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Editor's Note: Many employers are allowing all or part of their workforce to telework in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. It's important that employers maintain their data security practices while employees telework both to protect their business and because they may be required to do so by state law. Employers can use this model document in conjunction with their telework policy to remind employees of proper data security practices while teleworking.
When working remotely, it's critical that you remain vigilant when it comes to safeguarding data and information. Please take the following steps:
• Avoid using personal email for work.
• When sending sensitive information via email, please password protect files or encrypt emails.
• Do not allow others, including others in your household, to view or overhear sensitive information.
Comment: Because many households are self-isolating or quarantining during the Covid-19 pandemic, it may be especially difficult for employees to shield sensitive information from other members of their household. It is essential to provide guidance for employees about how and when to do so. If employees can't shield sensitive information, it may become necessary to reassign their duties.
• Do not use personal cloud storage accounts to share [Employer] files.
• Never save any [Employer] data or information to a personal computer or application/system. This includes mobile phones.
• Never save any personal data to an [Employer] computer or application/system.
• Do not print sensitive data or information unless absolutely necessary. Ensure hard copies of sensitive data or information are with you at all times and stored securely.
• Shred hard copies of sensitive data or information after use.
• Only allow [Employer] IT department to repair your work computer or phone.
• Pay close attention to all unsolicited electronic messages and attachments to ensure they are legitimate. Confirm the sender's identity.
• If you encounter an email that you know or suspect is a phishing attempt, please notify [Employer] immediately.
Comment: During a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be an increase in phishing activity. Scams may attempt to exploit the crisis or play on people's fears. Employees should be prepared to recognize and report such scams.
• If you noticed something unusual or if you suspect your device has been compromised while working remotely, contact [Employer] immediately. [Provide contact information]