Data protection in the home office - what you need to consider

Data protection in the home office - what you need to consider

Working from home offers employers and employees numerous advantages. However, working from home also raises questions about data protection in the home office. The topic of data protection has gained considerable importance in recent years and is increasingly in the public eye, especially in light of scandals surrounding data protection. Data protection is particularly at risk when working from home due to the lack of separation between professional and private environments. It is therefore essential to take appropriate measures to ensure sufficient data protection when working from home.

Rules of conduct for compliance with the GDPR in the home office

In principle, the first step is to create the right conditions for data protection-compliant working from home. To improve data protection in the home office, the following requirements for the premises should be met and the following rules of conduct observed:

  1. Spatial requirements: With regard to data protection in the home office, it is important to have a room that can be locked. If this is not possible, there should at least be a lockable cabinet for confidential documents. This prevents unauthorized persons from gaining physical access to sensitive documents and devices.
  2. Separation of professional and private life: The separation between work and private life is particularly at risk when working from home. All the more reason to ensure that professional devices are not used for private purposes or, conversely, that private devices are not used for professional purposes. This separation helps to prevent data leaks and thus ensures greater data protection in the home office.
  3. Securing with passwords: Strong, unique passwords prevent unauthorized access by third parties and thus ensure improved data protection in the home office. In the best case scenario, not only the devices but also the WiFi access are password-protected.
  4. Protection from surveillance: The workplace should be set up in such a way that third parties cannot listen in or view the screen. Screensavers with password protection and the use of headphones during meetings are simple but effective methods for improving data protection in the home office.
  5. Switching off digital assistants: Digital assistants with voice recording should be switched off while working from home to prevent unintentional eavesdropping or recording of conversations.

The use of messengers in particular has repeatedly led to data protection incidents in companies in recent years. It is now only permitted to use a GDPR-compliant service. We recommend using a data-secure messenger like TeleGuard. Data protection messengers provide a high level of privacy, which contributes to the security of professional and personal information.

Technical requirements for home office data security

In addition to appropriate behavior that is sensitized to data protection in the home office, certain technical conditions must also be met. Implementation at a technical level prevents unauthorized access and data leaks.

  1. Authentication procedures: The use of additional authentication methods offers further protection. In this case, access is secured by a further procedure. Two-factor authentication is commonly used, for example by confirming a security code that is sent by text message.
  2. Encryption: Data should be encrypted both during storage on local data carriers and during transmission. This protects against data loss and unauthorized access.
  3. Regular updates: Your operating system and any software you use should always be up to date. Security leaks are often closed as part of updates, which is why updates make a significant contribution to data protection in the home office.
  4. Remote wipe and blocking: Especially when devices such as smartphones are used for business purposes, the option of remote wipe is crucial. This prevents data from falling into the wrong hands in the event of theft or loss. It should also be possible to lock hardware remotely.

Data protection is particularly at risk in the context of mobile working - security is usually not particularly strong in public Wi-Fi, which offers criminals loopholes for stealing data. Here it is important to use a VPN or to surf anonymously with a VPN. This puts you one step ahead of cyber criminals and ensures greater data protection when working from home or on the move.

Relevance of personal data for data protection in the home office

Personal data refers to data that allows conclusions to be drawn about specific natural persons. This includes data such as name, email address, date of birth, but also sensitive information such as location information, address, telephone number, income details, account details, identification numbers, etc. Physical characteristics such as height, weight and gender also fall under personal data. Information on racial and ethnic origin, health data, genetic data, biometric data and more are considered particularly worthy of protection.

Personal data plays a central role in data protection in the home office - data security must be ensured, especially when handling this data. The aim here is to create data protection-compliant processes and take into account the secure storage and processing of data as well as the right to information, correction and deletion of personal data. Data protection incidents that occur when handling personal data must be reported immediately to the company data protection officer.

Caution is always required when handling confidential data. It is important to always be aware of possible dangers, to recognize potential data protection risks in good time and to close data leaks immediately. Particularly in view of the many phishing attacks, it is important never to click on a link without thinking (What is phishing?). With a little attention and by implementing the above measures, a high level of data protection is ensured in the home office.