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Focus on security when working at home

If you travel for work, your company likely already has telecommuting policies in place, you're aware of them, and you have the required hardware and software to work from home. However, if you're usually in the office but you need to work remotely, consider these five tips for doing so safely and efficiently. Marketwatch

Know company policy

If you don't know your company's telecommuting policies, you could be putting information at risk — and your job, too.

"If they lose information … if they're going outside policy or not following standard common-sense standards for data security, that could mean their job," said Jeremy Miller, director of operations at Kroll Fraud Solutions.

Secure your systems

Does your work require use of a company-issued computer to access its system? If so, you have a responsibility to keep that laptop or other device — and all the information contained within it — secure, Miller said.

If you're using your personal computer, make sure to take precautions as well, including disabling peer-to-peer applications so that files are not visible to others on the Web. And you might not think anything of it if your neighbor or roommate logs on to your computer, but if there is work information on the machine, you could be in violation of company policy, Miller said.

Protect your computer

Enable your wireless network's password protection and use a good password so outsiders can't hack into the network, according to a tip sheet from Best Buy's Geek Squad.

Before you use a home computer to access office files or databases, make sure your operating system has the latest security updates. And be sure your antivirus program is reputable and current, the Geek Squad said.

Create a comfortable working environment

Minimize distractions at home by setting up your desk in a place where you can concentrate — and a place that is reasonably quiet. Call center employees who work from home often are prohibited from having such things as barking dogs or chirping birds in the background. But it's not a bad idea for any employee working at home to limit background noise for when work calls need to be taken.

Back up files

Regardless of where you're working, back up your data. Large files can be stored to a USB drive or an online storage spot.

Focus on security when working at home 02/25/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:48am]
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