Tech Tip Tuesday: Working from Home

Have you tried accessing your data remotely?

Working from “home” doesn’t always mean someone in a home office all day. Many people are on the road or away from an office as part of their jobs. Mobile access to data is the key. The good news is that new technologies allow you to have mobile data access easily and inexpensively, while still keeping the data secure. Here’s a quick look at some of the technology that allows easy, secure access.

Cloud Based Technology

Over the last few years, cloud based technology has become more widely available to even the smallest of companies. In simple terms, the ‘cloud’ is the ability to host a software platform or service from a remote location that can be freely accessed and used anywhere via Internet access. Cloud based technology can be a much lower financial investment for companies, because the cloud is a hosted service that reduces the need for physical infrastructure, like an in-house server. Using cloud based software means you don’t have to install a program on each individual computer and license management becomes easier. It also allows secure access through a website from any device or location using the internet, giving “home” users a lot of flexibility.

Virtual Private Network

If the software you need isn’t available through the cloud, you could use a VPN. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. Companies can maintain VPNs so that employees can access files, applications, printers, and other resources on the office network remotely without compromising security. You can also set up your own VPN to safely access your secure home network while you’re on the road. If you’re concerned about online privacy, connecting to an encrypted VPN while you’re on a public or untrusted network—such as a Wi-Fi hotspot in a hotel or coffee shop—is a smart, simple security practice. Because the VPN encrypts your Internet traffic, it helps to prevent other people who may be trying to snoop on your browsing via Wi-Fi to capture your passwords.

Remote Desktop Software

Remote desktop software is another great tool that allows you to connect to your office computer from your home computer or any remote computer. There are a lot of free, downloadable remote desktop options out there that have useful features like wake-on-LAN (wake up a sleeping computer and put it back to sleep when you’re finished,) file transfer capabilities, clipboard pass-through, and support for connecting from mobile devices like phones or tablets. Some remote desktop software even supports online meetings and collaboration, so multiple people can connect to one host or share a session if they need to.