With more than 60 percent of the country’s office staff now working from home, many believe that there are massive security breaches happening across the country with staff and businesses not even realising it.

CEO Gavin Ward, from Office National - Australia’s largest independent supplier of office products, said today, “A lot of people are going to go through a period of malaise because they miss working from home.”

“We are really concerned that many people working locally are putting themselves and their businesses at risk because they are not aware of the types of measures that should be taken to keep personal and commercial information safe and secure.”

“That’s why Office National is working hard to remind people not to be complacent and to put in place measures to avoid issues.”

According to Gavin Ward, CEO of Office National, there are six key areas where breaches are probably taking place.

  • Unsafe disposal of printed materials
  • Conversations being overheard by others in open plan houses
  • Webcams being accessed by hackers
  • Visual hacking – screen content being observed by others
  • Confidential materials being left on desks in shared living arrangements
  • Computer hacking and email interception

“We have a situation now with so many people working from home where they are printing out confidential and business sensitive information at home. This material is being thrown in the home rubbish bin,” Ward said.

“Once this information ends up in a garbage bin, it can be accessed by anyone. If you are dealing with printed content that contains people’s personal details this is even worse. People just don’t realise the risks involved. "

“Anyone working from home that is printing out sensitive information needs to have a shredder. Printed materials should be shredded, bagged and then thrown into the rubbish bin. Do not under any circumstances just throw commercially sensitive information into the household rubbish bin. People living in apartments empty their rubbish into shared bins.

“There are a few different grades of shredder. At the very least, opt for shredders with cross-cut, micro-cut or high-security shredding.

“If you have a garden or compost bin, pop the shredded paper in there. That’s even better for the planet than putting it in the bin.”

Headset sales are booming across the country as workers adapt their meeting style to take part in Zoom and other online meetings.

“Headsets are ideal for Zoom meetings because they enable you to focus your attention on the meeting and manage surrounding noise. They are also ideal for protecting the privacy of those taking part in the meeting, especially if others are working or living around you,” Ward said.

“You just never know who is listening to your conversations or online meetings.”

Online security is another area of concern.

“In addition, quite a few people are using their own laptops or home computers to work from home. You’d be surprised how easy it is to hack into someone’s web cam or to intercept someone’s emails.

“Webcam covers are essential to avoid security breaches by hackers.

“Don’t use shared or public internet services. Make sure your internet connection is secure and password protected. Ensure your virus protection is up to date.

“If you are going to be in a location where others can see your screen, get yourself a screen protector. They are cost effective and easy to place over the top of your screen. They keep your personal or confidential information safe from prying eyes. You see the information on the screen, however people either side of you only see a darkened screen.

“Whether you realise it or not, stranger screen danger is a big issue. A recent study showed that a staggering 87 percent of mobile workers had noticed strangers taking a sneaky glance at their screens.

“Whether your screen content is commercially sensitive or personally sensitive, screen hacking is an invasion of privacy.

“Simple changes to your working arrangements can help prevent security risks and keep your business and private information safe and secure.”

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