8 Best Practices for Secure Remote Working
When working remotely, a plethora of threats emerge and you’re left wondering how you can ensure your work is safe. Fret not, we’ve brought you the 8 best practices for secure remote work, whether you’re working from home or simply decided to visit your favorite coffee shop.
Best Practices for Secure Remote Working
1. Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi
Who wouldn’t be tempted to connect to a free, public Wi-Fi network? If you want to stay secure, we highly advise you not to give in to this temptation. The attractive deal often ends with serious consequences, as public Wi-Fi networks tend to lack the security needed to keep them safe.
There have been thousands upon thousands of reports detailing how hackers use public Wi-Fi to infiltrate smartphones, laptops, and other devices. This is bad news for you, especially if you’re using your work device in public. Before connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, ensure that you have ample protection or encrypt your connection with reliable tools.
2. Encrypt sensitive information
Encryption is one of the best methods of keeping your data safe even in an event of a privacy breach. Encrypted data can only be decrypted successfully by using the correct encryption key, which should only be known by authorized users. Even if a hacker gains access to your files, they won’t be able to read or open your encrypted materials.
For both online and offline files, applications such as Bitlocker and FileVault allow you to set up secure encryption for free. We also urge you to look into how you can encrypt your emails using your email provider’s website or downloadable application.
3. Keep your work data on your work computer
Your employers expect you to stay professional when working remotely. Don’t mix and match important work materials with personal data on your device, even if you’re using your own computer or laptop. If you’re provided with one, keep your work computer safe and clean of any personal data such as personal files, casual web browsing, and personal online accounts.
Make sure to create business accounts for work, and actually set them up for business use only. Many websites, such as Google and PayPal allow you to create business accounts that have an extended feature list for making your remote work life easier. Make sure that you register as a business user whenever the option is possible.
4. Invest in a good antivirus
Most laptops and computers come with security options enabled by default. However, this barebones protection isn’t always enough to keep you safe against advanced attacks. For example, millions of users have reported that Windows Defender’s ransomware protection is turned off by default; this could lead to a catastrophic outcome if your work device is caught up in an attack.
Our recommendation for an advanced yet affordable antivirus is Trend Micro 2020 Antivirus+ available on our website for only $35.99.
5. User authorization and identity verification
This section is more so aimed towards company owners and managers. In order to keep everything, and I mean everything under control, you should always look into verifying your users before they’re granted access to important company assets.
This verification ensures that even if a work computer is affected by an attack, the attackers can’t access critical data. Services such as Duo allow you to verify the identity of your users at even a large enterprise scale.
6. Keep your devices close, and your work devices closer
While the focus of this article is on online threats, we’d like to remind you to make sure you always keep your devices safe and secure from physical threats.
Double-check that all of the devices that have access to your work data are equipped with tracking. Features such as Windows’ Find my Device, or Apple’s Find my iPhone and Find my Mac are all capable of locating and locking stolen devices. Don’t take any chances and ensure that these features are always active and set up on your devices.
"One of the best practices businesses can implement when it comes to securing their remote workforce is to use a VPN." — Keri Lindenmuth, KDG
VPNs are often called one of the essential practices to secure your online browsing. They don’t only allow you to switch your visible location to a different country, but consecutively keep your browsing anonymous and, if done well, impossible to track.
8. Practice safe internet browsing
To finish this article off, we’ve brought you some reminders for safe internet browsing that you should always practice. These little things add up and allow you to stay clear of any threats that regular internet usage exposes you to.
- Use long, unique, and unpredictable passwords. Never reuse the same password for two accounts.
- Turn off WiFi-protected setup (WPS) to prevent bad actors from using it to breach your network.
- Always keep your internet browser up to date. Outdated browsers are more exposed to being exploited by malware and hackers.
- Disable autocomplete for forms, and delete your saved passwords. If needed, use a trusted and secure password manager to remember your passwords.
- If there’s no padlock icon in the address bar or “https://” at the beginning of the web address, do not enter personal information on the site.
Summary: Here are the top remote working security tips to ensure you and your staff are working from home safely.
- Don't use public wi-fi
- Encrypt sensitive information
- Use antivirus and internet security software at home.
- Keep family members away from work devices.
- Invest in a sliding webcam cover.
- Use a VPN.
- Use a centralized storage solution.
- Secure your home Wi-Fi.
- Use identity verification
- practice safe internet browsing
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