April 27, 2020

Reasons to Secure Home Workspace Today

The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing millions of people to work from home for the foreseeable future.
This is uncharted territory and many of us are experiencing the unique challenges of working from home for an extended period. You might be asking questions like: how do I keep my confidential work information private when I’m working at the kitchen table? What do I do with the paper documents, hard drives and USB sticks I need for work? How do I securely destroy confidential documents when they’re no longer needed?
Clearing and securing your desk and workspace can help answer these questions. Here are the key reasons to clean and secure your home workspace today. 

A Clean Workspace Is a Secure Workspace

Has your kitchen table become your new office desk? Treat it like your normal workspace by implementing a Clean Desk Policy. Do so by following the three P’s of office organization:
  1. PLAN first thing in the morning. Keep just the things you need for your workday on your desk. File and organize everything else.
  2. PROTECT information whenever you leave your workspace. If there’s sensitive information out in the open, place it inside a folder.
  3. PICK UP at the end of the day. When you’re done with your work, put files away or lock them up, if necessary. If you get in the habit of cleaning up your workspace at the end of every day, you’ll enjoy the added benefits that come with a clean desk the following day.

Confidential Information is Only Safe if Destroyed Properly

Even if you’re working from home, it’s still important to have confidential data (on paper, hard drives and e-media) securely destroyed by a professional service provider. Consider consolidating all paperwork and keeping it in a locked cabinet, or at minimum collected in a bag, until you have an opportunity to return to work and securely dispose of documents there. Alternatively, find out if a Secure Drop Off Service is available in your area. Remember, physically destroying documents and hard drives is the only way to ensure data is 100% unrecoverable.

Your home workspace is only as secure as its weakest link

Despite your best efforts, all it takes is one slip-up for confidential business information to fall into the wrong hands. To avoid this, treat your home workspace as if you were working in a physical office location by using the following tips:
  • Check with your organization to make sure you are protected from the growing risk of a hack by being provided with a secure VPN, employing strong password requirements and the use of a password manager.
  • Ensure that any or all paper documents are collected and returned to the office for secure destruction or secure storage.
  • Despite the weather getting nicer outside, avoid conference calls on your porch, balcony or backyard. You don’t know who could be eavesdropping on your conversation.
  • Don’t allow family members or friends to use your work-issued laptop or mobile phone. Doing so could put confidential business information at risk.
Looking for more advice? Take a step towards even stronger protection by using Shred-it’s new Risk Assessment Tool to help you and your organization identify and address any risks. You can also contact us for a free quote or to learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents and help you find the best cyber insurance policy.