Did you know that March 5, 2021 is the National Day of Unplugging?
With more people working remote than ever before (and more hours), the need for a day of rest is understandable.
About National Day of Unplugging
The day was founded in 2003 by Reboot, and is now a project of Unplug Collaborative, a non-profit, membership organization formed in February 2020.
To date, there are more than 135,000 people who have participated in events hosted by over 1,000 schools, religious institutions and businesses worldwide.
How to Participate (as an IT pro)
But how can IT professionals participate? Here are Datashield's recommendations:
1. Plan and implement digital wellness policies within your organization
Digital wellness is a growing movement to look at our health under the lens of technology. Unplugging is just one small part of the digital wellness model. As the spokespeople for all things digital at your company, take time to plan and implement digital wellness in your organization.
- Reduce the Noise: Look at your organization's current alert volume and see if your team can tune or improve filtering for security alerts. Having a properly deployed and tuned SIEM tool can make hours of difference in your team's day.
- Review Active Sessions: Many organizations still retain office space in addition to their growing remote workforce. As a result, more work devices are unplugged, while personal devices take over. Check open sessions from work devices, as well as personal ones to organizational resources to prevent data leakage.
- Implement Email Security: What could be better for you and your coworkers than reducing the number of spam and phishing emails? Deploying an email security service on top of existing provider resources can add protection against unwanted and malicious emails. Additionally, many email security services offer user education and phishing tests.
- User Education: Spend less time telling your coworkers to "unplug and re-plug" their modem and routers with user education and practical guides. Cybersecurity education can reduce human error and IT Help Desk headaches!
- Increase Physical Security Awareness: With more devices outside the office, IT teams should increase physical security awareness. Even when a device is "unplugged" or not connected to the internet, your company's devices are at risk. Provide training for your organization that includes guidelines for storing and using work devices. This can include something as simple as "don't leave your work laptop in view of the public when not in use" or "remember to lock your car if you are traveling with your work devices".
None of these suggestions include actually unplugging anything, but instead focus on increasing your organization's knowledge and efficiency so they can spend less time in front of their screens.
2. Take time off
That's right, whether it's a 15-minute guided meditation or an entire vacation, take time to unwind!
We spend so much time thinking about reducing alert noise that sometimes we forget to actually drown out mental noise.
National Day of Unplugging is about digital mental health and wellness, making sure we don't feel overwhelmed by technology.
You can use this day however you see fit, including blocking out unplugging time (vacations). Get the R&R you need and deserve.
3. Set boundaries
At a time where many of us are working from home, there is little boundary between work and home life. While you unplug, take time to set some physical and digital boundaries for yourself.
Digital wellness examples include:
- Setting alarms to make sure to start and stop work at consistent times
- Setting up "Night Mode" on your mobile devices to silence them during sleep hours or during planned family time (breakfast, dinner, etc.) and allow urgent calls/notifications through
- Go through your notifications settings on your phone and silence irrelevant app notifications to reduce noise
- Try to put your phone away during one-on-one time outside of work
- Talking and catching up with your manager to discuss any new responsibilities and expectations with remote work and how to best integrate them
4. Take a Forest Bath
According to a study sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 93% of his or her time indoors--and this was before the pandemic.
In Japan, they practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.
Different from exercise like hiking, forest bathing is simply connecting with nature.
Find a national park near you and have a socially-distanced forest bath to relax, unwind, and reconnect with the planet.
No matter how you choose to unplug, make sure to share your experience with #NationalDayofUnplugging!
For any questions regarding your cybersecurity strategy, reach out to us here.