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Secure Your Remote Workplace

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe how to keep your home work environment safe.
  • Secure your remote workplace.

Many of us are now responsible for keeping our work-from-home environments secure. Whether you're a Salesforce Admin or a user, there are steps you can take to protect your company, your customers, and most importantly, your data.

Stay Vigilant at Home

Look out for phishing attacks that target those of us working at home. Just as we discussed in the previous unit, double-check the email address and links, especially if the email seems urgent or asks for you to click a link, download an attachment, or send money. 

When working at home you need to take the same precautions with your network security as you would when you're working in the office. You'll want to ensure you're using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to log-in to your system, and using a password manager like LastPass to generate, collect, and secure your passwords. Let’s look at some other methods to stay safe while working from home.

Use a VPN

Devices that connect to the internet, such as computers and phones, have varying levels of security controls. We suggest using a virtual private network (VPN) to make your internet connection more secure. You can also help keep foreign devices off your network by using your router’s administrator console to enable encryption (use WPA2 or WPA3) and updating your firmware when it’s necessary.

Secure your virtual meetings

The use of video conference platforms like Google Meet, Cisco Webex, and Zoom is at an all-time high. Take a moment to review your web conference platform’s security settings to help prevent uninvited guests from joining your meetings. Use the platform’s built-in security features, such as waiting rooms, screen sharing permissions, and participant notifications to manage activity to prevent unauthorized attendees. Be sure to create new meeting access codes and links for each meeting. Also, disable features on the platform that you don’t need — such as file transfer and recordings — to prevent unsolicited content and unauthorized sharing.

Secure your background

Along with ensuring that your meetings are safe from intrusion, you also want to make sure that your meeting window does not give away details about your home, family, or business. Your background can reveal many unintended personal details about you. Are there family photos visible behind you that can provide private details to the open internet? Are there items behind you that give away your interests or hobbies in a way that would allow a hacker to more effectively target you? Be careful not to expose your home address by leaving packages or mail where others can see them on a video call. It's so easy to forget that our private spaces, and even our office spaces, are now visible every time we take a meeting. Even in the office, you need to ensure that confidential notes are not visible on your whiteboard, or on any other surfaces. 

The best way to protect yourself is to use the blur feature or a background screen image. If those are not available, scan the area behind you to make sure there's nothing that reveals private information that an attacker could use for nefarious purposes. 

Secure your calls

Whether you are on the computer or on the phone, be aware of your surroundings and use headphones for work calls to minimize what others can hear. 

Secure your physical workspace

Even though your physical workspace is in your home, you want to keep it secure. We often work with confidential and proprietary information that needs to be protected whether it’s all-hands meetings or internal emails. It’s a good idea to use a privacy screen on your computer, and make sure you lock your screen when you step away. The last thing you want is for someone to accidentally see confidential information displayed on your screen. The same precautions should apply to all your other work devices, which is why we also advise adding a PIN to your phone. 

When you're done for the day, make sure to log out of Salesforce. It's a good best practice to follow if you have other people living in your home.

Back up your data

Working from home can be a little chaotic at times, especially when shifting between work and life activities. Be sure to regularly back up your data in the cloud so you can always access it (and in case your child spills their morning orange juice on your laptop!). If you have sensitive information in hard copy, keep it stored in a locked area. When you no longer need it, shred it immediately.

Keep devices patched

Your day-to-day schedule isn’t the only thing that needs a reboot — so do your devices. Rebooting regularly (at least once a week) helps your devices stay up to date with the latest versions of software and internet browsers. Through patching and version updates, your device automatically adds necessary new features, removes old ones, resolves performance issues, and fixes known bugs, all of which help keep hackers out. 

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