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Last week, the GlobalTranz team shared some tips for “Making Working from Home Work for You.”  We wanted to send out some additional helpful tips as we all work to maintain our efficiency and productivity in a work from home environment.  

Working remotely comes with its own set of challenges and security is, of course, one of them.  When you’re in the office there are systems and software in place to secure our work and while some of those systems continue to work just as effectively when in a remote work situation, there is work we all need to do to secure our environment and systems.   

  1. Using a public Wi-Fi?  Hop on the VPN: Public Wi-Fi networks are, well, public. That means the information you transmit across them is potentially visible to others. If you are using a public Wi-Fi, like in (or outside of) a coffee shop, make sure to log on using a VPN or other secure system.  Your company’s IT team can provide specific instructions on how to set up and use the system your company uses to maintain security outside of the office. 
  2. Secure your home network: Make sure to secure your home network device provided by your internet service provider by changing the default password and by making sure no unknown devices are connected.  All home network devices have a way to check what’s connected.  Though each one is a little different, your provider can help, or if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, a little Googling will bring up the step-by-step instructions for both securing and validation connections on those devices. 
  3. Lock your devices when not in use: Whether you are using your smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet, or all the above to get work done, you should always lock your device whenever you step away. This prevents intentional or accidental tampering with your device and data. While we don’t think the cat has bad intentions (except toward the dog), probably best not to let them send e-mails. 
  4. Be vigilant to increased phishing attempts: The number of scams and phishing attempts have increased dramatically as scammers try to take advantage of the confusion caused by the COVID-19. Exercise caution with emails and phone calls that ask you to do things like go to web sites, verify credentials, open attachments, etc.  NEVER provide your credentials to anyone. 
  5. Be aware of scams from other sources: Texts, phone calls, and even door-to-door scams have been started to try and capitalize on this situation.  There are confirmed cases of texts and robo-calls offering work, testing, etc. due to COVID-19; however, these are scams and you should avoid responding to these offers.   
  6. Protect your physical equipment: If venturing outside of your home with your own or company-issued devices, do not leave them unattended. Doing so invites theft or tampering.