Believe it or not, early this year, just 5% of Americans were working from home. Since then, that number has skyrocketed.
While most of us that have been working from home have settled into the flow, some still have acclimating to do. This is particularly true when it comes to remote cyber security.
Working out of a formal office means being able to manage your day knowing that precautions have been put in place by security teams to keep your company’s data safe. Now that you’re working elsewhere, the responsibility of maintaining a secure workspace largely falls on you.
To help protect your company’s sensitive data and your job, below, we share a handful of tips that you can start implementing.
1. Avoid Public WIFI
Working from home doesn’t necessarily have to mean working from home. It could mean working from a coffee shop, a library, or anywhere else. The risk in doing that is public WIFI connects you and others to the same internet entryway. Because of that, hackers have the opportunity to intercept your data.
The best way to avoid that is to avoid public WIFI altogether. If that’s not a possibility, consider using public WIFI that limits users by requiring a purchase to receive a password.
2. Invest in a VPN
For those of you that don’t know what a VPN (virtual private network) is, it’s a piece of software you install on your computer that re-routes your data, so it’s less easily intercepted. VPNs typically charge a monthly fee, but believe us when we say that the low expense they represent is well worth the price of keeping yourself digitally protected.
It may be that your company has a corporate subscription to a VPN that you can ask for access to. If they don’t, suggest that they look into one.
3. Change Your Router’s Password
Just because you work remotely at home doesn’t mean that you’re out of the remote cyber security woods. Even home WIFI connections can be broken into by third parties looking to intercept data.
Most unwanted visitors on your WIFI will be able to gain access because of a bad password. Make life harder for those people by changing your router’s stock password and rotating it every month or so.
If you’re worried about other people in your house sharing your WIFI password, create a guest network for them within your wireless settings, so your work traffic and their recreational traffic don’t use the same connection.
4. Look at Your Address Bar
Companies are increasingly using cloud applications to get work done. These applications require you to type in a web address in your search bar to access whatever tools you need.
Hackers have tried to exploit that by buying domains that are very similar to the domains associated with legitimate websites. One wrong keystroke, and you could end up entering all of your company login information into a lookalike site rather than the one you intended.
The best way to avoid this is to double-check web addresses you type in and make sure that the sites you use display a padlock icon to their left.
5. Watch Your Sightlines
A means of physical cyber security that not many people pay attention to are sightlines. Sightlines are the spaces around you where people could feasibly peek at your computer screen to see what you’re doing.
You can reduce the number of sightlines you have by working with your back to a wall. You can also invest in monitor film that’s reflective and makes it impossible for somebody not sitting in front of your screen to see its content.
6. Never Leave Your Laptop Unlocked
At some point, we’ve all needed to do something else while working and have walked away from our computers. During that time, your unlocked laptop is left waiting for someone to come up to it and steal sensitive information.
Even if you’re in your own home, it’s good practice to always “lock” your laptop whenever you step away. Getting into this habit will ensure that you don’t forget to secure your machine when you’re in a less safe environment.
7. Use Data Blockers When Charging Company Phones
For those of you that work more on phones than laptops, you’ll want to take special remote cyber security precautions. Namely, you’ll want to be careful where you plug your device in to charge.
USB cables not only transmit power to your device but can also pull data from it. By connecting to an unknown source, you may give a machine the ability to learn how to access iCloud login credentials, copy your photos, or read your emails.
Not falling victim to that fate is as simple as not plugging into public computers and downloading a data blocker on your phone. Data blockers will ask if you trust the device you’re jacked into.
Newer phones have built-in data blockers that make this process simple.
Taking Remote Cyber Security Seriously Protects You and Your Workplace
Intellectual property is everything in the world of business. If your company was to lose theirs due to you not following guidelines for secure use of email or other remote cyber security protocols, you and your job could be in trouble.
We hope our tips enable you to better protect your data going forward, and we welcome you to read more tips on the subject by checking out the newest content on our blog. If you love articles pertaining to business, technology, parenting, and more, you’ll be glad you did!