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4 business IT tips for working safely from home

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 11 Aug 2020

Working from home has become the new normal for many businesses across the country. But although much of our daily lives have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, cyber threats and phishing scams haven’t. They remain as much of a threat to businesses as ever. In fact, there is some evidence of an increase in phishing and other cybercrime activity now people are working at home.

Chamber member Jamcrackers are experts in business IT support and cloud computing, and are committed to helping businesses get the most out of their IT tech and devices.

In our recent webinar, Richard Latimer & Becca Gordon from Jamcrackers shared some important tips for business owners and employees to help them work safely from home.

1. Secure your data

When it comes to cloud computing and data storage;

  • Check the security features available - Do you know which ones would be appropriate for you and the data that you have in your company? Have you enabled them?
  • Understand the information that is stored and processed by your cloud service - Where does it go? Can your clients and colleagues access it when they need to?
  • Make sure you understand the implications for GDPR - Your cloud storage must be GDPR compliant if you’re storing clients’ personal data; this means making sure you have the business versions of the cloud computing system you’re using

“If you’re using something like OneDrive or DropBox for business use, you really need to have the business versions because the home versions are not GDPR compliant. The business versions are GDPR compliant and there’s also more security features available, including file sharing and file lockdown.” Richard

2. Protect your video conferences

More businesses are relying on video conferences than ever before. But it’s important to ensure you are using it safely. There have been doubts about the security of Zoom, for example. It's therefore crucial that you set up and implement all recommended security settings within the application. The same applies to any other programs or applications you use.

“Make sure that your video conferencing app is up to date. This is really vital and will ensure that you have got all of the security features necessary.” Becca

Other things to think about include:

  • When screen sharing, make sure you aren’t sharing anything confidential
  • Bear in mind that video conferences can be recorded so be careful about what you share or say
  • Beware of any smart speaker assistants, such as Alexa, Siri or Google, listening in the background

3. Follow good password practice

A strong password provides important protection from things like fraud and identity theft. First up, be sure to change the default passwords on anything you use. Default passwords are much easier for scammers to crack than a secure personalised password.

“We strongly advise that you change the default security settings on anything you use. This includes your home network (router) as well as any other associated hardware.” Becca

When it comes to setting your passwords, here are some best practice tips:

  • Include 3 words - Make it easy to remember but nothing too obvious
  • Make it longer - The longer a password is the harder it is to crack
  • Keep it varied - Use a mix of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols

4. Be aware of phishing and scams

Action Fraud receive more than 400,000 reports of phishing emails each year. To avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam, here are three things to look out for if you receive a suspicious email:

  • Check the sender - Do you recognise the domain? Is the name spelt correctly?
  • Is it well written - Does it sound like an email from this sender?
  • Links/attachments - If you’re not expecting anything, give the person a call to check they are the genuine sender

If you spot a suspicious email, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): to

“Phishing scams are becoming more and more complex. Anyone can spoof an email address now by just creating a Gmail account and putting an alias over the top of it. We see a lot of mandate fraud, where the scammer will send an email to the accounts department and ask them to pay an invoice and it will look just like it’s coming from that person and the accounts department are paying these. The banks will not refund the money because you authorised this to go out. Always be aware of what you’re paying. Just check with anyone you’re paying to make sure it’s genuine if it looks suspicious.” Richard

Watch the webinar

To watch the full webinar, click the link below:

Watch the webinar

About Jamcrackers

Jamcrackers specialise in IT support for small and medium businesses, helping them to understand what solutions are available and how to utilise the technology available to their business, without confusing them with the usual IT jargon.

To find out more, visit the Jamcrackers website or call directly for a free, confidential chat on 01525 331 060. They are also currently offering Chamber members 10% off support for the first three months.

QES Q2 2020

Topics: small business, IT

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