Working from home tech issues and how to avoid them
At least 16 million US knowledge workers have switched to remote work in the past two months and the remote workforce isn’t going away any time soon.
Large corporations like Twitter, Square and Facebook are leading the trend to allow employees to work from home indefinitely. With more companies moving to remote work for the long-term, there are common tech issues that employees should be made aware of to prevent data loss, connection problems and privacy concerns over time.
Wi-Fi is convenient but comes with a risk. Typically in a corporate environment there is someone responsible for maintaining security and data is encrypted, but a home it’s a different story. An un-encrypted connection without security could lead to information being intercepted or viewed by someone using techniques known as snooping or sniffing. If you are connecting to your office with an unsecure connection, set up a VPN for added security.
Logging on to an at work network can cause security issues and introduce problems into the workplace if your home computer is not safe and secure.
There are a number of different apps available for keeping your computer at home safe – some are actually free for personal use at home and work well. Manufacturers like AVG have a suite of utilities that can protect you from viruses, spyware and malware. Other products from well-known companies like Symantec and McAfee have utilities that are also rated very well but come with a cost.
If you’re unable to install specialized software on your personal computer, you’ll need to use your work computer for licensing access. Under these circumstances there are applications available that bring your desktop at work to you. This gets a little trickier depending on what you need. At the simplest you can use programs like Teamviewer or AnyDesk running on your desktop at work and connect from home. For both, make sure you actually install them, not just run them from that installer, and make sure you set them to start with Windows. You’ll also want to make sure you set up a password for remote/unattended access, otherwise the password will change every time it starts up and you won’t be able to connect.
Computers don’t crash like they used to. Years ago, there was the dreaded "BSOD" or blue screen of death, but that’s usually not the case anymore. The operating systems are better at handling these errors/problems today, but that doesn’t mean your computer won’t lock up on you and force you to restart it. Make sure any of the applications you’re using that have the ability to "autosave" are enabled. There’s nothing worse than working on a project for an hour and having your computer lock up and lose everything you just did. If your computer locks up on you, do what you can to safely power it off, if you have no other choice, hold down the power button until it does. Ideally, your computer will restart normally and you can continue with what you were doing.
David Zimmerman has been in the hardware/software industry for over 30 years, specifically in the data recovery software market for 18 years. His company, LC Technology International, Inc., makes data recovery products for most of his competitors. Clients include original equipment manufacturers, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, corporate security specialists and IT consultants, among others. Available worldwide and published in more than 24 different languages, LC Technology products are available direct or through several major manufacturers of flash memory products.