Today’s workplace for information technology folks is full of electronic threads into our personal and professional lives. The age of BYOD and 24/7 engagement is common among cyber and management professionals. It typically starts with email and messaging. Then it can move into RDP, VPN, Conferencing, Telephony, and more. When you change companies you need to take a few moments to think about those threads and how you manage them. Some will end up being cut and others may need to be woven into your life in a different way. Don’t let your real life unravel by forgetting to take care of these electronic loose threads.
Start by making the assumption that you will abide by company policy on what data and information you can keep, and what you cannot. An important question to ask is: Will your former employer wipe your BYOD device or just the container of their corporate content? If the company policy is to wipe the device on your departure, you should be sure you have a current backup.
Now about those threads… You most likely have many that you don’t want to lose access to.
Do you have any email subscriptions, forum memberships, or news feeds that go to your corporate account, but are your personal content? Reset them with a personal and secure email account before you lose access to your corporate account in case you need to acknowledge a change request.
Do you have personal calendar reminders in your work account that are not in your personal account? Don’t miss that important birthday or professional event because you forgot to copy them over.
Are there email and phone numbers you may need for soon-to-be former colleagues and business contacts? Don’t dump the whole company address book into your personal account, but be sure to forward emails from those colleagues to your personal account (if it’s allowed). Signature lines are a fast and easy way to have initial contact information until you can get direct personal contact details. LinkedIn can be a good substitute for fattening your personal address book with professional relationships. Just be sure your LinkedIn is not tied to your corporate account.
Now about the threads that should clearly be cut after your last day… Credentials that allowed you to do your job on premise and remotely should be cut. Delete those records from your password vault. (You are using a password vault, yes?) Clean out the mobile apps and applications provided by the company for email, VPN, and all other vestiges of your former role.
What about those files you conveniently copied to your home system to figure out a good tweak over the holiday weekend for that critical board presentation deck, or that important multiple page spreadsheet needed for the budget next quarter? Clean them all out.
Then there are other threads that should not be cut without careful thought. This includes payroll, retirement, and expense accounts. Many companies have outsourced these functions. If you have access to ADP or Workday, for example, you will need to maintain that access for future reports. Your tax filings and copies of pay stubs could be lost if you delete those credentials or those apps without thinking through your alternatives.
The investment accounts are even more important to most folks. If you have retirement accounts and have not executed a roll-over to a new provider, keep your access to the current plan secure and current. If you have problems with these kinds of applications you may appreciate having the contact information for your old HR folks on hand.
Taking the time to tie up your loose electronic connections when you change jobs can be time consuming, but it’s better to take some time to sort these things out while it is top of mind. And it could save you a lot of time and energy in the future.
Are you prepared to respond to and investigate cyber-attacks?
The Cyber Forensics Readiness Program from Sage Data Security is designed to prepare Incident Responders and IT personnel to quickly and cost-effectively capture and maintain evidence in a forensically sound manner following a breach. The training is supported by semi-annual collection exercises and an on-going relationship with experienced Cyber Forensic Investigators.