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Remote work privacy mistake
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Security & privacy

One big mistake most remote workers make

Time management is an essential part of working remotely. However, you can get in trouble if you don’t have a solid schedule for your workload and deadlines. Several apps can help, or if you have a team that works remotely, here are some tips on doing it efficiently.

But time management is only one aspect of remote working. Too often, people who don’t spend time in the office start using their computers for personal activity. That isn’t necessarily a problem unless it goes against the company policy.

Read on for the one mistake remote workers make when using company-issued equipment.

Here’s the backstory

The global pandemic let more people work from home, minimizing the risk of catching Covid-19. But not everybody has a computer or laptop at home and must take their work laptop with them to do their job.

Generally, people are free to browse whatever they want as long as they meet their deadlines. However, downloads get tricky, as many apps and software contain malware. Therefore, a strict policy usually governs what employees can download.

As workers get more comfortable with their environments, some private files will end up on the computer. So, one of the biggest mistakes that remote workers make is keeping personal data on the computer or laptop when leaving the company.

Not only is it lousy computer hygiene to have personal files on a company device, but you put the entire IT system at risk. An innocent download can contain malware infiltrating data servers and stealing company information.

What you can do about it

Just like online, there are several things that you can do offline to protect your data. The best advice is to get ahead before it becomes a problem. From the moment you have a company device, don’t store personal files on it.

This ensures you can hand over the laptop or mobile phone without worrying about compromised data. You also wouldn’t need to go through the device looking for private information frantically.

According to The Washington Post, you should also check with your company before transferring any data from your device. This is because some things, like contacts or templates, might be considered company property. Here are more ideas to keep things safe:

  • Before handing over a laptop or mobile phone, ensure that you sign out of all apps and services. Then, delete the apps or uninstall any software you use for personal business.
  • Clear your browser history, and deleting any website cookies is also a good idea.
  • The fastest way to remove data quickly is to perform a factory reset on the device. This deletes everything, including apps, settings and user files, but you must check with your company if this is allowed. Tap or click here for instructions on resetting your device.
  • When you receive a company laptop, create a secondary profile and use it only for private activities. Especially on Windows, the files and settings are kept separate between user profiles.

Keep reading

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