Meta’s new VR headset design looks like a next-gen Apple Vision Pro

Meta has teased a super impressive XR headset that looks to combine the Meta Quest Pro, Apple Vision Pro and a few new exclusive features. The only downside? Anything resembling what Meta has shown off is most likely years from release.

During a talk at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, Meta’s director of display systems research, Douglas Lanman, showed a render of Mirror Lake – an advanced prototype that is “practical to build now” based on the tech Meta has developed. This XR headset (XR being a catchall term for VR, AR and MR) combines design elements and features used by the Meta Quest Pro and Apple Vision Pro – such as the Quest Pro’s open side design and the Vision Pro’s EyeSight – with new tools such as HoloCake lenses and electronic varifocal, to make something better than anything on the market.

We’ve talked about electronic varifocal on TechRadar before – when Meta’s Butterscotch Varifocal prototype won an award – so we won’t go too in-depth here. Simply put, using a mixture of eye-tracking and a display system that can move closer or further away from the headset wearer’s face, electronic varifocal aims to mimic the way we focus on objects that are near or far away in the real world. It's an approach Meta calls a “more natural, realistic, and comfortable experience”.

You can see it at work in the video below.

HoloCake lenses help to enable this varifocal system while trimming down the size of the headset – a portmanteau of holographic and pancake.

Pancake lenses are used by the Meta Quest 3, Quest Pro, and other modern headsets including the Pico 4 and Apple Vision Pro, and thanks to some clever optic trickery they can be a lot slimmer than lenses previously used by headsets like the Quest 2.

To further slim the optics down, HoloCake lenses use a thin, flat holographic lens instead of the curved one relied on by a pancake system – holographic as in reflective foil, not as in a 3D hologram you might see in a sci-fi flick.

The only downside is that you need to use lasers, instead of a regular LED backlight. This can add cost, size, heat and safety hurdles. That said, needing to rely on lasers could be seen as an upgrade since these can usually produce a wider and more vivid range of colors than standard LEDs.

A diagram showing the difference between pancake, holocake and regular VR lens optics

Diagrams of different lens optics including HoloCake lenses (Image credit: Meta)

When can we get one? Not for a while 

Unfortunately, Mirror Lake won’t be coming anytime soon. Lanman described the headset as something “[Meta] could build with significant time”, implying that development hasn’t started yet – and even if it has, we might be years away from seeing it in action.

On this point Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, added that the technology Mirror Lake relies on could be seen in products “in the second half of the decade”, pointing to a release in 2026 and beyond (maybe late 2025 if we’re lucky).

This would match up with when we predict Meta’s next XR headset – like a Meta Quest Pro or Meta Quest 4 – will probably launch. Meta usually likes to tease its headsets a year in advance at its Meta Connect events (doing so with both the Meta Quest Pro and Quest 3), so if it sticks to this trend the earliest we’ll see a new device is September or October 2025. Meta Connect 2023 passed without a sneak peek at what's to come.

Apple Vision Pro showing a wearer's eye through a display on the front of the headset via EyeSight

Someone wearing the Apple Vision Pro VR headset (Image credit: Apple)

Waiting a few years would also give the Meta Quest 3 time in the spotlight before the next big thing comes to overshadow it, and of course let Meta see how the Apple Vision Pro fares. Apple’s XR headset is taking the exact opposite approach to Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest 3, with Apple offering very high-end tech at a very unaffordable price ($ 3,499, or around £2,800 / AU$ 5,300). 

If Apple’s gamble pays off, Meta might want to mix up its strategy by releasing an equally high-end and costly Meta Quest Pro 2 that offers a more significant upgrade over the Quest 3 than the first Meta Quest Pro offered compared to the Quest 2. If the Vision Pro flops, Meta won’t want to follow its lead.


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The Ray-Ban Stories 2 is here with a new design, new specs, and a new name

We knew Meta Connect 2023 would be when Meta finally told us everything we needed to know about the soon-to-release Meta Quest 3 VR headset, but that’s not the only XR gadget up Meta’s sleeve. It also introduced us to its latest smart glasses collaboration with Ray-Ban, (up for preorder right now starting at £299, US and Australian pricing to be confirmed) and I got to try them out.

This follow-up to the Ray-Ban Stories may not be called the Ray-Ban Stories 2 – officially it’s known as the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection (quite the mouthful, I know) – but it might as well be a sequel. Meta has improved everything, from the internal components to the design of the case, while keeping everything that makes the Ray-Ban Stories what they are.

The first improvement is the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses’ camera. It now boasts a 12MP snapper instead of 5MP, which will capture images and video at a higher resolution than before. The 32GB of internal storage can hold up to 500 photos, or 100 30-second videos. The mic system has also been upgraded, and Meta says the five-microphone setup is better at capturing immersive spatial audio.

You’ll likely notice the speakers are better too. According to Meta, the open ear speakers in each arm are 50% louder than those found in Ray-Ban Stories. Plus, Meta promises they can deliver deeper bass, greater clarity and have less audio leak (so people should have a harder time hearing what you’re listening to).

RayBan Meta Smart Glasses jumping out of their case

(Image credit: Meta)

A new useful feature is the addition of a simple voice assistant. You can instruct it to take a photo or video, or if your Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are wirelessly connected to a phone, you can ask the assistant to call someone in your contacts and send them a pic of where you are.

The design has also been refreshed. You can still pick up a pair in the classic Wayfarer style (either standard or large) or you can buy them in the new Headliner style created for this collaboration. Every frame type is compatible with a range of different lens styles for prescription to polarized, and you can customize the frames with five different colors: glossy black, matte black, transparent black, transparent turquoise, or transparent orange. Thanks to all these options, there are over 150 different combinations, so you should be able to find the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses you want.

The new specs are set to ship on October 17, with preorders live right now. The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection starts at £299 (US and Australian pricing to be confirmed). If you want to pick up a pair with Transitions or Polarized lenses, this will cost you a little more, at £379 and £329 (US and Australian pricing to be confirmed) respectively.

What I thought of the RayBan Meta Smart Glasses

You can check out my full hands-on Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection review for my in-depth thoughts on the new Meta x RayBan smart specs, but long story short – these glasses seem good albeit a bit niche.

Hamish wearing a black pair of Wayfarer smart glasses from Ray-Ban and Meta. He's also wearing a hat and a bag in a large modern living room.

(Image credit: Future)

Images and videos I snapped with the glasses look fine – plus the hands-free nature makes it easy to capture moments that wouldn’t suit your holding a phone in hand. I also agree with Meta that the glasses allowed me to capture a memory while also feeling more active in the moment than I might feel if I were recording on my phone.

Audio from the glasses seem solid too. I didn’t have the opportunity to hear as wide a range of tracks as I’d need to for a full assessment but my first impression is that they offer good clarity and volume, though I’m not sure the sound is as forceful as I like. As for audio leakage, this seem controlled. I had my demo at the same time as another person and when their music was on moderate loudness and mine was off, I couldn’t hear what they were playing even though I was standing fairly close.

My main concern is that the glasses feel a bit niche. Ideally, these are something you’d wear as often as possible to enjoy music wherever you are, or to capture a picture or recording of whatever impromptu moments come your way – but I’m not sure the people around me will love that I’m wearing a noticeable camera everywhere I go. 

Sure, I could carry them around in their charging case and only take them out when I need them, but then why wouldn’t I just use my phone instead – even mid-range phones have a better 50MP+ camera. 

If I need both of my hands free or I want to feel more involved in the moment, I could whip out one of the best action cameras, many of which are cheaper or only slightly more pricey than these specs. And for a similar music experience, you could pick up a pair of air-conduction headphones such as the JBL Soundgear Sense.

You can see inside these transparent orange frames, giving you a look at the internal componenst and spoeakers housed in the arm of the Ray-Ban and Meta smart glasses

(Image credit: Future)

That said, I’m admittedly not super familiar with this category of glasses. My experience is with specs like the Xreal Airs, which are focused on AR video rather than having an in-built camera. During a longer test, I imagine finding a use-case for these RayBan glasses that makes them feel less niche.

If you can already see how these glasses would suit your lifestyle then they might be a worthwhile purchase. But if you can’t think of a good use for them, maybe think twice about getting your pre-order in.

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Meta Quest 3 video leak shows off thinner design and new controllers

The Meta Quest 3 (aka the Oculus Quest 3) is now official, but isn't due to go on sale until September or October time. If you're keen for an earlier look at the virtual reality headset before then, an unboxing video has made its way online.

This comes from @ZGFTECH on X/Twitter (via Android Authority), and we get a full look at the new device and the controllers that come with it. Meta has already published promo images of the headset, but it's interesting to see it in someone's hands.

As revealed by Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, the Meta Quest 3 is some 40% thinner than the Oculus Quest 2 that came before it. From this video it looks like the Quest 2's silicone face pad and cloth strap have been carried over to the new piece of hardware.

You may recall that the Quest 2 originally shipped with foam padding, before Meta responded to complaints of skin irritation by replacing the foam with silicone. That lesson now appears to have been learned with this new device and the Meta Quest Pro.

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Take control

The controllers that come with the Meta Quest 3 look a lot like the ones supplied with the Meta Quest Pro, though these don't have built-in cameras. The ring design of the Oculus Quest 2 has been ditched, with integrated sensors and predictive AI taking over tracking duties, according to Meta.

As for the outer packaging, it's not particularly inspiring, featuring just the name of the device on the top. Presumably something a bit more eye-catching will be put together before the headset actually goes on sale.

It's not clear where the headset has been sourced from, but the device has clearly been in testing for a while. This is becoming something of a running theme too, because the Meta Quest Pro was leaked in similar fashion after being left behind in a hotel room.

We should get all the details about the Meta Quest 3, including the date when we'll actually be able to buy it, on September 27 at the Meta Connect event. TechRadar will of course bring you all the news from the show, and any further leaks that may emerge between then and now.

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Meta Quest 3: price, design, and everything we know so far

The Oculus Quest 3, now officially known as Meta Quest 3, has been announced, and we won't have to wait much longer to get our hands on the highly-anticipated VR headset. 

Meta's more budget-friendly Quest 3 headset, separate from the pricier, premium Meta Quest Pro, will be more expensive than the Oculus Quest 2. That is to be expected for a new 2023 headset, and to soften the blow Meta has lowered the price of the Quest 2 so you can at least try VR if you're on a tighter budget even if it's not the latest and greatest version of it. And the Quest 3 will be greatest, with Meta calling it its “most powerful headset” yet.

There's plenty of new and official information on the Meta Quest 3 now, and it's certainly shaping up to be a contender when it comes to topping our list of the best VR headsets you can buy. For now, read on to learn everything we know about the upcoming headset.

Meta Quest 3: What you need to know

  • What is the Meta Quest 3? Meta’s follow-up VR headset to the Quest 2
  • Meta Quest 3 release date: “Fall” 2023, but most likely September or October
  • Meta Quest 3 specs: We don’t have all the details, but Meta says it’s its “most powerful headset” yet
  • Meta Quest 3 design: Similar to the Quest 2 but slimmer and the controllers lack tracking rings

Meta Quest 3 price

So far, Meta has only confirmed the price of the Quest 3's 128GB model, which will retail for $ 499 / £499. The official announcement page also makes mention of “an additional storage option for those who want some extra space.”

We're not sure exactly as to how much extra storage will be provided by this upgraded model, but it's very likely to be a total of 256GB there. No price for this model has been announced either, but expect something in the region of $ 599 / £599 or potentially up to $ 699 / £699.

Meta Quest 3 release date

The Quest 3 has been confirmed to launch in “Fall 2023,” which means, barring any delays, we should see it launch somewhere between the months of September and December 2023. Meta's official page for the Quest 3 states that further details will be revealed at the Meta Connect event happening on September 27.

Given the release schedule of the Meta Quest Pro, which was detailed at Meta Connect 2022 and launched soon after, we expect that the Meta Quest 3 will launch shortly after the Connect in September or October. We'll have to wait and see what Meta decides though.

Oculus Quest 3 specs and features

Meta Quest 3 floating next to its handsets

(Image credit: Meta )

We now have official information, straight from Meta's mouth, about the specs and features we can expect for Meta Quest 3. It was always a safe bet that the headset would continue to be a standalone device, and that's certainly remained true. You won't need a PC or external device to play the best VR games out there.

The most immediate improvement for Quest 3 is a high-fidelity color passthrough feature, which should allow you to view your immediate surroundings via a high quality camera. Not only will this help you plan out your playing space, but should also aid augmented and mixed reality experiences become even more immersive.

Quest 3 has also been confirmed to sport a 40% slimmer optic profile over the last-gen Quest 2. That'll reduce the weight of the device and should allow for comfier play sessions overall. Similarly, its Touch Plus controllers have been reworked with a more ergonomic design. Other improvements in this area include enhanced hand tracking and controller haptic feedback, similar to the DualSense wireless controller for PS5.

Meta Quest 3's front exploding outwards, revealing all of its internal parts

(Image credit: Meta )

It's been speculated that the Quest 3 will adopt uOLED displays (an upgraded version of OLED). Though, we've also seen conflicting reports that instead hint at OLED displays, and mini LED displays. What analysts seem to agree on is some kind of visual enhancement will come to the Quest 3 – so expect improved display quality and higher resolutions.

So far, Meta's own details remain vague on this front. We know that Quest 3 will feature a higher resolution display than Quest 2, paired with pancake lenses for greater image clarity and an overall reduction in device weight. These lenses should also improve the display of motion, hopefully reducing motion sickness and the dreaded image ghosting effect that plagues many a VR headset, even the PSVR 2.

Lastly, Meta has confirmed that the Quest 3 will be powered by the latest Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm. In Meta's own words, the new chipset “delivers more than twice the graphical performance as the previous generation Snapdragon GPU in Quest 2.” We should expect a pretty significant leap in visual quality, then.

Oculus Quest 3 – what we’d like to see

In our Oculus Quest 2 review, it was hard to find fault with a VR headset that proved immersive, comfortable and easy to use. And yet, while it clearly leads the pack in the VR market, it still falls foul of some of the pitfalls that the technology as a whole suffers from. Here’s a list of updates we want to see on the Oculus Quest 3:

Improved motion sickness prevention
One of those technological pitfalls, and perhaps an unavoidable one, is the motion sickness that can often ensue when using any VR headset. Depending on your tolerance for whirring and blurring, the Quest 2 can be one helluva dizziness-inducer. While there isn’t yet a clear path to making any VR headset immune to user dizziness, it’s nonetheless something we’d like to see improved on the Oculus Quest 3.

A better fit
The same goes for the fit of the device. While the Quest 2 is indeed a comfortable weight when on the head, it can still be a little claustrophobic to achieve a good, tight fit. Again, it’s a problem encountered by almost all VR headsets, and a base-level issue that the next generation of hardware should at least attempt to better address. Those aforementioned design rumors suggest the new Oculus device could solve some of these issues.

Improved Oculus Store
Other improvements we’d like to see include a more effective in-VR Oculus Store. While the equivalent store on browser and in the app makes it easy to discover new releases and search for upcoming games, the store inside the headset itself seems to roll the dice on what apps are shown with no way to quickly navigate to new content. This makes it difficult to pre-order games and discover new titles to purchase when using the device, which is a pivotal part of ensuring the headset maintains replayability.

A virtual hand pointing at the Quest store menu using the Quest's hand-tracking

(Image credit: Oculus / Facebook)

A neighborhood-like social space 
While the Quest 2 has a competent party invitation system to get you game-to-game with your friends, there isn’t a social space to engage with others in-between. It would be interesting to see the Quest 3 introduce a virtual social space, in the same vein as NBA 2K’s neighborhood area, to share some downtime with others. What’s with the multi-person furniture in the current home environment if there’s nobody to share it with? Luckily, Meta's new metaverse project – ambitious as it seems – suggests virtual social spaces will be at the forefront of all future Quest headsets.

Improved media sharing
Sharing screenshots and videos on Oculus devices has never been easy, and it’s an issue that the Quest 2 has tried to address with a few video updates.  The process could still be more streamlined, so we'd like to see the Oculus 3 make the whole deal more accessible.1080p video, app integration, proper audio syncing – that’d all be golden.

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Microsoft could finally fix Windows 11’s strangest design choice

Windows 11 might finally allow users to shift the taskbar to different orientations on the desktop – as you can do with Windows 10 – rather than having it locked to the bottom of the screen, if a new clue spotted in preview is anything to go by.

Well-known Microsoft leaker Albacore posted on Twitter to show that with Windows 11 preview build 25309 it’s possible to do a bit of tweaking and get the taskbar to appear at the top of the screen.

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As the clip in the tweet shows, though, you end up with a broken implementation of the taskbar. Yes, it’s at the top, but when you click on icons in the bar, their respective functions appear floating at the bottom of the screen (where they’d normally be with the taskbar in its default position at the bottom).

In short, it looks like Microsoft is putting in the initial groundwork for a movable taskbar in preview right now, but it is very early stages indeed. Whether anything will come of this, well, we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled and fingers crossed – or those who want the ability to shift the taskbar around will, at any rate.

Analysis: A challenging change for Microsoft?

There might be people out there shouting at their monitors – why on earth would you want the taskbar at the top? However, this has actually been a very commonly requested feature addition for Windows 11, with plenty of users voting for the functionality to be brought to the desktop.

And choice is never a bad thing – some folks want a vertical taskbar, that runs down the side of the screen, too, as well as the potential to sling the bar up top. It’s really down to allowing for more customization of the core desktop UI, and keeping the same features as offered by Windows 10, which allows the bar to be shifted about if you wish.

As MS Power User – which spotted Albacore’s tweet – observes, though, this is something Microsoft has indicated it won’t pursue. Despite the clamor for a more mobile taskbar, Microsoft has said there are a “number of challenges” wrapped up in its implementation, and that the percentage of users wanting this change is small compared to other features. The latter assertion is certainly arguable from what we’ve seen, but there you go…

The long and short of previous statements, then, seems to be that Microsoft thinks it’d be a lot of effort for not much return – but the sighting of the ability to move the taskbar to the top, in however rudimentary a fashion, certainly gives hope to the idea that a movable taskbar is coming.

Until then, if you really want to mess around with the Windows 11 environment in this kind of way, you’ll need to resort to a third-party customization app. (It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that these apps have been causing serious trouble with the latest big Windows update, ‘Moment 2’).

Meanwhile, Microsoft recently introduced a nifty ability to the taskbar (in testing), namely the ability to kill a process right there on the bar (rather than having to mess around taking a trip to Task Manager).

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Windows 11 gets a design revamp that makes it easier to use

Windows 11 just got a fresh preview build which brings a slew of changes with it, including a new volume mixer, plus some tweaks for better accessibility in the OS.

Preview build 25309 has just been made available via the Dev channel, and it has given the volume mixer an all-new look.

As you may have noticed, there are bits of legacy UI elements in the Windows 11 interface that are outdated and rather jarring when they suddenly appear on-screen. The volume mixer, accessed from the taskbar (system tray on the right), is one of them, but in the new preview build, it now has a nicely modernized appearance.

The mixer allows for adjusting the overall volume, and the volume on a per-app basis, plus there’s a fresh addition here in the form of quick access to spatial audio settings. This lets you turn the feature on and off, or select different types of spatial audio such as Dolby Atmos for example.

Microsoft has also made improvements with the Voice Access feature in build 25309, revamping the help page which shows you all the voice commands that can be used in Windows 11. This now has a cleaner layout and is easier to take in, with a search bar so users can locate the commands they might need when operating Windows via voice.

On top of that, Voice Access is now available in some new English dialects, so as well as US, we now have UK English, along with Australian, Canadian, Indian and New Zealand English.

Oh, and there are also some new voice commands, one of which allows you to select a specific slab of text (from word ‘a’ to word ‘b’).

Windows 11 Voice Access

(Image credit: Microsoft)

A whole lot of tweaking is in evidence elsewhere with the Windows 11 interface, too. We’re talking about updated touch keyboard settings (new options for when to show it), and minor tweaks for the taskbar (so the search box is lighter when Windows is set to a custom color mode, such as dark mode).

Widgets are getting theme-aware icons, meaning that their icons will have their contrast ratios adjusted based on dark or light themes to allow them to stand out better and make their relevant details clearer.

There are also changes for snap layouts with build 25309. Microsoft is still experimenting with shorter periods of time for the snap flyout to appear, in order to improve discoverability for this feature.

For the full list of changes and known issues – there’s a lot of other work on the interface present here – as well as bug fixes, check out Microsoft’s blog post.

Analysis: A whole lot of strides forward for the UI

It’s good to see Microsoft keeping up its push for better accessibility, which has been something of a theme in recent times. There’s plenty of laudable work on voice commands in this new preview build, with some useful additional commands to make working with speech to text easier, and that improved help menu, which looks much better now. The changes to deliver better contrast ratios on widget icons will help people with low-vision, too. Good stuff.

There’s some interface work going on in the background too, because as leaker PhantomOfEarth pointed out on Twitter, the (hidden) photo gallery feature in File Explorer (read more about that here) has received a touch of polish in this build. Clearly, there’s a lot going on with the interface right now.

As ever, we can expect bugs with early versions of software (and the Dev channel is the earliest). Indeed, Microsoft specifically notes that the Voice Access help may go awry in places at this stage, and that descriptions and supplementary info for some commands might be inaccurate, so watch out for that.

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How to design a secure home office

Remote working has gone mainstream with large parts of the world, including the UK, now telecommuting. The data bears this out – for example, Microsoft saw users on their collaboration platform Teams generate 2.7 billion minutes of online meetings worldwide in a single day in early April, a new record and just under five times the amount generated just four weeks earlier.

While it is incredibly important to stay connected and keep physically distant, there are serious privacy risks that need to be addressed. Working from home can increase the risk of unauthorized data transfers and sharing. The privacy of users can also suffer if suddenly many new unfamiliar tools have to be used to get the job done. This is compounded by the fact that home networks are rarely as well secured as corporate headquarters. 

As an organisation, Mozilla has been focusing on the aspects of security and privacy in the home office for quite some time. Even before the crisis, half of all Mozilla employees (and 69% in the UK) were working permanently from home. Employers need to help their employees establish a secure home office environment to mitigate risks for both the individuals as well as the company. 

When it comes to security, there are three core areas that should all be given equal attention in designing a home office – IT security, data security and connection security.

IT Security

Large and small companies alike often prohibit the use of private hardware for work, be it a computer or just a USB stick. In the home office, however, people can quickly stop adhering to these strict rules. Private computers and devices are also more at risk as they are unlikely to have the same level of security measures in place as work devices. The latter tend to be supervised by an IT professional who has the right expertise to identify good antivirus software and firewall systems and ensure regular updates.

Therefore, it’s best to only use the devices provided by employers that have been secured in advance by the company’s IT department with common protection software. Business devices need to be protected in the home office – this means not using private USB sticks coupled with other private devices (via Bluetooth, for example) or private surfing on dubious websites during lunch breaks.

It’s wise to be especially careful when checking private emails at this time as well. Criminals are increasingly phishing and trying to spread malware in inboxes, both work and personal. This also highlights the importance of making sure your working device is up to date to protect against vulnerabilities – the browser and any other pre-installed software should always be kept up to date to do so.

Making sure you are password savvy is also important. Weak passwords can be more easily guessed or cracked through brute force attacks on networks, and if work passwords are the same or similar to the ones used privately, that could prove catastrophic for your place of work.

As such, when setting up work accounts, it is highly recommended to use strong, work-context only passwords that are different from those used for private browsing and personal online life. Some of our specific tips on this can be found here.

Data security

Given many of us will be accessing company resources from home at this time, one of the primary considerations for data security is the location of where data is stored. Especially as it’s expected that companies have access to their employees’ data at all times.

A strict separation of work and private computing devices, from laptops to smartphones and beyond, is therefore highly recommended. If it’s not possible, then data should be stored separately at the very least. Many companies already rely on secure cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox, Box, Onedrive or iCloud. For those, users must consistently observe the company's internal regulations, especially if they use a private device. Businesses should be encouraging users to take care when storing documents, and in particular not to store them on their private devices.

This also applies when transferring data to third parties, for example clients or service providers. Failure to use secure platforms such as professional email accounts, WeTransfer or Firefox Send can risk your data leaking into the wild and jeopardizing business continuity.

Connection security

Since working remotely means that people often have to exchange even more data with their colleagues than before, the way that data gets transferred is extremely important. Many companies use a business VPN, a virtual network, for access to the internal company network, which stores all documents and programs. This is particularly well-protected against the interception of data – which is critical when working from home.

At home, people usually access the internet via their private home Wi-Fi. In most cases, this is not very well protected against attacks. While free networks (in cafés, train stations, etc.) are known for being very vulnerable to attacks if not secured by a VPN, the home Wi-Fi is also a weak point. Most people use their routers after purchase by plug & play, with the standard provided password and a weak Wi-Fi key. This isn’t ideal for private usage, but definitely insufficient for professional work.

A secure connection strategy for a home office is multi-pronged. In terms of your home network, it’s recommended to use at least WPA2 encryption for your WI-FI router, or WPA3 if you have access to it on your device. Making sure all related software and firmwares are up to date is also useful here. As is making sure you only access company data via a VPN and avoiding the use of public Wi-Fi networks unless a VPN is used.

Designing a secure home office, above all, is about consciously de-risking as many potential privacy and security factors as possible. Whilst not an exhaustive list, focusing on the above three areas will help employees and employers alike to have greater peace of mind and focus on the things that are business critical during this challenging time.

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