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Data security top tips

30 April 2020

Follow these top tips to help keep personal and council information safe.

1. Follow the council's policies, procedures and guidance

We have a uniform approach shown in our policies to ensure that data is adequately protected. Don't be tempted to do things in a way you think is more convenient, such as sending emails through your personal account, printing documents on your own devices or using the video conferencing app that you use with friends for work calls.

2. Use approved technology for handling personal data

Where possible, please use the hardware (like laptop, mobile phone) and software (such as case management systems) that we have provided you with. This will provide the best protection for personal data.

3. Consider confidentiality when holding conversations or using a screen

You may be sharing your home working space with other family members or friends. Try to hold conversations, where they are less likely to overhear you and position your screen where it is less likely to be overseen. Turn off listening devices, such as Alexa or Google Assistant or work in a different room where conversations cannot be recorded.

4. Take care with print outs

Firstly, please consider whether you really need to print a document. If you do, make sure you use confidential waste bins if you are still working in an office. At home you won't have that facility so safely store print outs until you can take them into the office and dispose of them securely.

5. Don't mix the council's data with your own personal data

If you have to work using your own device and software, keep the council's data separate to avoid accidentally keeping hold of data for longer than is necessary.

6. Lock it away where possible

To avoid loss or theft of personal data, put print outs and turned off devices away at the end of the working day.

7. Be extra vigilant

Don't click on unfamiliar web links or attachments in emails or other messages which claim to give you important COVID-19 updates or ask you for sensitive information.

8. Use strong passwords

Ensure that you follow the password policy.

9. Communicate securely

Use the communication facilities provided to you, for example your council email or Skype.

10. Keep software up to date

Ensure that you regularly turn your device on to allow it to run automatic updates issued by the IT Service Desk.