Should you trust your work laptop at home? Hell no

After dealing with inept IT departments for the past few years, and taking over for IT companies who think having the same password for everything won’t come around to bite them in the ass, let me tell you beware. At least beware a little.

For basic management most universities and workplaces are going to have some ability to remote control your machine. This means a remote worker didn’t have to come to your house to potentially infect you, be infected, or whatever. This is standard practice.

What’s not standard is everyone in the world working from home right now. From insecure networks to everyone’s laptop in their house, it’s a hacker’s wet dream. Too many attack surfaces to talk about.

And you’re going to be getting a crap ton of emails trying to sell you security from this in the coming days. Here’s what I’m suggesting.

When you’re not using your work issued laptop, turn it off. While you’re using your work issued laptop, either keep your clothes on or obscure the camera. You can buy plenty of products to make the camera not work or, you know, put a post-it-note on it. Mute the mic if you can. Many machines offer a hardware MIC switch.

You’re in your house, but don’t use your laptop like you’re in your house. You’re still on work property and even though you’re not on their internet any more you’re potentially logging every site you visit, every chat you have, etc.

If you’ve got a pantsless wonder who wanders around the house make sure the camera is pointed where that business cannot be seen. Even if you’re not on a video conference you don’t know that the employee monitoring software isn’t taking snapshots occasionally just for security purposes.

Treat it as someone else’s potentially virus ridden computer hanging out next to stuff you manage, and if possible use a guest network on your router or wire in above your WiFi.

No sense having all your IoT compromised because your IT farm didn’t get a chance to update your system and locked you out from being able to do so and then an exploit was found.

But yeah, post it note can take out the best of cameras.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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