Tips for protecting information while working remotely

Top tips for working securely and keeping information safe while working remotely

Choose your workspace sensibly

If possible try to work somewhere that enables you to protect the information on your laptop and any papers that you may have. If possible work in a study or spare room, and if you have to work in communal areas, try to make sure that your work cannot be seen by others.

Remember your family and flatmates are probably not cleared

You may trust them with your deepest personal secrets, but please remember that family members and flatmates almost certainly do not have security clearance or a ‘need to know’ about what you are working on.

  • please avoid leaving sensitive papers and documents out where they can be seen by others
  • if you have to make a sensitive phone call, make sure you cannot be overheard – voices can carry further than you may think
  • if you need to do a Video/Teleconferencing Call make sure other people are not in the room with you, and ensure that the volume is at a level that cannot be overheard

Turn Alexa off

If you have an Alexa or similar device, make sure it is switched off while you are holding official phone calls. These devices work by recording your voice, so anything you say will be in the strictest of confidence between yourself, the person on the call and Amazon.

  • please turn off all ‘Alexa’ style devices in the room you are working in

Protect paperwork

Identify a secure storage location for your electronic assets and make sure that your papers get put away when not being worked on. Ensure that none of your family or flatmates are able to have access to protectively marked material.

  • lock up all work assets and papers when not in use. Do not tell other people where you are storing them
  • if you need to dispose of protectively marked paperwork it must either be shredded, or stored for return to work for shredding in the office. Do not throw it in the bin

Think about classification

Remember to work on the right classification system for the work you are doing. Normal NICS IT and applications is secure at up to "Official".

If you need to work at above "Official" then make sure you have got the appropriate laptop and communication systems to do this. Please do not take a risk by discussing protectively marked material on a lower classification system.

Travelling with NICS IT equipment

NICS policy is not to permit taking phones or laptops abroad on leave except in the most exceptional circumstances.

If you are travelling to Europe for a weekend trip, then you may, exceptionally, request permission to travel with your laptop if you wish to cover the risk of being delayed on your return due to COVID-19.

Please request to take your laptop abroad via your manager and note that the request is due to the potential risk of being stranded. In the event that you are delayed returning then you will have IT connectivity.

Please note that you should still work in accordance with security guidelines, and exercise appropriate caution around working abroad.

Please do not travel with your laptop or phone without permission as it will not be enabled for roaming and may be remotely disabled.

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