How to Protect Yourself When Working from Home

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Working from home has plenty of advantages, whether you're working for someone else or you're self-employed. But there are also plenty of things you need to be cautious about if you want working from home or remote working to work out for you. One of the biggest concerns that you need to think about is your security, both in terms of digital security and keeping yourself safe when you're at home. If you're employed, your employer probably has some responsibility to keep you safe, but you also have to take the reins because you're working a bit more independently.

Protecting yourself while you're working from home might require a little bit of forethought. There are a few important issues you should think about to stay safe.

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

Make Sure You're Provided with Equipment

If you're working with an employer, rather than for yourself, it's important to make sure they provide you with any equipment that you need. Most reputable employers will do this anyway because they recognize that it's important for security and to enable you to perform well when you're working. Not only will it help to protect your employer but it also helps to protect you because it means you won't mix your personal computer use with your work. Even if you're working as a freelancer or contractor, some clients might ask you to use their devices when working with sensitive information.

Secure Your Communications

Working at home means you have to stay in contact with anyone you work with by phone or through digital means. Keeping your communications secure is important to protect yourself and anyone you're working with. A lot of teams use tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and other software designed for collaboration and communication. It's important to check your Zoom security settings and other tools to ensure your conversations remain private. Only the necessary people should have access to any communications you have with colleagues, customers, or anyone else.

Protect Your Devices

Whether you're using your own devices or devices provided by your employer, you need to take the right steps to protect them. One of the easiest things to do is ensure you have antivirus software on your devices. Installing it and keeping it up to date will help to ensure any malware is caught and stopped. It's also important to know what you can do to avoid anything getting on your devices. For example, avoiding unsafe websites and knowing how to spot phishing emails will help you to prevent any bad files from being downloaded to your computer.

Use a Secure Connection

A secure home connection is essential when you're working from home. Of course, even if you weren't working from home, it's still important to have a secure connection to protect you. But it's even more important if you need to protect yourself and some sensitive data while you're working. Be sure to check that your home connection is secured with a strong password and no one outside of your home has access to it. Some other things you can do include using a VPN, hiding your network from view, and keeping your router software up to date.

Do a Health and Safety Assessment

Just because you're at home, it doesn't mean health and safety aren't important. Your employer might take some steps to ensure you're working safely at home, but you can also do a few things to create a safe and healthy working environment. A proper office setup with the right desk and chair is one of the best things that you can have if you want to work comfortably. Look at ergonomic office furniture to help you get set up for a comfortable day's work. You can also think about things like fire safety to keep yourself safe while you're working at home.

Check Your Home Security

If you're home all day, it's worth considering the strength of your home security. You could be vulnerable if you're home alone, especially if there are criminals assuming that everyone is at work and hoping to take advantage of what they assume are empty houses. You can check various parts of your home security, including how secure your doors and windows are, whether you have a working alarm, and even other security technology such as cameras that could help to protect you when you're working from home.

Protecting yourself when you work from home is important if you want to work safely and comfortably. Think about how to stay safe online and offline too.

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