Cyber security while working from home

Working from home, while already on the rise among businesses of all kinds, has found an essential role as an everyday policy for companies weathering the COVID crisis. If you’re an employee of an office that has gone remote for the time being, or even permanently, you need to think about what this means for your technology use. In a traditional workplace, your devices are protected by company resources and the efforts of the IT department. At home, more of this responsibility falls upon you – what can you do to defend your connected devices and prevent intrusions by cyber attackers?

What are the fundamentals of WFH cyber security?

The general concepts behind cyber security have not changed in the era of pervasive remote work. Unfortunately for companies of all types and sizes, cyber criminals have not halted their activities in the face of the pandemic. In fact, there have been a wave of new phishing schemes in which cyber attackers pose as health authorities sending out news bulletins.

The World Economic Forum indicated that since workers are “distracted and vulnerable,” the chances of a social engineering attack slipping in under a company’s defences are greater than ever. Furthermore, the WEF stated that “heightened dependency on personal devices and home networks” has weakened organisations’ ability to fight off hacking. This raises the question of how best to safeguard your data when using everyday devices for work purposes.

What can you do to protect your devices?

While the devices you have access to in your home office may not always be purpose-built for business use, that doesn’t mean they are wholly lacking in security features. Making sure your PC, smart devices, printers, scanners and network access points are well protected is a relatively straightforward process. The following action items can guide you through and assist you as you turn your home into a suitable workplace.

 Identify IoT hardware in your home and access the settings

The internet of things is a tech-world term for an increasingly common subset of technology: Items that are not PCs or smart devices, but can send and receive data. These range from smart thermostats and doorbells to internet-connected printers, scanners and copiers. In your home, you likely have plenty of these devices connected to your WiFi network. To be sure attackers aren’t slipping in through weak protection on these devices, you should actively check their security settings rather than settling for the defaults.

Password-protect all your devices

One specific device setting that deserves your attention is the password. When a printer, multifunction device or other technology tool leaves the factory, it is protected by a default password. These passwords are not as easy to crack as strong ones you select yourself, so you should log into your device by typing its IP address into your web browser on a PC, then log into the administrator control panel and pick a new password. Rather than simply typing in an easy-to-remember phrase or reusing a password from other devices or accounts, it’s important to select a novel, hard-to-crack choice. A password manager app can help with this process.


Update firmware on all your connected devices

IoT devices contain protective features designed to keep criminals from using common exploits to take them over. If you don’t keep these machines’ firmware up to date, however, they may not be safeguarded against the latest threats. You should determine how your device of choice updates its firmware, for example through an automatic downloader tool, then ensure the process is going smoothly. Having the latest firmware is an understated but effective way to keep many threats out of your network.

Secure confidential documents with passwords

Working from home can mean dealing with secure company documents on a daily basis. If you have sensitive information stored in a format such as a PDF document, you should ask yourself what would happen if the file was compromised. Secure document management can mean adding extra layers of protection, such as setting up passwords for your most sensitive content. As with your devices, you should not reuse passwords – a password manager app can help you here, as well.

Implement firewalls and use a static IP address

When you work from an office, there is typically a firewall in place to prevent unauthorized access to the network and its devices. You should extend this good practice to your home office, to ensure remote working does not significantly weaken the protection around your company’s files and programs. You can contact your internet service provider to learn about firewall features and the process of using a static (rather than a dynamic) IP address, which will help you log into secure corporate networks from afar. Treating your home router with the same kind of cautious security features as corporate networks is a valuable anti-intrusion safeguard.

How should you set up your home office?

If it looks like remote work is a medium- or long-term solution for your company, or if there will be more permanent opportunities to work from home in the future, you should consider your current hardware and software setup. Do you have professional-quality technology in your home which will allow you to uphold professional standards? Remember that your customers’ expectations will remain elevated, and your ability to meet those requirements hinges on your IT configuration.

Seeking out a new, professional-grade printer, scanner or multi-function device is an essential part of equipping your home office. You need to balance high-quality printing and scanning features with networking that supports high-quality security. Sacrificing either the quality of your work or the integrity of your network is unacceptable, which means your device of choice must suit both objectives equally well. You also need to pick hardware that fits other requirements, such as the amount of free space: While a stand-up device might be ideal for the company headquarters, an efficient desktop model could be perfect for you to use at home.

Every work-from-home environment is unique. Maybe you have kids at home, perhaps you’re dealing with limited space or restrictions on your internet service. Picking a perfect printer is the process of matching your needs with a high-quality device.

This article has been republished from Brother Australia with minor changes.

The original article can be seen here:

Getting organised at home

With many of us now settling in to our new work from home lifestyles, we’re still looking for ways to make our new-found workspaces more functional, easy to use and ultimately a space that encourages productivity. An essential way to encourage productivity in your new workspace is to get organised! When everything has its place and is easy to find, completing your work tasks at home becomes less stressful and time consuming. With our range of labels and label printers, organising your workspace and around the home has never been so easy.

Your work from home setup

Home Office

Did you know that labelling your supplies and belongings can prevent them from being misplaced or accidentally disappearing off your desk? Although you may not have to ward off your colleagues from stealing your favourite pen at home (maybe instead it’s a family member, house mate, partner, curious cat…), labelling your office space or your desk can give you that sense of fulfilment from being  organised, and in turn enhance and support your productivity. A Brother P-Touch machine will make itself right at home – with its durable, laminated tapes you can easily label your folders, books, pens and computer cables – the possibilities are endless!

Your kitchen/pantry


It only takes a few quick scrolls through Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest to see how creative people are getting with organising their pantries and kitchens into organisational masterpieces. Why waste time trying to figure out if it’s plain or self-raising flour in that container? How many times have you heard your partner/children/house mate exclaim “I don’t know where that goes” in a bid to get out of washing up or unstacking the dishwasher? Although aesthetically pleasing, having a well organised kitchen and pantry is hugely beneficial to help keep your kitchen clean, tidy and save you time doing chores when you’d rather be doing something else.

Kids’ stuff


With isolation restrictions beginning to ease in most areas, children are beginning to return to school – which means that you’ve likely spent a small fortune on a long list of things to get them ready for the new school term…90% of which is probably going to go missing before the term is over. Although by no means a new concept, labelling you child’s belongings such as back packs, clothes, stationery… anything you can stick a label on…in a bid to prevent their belongings being lost is a huge advantage to having them returned to you. Our TZe laminated labels come in a range of colours and designs and have been tested to the extreme so you know that these fun, personalised labels not only look great, but are made to last.

Your bathroom


When you have to share a bathroom with a number of people, the morning rush can be particularly chaotic. Minimise the chaos by labelling a caddy in the bathroom with your name and put all of your products in there so you can be more efficient in the mornings. By giving everyone their own caddy for their products and accessories, you’ll no longer experience that overwhelming sense of frustration that comes from rummaging through the cupboard while looking for what you need – save the time, mess and stress! It may also stop others from pinching some of your expensive cleanser you’re not willing to share too.

Your shed


If you don’t have a shed full of stuff that you’re not sure what to do with, half-finished projects, and tools laying around all over the place – you probably know someone that does. Getting your shed organised in a way that allows you to find what you’re looking for not only saves you time (so you can finish off that cubby house you’ve been putting off for months…) but also money. Ensuring that everything has its place means that you don’t accidentally purchase the same tools twice, and you know where to find them when you need them. Having a well labelled area for your tools also helps you store them safely and can prevent any accidental injuries due to improper storage.

So, if you’re working from home and feeling unmotivated or disorganised in your surroundings, take a little break from your desk, grab a P-Touch label printer, your favourite TZe labels and accessorise, personalise and organise a space around your home today.

This article has been republished from Brother Australia. 

The original article can be seen here: Getting organised at home

Common Home Learning Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Home learning is a concept that has never had to carry as much weight as it does today. With the COVID-19 pandemic confining people around the world to their homes, school districts have embraced remote classes and distance learning en masse. Unsurprisingly, considering how new learning at home is to many families, there have been some distinct challenges to overcome.

If your kids are learning at home, you’ve likely already encountered some of these issues, or will soon. Fortunately, none of the difficulties associated with distance learning are insurmountable. With the right combination of technology, focus and attitude, your family can make it through this crisis without the kids missing out on key parts of their education.

3 challenges of home learning

The following are three of the common issues that students, parents and teachers across Australia have had to grapple with through the first few months of mass home learning. By taking a few sensible steps, you can minimise the impact of these trends and turn your family’s schooling experience into a success.

1. Home learning and work from home go together

If you had whole days’ worth of free time to supervise your kids in their studies, home learning would be a much easier process. There is a chance, however, that all the adults in the home may be working at their jobs, contributing remotely. Parents sharing their experiences with ABC News reported mixed results matching their kids’ schedules with their own. In some school districts, there is a need for supervision, which has caused the parents’ work schedules to shift – this has led to the unpleasant experience of working until 2 a.m. or on weekends.

The challenges are greatest among parents of primary school-aged children, with many respondents telling ABC they have students under the age of 10 who require constant supervision or would be too disruptive of their parents’ work to allow both to occur side by side. The challenges and stress associated with keeping these young ones on task can be relieved or compounded by communication. When communication is lax or overbearing, the result may be greater worries.

Resolving the issue

home learning

For parents trying to work from home while their kids are present and learning, collaboration with schools is one of the main ways to improve conditions. As ABC News explained, since kids are not truly being home schooled, parents are within their rights to communicate with teachers about difficulties. Parents who are only able to perform their own work when their children aren’t learning can ensure their home offices are stocked with efficiency-building technology and their time-management strategies enable them to get a good night’s sleep.

2. Time management is tough

There are unique difficulties in cases when kids have flexible schedules and can hand in assignments when they’re ready instead of at the exact end of a school day. While this level of scheduling freedom helps families avoid the struggles of clashing work and school time, keeping students motivated in the absence of classrooms and teachers is a new challenge, one that may become worse over time. Queensland University of Technology professor Rebecca English told The Guardian afternoons can be especially challenging, with students sometimes losing steam and focus after lunchtime.

Amanda Dawkins, principal of Five Dock public school added that parents should be realistic in what they expect kids to accomplish at a sitting. Adults have to remember that students are not likely to sit down for six consecutive hours working. Getting them to do smaller blocks of work can suffice, and parents should not criticize themselves too harshly if their children become restless and have to stop.

Resolving the issue

One of the keys to time management is not being too harsh, English told The Guardian. When parents and their kids join together to work on the schedule for the day, the students get a sense of agency. Just having hard limits laid out for them could cause kids to become restless. Parents demonstrate trust in their young ones when they work with them rather than against them on a home learning schedule, and the results may be accordingly better.

3. Technology is necessary

One of the major issues associated with distance learning is that it is managed digitally. If families don’t have all the technology tools they need, and if schools are unable to provide them, it can be hard to meet requirements. A Victoria parent told The Age her family is having tech-related distance learning problems because they are presently staying in a temporary apartment, with little room and no printer.

It’s important for Government, Schools and Families to collaborate, to close the technology gap a little. For instance, The Age described solutions such as dedicated web portals and customised videos for students. Sometimes, families will find they don’t have enough devices for everyone in the household to get their work done simultaneously.

Resolving the issue

A home office well-stocked with affordable technology tools such as multi-function printers and scanners can help students keep handing in their work without missing a beat. Easy connectivity between these devices and computers or tablets is an important feature, because being slowed down by tough-to-use tech is not a good way for either children or parents to spend their days at home.

Succeeding in the home learning age

The current situation, with distance learning en masse and in-person courses for kids who cannot stay at home, is a compromise to deal with an unprecedented situation. You and your family can make it through this time, as there are ways to address all of the issues rising to the surface through the first few months of social distancing.

With the right attitude toward setting a schedule, support from the schools and access to effective technology, you can combine a work-from-home model with the new educational needs of your family. Until restrictions are relaxed, becoming familiar with distance learning is essential. Whether your family is currently working from home, learning from home or both, Brother has a range of award winning multi-function printers and scanners that can help you make work a little easier, visit our website to find out more.

This article has been republished from Brother Australia with minor changes.

The original article can be seen here:

Fashionable Custom Eyeglass Case

Want a quick project to try over the weekend? This eyeglasses case is it! I love how you can customize it with anyone’s initials. This eyeglass case makes for a great gift for your friends and family. Customize your DIY eyeglass case with your favorite colors and prints. The sky’s the limit! I know that you will enjoy this project. Have fun!


  • Fat Quarter Cotton Fabric or ¼ yard of Cotton Fabric
  • Double Fold Bias Tape
  • ¼ yard Two-sided Fusible Flex Foam
  • Fabric Vinyl
  • Brother ScanNCut

Sew Eyeglasses Case:

  1. Cut two rectangles out of your fabric at 8” x 13.5”. On the bottom end of one corner, cut a curved corner.

2. Cut one rectangle of your flex foam at the same measurement, 8” x 13.5”.
3. Adhere the fabrics to both sides of your flex foam with your iron. Make sure the right side of your fabric is facing out.


4. On the long side, pin your bias tape in place. On each end, the bias should extend about ½”.


5. Stitch bias tape in place. As you are sewing, don’t forget to fold the ends of the bias tape inside the bias tape.


6. Fold your DIY eyeglass case in half and attach the bias tape on the outer edge.


Cut Letters with Your ScanNCut:

  1. Place vinyl with shiny side down.
  2. On the ScanNCut, press on pattern

3. Press on the letters and choose your font. I chose FO-A001.


4. Type in your letters and press ok.


5. Adjust size to 1.74” height and pre-set.


6. Press Edit, then Edit Object.
7. Press on the duplicate button. You want to create two of the same image so adjust the number to 2.


8. Now, press the mirror button. Be sure to mirror both sets of letters.


9. Click ‘OK’ three times to pass through the menu. Then, press ‘Please Select’ and ‘Cut’.


10. Click on the wrench to edit your cut to half cut
11. Before making your final cut, test your cut first.
12. If your letters come out clean, proceed with your cut. If not, adjust the pressure and test again until it comes out clean.
13. Once you’re finished cutting, press ok.


Press Your Letters onto Case:

  1. Center your first set of letters in the middle of your case. Press in place.
  2. Place your second set of letters on top but, move it slightly over to create a shadow effect. Press in place.


This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here: