Working from home

April 3, 2020 - Sharon Young, Analyst

As we try to ‘flatten the curve’ of the COVID-19 outbreak, many are working from home. Below are some security tips for those who are working from home:

  1. Follow the policies and guidelines set by your IT department.
  2. If a Virtual Private Network (VPN) has been set up by your organization, use it.
  3. For your home network, do the following:
    • Make sure the password to your router/network is a strong, complex password.
    • Ensure your administrator password isn’t the default router password. If it is, change it.
    • The router setting should be set to WPA2-AES. This enables network encryption. Do not use WEP
    • Only allow those within your household to connect to your router/network.
      • If you have ever given guests the password to your network, change the password.
    • Know which computers/devices are connected to your network.
      • If any of the computers or devices become infected with a virus, disconnect that computer/device from the network. Use anti-virus protection and check all other devices to see if they were infected by the virus. Remove computers and devices as needed and report the matter to your supervisor and/or IT department.
    • Tell others in your household the following:
      • Only access websites and download material from trusted sources. If they are not sure, then don’t.
      • If they suspect that they may have downloaded a virus, they are to report this to you immediately so you can contain the virus to try to ensure other computers/devices are not infected and report to your supervisor and/or IT department.
  4. Establish administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. Below is a non-exhaustive list. Examples of safeguards are:

Administrative Safeguards:

      • Follow the policies, procedures, and guidelines established by your organization for working from home.
      • Communicate to others within your household they are not to access your computer, devices, documents, etc.

Physical Safeguards:

      • Do not leave laptops, desktop computers on and unattended. Also do not leave documents or anything else containing sensitive information unattended.
      • Securely store away laptops, documents, portable devices not in use.
      • Take precautions so that no one else can see the contents of your screen, especially if it contains sensitive information such as personal information and personal health information.
      • Do not allow others to use your work computer/laptop/device.

Technical Safeguards:

      • Use strong passwords.
      • Lock computer screen when leaving the computer unattended.
      • Log off or shut down computers when not in use.

 

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