Home, hybrid and flexible working

Since the pandemic, working from home, or combining home and office working with a flexible approach, has become the norm for many businesses, particularly SMEs.

When working on cloud-based platforms, such as Microsoft 365, it’s vital to be aware of how to keep your files secure – especially when using free wifi in coffee shops or shared working spaces.

The bare essentials

If you use Office 365, you will most likely be familiar with SharePoint – a centralised repository for all of your work files. Office 365 also includes email, so is a popular system for many businesses.

Not many people assume that Office 365 automatically backs up your files, but this is a common misunderstanding – 365 does not include back-up as a default! Therefore it is vital that you install the correct back-up software.

Feel free to get in touch to discuss the best options available.

Getting more advanced

To make things more secure, it’s worth considering a product called ‘Azure AD P1’ which allows you to have a ‘Windows log-in’ whilst working from anywhere – this also unlocks lots of enhanced security policies, such as:

  • Automatically locking your desktop when you are away from your desk – good when working in a café or other public place.
  • Disk encryption – so if your laptop is stolen, nobody can access your data.

We would highly recommend talking to a professional to ensure you have the correct security in place as it is very easy to miss things out and leave your work exposed.

What about 2FA or MFA?

2FA stands for Two Factor Authentication, and MFA stands for Multi Factor Authentication.

Top tip: Enable this for everything you can – any online accounts, including social media which is often forgotten about.

Firewalls and back-ups

Think about the various places you use your laptop or tablet – can you trust the network?

If you are in a cafe, restaurant or hotel, did they set up their wireless network in the right way to prevent other users being able to spy on you? It’s a well-known fact amongst IT experts that even the major chains do not always set up their wifi correctly.

Even at home you need to be careful because if your children are downloading games and apps, this can open your wifi up to spyware and other viruses.

All of this means it’s a very good idea to get a firewall installed to protect your computer and files.

We have mentioned back-ups before, and make no apology for mentioning it again – do not just save everything on your local disk (i.e. your computer) and forget about it!

Backing up your files is not just protecting against disk failures and hackers, it also saves your skin when you accidentally delete or overwrite an important document and want it back.

Solid business-grade broadband

It’s often a big ask for a domestic user to have a powerful broadband line – but sometimes businesses will pay for one.

Home broadband lines don’t include dedicated repair-times – business-grade ones do. Think about it for a moment: How long can you go without your internet connection at home and still work?

Perhaps you don’t need to upgrade your broadband line at home at all – perhaps you can just get a secondary connection like a 4G router… Get in touch to discuss how we can help!

Handy little extras

Laptop-users: Did you know that you can now purchase very small computer screens, which are usually smaller and thinner than the actual laptop?

They are self-contained and powered from the laptop via USB-C – providing a very easy way of creating a dual-monitor set-up, without taking loads of bag-space!

Ever in need of some privacy when working in a public space? You can apply a special plastic film to your screen, called a privacy filter, which allows only the person sitting in front of the screen to see it. Very handy if you are working on something confidential which you don’t want the person sitting next to you on the train to see!

Please drop us a line for more information.