Her boss points to a screenshot of an encrypted website: containing not only personal data but also Ullrich from PR’s salary. Luckily, the IT department was able to expose the data theft quickly. Lena, on the other hand, fears that she will no longer be able to work at home: after all, IT security concerns are seen as the second most important argument against working from home, after communication issues. The boss has also realised that these worries are not unjustified.

According to a study, 21 percent of home workers dispose of their business documents in household waste, more than a third leave work materials at home and 60 percent use their private email account for business purposes. Security risks also arise from the use of private technology. Many employees do not log on to the corporate network via secure VPN access, but rather use their private laptops and PCs, possibly even over public Internet access. Internet telephony is another hotly debated topic surrounding home office data security. One thing is for sure: a large number of companies are making data theft far too easy for criminals.

You can counteract the misuse of data by following a few basic rules:

1. Just under a quarter of all companies have set out rules for working from home. Employers and employees should sign a written agreement on work in their home office.
2. The home office should provide a lockable storage facility for business records. If these are no longer needed, they must not be disposed of in waste paper, but rather in a shredder. The DAHLE PaperSAFE has been specially designed for use in small and home offices.
3. Companies should prevent the use of private home office equipment by providing in-house technology. In this way, companies can ensure regular updates and the setting up of anti-virus protection measures.
4. Employees should only access the corporate network via secure VPN access and encrypt their emails and chats.
5. Data protection also includes the risk of data loss. Home office regulations should make regular data backups mandatory.
6. Internet telephony-capable routers should be used to block international and special numbers as well as value-added services.