7 Steps to Protect Your Privacy When Working From Home

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Business

It is no secret that the world of remote or online working has changed so much about how most people live their lives. When working from the comforts of your home was still uncommon,  8 to 5 hours were spent in offices or in other places. Once you get home to your family or pets, you draw the curtains, change into your house clothes, and sink into your favorite couch for a night of relaxation. Now that the space between work and personal life has overlapped, it is important to make sure that the line separating the two remains. Here are seven steps you could take to make your online workspace as secure as your own home.

1. Use trustworthy file sharing applications

Working remotely almost always involves communicating and cooperating with other people online. Either you will be exchanging emails with coworkers or you will be performing file sharing operations to send and receive important documents. If you find yourself regularly doing the latter, it is important to pick out a file-sharing app that respects customer privacy. Choose an efficient service that is transparent about their privacy stance and stick with it.

2. Organize your digital space

When your online or digital presence is cluttered, it is much easier to forget about sensitive documents lying around. Organizing your digital space lets you keep track of all your files, accounts, and transactions with much less stress. You can do this by using multi-platform and cross-device services and apps that let you perform several tasks with little hassle. You can also keep a record of your accounts, subscriptions, and services to make sure that you do not have any unnecessary vulnerabilities lying around.

3. Encrypt sensitive work files

Think of encryption as the online equivalent of locking the doors to your house as you leave or before you go to bed for the night. Encrypting prevents outsiders from unlawfully accessing information found in your files. This is especially important if you work with documents related to finances and confidential projects, but it also applies to personal files that you would not want in the hands of online crooks. This is very easy to do, and there are a lot of free encryption tools found on the Internet.

4. Invest in privacy-friendly services

Sometimes, privacy does not come cheap. A lot of sketchy platforms out there claim to offer their services for free but mine your personal data without permission. They do not ask for your money because they get something else in return! So when you find privacy-friendly apps that offer high-quality services, invest in them. Most likely, these apps would have a subscription system where you can pay a little cash to unlock more features. If you know you will get better services, peace of mind, and safety for a small amount, it is worth the investment.

5. Separate personal and professional spaces

One of the most common mistakes you can make when working online is to let your professional persona mix with your personal. This happens when you do not take control of the boundaries that separate work from your life outside of it. The key is to compartmentalize. Separate your accounts based on what you use for personal online interactions and what you use for work. This way, you avoid accidentally opening up about your entire childhood to a coworker you only just met!

6. Use a password manager

It is very easy to imagine how disastrous it would be if an ill-meaning stranger gains access to passwords that unlock your email, cloud storage, and social media accounts. To prevent this from happening, use password manager tools. They help generate strong passwords for each of your accounts. They also remove the trouble of having to memorize all your passwords – and possibly forgetting them – by storing them in encrypted ‘vaults’ that only you could access.

7. Secure physical gadgets and devices

Privacy protection online can only go so far if your gadgets and devices fall into the wrong hands. If you are someone who stays logged into their accounts or does not clear their browsing history, a thief could do a lot of damage with whatever information they get from a stolen laptop or smartphone. Lock the doors and windows, do not leave your things unattended, and be mindful of all your belongings. The key is to be as careful in the physical world as you are in the digital world – and vice versa.

Protect your online privacy to maintain a healthy work-life balance

Just as you would want to keep your home safe and secure, it is important to do the same thing online. Treat your digital space as a reflection of your physical world to stay safe and happy both ways.

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