How to work from home: Keeping safe and sane while remote

My Post - 2020-03-20T122806.422.pngWith more people shunning offices because of Covid-19, here are a few tips and tricks to make the best of a remote situation

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted a lot of companies, including Google and Apple, to recommend their employees work from home. Many events have been canceled, and flights to many countries now incur a 14-day quarantine.

If you find yourself stuck having to work from home (like yours truly), adapting to a new work environment comes with its perks (no commute!) and its perils, both to your online security and your sanity. Below is a list of ways to keep your remote working environment safe and secure, as well as keeping your wits about you when you’re stuck at home.

Nine ways to work from home safely and securely

1. Lock your screen when you’re taking a break

If you’re living with family or roommates, locking your screen when you leave it unattended prevents anyone from not just looking at what’s on your screen, but also snooping around your files.

You could also have a very adventurous cat that just really likes sitting on your keyboard, sending a nonsensical string of letters to your boss (whether it was intentional or not is another matter).

To lock your screen on Mac, press “Command + Shift + Q” or “Windows + L” on Windows. If you’re working outside, do not leave your devices on their own—take them with you.

2. Separate your work from your personal life online

Ideally, you’ll want to keep your work documents and communication on a work computer, and your personal browsing on a different device.

If this is not possible, create separate users or accounts to deal with the different correspondence, or, if your browser has the option, create browser compartments to separate your work and leisure in the same browser.

3. Enable two-factor authentication on your work accounts

From G Suite to social media to task management apps, you should at least be using two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure your accounts with an additional one-time password. This greatly reduces the risk of someone brute-force hacking their way into your accounts to steal your personal information.

You can normally set up 2FA under the Account or Security tab of your account settings. You can take it a step further and use a hardware key like a Yubikey for additional security. While you’re at it, maybe strengthen your passwords (or randomly generate new ones) and save them in a password manager.

4. Use encrypted messaging and storage systems

You’re probably already doing this effortlessly, using encrypted software like G Suite to do most of your work online. Slack is a popular messaging tool for many companies, but bear in mind that it is not end-to-end (E2E) encrypted, and admins do have the option to spy on your slack messages. For any conversation you wish to be kept private, use an E2E encrypted messaging app. – Read more

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