When the hand-written note of an aide in respect of Brexit were photographed in Downing Street, saying "have cake and eat it" , it wasn't the first time confidential information had been picked up by the long lenses of journalists.
Whether it's a true reflection of Government's Brexit strategy or not is irrelevant. And, we've all been there, though admittedly perhaps not on the same scale.
How many of us stop to think about who may be eavesdropping on our mobile conversations as we stroll to Starbucks on break or catch up with client emails on the Tube?
It's tempting to keep working as you travel on public transport, but what are the implications? How should you balance the competing demands for productivity with confidentiality and security?
6 things you should do to maintain data security & confidentiality when you're on the move:
- Avoid using unsecure WiFi hotspots - in cafés, on trains or in other public places to access company networks or sensitive corporate data.
- Look over your shoulder first - before you take a work-related call on your mobile; if you need to, explain to callers that you're in a public place and arrange to call them back later.
- Limit the amount of data you take offsite - only take the absolute minimum with you when you travel; encrypt and password-protect all data first, and ensure that it's returned or deleted after use.
- Shield your screen - working on a laptop when you're on the move can certainly make you more productive, but make sure that you're not sharing corporate information with everyone else in the carriage or café too.
- Take precautions with physical documents - as every visitor to Downing Street can testify, avoid carrying loose documents; always transport paperwork and corporate information in an opaque envelope or folder to protect it from inquisitive passers-by.
- Don't cover up data losses or breaches - if you make a mistake, tell your manager or IT immediately so we can act quickly to limit our losses and inform all those affected.
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