March 25, 2020

How to Safeguard Data Whilst Working from Home

The emergence and spread of COVID-19 has sparked alarm across the world, with countries reacting to prevent its continued spread by encouraging proper hygiene habits, discouraging large gatherings, and adopting alternative greeting methods instead of hand-shaking, even during business meetings. Businesses have also been advised to consider splitting teams up and adopting work-from-home initiatives to minimise risk of infection.
While working from home may be a viable solution during this period, it also carries its own set of data security risks. Employees may not have had sufficient training on how to safeguard data in a home working environment which can lead to unsafe data management practices that may expose both the individual and business to potential breaches, causing reputational damage in the long run.
It is vital for businesses to have established frameworks in place to safeguard data protection, as well as proper staff training. When in doubt, employees should also seek guidance from the appointed Data Protection Officer in their organisation.
Shred-it has put together seven tips to guide employees on how to tackle the ever-present risk of data vulnerability that arise from remote working:

  • Ask yourself if it's necessary to bring everything home? Evaluate what documents you need, what confidential data those documents contain, and what your responsibility is to protect that data. 
  • Implement a clean desk policy when you will be away from the office as well as at home, by locking away all documents and work devices when not in use.
  • Encrypt data on electronic storage media, to prevent data breaches in the event of a loss.
  • Do not transmit data through unsecured and/or public networks.
  • Use secure passwords that are difficult to guess and activate a two-factor authentication login if possible.
  • Ensure software and systems are updated with the latest available security fixes.
  • Bring physical media from home back to the office to be securely shredded and disposed of by reputable data destruction providers such as Shred-it, instead of trashing it at home.
  • Order Shred-it’s secure shredding services right to your front door via Shred-it’s white bag shredding services.
Implications of Improper Disposal 

Data mongers are always on the hunt for opportunities to steal data. Not taking steps to secure and dispose of physical data in a proper manner increases the risk of a data breach. These breaches result in heavy financial penalties under the law, reputational damage and ultimately loss of customer trust.

Protect Your Data Today

Securing data remains an essential part of business continuity even outside of the office, as security threats both online and offline are ever-present. Employees and businesses therefore should factor in data protection measures when implementing work-from-home policies.
Learn more about how Shred-it can assist you to properly dispose of physical media in a safe and secure manner here, or by contacting us.


This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.
1CNA (2020). Coronavirus outbreak: Singapore raises DORSCON level to Orange; schools to suspend inter-school, external activities  [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar 2020]