Data protection advice for working from home
Mon, 16 Mar 2020

Whilst many staff and mangers are preparing for how they can best meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff still need to be mindful of data security and how they handle personal data.

With more staff expected to work from home as part of the council's continuity plans, all staff are asked to take note of the following advice:


Plan ahead, make sure you can work remotely/from home if the need arises and you can access networks.

Ensure files and documents are stored in a secure place, even when working from home.

Ensure workstations are cleared at the end of each working day, as you may not be in the office for an extended period of time.

Keep a record of what information has been taken out of the office if appropriate.

Take care when working agile to ensure any data on a laptop screen or document cannot be overlooked - 'shoulder surfing'.

Be careful when discussing matters regarding customers on mobile devices or at home. Make sure phone calls cannot be overheard, this includes families and friends.

Keep your PC or laptop desktop as clear as possible. Information should still be saved in the correct place.

Ensure the destruction of files and documents is carried out in a secure manner. Consider where you will store files and documents you plan to bring back to the office for destruction.

Ask if you are unsure, be mindful that staff may be harder to get hold/take longer to get back to you due to the current pandemic.

Do ensure that papers and equipment are securely held together, for example put into bags - this will prevent papers from becoming detached or others seeing what you are carrying.

Do look out for phishing emails and calls trying to take advantage of the different working arrangements in place. Watch out for suspicious emails, links and phone calls.

Do be alert when sending e-mails, as you may be sending more emails than normal and to new recipients.


Leave files and documents out at the end of the day or leave them out if you're away from your work.

Leave files and documents that have been removed from the office overnight in vehicles, or on show in your car when the vehicle is unattended.

Use your PC or laptop desktops as a long term storage location. Desktops are not backed up.

Use your personal equipment, such as home PCs, personal USB memory sticks or cloud storage solutions, (including personal email), to store personal data or council information.

Delay when reporting issues such as data protection breaches.

Use the email system as a place to store information, ensure the emails that need to be kept are saved on the network drive.

Let family members have access to files and documents. Protect information at home as well as at work.

Share information unless you are confident of the identity of who is asking.

Take more information than you really need out of the office.

Don't leave your bags unattended and remember to pick them all up when you get off the bus or train.

Don't share your password with anyone else.

Remember, data protection breaches can still occur whilst the council is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the event of a breach of the above guidance or if you have any queries relating to this guidance please email data.protection@eastriding.gov.uk.



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