By Ryan Emerick, Kite Technology Group
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more users are working from home. Kite Technology Group would like to highlight a few critical elements that will ensure you have a secure and productive environment when working out of the office.
In order to have a good experience working out of the office, we recommend having speeds of at least 25Mbps download at your home. This will allow for smooth downloads, video conferencing/meetings, and remote connection to your office network if needed. If you are not sure what your connection speed is, a free tool such as https://www.speedtest.net/ can help. You can likely call your Internet provider to increase your plan’s speed if the current connection is not fast enough for working remotely.
Strong & Secure WiFi Connection
A large factor in your work from home experience is the strength of your network connection. Wired Ethernet networking is always preferable, but in the event you must rely on WiFi at home to work here are some tips:
It is best to move close to the wireless router and limit the number of walls between your device and the connection point.
Limit the amount of other users streaming video/music or browsing the web if you start to have lag or slowness as these all contribute to slowing down overall speeds and disrupting critical work connections.
We also recommend that users DO NOT access public or unsecured wireless networks such as Starbucks / Library / Non-Password protected networks as these can easily allow for your data to be intercepted and stolen by malicious users. Instead, connect to your phone hot spot if you absolutely need a connection while out of your home network.
VPN to Access Data Securely
When working at home, security should still be a top priority in how you access data. Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network will allow for safe encrypted connection to the internet as well as any office data or devices that you need access to for work. Without this in place while trying to work, you are potentially putting your browsing and data at risk of being intercepted. The Help Desk can assist if you need a VPN setup or if you are unsure about how to connect to your company’s applications remotely.
Windows 10 Computer, NOT Windows 7!
Again going back to security, Windows 10 devices are the best way to connect and work from home. Anything running Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft and not being patched for security vulnerabilities and should NOT be used for work purposes! Even if they are used for non work related tasks, they are at risk if they are connected to the internet in any capacity.
Antivirus Installed on your PC
Make sure you have an up to date anti-virus program running on your computer such as Windows Defender or another offering. While not perfect, these will scan downloads for issues and alert you if there are files that are known to cause system problems. As always, be careful of what you download to a computer, and do not simply click on an email based link without knowing where it takes you. This is the number one way that accounts are attacked and companies are impacted by Ransomware events.
In Summary, here are a few things to think about as you plan to work outside of the office environment:
Your workstation/laptop is only used for work. No kids homework or gaming on business devices
Web camera and microphone options available if you want to teleconference or attend online meetings
Your device can likely connect to multiple monitors for additional screens if needed
Noise canceling headphones can help minimize distractionsRegularly sanitize your keyboard, mouse, and work area as well as wash your hands throughout the day**
Office Equipment such as Desktops, Printers, etc. should not leave the building as they are configured only to operate in this environment **
Now that most organizations are facing a larger than ever remote workforce, we hope the above list goes a long way in helping you and your team experience greater work-from-home success!