Telework’s Secret: Freedom, VPN Eek Out More Labor

Guest Column, Security, Technology, Telework & Virtual Officing
March 25th, 2020 No Comments »

Image Courtesy FentressI was talking to a client recently who was sharing details about her new work-at-home telework experience. She’s a long-time, corporate employee accustomed to an hour’s commute to work each way each day. Now that she’s working from home,?she finds she’s ready for her day each morning about the same time as when she’d be leaving for the office.

Only, she faces no commute.?So she’s at her desk around 8 am. Her lunches now are quicker than the hour-long lunch she’d normally take with coworkers. And her day now ends about the same time as she’d get home from the office, or about 7:30 pm.

Where are those two to three hours each day going? Straight into the employers’ time clock. And researchers have discovered, she’s not alone.

We’re gonna let you in on something. It’s considered one of the best-kept secrets among telework managers: Their employees will work longer hours than they do in the corporate office.

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Hey Home Officer, Forget HAL: Somebody’s Really Watching You

Commentary, Lamentable Truths, Security, Technology
February 26th, 2015 No Comments »

[RANT ON] From 1984 to 2001 to 2015, Big Brother truly is watching you in the home office, cyber cafe – maybe even on your smart phone, tablet or laptop. In a frightening convergence of technological ubiquity and consumer blithe, we’ve set ourselves up for what easily could be the most intrusive, pervasive and pernicious invasion of personal privacy. And we’re co-conspirators in the whole process.

First, to 2015: This month, someone actually read the user manual for the new Samsung’s Smart TV, which can use voice commands to control its functions, and came across a puzzling line (as reported by CNet): “be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

Just like the crap that apologists spewed when the NSA acknowledged it was gathering consumer cell and wireless data, ostensibly to track call patterns – but not to listen in or actually track individuals (suspicions?not appeased, thank you) – Samsung and its own apologists said the data gathered would not be used for nefarious purposes. They just wanted to sell it to marketers.

Ohhh k.

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Whether for Corporate, Road Warrior or Home Office, Apple, Dropbox, Others Join GMail Offering Two-Step Authentication

Security, Technology
March 24th, 2013 No Comments »

Cloud computing providers are catching on to two-step authentication. Those who’ve used GMail for several years have had the option of using “multi-factor” verification. With this free process, when you log on from an unfamiliar computer (or one more vulnerable to access than your home-office desktop), the provider can send a code via text to your cell phone.

Long a security feature for GMail users (no surprise there), it’s now available to Dropbox users and those with an Apple ID. It’s good news, given word that an Apple ID security flaw was revealed recently.

With the opt-in service, after you enter your user ID and password, the cloud service will ask for the additional verification code. Check your phone, type in the code, and you’re in. It’s ideal for teleworkers and road warriors who could find their laptops or tablets susceptible to theft. If the computer had the log-in credentials, a thief could access their accounts. With two-step, unless the thief also gets the cell phone, the account generally is safe.

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The Cloud Cometh: Benefits & Dangers for Telework. Home Office and Consumers

Security, Technology
May 1st, 2012 1 Comment »

“The cloud” has become as ever-present as cumulus clouds gathering on the horizon outside my home office window. Google’s Drive. Drop Box. Sky Drive. Even consumer electronics maker LG has announced its own cloud for customers’ photos, videos and music

Cloud-based storage is taking the tech community by storm, says Brian Chamberlain, VP Marketing and Sales for iTwin. As more business owners consider using Internet-based services to store their files. But what are the dangers, and are there safer alternatives?

Cloud storage providers store your documents on the Internet, rather than on your computer, so that you can access those files from where ever you are, using just a password. Superficially, this seems like a good thing. It makes file access more flexible, and it also allows multiple users to work on the same document collaboratively. But the main feature of cloud-computing may also be its undoing.

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Guest Post: Fortify Your Workspace During Home Office Safety & Security Week

Commentary, Security
January 9th, 2012 No Comments »

You may work in an office tower downtown, in an executive suite in the suburbs, or in some other traditional workspace. But if your office is a home office – whether as a home-based business owner or a teleworker – it’s vital that you protect your space, your computer, your network and your data. Ignore this at your own peril.

Fail to protect your space, and your hardware — and any data it holds — could be stolen. I wouldn’t want to be around for that client conversation. Leave your wifi unsecured, and a hacker could find his or her way in. Data stolen so surreptitiously often doesn’t even lead to conversations. After all, you often don’t know what you don’t know, no?

In this blog from FingerPrintDoorLocks, Home Office Safety & Security Week is discussed. Their take revolves adound protecting client information and how it’s a top priority in any office. Read on…

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Guest Post: 5 Tips to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

Guest Column, Security
May 28th, 2011 2 Comments »

Whether you’re a general consumer or a home-business owner using social media from your home office, privacy issues on Facebook have lately become a huge concern. Most folks don’t realize a few easy tweaks to your account can significantly reduce threats both obvious and not-so-obvious.

Marc Itzkowitz, senior director of Product Marketing for, offers this guest post on the good and a bad use of Facebook. While it and other social media offers fun for millions, it also offers a new and efficient method for the wrong folks find out much more about you than they should.

Facebook provides ways to reduce these threats — they’re not so easy to find or understand. To make sure that Facebook does not present a “Clear and Present Danger” to your personal privacy, address these five key vulnerabilities:

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Finding Trustworthy Employees for Your Home and Home Office

Guest Column, Security
May 25th, 2011 No Comments »

Many home-based businesses operate on a shoe-string budget — often to their detriment. They could use an extra set of hands. But in many cities and municipalities, code prohibits non-relative employees. In those places where non-relatives are allowed to work in a home office, the owners are rightfully suspicious or downright concerned about inviting ‘strangers’ into the home.

Horror stories tell of hired help stealing from homeowners — or providing valuable information to associates, including property layout, security alarm codes, and residents’ schedules.

Considering hiring business employees or domestic help for cleaning, cooking, or childcare services? Then a proper and thorough background check is vital to helping ensure a safe and secure home.? This guest post discusses five steps to follow:

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Small Business / Home Office Identity Theft Security Lapses: Four Tips to Secure Sensitive Data Left on Mobile Phone

Security, Technology
March 23rd, 2011 No Comments »

In the home office, small business and across the economic landscape, mobile phones have become the quintessential throw-away, disposable, non-durable goods. Once the two-year contract is up, the phone goes out the door for the latest, greatest, bestest.

But what about the data left behind on the device? Will its presence welcome some ne’er-do-well to come back in through that same door to steal your identity, client data or contacts?

Consumers must ensure that all private data stored on a mobile phone is deleted before it is sold or recycled, says BullGuard, a cyber security company. While modern consumers are quick to shred bills and bank statements, cover a PIN number when using a cash machine and cancel a credit card if it is lost or stolen, the same care isn’t being taken with mobile devices that could contain similar data, the company argues.

Fraud prevention company CPP recently found that 54 percent of second-hand mobile phones contain personal data such as text messages, emails and even bank details, following a recent study. Associated research confirmed that 81% of users “believed” that all personal data had been deleted before sale, suggesting that the mobile industry is failing consumers in educating them about the safeguards required when selling or recycling phones.

“Whatever the reason for selling or recycling a phone, one potential danger that seems to have eluded many is the fact that sensitive data such as contact information, passwords, bank details and more are stored on the device and if not properly deleted will then be accessible to the person who receives it,” said Philip Dall, mobile security expert with BullGuard.

The increase in recycling or selling on an old mobile in order to purchase the latest model comes as no surprise, and there is no reason to think that the trend is transitory: With 55 percent of games now being played on smartphones (up 39 percent from 2009, according to research by market favorites PopCap) for example, the desire for more advanced technology to handle the latest titles should see this development continue.

BullGuard identifies four key checks every user should make before selling or recycling a phone:

– Back up all data. The most important and most obvious thing to do if you’re selling or recycling a phone is to back up all contact information and if necessary, text messages, photos, appointments and documents.

– Save data to your SIM. If you’re planning on using an existing SIM card in a new phone, make sure that all contacts are saved to the SIM, and then erase the contacts from the phone itself. This is usually quite easy to do through the on-screen menus in the Contacts application.

– Mind your SIM and data cards. Make sure you remove the SIM card and any internal storage such as a microSD card from the phone before you package it up for sale. This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget, particularly if you’re recycling a device.

– Wipe it clean. Perform a factory reset of the phone if possible. This will ensure that system and application data and settings, downloaded applications and account data are removed.

To request more information on BullGuard’s mobile and internet security product offerings, including images or product samples, contact PR representative Tiffany Iwankiw at (305) 576-1171 x40 or

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