12 data protection tips for remote working

By Peter Tyllack

security, data protection, modern workplace

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If you or your employees are working from home, here are some general guidelines for secure collaboration.


6 Tips for Individuals

  • Keep your device up to date with the latest security updates and antivirus software.

  • Check the services you want to use, e.g. read the data protection policies of the services to see where your data will be stored, with whom it will be shared, and for what it will be used (yes, that is annoying, but you should do it anyway). If you don’t feel comfortable with a service, don’t use it. There are many trustworthy and secure services out there.

  • Only give the necessary permissions. Do you need to share your location for a video call? Do you need to give a service access to your camera for a voice chat?

  • Control your camera and microphone. Make sure that your camera does not show more than you want it to. Turn it off or and use a camera cover when you don’t want to share. Mute you microphone when you don’t need it (Besides limiting what you share your conversation partners will thank you for it if they don’t constantly hear your dog barking).

  • Consider what you want to show via screensharing, video or posting in chats. Once you have shared data, you might not be able to control what your conversation partners do with it.

  • Control which data you store on your devices. Limit the amount of data on your portable devices to the necessary minimum.


6 Tips for Organisations

  • Avoid shadow IT by offering controlled solutions for your organization that you have checked for privacy and security features. Employees should only use the tools provided by you. Provide controlled secure access to your organization’s internal systems, e.g. via VPN.

  • Employees should only use their work accounts, email addresses and phone numbers, where possible. This protects not only your employees from sharing unnecessary personal data, but also gives you control over the communication.

  • Provide clear instructions, guidelines and policies for the use of the selected tools. Make it easy for your employees to follow the rules.

  • Implement adequate security measures to protect your employees, your data and your organization. Where possible, enforce these measures via group policies and centralized tool administration.

  • Limit the shareable data and provide clear guidance on how data may be shared by implementing a clear security concept.

  • Control which data may be stored locally. Confidential data should only accessible via devices controlled by the organization.