Virtual Offices and Data Security: 3 Factors to Consider
As a small-business owner, you are likely already familiar with the many perks of having a virtual office. The biggest is that you are able avoid major overhead expenses. On the flip side, you get a separate business address, dedicated phone line with voicemail and access to an office or conference room whenever you need one.
You save money when you rent temporary office space or a set up a virtual office, but you have to take some precautions relative to security. Working remotely can increase some risks, especially with your data security.
How do you establish good security practices when you and your employees work from different locations?
Use a VPN
When everyone works together in one office, the computers they use are usually set up and monitored by the company. When you use remote workers, they usually use their own equipment, whether it be a desktop or laptop, so it’s harder to control outside access to sensitive data.
While using desktops with random servers can be problematic, using laptops is even worse. Frequently, laptop users, work in coffee shops, cafes, libraries, and other public areas where data is transferred over a public Wi-Fi connection and unsecure.
One way to stop a data breach before it starts is to set up your workers with a VPN, or virtual private network. This allows them to use public servers, but any information they access when they use their VPN is encrypted. Thus, protecting your data and your clients.
Additionally, so many jobs today can be done on smartphones. Unfortunately, that’s also where employees have Facebook and Snapchat and other apps and information that can inadvertently get mixed in with their work lives.
PC Magazine suggests three ways to keep these parts of your life separate and your data more secure. One is to use different browsers for work and play. Another is to create different Windows accounts with different logins.
If you frequently use Google, set up a separate account to browse for work. This has an unintended benefit as well. Not only does it help protect work data, but it also helps prevent embarrassing mix-ups regarding search topics.
Keep All Data in One Central Location
Whether it’s the cloud or Dropbox or some other storage solution, it’s better if you and all your workers keep files and data in one place. (See this Business News Daily article ranking the best cloud storage solutions.) It’s easier to keep information secure if you only have to protect it in one location. If several workers have files stashed on their desktops and laptops, your sensitive information has a much greater chance of getting into the hands of shady characters with bad intentions.
It’s a good idea to make this a clause in your contracts with workers. If they know that storing files on their personal computers is a no-no, they will be less inclined to do it. And if they do and something happens, you will be protected.
Taking Precautions Helps Keep Your Business Safe
When you use shared office space or a virtual office and your team is spread out in different locations, you rarely speak to each other live. Thus, nearly all your communication is online, and the more information that’s out there, the greater the risk.
Mitigate your risks by following our helpful tips for reducing the chances of a security breach. Your company is your livelihood, and you must do all you can to protect it.
For more information about renting shared or temporary office space or setting up a virtual office, contact Premier Workspaces today.