The world has changed over the last decade, and now more than ever, people are working more remotely. This change can be incredibly beneficial to your health and productivity and that of your employer, but there are some risks you must be aware of if you choose to work remotely.
The fact is, the Internet makes it easier than ever to work from home and take your job with you wherever you go, but this also makes your work vulnerable to potential threats. The good news? You can protect yourself and your business from hackers, data breaches, phishing scams, and more by following these security tips for working remotely.
Benefits of Remote Working
The first and most apparent advantage of remote working is working from anywhere. Whether it’s a beach in Thailand, a coffee shop in Berlin, or your home office, being able to pick up and go means that you can be wherever you want without having to worry about things like childcare or leaving your car at airport parking lots.
Of course, you have to take yourself and your laptop (or smartphone). The second major benefit of remote working is control over your environment.
After all, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have chosen to pursue self-employment online; chances are one of them had come across your issue before and solved it somehow.
- Increase employee productivity and retention
- Reduced interruptions
- Decrease overhead costs
- Increase family time
Remote Security Practices for Employers
Due to advances in technology, many companies have begun to allow their employees to work remotely. While remote working arrangements can be hugely beneficial for employers and employees alike, they pose a unique set of security challenges. Here are five ways to ensure adequate security measures while maintaining a flexible workplace environment.
Migrate Your Business Applications to the Cloud
Working from home or a remote location raises security concerns, but it can be done safely and securely. If you must work remotely, take some simple steps to ensure your data is safe—these are just a few common-sense tips that will protect you from hackers and other nefarious individuals.
Use Password Managers
Password managers are a great way to keep your passwords secure while working remotely. There are many free options on all major operating systems, so find one that works for you and start securing those passwords! And don’t forget to use password managers. We recommend:
Secure Your Wi-Fi
If you’re frequently logging into public Wi-Fi networks when working remotely, it’s essential to make sure they’re secured as well as possible. Use a VPN if possible (though not all VPNs provide encryption).
HTTPS is another good option for ensuring that only people with an encryption key can view information sent over Wi-Fi networks; most browsers now include these settings by default.
Install Multi-factor Authentication
When you work remotely, it’s easy to become lax about your online security. Hackers know that many people tend to work from home, so they often scan for vulnerabilities. Protect yourself by ensuring you have multi-factor authentication enabled on all your accounts and services.
Whenever possible, use 2FA over 1FA. This way, if someone has access to your phone number or email address—which can happen when phishing emails are sent—they still won’t access your account.
Implement BYOD/MDM Policies
If you have employees working remotely, it is a good idea to implement a Bring Your Device (BYOD) or Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy. This allows your company to maintain control over its systems and protects from cyber attacks.
Secure Your Data
No matter how remote an employee may be, they still need to do their part in protecting your business from cyber-attacks. Ensuring that all devices are updated with antivirus software, firewalls, and password management software will keep both companies safe. ENCRYPT ALL
All communications should always be encrypted if possible, especially when dealing with companies that work with sensitive data, such as banks and other financial institutions.
Computer Backups and Emergency Procedures
Employees should back up files on all devices to ensure safe data recovery, even cloud-based storage.
Watch Out For Email Phishing
Don’t click links in emails from people you don’t know. Even if it looks like an email from your boss, check with them directly before clicking anything. This can lead to phishing attacks and installing malware on your device. Additionally, enable two-factor authentication wherever possible to protect yourself even further.
Secure Your Online Presence
Do a little digging into your company’s security protocols and make sure they are implemented properly (or take matters into your own hands). If you have a personal website or any other online presence that connects back to you personally—secure it!
Use Caution Wireless Networks
While working remotely, you may have to use a public Wi-Fi network, which is unsecure. If it’s available, you should use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) instead. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a server operated by your company or organization. You can find one with a quick search on Google, and there are many options available for all levels of computer expertise.
No one will track you unless they know your account name and password; if they do happen to get those credentials, they won’t have access to any other files on your system as everything is inaccessible behind the secure connection. It also provides extra protection from snooping ISPs or someone trying to intercept wireless communications.
Update Software Regularly
Most software companies release security updates monthly or even weekly, so make sure to check that your programs are up-to-date. This includes antivirus, operating system, and all programs you commonly use. If you don’t have automatic software updates for some reason, set a reminder in your calendar to manually update once per month.
Use complex passwords: Don’t reuse passwords for any account—especially those related to work or your finances. Make sure that your password is at least 15 characters long and uses a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols (most websites typically require this).
Strengthen Your Organization’s Security
Strengthening your organization’s security is key to protecting employee data when working remotely. Adopting end-to-end encryption and token-based single sign-on can help mitigate some of these risks. With others like multi-factor authentication, these measures will help keep employee information secure.
Whether you work remotely because you’re self-employed or because your company has an office in another city, security should be a top priority. Make sure that all of your devices are protected by strong passwords, and consider installing remote access software to keep tabs on what’s happening to your work computer while you’re away.
Contact us today for a free consultation on cybersecurity and other IT-related services. Our team of experts will be more than happy to assist.