Technology has untethered us from the traditional nine-to-five, as today’s digital landscape allows business owners and employees alike to work remotely, customize hours, and multitask like no generation has done before. From a single device, we are able to access the resources needed for both our personal and professional lives. This is even more important as many continue to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The practice of using a personal device such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet for work purposes is often referred to as BYOD, or bring your own device. Using one device is undeniably convenient, but by doing so, you increase the risk of your sensitive files sliding into the wrong hands, miscalculating expense reports, and blurring the lines between a healthy work-life balance. Accordingly, business owners and employees alike should read up on these five actionable best practices that keep their personal and professional lives safe.
1. GOTTA KEEP ‘EM SEPARATED
When it comes to healthy business practices, it’s often helpful to keep your personal and professional lives separate, even at the device level. A good starting point is to use Dual SIM.
Dual SIM allows professionals to connect their work mobile numbers and personal cell phone numbers onto the same devices and decide which accounts to use for accessing data, making calls, and sending SMS. Until recently, this feature was only available with Android devices. However, Apple released Dual SIM for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in early 2019. Now, many business professionals are using this feature to:
- Use one number for business and another number for personal calls
- Add a local data plan when they travel outside of a country or region
- Have separate voice and data plans
It’s essential to understand that Dual SIM doesn’t necessarily protect you from malicious hackers or an inside actor tapping into your network. Whether you’re using Android or Apple, paying close attention to how and where you use your device is vital.
Furthermore, when it comes to laptops, you should also consider either setting up partitions or investing in a virtual infrastructure solution. Partitioning allows users to install two operating systems, one for work and one for personal use. This strategy can be useful for employees who need to install specific software for their jobs, but don’t necessarily want it running in the background while they’re browsing at home.
Furthermore, virtualization approaches can also be helpful, in that they allow users to tap into a virtual operating system that is running on a company server without putting the company data at risk. Basically, the employee will have their own built-in operating system for personal use and a virtual one for work.
Did you know you can set up multiple profiles on Android 5.0 and later devices? This would make for an easy switch between work and personal use.
2. PASSWORD PROTECTION
Regardless of what combination of business and personal devices you are using, most still require a username and password for access. While it’s common to assume that your information is not likely to be compromised, it only takes one small mishap to infiltrate an entire system. Thus, following safe password practices ensures safer private and professional information. Several password best practices include, but are not limited to:
- Avoiding use of personal information, such as birthdays, names, or phone numbers
- Changing your password if you suspect a there has been a breach
- Choosing complex passwords with a mix of capitals and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
- Implementing multi-step authentication when possible
- Using different passwords for each account
And please, whatever you do, don’t use “PASSWORD” as your password. TeamsID found that the five most common login credentials of 2018 were:
There are also options when it comes to storing passwords safely. Both paid and unpaid options are available, just be sure that it’s a trustworthy app and run it by your IT team as well.
YOU’VE ALREADY TAKEN THE RIGHT STEP
Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, your first line of defense is always education. It is no longer an option to be cyber-illiterate, as it only takes one vicious malware attack to crush an entire organization. You’ve already made the right first step by reading this piece and learning how to stay safe. The next step is getting your whole team on the same page.
As your organization grows, utilizing technology for both personal and professional use becomes riskier; however, buying all in-house devices and data plans can be an expensive investment.
In 2020, we saved as much as 40% on telecom and internet services, and 31% on cellular data plans for businesses around the country.
What’s more, our analyses are completely free unless we find a way for you to save. Reach out to Verify Services by clicking here.