Tips for Working Remotely

Whether it's because of the need to travel to other locations, because of various demands in each of our lives or simply because of the flexibility that technology provides us, many of us take the opportunity to work remotely. We leverage many different devices and can work in a variety of environments. However, these benefits do not come without risk. This checklist is designed to help you think about the devices and services that you use every day, and to help you consider the best way to protect yourself as well as Harvard Business School.

Public Wi-Fi

When using public Wi-Fi hotspots, data is being sent “in the clear” and can be snooped upon.

  • Avoid accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi.

  • Leverage the HBS VPN to protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi.

Additionally, never leave your laptop unattended.

  • It only takes a second for a thief to pick up an unattended laptop and walk off. If they act like they own it, no one will stop them.

  • Consider obtaining a locking cable if you frequently work in public areas, or find that you do need to leave the device on occasion.

Traveling Abroad

  • When traveling to foreign countries, consider storing sensitive data in cloud storage instead of on your laptop. Also consider leaving personal devices at home and obtaining "burner devices."

  • Use the HBS VPN when accessing data and services in your destination.

  • Look to Harvard Global Support Services for additional advice when traveling.

  • Leverage the HBS VPN to protect yourself when using hotel or airport Wi-Fi.

  • Review our Best Practices for Traveling Abroad document, created in conjunction with other higher education institutes.

Protect your Mobile Devices

  • Keep the OS and apps on your device updated with the latest patches.

  • Install an AV app on your device. Attackers are beginning to leverage vulnerabilities in social media apps (WhatsApp, Twitter) to access your entire phone.

  • Secure devices with passcodes or passwords and enable encryption on all your devices.

  • Make sure you've turned on “find my device” and “remote wipe.” If your device is lost or stolen, this will help you retrieve it, or to ensure the data on it cannot be obtained.

  • If you plan on charging your mobile devices using public charging stations, purchase a USB data blocker to ensure that only power (and not data) can be sent to your device.

Secure your home network

Bad actors will often look for unsecured wireless networks. This could be to access random people's personal information, or to conduct illicit activities that could be tied back to your home.

  • Secure your Wi-Fi network with a password.

  • If your router allows it, set up a guest network for your guests.

  • Check to see if your router is updated and change its password as you would your own computer.

Shared Computers at Home

Many of us share home computers with family. If you plan on setting up your HBS mail on a shared computer, or to keep HBS documents on a system that other people may have access to:

  • You must configure that computer to meet the requirements for using Personal Devices.

  • Additionally, you should consider leveraging the computer's "User Profile" feature, which will allow you to keep your information separate and safe from accidental changes.

  • Leverage the HBS VPN when conducting sensitive work.