Remote work has become the new normal for a lot of us. Working from home may sound simple, but it has its fair share of nuisances, especially when it comes to security.
Newer threats to working from home have emerged with the potential to cause significant financial losses. So, maintaining proper security practices has become essential. Here are some much-needed security tips for remote workers who want to keep themselves safe from remote working cyberattacks.
Best Cybersecurity Tips For Remote Workers
Want to find out the best security tips for remote workers? Here are 10 cybersecurity recommendations for employees working from home.
1. Separate Personal and Work Devices
A survey by HP found out that 70 percent of remote workers were using work devices for personal stuff like internet surfing. It’s a big problem from a security point of view since it increases the chance of your work device getting compromised.
Although changing between devices may feel counter-intuitive for many users, this simple step can significantly safeguard your work life. And if you happen to use your smartphone for office tasks, try to implement the same policy.
2. Secure Work Devices Physically
Many remote workers overlook the importance of securing work devices physically. It won’t matter whether you’re implementing all the security tips for remote workers if your device gets stolen or lost. That’s why we never recommend taking work devices outside unless you are sure of bringing them back.
Working parents should consider securing their devices from curious toddlers or pets. They can unknowingly cause physical damage to the device. Investing in a safe or mount will be a good idea for working from home parents.
3. Protect Your Home Router
Securing your Wi-Fi router is a no-brainer when it comes to working from home. Your router is your gateway to the internet, so safeguarding it should be a high priority for remote workers.
Using a strong password reduces your router’s chance of getting hacked significantly. There are also other ways to prevent your home router from being targeted by hackers, like keeping firmware updated and changing admin credentials. Since there are many ways for hackers to steal your Wi-Fi password, maintaining a robust security policy is crucial.
4. Use a VPN Service
Using a high-quality VPN service is a must for remote workers. It will protect your work devices from many threats such as Man in the Middle (MITM) attacks and session hijacking. Top VPN providers offer end-to-end encryption support for their customers, which is crucial for remote jobs.
That way, even if some malicious attacker gains access to your home network, they won’t be able to penetrate your company network right away. So, we highly recommend using a VPN service when connecting to company servers.
5. Buy a Sliding Webcam Cover
Webcams have become essential for remote workers who need to communicate frequently with team members. However, hackers are also targeting these, and it’s quite easy to get remote access to someone else’s webcam.
No one likes the idea of an intruder spying on them through their own webcam!
That’s why companies should encourage employees to invest in a sliding webcam cover. These are quite cheap, and come in all shapes and sizes. And they’ll surely protect your personal space from unwanted onlookers.
6. Encrypt Work Devices
Using proper encryption methods is one of the most important habits for staying safe online. It also safeguards your professional life when working from home. Properly encrypted devices are hard to break into and will often thwart intruders even after device theft.
There are many different ways to implement encryption for work devices. You can opt for system-wide encryption solutions or encrypt a particular disk drive. You should also encrypt your mobile devices if you’re using that for office work… or just to stay safe regardless.
7. Update System Software
One essential security tip for remote workers is to update any system software as soon as they’re available. Bugs and vulnerabilities are found every day, and updating the firmware is the chief way to protect your work device.
Make sure to also update user-space applications like browsers and media players. Advanced attackers often leverage bugs in such software to gain full system privileges. We also recommend not installing any untrusted software on your devices.
8. Use Centralized Storage Solutions
Most attackers targeting remote workers aim to get access to your company data. Centralized storage solutions are a great way to protect against data theft. If your business provides access to these solutions, make sure you always use them.
If your company has yet to offer centralized storage, talk to your supervisor about it. In case these are not available, try using a secure cloud service such as Tresorit or NextCloud.
9. Keep Your Passwords Secure
Weak passwords are vulnerable to brute force attacks, and any such breach will compromise your whole device. It can also give attackers access to business data as well as company networks. You need to choose very strong passphrases for your device and online accounts.
Password managers can make life easier if you find it hard to remember too many credentials. When choosing your password manager, try to find one with multi-platform support, strong password generators, and swift recovery options.
10. Wipe Data Before Throwing Out Devices
It’s crucial to wipe any system data before sharing, selling, or throwing out a device. All modern devices offer factory reset options, which format all data stored on the disk. Use them when changing work devices to protect against identity theft.
There are other standalone apps marketed as erasing sensitive business data. Employees working in classified industries should use the DoD 5220.22-M standard for wiping data. The US Department of Defense specifies using it, as do many federal and government entities.
Keep Remote Work Safe and Secure
According to a study by KuppingerCole, cybercrime has seen a massive 238 percent increase since remote work became a popular alternative to commuting.
Following security tips for remote workers blindly doesn’t guarantee safety against all kinds of attacks. However, they can reduce the chances of getting compromised, and keep your professional life hassle-free. That’s why you should also be wary of email hoaxes, tracking websites, and other online scams when using personal devices for office work.
This is how you can create strong Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies at work, to keep information secure.
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