When you work from any office computer or accessing work from a company owned device, generally you should not have to worry about security, all that is a responsibility of IT department and company in question.

If you happened to be one of many people who have suddenly found themselves working remotely, responsibility for keeping everything secure is simply yours.

I have created few tips which will make entire process easier for you and if you read this article and apply these somewhat basic rules to your life, you would have nothing to worry about.

  1. Secure your device you work on

When working remotely, there are chances that you were asked to use your personal computer to work from it. Many don’t think that security is an important factor however, for work, you need to take security seriously. Many would agree that antivirus is not something they have even installed on their working machine as they simply believe that hacker would not be interested in what they have or do on this computer.

Make sure your computer is protected, you may chose that your files are indeed not at any risk but once you have company’s data and information on it, this can be used by hackers or anyone for fraudulent activities. Make sure your antivirus is up to date. If you haven’t got one, get even a free one, do some basic research to find which one suits you best. There is a chance that you will be able to claim an expense from your employers but make sure you highlight this need when speaking with them, there is also a chance that they will provide you with securely protected computer.

The second important factor here would be checking if all operating system updates are up to date as if they are not you put it at risk of becoming vulnerable for malware and other dangerous malicious programs which can take and use your data against you in so many ways. When you leave your computer to take a break, do not forget to log it out, if it is a laptop, simply close the lid! When logging out I assume that you have some form of security access, that could be a password, a function to scan your finger or even face. If this is a password which you have to type in, make sure it is secure enough and not easy to guess, date of birth, names etc are off the list.

Ensure that you provide a secure password which doesn’t even make sense to you when you read it. You can quickly create a good password mixing letters and digits, or by replacing some letters with digits, example: November as a password can be written in following manner: N0v3mb3rr13*
This will make password which is known to you difficult enough for strangers.

  1. Secure your network

You might be the friendly neighbour who don’t mind when rest community connects to your home WIFI network, but once one of the devices using this network is a work computer then there is a completely different story. Make sure you don’t use default router passwords which are easy to guess, even the one written on your router isn’t secure, as anyone can read it from device. I recommend changing it and making it personal to only to you. Many workplaces require their long-term workers to connect to company network using virtual private network (VPN).

This makes the remote PC part of corporate network and it provides access to resources which are only available within that network. It could be a server drive with data, email client which will work only on that network or printers in the building. It is worth reminding that if you use VPN created and provided by your company, all the internet traffic goes through that company’s servers, meaning all your non-work related activities would be visible and most likely noted by your boss.

Often corporate VPN is only provided within large companies and smaller ones don’t offer this service. You can still use any third party VPN company to create your own protected network. This will protect your internet traffic, both work as well as personal. My general advise here will be to have dedicated computers for work and do not mix them with personal computers for entertainment, it is more difficult to procrastinate on work specific computer.

I would love to be in the position to recommend a VPN supplier but these change so frequently that you will need to do research yourself and see what suits you best. There are other benefits from having premium access to VPN servers. You can for example access and watch specific media which is available in regions you are not in.

  1. Secure all your communications

Email can be protected if you use VPN or company servers to connect and handle data this way but you need to be careful since these days there is loads of fake email activity with warnings telling you that your email server will be discontinued or even it is full, these are coming from scammers, if you are unsure I suggest you speak with IT department from company you working from so they can investigate that for you. There is only one rule here, you don’t click on things you don’t know about. I would still say that VPN will help you a lot securing all type of communications you do through your computer. You also can speak with your employer to pay for this service if you explain well enough what benefits this would bring.

  1. Secure your data

General rule here is to make sure that working machine is only accessed by you, you don’t want a family member or child accessing your work documents, for that make sure you have passwords in place, you log out your computer, you use NAS (we covered it in this article) to store data, have external drives which are password protected. Saying all that, make sure you backup your data in case of a failure. Computer is only an electronic device which may fail at any given time, so it is better to be safe than sorry. All work data should be protected by password, ideally in encrypted vault. Making sure all working folders are password protected you are the only person who can access this data.

  1. Secure your passwords

Passwords are like PIN number for your card, you would never want anyone to know these. I suggest you use different password for every service out there in case they will get compromised. This isn’t an easy task and many write down all the passwords in physical notepads or even send themselves an email with all the passwords (what?), don’t do it, there are many apps like 1Password which will take care of that hassle for you making it very secure. If you feel a need to write everything down, do that but at the same time make sure that file containing them is also password protected and ideally encrypted!

As a summary, if you follow the 5 rules listed above you would not have problems with securing your working machine and all the data you have on it will be safe.

How are you protecting your data? Let me know in the comments section below.

All the best,


This article has 7 comments

  1. Stevezzz Reply

    A real eye opener! Thanks a lot for that article, it looks that I need to fix couple of things on my work from home setup. Thanks a lot for practical tips mate!

  2. Miles Rothschild Reply

    very good tip about the password, have not thought of treating digits as letters and vice versa, creative concept.

  3. govansie66 Reply

    incredible how unsafe you can feel being locked in your own home, switching the pc on can get you anxiety! Yuk

  4. Gabrielle Brassard Reply

    How to securely work remotely? it is very useful, I
    also shared it on my facebook.
    Many thanks! 🙂

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