These days, working from home is becoming more common than ever. It provides a lot of freedom and flexibility since you’re not tied to a single location. While there are numerous benefits, there are certain challenges that come with it too.
Security is a matter that requires special attention. In the office, you have system administrators to set everything up and ensure that the information being shared stays private. However, it’s hard to achieve this at home on your own unless you’re a master in cybersecurity.
Fret not; you can keep your data secure, even when you’re working remotely. Here are several best practices and tips you can start with.
Best Security Practices for Remote Workers
Have a dedicated workspace
Choose a separate room in the house that you can convert into a home office. Apart from setting it up with a comfortable chair and desk, make sure to add an adequately sized storage unit for organising all of the essential and classified items you need for work.
Ideally, this workspace must be secluded enough so you’re away from both distractions and security risks. Don’t make it easy for people to peek at confidential documents by leaving your computer open either. Also, make it clear to your housemates to not disturb you during working hours as there are chances they might overhear you speaking about private business matters.
Constantly update your programs and operating systems
Hackers and threats on the internet are constantly becoming more sophisticated. You need to be one step ahead and make sure you’re protected by using the latest versions of your programs and operating systems. This will increase your defense against potential security attacks on the web.
Install an antivirus solution on each of your devices that handle corporate data as well. If money is too tight, get a free program like those from Kaspersky, Avast, or AVG. They may not be as effective as their paid versions, but they reduce the risk of infection significantly.
Change your router password regularly
This is one of the best security practices that are recommended for remote workers. Make sure no one else is able to access your router network and infect your system with malicious files or programs. Ideally, you need to change your router password and login information every month (if not, do it at least every quarter).
Be mindful as to who you give your password to. You might have guests over who want to access the internet, for instance. If it’s absolutely necessary that you give them the password, change it the moment they leave your house else you risk your security through their device.
Encrypt your Wi-Fi connection
Protect your data at work and other sensitive information you’re working on from being stolen or intercepted. The best way to do this is to use only encrypted Wi-Fi connections. Experts recommend WPA2. It is also important to choose a strong password.
If you need to work outside your home, avoid connecting to networks that you aren’t familiar with, even if they’re those of a hotel or coffee shop’s. Coworking spaces and similar establishments are generally safer as they are set up with business audiences in mind.
Use a Virtual Private Network
A VPN is used for bypassing geographic restrictions on location-specific content. It provides a secure avenue through which traffic can travel through. As useful as it might be for location-spoofing, however, it’s also important for improving online privacy.
A virtual private network hides your IP addresses and encrypts your communications, but only when it’s configured properly. Gain control of all systems that are attached to your network and watch over your GPO policies. Invest in a fast and reliable VPN if you perform high-bandwidth tasks like video conference calls often.
Have a secure backup
Cyber attacks, physical damage to hardware, human error–there are countless ways that you might lose important data. Malware can easily wipe out a system before they even get detected and you want to be prepared for that worst-case scenario.
One of the most cost-effective and convenient means you can store data is on the cloud. Google Drive is free but with limited capacity, unless you pay for an upgrade. Cloud backup services like IDrive and Backblaze allow you to schedule backups as well.
Watch out for phishing
Cybercriminals entice people to share their login credentials and data through text, email, or even phone calls. The information they glean is often used in further schemes such as credit card fraud and account takeovers.
Learn to spot these questionable messages by checking for any misspellings of domains or forms and by cross-checking with previous messages from legit providers. If something feels off about a request, best ignore it while you can.
Do Remote Work as Securely as Possible
The ability to observe certain security practices and strategies will enable you to be productive wherever you are. Whether working from home or in other remote locations, you can succeed as long as you observe these best practices.
If you’re at the stage of looking for an online job that you can perform securely, Remote Workmate can help. We’re connected to reputable and reliable clients who are searching for specialists like you.
Have a look at our job listings and send in your application.