The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to change the way they operate, especially with regard to remote work. For those who are new to working from home, this has presented a number of challenges, especially with regard to internet security, virtual meetings and document access.
Wade Stewart, owner of Tech Masters Computer Services, provides on-site and remote IT support and consulting to South Sound businesses, including many home-based businesses. Having worked from home for more than a year before he moved to his office space at 2601 70th Ave. W., he has some advice for those who are new to the experience:
- Enable Remote Work: Stewart says there are online services that create a secure connection between a home computer and a work computer so that the user can remotely operate the work computer as if they were in the office. Since the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, he estimates that his firm has nearly tripled the number of computers it manages that are deployed with remote access capability.
- Credentials: Be sure that your business usernames and passwords for bank accounts, website management, social media, advertising, etc., are saved in a secure and shareable tool like Lastpass or 1Password so that they can be accessed remotely by authorized users.
- Beware of Bandwidth Limitations: High-definition video, such as that used in remote meeting tools like Zoom or Teams, requires a lot of bandwidth. Most home internet systems are unable to handle multiple people using the network for video, file sharing, etc., at the same time.
- Power Limitations: Employees working remotely may discover that their home computers lack the storage space and internal processors that make it possible to use cloud storage tools such as Dropbox or OneDrive.
- Security: Stewart says many home networks may not be properly firewalled and home computers might lack protection against hacking. This makes them susceptible to ransomware, wire transfer theft, or worse. “Many businesses are not using good security processes and there is worry that come this fall, there will be a big spike in cybercrime that will hit small businesses,” Stewart says.
Stewart has written several blogs about these timely topics. Read more of his insights here.