It’s the busiest travel season of the year. That means you and your employees are taking off to visit family and friends and celebrate the holidays, but many employees will also take their work with them. As a business owner or manager, this is great news! Employees will continue working throughout their holidays and keep the company on target—until disaster strikes. If an employee loses a device or leaves it open to hackers, your business’ sensitive data could be at risk. Is your company taking the proper precautions? Here are a few recommendations to ensure that data stays only with employees while traveling this holiday season:
Take only what you need.
The best way to protect confidential information is to leave it at the office. Ask employees if they are really going to work while on their holiday break. The answer is usually no, so ask them to leave their company-issued devices at the office.
If employees must take their devices, consider carrying the data on a separate hard drive or USB stick. This puts more separation between your computer, which can be accessed by thieves via Wi-Fi, and your data.
Avoid public Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi is just that. Public! If you’re not on a secured network, it’s important to avoid accessing sensitive information, such as your work email. It’s best to use their cellular data plan or wait until they can get a secure connection.
Prepare for the worst.
Does your company have a policy in place for how to respond to data theft? Or consequences for employees who carelessly misplace devices? If the answer is no, it’s time to think about putting a plan together. Preparing for the worst will make employees think twice about taking their devices with them while travelling.
There are several simple, low-tech things employees can do to protect their data. Make sure all devices have a passcode. Place tape over microphones and cameras on laptops to prevent peeping thieves. Privacy screens can be used to prevent over-the-shoulder snooping. Place a lock on backpacks or carry-on luggage to deter sticky fingers.
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