VPNWhen you need to access the corporate network or sensitive client data from a remote location, security is a major concern. With so many more people working from home as a result of the pandemic, cyber criminals are able to target any potential vulnerabilities and exploit them. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are vital in securing the home office by creating an extension of the encrypted network. However, home networks also need to be cleared for malware. Popular VPNs include ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Endpoint securityThere is no use connecting to the corporate network if your computer or network is likely to introduce malware. Now more than ever it’s imperative that all devices are kept clean and healthy. If you have opted for the cheapest option in the past then it may be a good time to upgrade. Reliable antivirus solutions don’t need to be expensive, and they can provide comprehensive protection, including firewalls, anti-malware and URL filtering. BitDefender, Avast and Sophos are possible options.
Time managementOne of the biggest challenges for people working at home, or independent from the team they usually work alongside, is managing time effectively. Some people are better at managing their time and maintaining a healthy work-life balance than others. Fortunately, there are time management apps that can make this easier. Useful functions and tools include time tracking, task and project logging, time management and reports, and alerts and reminders. Time management apps include Toggl, Rescue Time and Focus Keeper.
CollaborationWhether working in the same office or at a distance, teams that work together need to have a central tool where they can share messages, files and other media. In the time of full or partial lockdowns, this is all the more important, as we all rely more on digital forms of communication. This is an essential tool for bringing people together, and each platform has a particular range of features and functionality. Useful platforms for collaboration include Slack, Trello, Asana and AirTable.
Video conferencingAnother tool helping millions get through the difficult days of the pandemic are video conferencing apps which have surged in popularity over the course of 2020. This includes the use of the leading platform, Zoom. In April, use of Zoom increased by thirty times. This meteoric rise in popularity may be due to services offered for free during this period. Other popular video conferencing apps include Google Meet, Skype, GoToMeeting and Cisco WebExMeetings.
Password managerIn 2019, weak passwords caused 30 percent of ransomware, and as many as 23.2 million global victims of cybercrime had ‘123456’ as their password. To prevent any common yet damaging practices, password managers are here to ensure that all passwords are kept in a single, secure place, that passwords are always impossible to guess, and they are changed on a regular basis. Popular password manager services include Dashlane, LastPass and Keeper.
FitnessWhen you’re trapped in the same room all day long, it can be difficult to continue working. Research has shown that regular physical exercise aids mental stimulation, the ability to concentrate and overall happiness. When people aren’t sure why they are beginning to feel depressed, the reason is often a lack of physical activity. The answer could be as simple as a walk or jog around the neighbourhood, but sometimes some physical activity that is more engaging is in order. If you have gym equipment this is good, but sometimes all it takes is a yoga mat and a reliable app. Try Aaptiv, Asana Rebel or FitOn. In this day and age, there is an infinite number of software applications for every working and leisure need. These are just some of the key areas that are especially helpful when working at the home office. With higher numbers of people working from home, this is likely to continually develop over the next few years to provide for the new trend. So we have new technologies and capabilities to look forward to. If you are part of a business looking for help transitioning your workforce to a home work environment, an IT company like EC-MSP should be able to help.
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