With working from home the new norm, Joel Bruckenstein of Technology Tools for Today, or T3, shared some tips on how to avoid certain mistakes. Technology being what it is can be problematic to those suddenly away from the mothership. Even a tech whiz can get tripped up on a simple Zoom conference setup or frustrated with a slower internet connection.
Further, cybersecurity protocols, especially, may be left behind in the rush to move to a home office. In fact, a recent T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey found that even in the best of times only 7% of those in the business utilize cybersecurity applications, leading Bruckenstein to say at the February T3 conference, “This is the biggest threat to the industry by far, yet advisors are more than complacent, they actually have their heads in the sand.”
With that in mind, here are six mistakes advisors often make when working from home, and how to avoid them, according to Bruckenstein.
1. Sharing passwords.
In a word, don’t. Many firms still share passwords and have password books, according to Bruckenstein. “Some people share passwords to avoid paying a per user fee for each user, but this type of behavior has risks, especially in a WFH environment,” he notes. Not only is there the danger of multiple employees using the same set of login credentials, but it also means two-factor authentication doesn’t work when at home, leaving advisors vulnerable.
2. Using a shared computer.
Bad idea. Couples and families often use a shared computer, but risks abound. Likely, says Bruckenstein, the hard drive isn’t encrypted; peripherals, i.e. printers, may not be secure; and even the computer itself may not be protected.
Also, usernames and passwords may be saved on the browser, giving others access to your account. Brukenstein says if you must share a computer, make sure you have a dedicated account with your own user name and password that is automatically set to lock after a short period of inactivity.
3. Using a less secure Wi-Fi network.
Set up two or more Wi-Fi networks so you have your own, and the family has another.