the option of backing up their own data. This function should be used regularly, especially when working in the home office, so that no valuable data is lost in the event of a computer crash or a virus attack.
EXTRA: Cyber Security: What is it and why is it important?
Tip # 5: Inform yourself regularly about the topic of data security
Data security is a very dynamic topic. In our digitized world, new technical possibilities arise almost every day. However, this also comes with the risk of security leaks every time, through which resourceful hackers can quickly gain their own advantage.
Home PCs, laptops and smartphones also offer plenty of attack surfaces, such as cameras or microphones. Just because the light on the webcam is not lit does not mean that someone has not gained access to their own living room and perhaps even overheard confidential phone calls via the microphone.
That is why it is important and decisive to keep yourself up-to-date on this topic. The website of the Federal Office for Information Security is a good and, above all, reputable source of information. In addition to extensive information on the subject of data security, there is also the opportunity here to undertake appropriate training courses and thus to continuously update one’s knowledge.