Due to the current conditions, Work from Home has become the new norm. There are multiple benefits of working from home, with flexibility being a huge part of it. However, it comes with its own set of challenges.
With everyone embracing the hybrid work culture, it is important for both staff and employers to understand how they can remain GDPR compliant.
This means that you need to maintain strict security standards even when you are not in the confines of your office. It can be tricky to remain GDPR compliant when you are accessing work emails on your personal devices. This is because it can be difficult to ensure the proper disposal of confidential files and documents. However, it is essential that you follow this to be away from penalties and data breaches.
Tips to strictly remain GDPR-compliant with WFH
Here are some tips you can follow to ensure that you are maintaining strict GDPR while you are working from home.
Use technology that is approved
When you are working from home, the biggest hurdle can be to keep all work information secure. It is best to use devices that are approved to access documents and emails related to your office. For this, employers should provide the required technology to their employees. This is important so that employees do not need to use their personal devices.
The employer should also ensure that the devices they are providing are password protected and also encrypted. The laptops, desktops, or tablets should all be updated with the latest version of antivirus and antimalware software. Employees should also be careful when using these devices. They should not use their personal devices to conduct work-related operations. If work-related confidential documents are accessed from your personal devices, it is considered to be a GDPR breach. Employees should store away official devices safely at the end of the day.
Use a secure mode of communication
You also need to ensure that you are using a proper channel for communication when you are following a hybrid work culture. You need to make sure that your device screen does not face the window, door, or any place where other people can see the information. If you are away from your workstation for some reason, you must always lock your screen so nobody can access it. You must also stick with the communication channels that are approved by your employer. Also, use secure messaging apps. To add further privacy and security, you can password protect all your documents.
Be careful with the printouts
It is easy to dispose of confidential documents when you are in the office. However, the same can be very difficult when you are working from home. When you are working with confidential documents, it can be very easy to breach privacy and GDPR regulations. To prevent this from happening, organizations should work with confidential waste management companies to see how they can properly dispose of the documents. For this, mini shredding bins can be used. They can also opt for remote collection of confidential documents.
It is also important that you refrain from writing handwritten notes during work hours. This is because these notes may contain confidential information that may lead to a breach of privacy. You must ensure that you are following the guidelines maintained by your employer to maintain privacy. If you have any printouts or handwritten notes, you should store them safely until you can dispose of them securely.
To ensure that GDPR regulations and privacy are maintained properly, organizations have policies, guidelines, and procedures. These should be updated and reviewed regularly, especially since employees are working from home. Staff should also be trained and updated about these GDPR policies so that they are able to follow them. It is important to hold training sessions for the employees. Employers should also maintain continuous communication with their employees and cater to any concerns they may have. If there is any concern or issue, that should be reported immediately.
As an employee, if you are not sure about these GDPR regulations, it is important that you take this up with your data protection officer, cybersecurity team, or anybody else in the organization who may be able to guide you.
Another risky situation that can put the GDPR guidelines at risk is downloading. You should refrain from downloading documents and files online. Doing this has its own set of risks. The biggest risk is that the websites you are using for these downloads may not be secure. This means that hackers may have the chance to get through your network and steal all sensitive and confidential information. When you are following a hybrid work culture, it is important that you remain vigilant when it comes to the internet. Do not access websites that are unsecured. You should also not open web links and attachments that do not have a valid or known source.
Another reason you should avoid downloading files directly to your device is because there is a chance you will lose the data if your device is lost or stolen. If it is possible, you should use the intranet or the shared documents system to access data.
Working from home can be tricky, especially when you want to adhere to the GDPR guidelines. However, if done properly, you can make your home space as secure as your office. It is important to have a work-from-home policy so that there are no security and privacy breaches.