4 Things to Stop Doing on Your Work Computer

These days, most organizations provide their employees with company laptops and other devices to complete their work. This is especially true amid the Coronavirus pandemic and the new work-from-home culture.

We’re all guilty of occasionally having personal matters on our mind during work and possibly attempting to take care of those matters. We also might be guilty of opening a new tab and signing into social networks like Facebook or Twitter on our work devices to take a break from work-related matters.

However, intermixing your personal and professional lives via a work computer or other device is not only risky for you, but for your company as well and should be avoided. Here are four things you should stop doing on your work computer:

1. Don’t Access Free, Public Wi-Fi

When working remotely, it can be tempting to connect to free, public Wi-Fi to get your work done. With the urgency that some jobs possess, these access points can be a godsend. However, free, public Wi-Fi comes with risks that most truly don’t understand.

The fact that free, public Wi-Fi requires no authentication to gain a connection to a network is convenient for consumers but is also desirable and convenient for hackers. Hackers can easily gain access to unsecured devices on the same free network. With a hacker having access to your device, they now potentially have access to your card information, confidential emails or files, security credentials to personal accounts, or even to your business network.

When you need a connection in public, it’s safer to use mobile data, especially when working with sensitive data or material.

2. Don’t Store Personal Data

Sure, no one ever plans to get fired or for the company they work for to go out of business, but sometimes it happens. In those situations, people are let go without a chance to get any data off of their company computer. This is strictly business and done to protect sensitive business data that you may or may not have access to. With that being said, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep personal data off of your work computer or device in the unfortunate event that you may not get it back. Data you put on a work computer is the business’s data, plain and simple.

3. Don’t Make Indecent Jokes on Messaging Software

It’s safe to assume that the company you work for uses some type of messaging platform, like Microsoft Teams or Slack, to make for efficient day-to-day work communication and collaboration. This is especially prevalent throughout organizations during the Coronavirus pandemic where businesses are working from home and need to effectively communicate with their team. Even though you have the option to privately message one of your team members, remember that it is company data and not necessarily private.

It’s easy to use these platforms as if you were in the office break room shooting the bull and having a gossip session, but remember that these messages are just as retrievable as emails. It’s important to be very intentional about what you say and don’t say in these chats. Also, remember to keep sensitive information like credentials and any other data you wouldn’t want a cybercriminal to get ahold of out of these chat rooms.

4. Don’t Save Personal Passwords

We’ve touched on how many people will access their non-work-related accounts using their work computers from time to time. It’s easy to do when your work computer or device goes with you everywhere and becomes your primary computer over your personal computer. However, you are not only exposing yourself to the risk of sharing your personal data with the IT team but hackers as well. It might seem desirable and convenient to click ‘save password to keychain’ but trust us; it’s a bigger risk than you think.

In conclusion, it’s important to be smart and use common sense when working on your company devices. Avoid free, public Wi-Fi to ensure your sensitive information stays secure and out of cybercriminals’ hands. Keep personal data off of your work computer and make sure you aren’t saying anything inappropriate or sending sensitive information over business chat rooms. Lastly, avoid saving your personal account passwords to your work computer or device. Following these four tips could save you a lot of trouble down the road.

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