Woman smiling while working at her laptopWorking from home? There's a lot to think about! Each year, the second full week of January is designated as Home Office Safety and Security Week. If you work from home or are looking for that type of job, today we're using this observance to draw your attention to some factors you might want to consider implementing in your own home.

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Working Remotely: Home Office Safety and Security

Jan 30, 2020

Woman working at her laptop and smilingWorking from home? There's a lot to think about! Each year, the second full week of January is designated as Home Office Safety and Security Week. If you work from home or are looking for that type of job, today we're using this observance to draw your attention to some factors you might want to consider implementing in your own home.

Securing your home office

Working from home is different than working in a corporate environment where you have information technology and security departments that work in the background to secure the work environment.

Some safety and security measures are obvious and relevant for any home, even if you don't have a home office. For example, having an emergency/ fire escape plan, working smoke detectors and properly grounded electrical outlets make sense for every home. However, some safety measures are more specific to those who run their own business from home or work remotely for an employer.

Are you thinking about working from home or working for yourself? A Ticket to Work service provider can help you as you consider your options.

If you work with sensitive data or information (either paper or digital), think about whether some of these situations apply to your work now or in the future:

  • Is your computer's firewall software and anti-virus software up to date and active?
  • Have you changed the default password on your router? Default passwords are vulnerable and can usually be found with a quick online search.
  • Is your data backed up? If you regularly work with files local to your computer that are not on a server or manually transferred to a server at the end of each day, you risk losing all your work at any time.
  • Are there other devices in your home connected to the internet? It's important that computers, smart phones, smart devices like internet- connected cameras, thermostats and routers are all up to date with the latest security patches.
  • How good are your passwords and how often do you change them? If you don't want to continually change passwords, consider a password manager. Input all your passwords into one program and then change the master password easily whenever needed.
  • Working with paper copies? If the information or data is sensitive, be sure to store paper files in a locked drawer or cabinet.
  • Finally, what would you do in a worse-case scenario, such as a loss of data or equipment? Consider whether you need insurance protection. Residential policies may not cover home office losses.

As you can see, there's a lot to consider to make sure that you and your office space are protected when you work from home. If you'd like more information on this topic, we encourage you to visit the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's pages on online security.

Reaching Your Goals with Ticket to Work

While there are many factors to consider when working remotely, if you work from home or are searching for work-from-home jobs, you can get help reaching your employment goals. Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) and want to work. Through this free and voluntary program, eligible participants can work with service providers to receive the supports and services they need to find and maintain employment as they move toward financial independence through employment.

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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