As major companies like Google, Apple and Amazon have already asked select employees to work from home as a precaution against the Coronavirus, local businesses may be considering what to do if their employees also need to work remotely.
James Gardner, IT specialist at Intechtel in Coeur d’alene says, “there are a few logistics that businesses need to think about when switching to a remote work environment. Things like remote access, video conferencing and a way to answer phones remotely.”
In response to recent demand, several video conferencing services including, Zoom and Cisco, have even upgraded their free services. Google offers Google Duo as a free video conferencing option for mobile and web users. Intechtel can assist local businesses with remote phones and/or video conferencing solutions to facilitate working from home.
Intechtel’s, James Gardner also says, “It’s important to make sure that the way employees are remoting into the office is secure and the way employees are connecting to customers and resources is secure.” Businesses most commonly use a VPN (virtual private network) to securely connect from home to an office. “Employees can use a VPN on most Windows or Apple computers using credentials given to them by their company.”
It is always advisable that employees use company-issued computers to perform any work or to access any company data or resources. Personal computers may not have the same level of protection as company computers. Intechtel can add managed Antivirus and DNS to a laptop or desktop computer that will be used to work remotely.
If you are experiencing internet connectivity problems, try restarting your internet equipment (modem, router, wi-fi access points). This will resolve many issues. If the Internet seems slow, sometimes this can be caused by a browser with many tabs opened or a computer that hasn’t been recently rebooted. It’s always a good idea to close and reopen your browser if web browsing seems sluggish or, even better, restart your computer.
It is also important to be aware of phishing scams. The Department of Homeland Security CISA (cyber and infrastructure) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). CISA encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions:
– Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
– Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
– Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
– Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
– Review CISA Insights on Risk Management for COVID-19 for more information.
Here are some additional links we’ve gathered from trusted sources to keep you safe as you work remotely. Call Intechtel in Coeur d’alene for questions and to learn more about these remote work tips – 208.635.4400.