6 ‘Don’t Do’s’ for Your Work Computer

September 30, 2020

No one enjoys being told what they should or shouldn’t do. However, you should keep in mind some ‘don’t do’s’ for your work computer. Many of these may seem like simple common sense, however you’d be surprised how many people treat their work computers like their own.

To help you stay safe and secure here are our list of the top six ‘don’t do’s’ for your work computer.

#1 Do not login to personal services and sites

We might all want to keep an eye on personal email or have a check of our social media whilst at work. However, you really do not want to login in to those personal accounts on your work computer. This is even more vital if you use a shared computer.

Logging into social media is one of the 'Don't Do's' For Your Work Computer

The majority of browsers can remember our passwords, and this can be really helpful. After all, how many passwords can one person be expected to remember? But you do risk compromising your security when you allow your browser to save your personal passwords and credentials. Those saved details can allow anyone using that computer to access your personal accounts and data.

#2 Don’t allow remote access

You’ve started working from home and your PC or laptop isn’t working properly. It may be slow or there could be something wrong with an app. Or maybe you think you’ve downloaded malware. Fortunately, you have a friend that ‘knows computers’. They have some software that means they can gain access to your machine. Such software is easy to get hold off nowadays. Rather than bother anyone in the office, or admit you’ve downloaded something you shouldn’t, your friend can fix it. Your work doesn’t even need to know.

However, would you let your friend come into your office and access your computer? Almost certainly not. More to the point what would your employer say if a ‘random’ was sat at your desk on their computer?! There will be people that your company trusts to maintain and repair its IT equipment. In the office you’d report any IT issues to your supervisor, directly to IT or to your external IT Support Provider. When you’re working remotely you should do exactly the same thing.

Allowing anyone unapproved to access your machine remotely is a security risk. Your company may have your computer set up in a specific way. Even the most tech-savvy of your friends isn’t going to know what those configurations are. They could also fail to break the connection correctly, leaving a backdoor to your computer and ultimately your work network.

#3 Don’t store personal data

You should always have more than one backup of your data. But you shouldn’t use your work computer to store backups of your personal data. Or indeed vice-versa. For a start you cannot be certain that those files are not accessible to other people at work.

The data on your work computer belongs to your company not you. In the event that you lose your job your data could also be lost. Most businesses will have the ability to remote wipe IT hardware when an individual leaves the business.

#4 Don’t connect personal storage devices

As a convenient way to move data around USB or thumb drives are fantastic. But they can be a security and data protection nightmare. The drive can be installed on numerous computers and networks. If you then connect that drive to work computer, you could inadvertently transfer malware.

USB Drives. Connecting personal storage devices is one of the don't do' for your work computer.

If you know where the USB has been that’s one thing, but if you don’t know the origin of the drive DEFINATELY don’t put it in your computer. It has been known for criminals to target business by leaving infected USB drives in the car park outside the business. They only need one person to pick the drive up and plug it in and they can get access to the whole network.

If you find a drive, you might think you can do a good turn by popping it in your machine, finding out who owns it and returning it. But you’re taking a massive risk. Not only could it be infected with malware, there are even drives called ‘USB Killers‘. This devices look like a normal USB drive but sends high-voltage power surges into the device it is connected to, which can damage hardware components.

#5 Don’t do job search or run your side business

Your employer can track the activity on your computer. So looking at job sites or running your side ‘hustle’ is something to be avoided if you don’t want to get caught. Some businesses will just maintain an overview of websites that you visit. Others will undertake full-blown screen recording.

In the UK work device monitoring is allowed as long as employees are aware that it is being carried out. This might be a specific communication to employees or a line in an employment contract. Undertaking work for a side project during working hours, on your employers computer is not probably not going to go down well and it’s not going to be easy to hide.

#6 Don’t log on to public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is rarely secure so logging onto business applications through it is a big ‘no-no’. There are a number of potential risks. You could:

  • Open yourself to ‘man-in-the-middle’ hackers;
  • Be connecting to a malicious hotspot;
  • Transmit your data on to unencrypted network.

Avoid the “Don’t do’s” For Your Work Computer

You could endanger your personal data, business network, or even your job if you ignore these ‘don’t do’s’ for your work computer. These common mistakes are easy to avoid. So be smart and stay safe.

How We Can Help

If you need help setting up your business computers, we can help.

There are a number of different solutions we can provide to protect your network and computers. As a matter of course we ensure that USB drives cannot be accessed, and we can provide tracking software. Or we can set up a Virtual Private Network for further protection.

For a no obligation conversation please call us on 0115 8220200 or complete the Form on our contact page.

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