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How the Link between Work and Personal Life Is Making You Vulnerable to Cyber Attack

March 16, 2018

How the Link between Work and Personal Life Is Making You Vulnerable to Cyber Attack

Fast mobile broadband, cloud-based platforms with 24/7 access, and an email inbox where your bills and movie tickets jostle up against your boss’s budget papers and company-wide announcements: welcome to today’s messy, merged, and impossibly entangled digital life.

If you want to be hyper-vigilant, you’ll manage to keep your work and personal emails separate. Maybe you’ll even have a separate mobile phone for work.

But when every work-related internet search delivers a tempting array of not-quite on-topic links to ads for your fave fashion outlet or your dream apartment — keeping your work and personal lives separate is a losing battle. And though it’s convenient, having access to both also doubles your risk; you’re twice as vulnerable to hackers, viruses and dodgy links.

Here are six ways our work and personal lives are inevitably entwined:

Laptop Access

You use your personal Netflix to catch up on Homeland on your work laptop while you’re on the bus to work; you log into your work email from your home computer pretty much every night; your work laptop has high-end design software so you create your girlfriend an awesome birthday card; you duck out of a family event to Skype your colleague in LA from your brother’s HP. More commonly, files from your work Dropbox are also on your home PC and vice versa. At this point, the line between work and home are not so much blurred as non-existent.

Work & Home WIFI

When your work and personal devices connect as seamlessly to your work wifi as to your home wifi, sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly where you were when you downloaded that report or which laptop it’s sitting on. The same thing happens when you visit a client with your laptop — it logs onto their wifi so easily, you can immediately check your email or forward resources from your company’s server without a hitch.

Social Networks

You’re on a cross-vendor project team that has a Facebook group to keep in touch; your LinkedIn is filled with work and personal contacts and hopping onto Twitter while you’re at a one-day conference means negotiating a stream of tweets from stars of the Fringe comedy festival you went to last year.

Text

You check the weather, the time, and your step-count on your mobile at work. You text your customer from your home mobile to confirm tomorrow’s meeting, your sister Snapchats you from London while you’re in a meeting, and you send her a quick smiley-face. Working on the same device at work and for your personal life means having a link to important files, apps, and documents from both.

My Fleet Vehicle Plans My Spotify

If you’ve drawn the short straw on a long drive to visit a customer or a client, you’ll want your own tunes to smooth the way. But hook up your phone to the stereo on the fleet vehicle to take calls, play music, hit the GPS, and you’ll be sharing more than songs. In fact, most cars will store your phone number, your call logs, and your location history. Don’t forget to wipe.

Paypass on Your Smartphone

Pick up the coffees for the big client presentation or duck out to the electronics supply shop for an RJ45 cable so you don’t have to wait a week. Does anyone carry cash these days?

The IT security at your workplace may be at an all-time high but mix it up with your personal digital habits and things may get a whole lot murkier. Check out the 2018 HP Australia Security Study which found that 63 percent of Australian SMEs allowed employees to access company data from personal devices.

Whether you are at work or at home, it is best to be mindful of what data your device has access to and always keep an eye out for more safe surfing strategies.