Tech Tip: Never Use Personal Devices to Connect to Company Data

You’re a hardworking team player who likes to check email and get a few things done after hours — all good! But here’s something you might not know: you should never access company data, file servers or applications through personal devices and home PCs that aren’t properly monitored by your IT department or provider.

Why? If you and your kids are using a home PC to play games, access Facebook and surf the web and you’re not diligently updating and monitoring the antivirus software, firewall and security patches on the machine (and who does, honestly?), there’s a high probability you’re infected with spyware or malware.

Since most malware is designed to operate in total stealth mode, undetected, you won’t know that some hacker is watching you log in to your company’s file server or key cloud application containing critical, sensitive data — and capturing your login with a key logger.

Bottom line: Only use company-approved devices that are properly protected and monitored to access company data. And if you just can’t help but take work home — or if you have to work from home due to the pandemic — make sure your IT folks know, so they can set you up with a secure way to work remotely.

Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.


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