COVID-19 has been the talk of the town for a few months now and has forced people to stay inside their homes – USA is no exception. Consequently, the coronavirus has created a culture of remote working.
That seems logical – if companies wish to continue their operations and your job profile is location neutral, staying indoors is the best way to reduce the chances of spreading the infection while ensuring that your work is not hampered.
Working from home and working from the office is entirely different. You will not be able to interact with your office buddies or eat lunch with your team. However, the most distinguishing factor while working from home is the lack of data protection.
Companies and businesses often use the best technology to protect their data and network at their offices. However, when at home, it is not only the IT teams’ responsibility but yours as well to ensure the security of your data. Because, by any chance, if confidential data is leaked, your company’s reputation will be at stake.
Follow these below-mentioned tips when working remotely to avoid such a disaster.
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1. Configure Wi-Fi Encryption
The first step for working remotely is to encrypt your Wi-Fi and protect it from prying eyes. An attacker who connects to your Wi-Fi can intercept all your online activity – from your browsing history to all the official documents you email to your boss.
Please note that some protection standards might be outdated, so the best way to protect your network using the WPA2 standards.
Along with encryption, your Wi-Fi connection should also be password protected. Your password should be strong (including special characters, numbers, and capital letters).
2. Change Your Router Password Often
If you have not changed your router password for long, now is the right time to do so. Not changing your password for long makes it easier for people to guess and gain access to your network.
Attackers usually write a password into their code while attacking your router, and if it works, the router is captured. Keeping the same password for long allows the attackers to guess it and keep an eye on all the data you send online, making your official data prone to leaks and being incorrectly utilized.
3. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Organizations are now using two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of protection. In this method, the user needs to enter his credentials and then another piece of information; an OTP or answer to another question is mostly used for providing the extra layer of security.
If an attacker gets access to the user’s credentials, accessing the other piece of information is quite tricky. Some companies don’t stop there; they take two-factor authentication to a whole new level by using retina or fingerprint scans.
4. Don’t Mix Personal and Professional Life
Please do not use your work laptop for shopping online or accessing your Facebook, and do not use your personal laptop for accessing your company data. Using personal devices for work can cause a mistake, which can prove to be costly. For instance, you can send a confidential official document to someone on your Facebook.
Your IT team has most probably equipped your work laptop with all the necessary tripwires and safeguards that notify if there is a human error. But to be safe, keep your work devices away from your family members, especially children. Small children can be easily tricked into downloading malicious content.
5. Lock Your Device
Someone can look at your work even if you’re taking a bathroom break. Thus, it is essential to ensure that your screen is locked whenever you leave your device unattended. There are low chances that this will happen with your family members in the house, but you cannot take any chances.
Working from home means that outsiders have minimal access to your room, but it is always good to lock your device. Even your child can delete a critical file by mistake. It should be needless to say that your device should be password protected.
6. Spot Scams
Remote workers should be aware while working as no protection is 100% secure. They can receive spam or malicious email aimed at tricking you into doing something that compromises the security of your data. There have been several instances of the same during the coronavirus pandemic where attackers trick users.
For instance, attackers might disguise as someone from the IT department and send an email where the user is required to change his or her password, wherein they can get access to it. Verify such things by contacting the IT team; reporting such things will also protect other employees who are less vigilant.
7. Use a VPN
It’s always good to be extra cautious while accessing official data. This is because protecting your Wi-Fi with a password might not be able to offer the desired level of protection from outsiders.
To prevent yourself from attackers meaning to harm you and your data, it is good to use a virtual private network (VPN). Using a VPN encrypts your data automatically (regardless of your network settings), and outsiders will not be able to read it.
8. Use an Antivirus
Companies do their best to protect devices from malware. They restrict employees from downloading applications, prohibit online access, install security solutions, and more. Following all these things becomes a bit trickier at home. However, you shouldn’t leave your laptop vulnerable to attacks.
To prevent your work laptop from attacks, it is advised to purchase and install a trusted antivirus solution. You can opt for a paid as well as a free version of an antivirus. A free version is also capable of preventing your device from getting infected.
9. Move to the Cloud
Opting for a cloud service provider to host your applications and data on the cloud is a great way for employees to work from home while ensuring the safety of the official data. The data is located at several locations around the globe, which makes it difficult to hack.
Most cloud hosting providers use the latest security standards and firewalls to prevent unauthorized access to their cloud servers. Also, they take care of your data’s physical security with multi-layer scanning when someone enters their facilities.
Remote work does not put your data at risk if remote workers are educated about the best practices. Remote working requires the employees to be vigilant and aware, and the tips mentioned above are sure to make your remote working experience smoother and more secure.
Wish to build a secure remote working culture with help of cloud for your organization? Call our Solutions Consultant at 855-910-8219.
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