8 Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers
Ever since the massive shift from physical working to online in 2020, more and more companies have encouraged their employees to work remotely. And it doesn’t look like this trend is going away anytime soon.
The American Community Survey carried out by from US Census Bureau found that the number of people working from home tripled from just 5.7% to 17.9% between the years 2019 and 2021.
So much so that by 2025, there will be 36 million employees working remotely, which makes it 22% of the US workforce.
The working-from-home process is here to stay for a while now. However, there is an important crisis to consider when working remotely i.e. cybersecurity threats to the system.
Whether you are working independently or for an organization, you need to be wary of cybersecurity threats that could attack your devices and steal your personal information or documents.
We have listed some tips in this article that are easy to follow and don’t require much.
8 Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers
Remote workers are free from most of the obligations of working in office spaces; they enjoy flexible timings, no expense on the commute, more relaxation in terms of getting days off, etc. But their devices and systems are more at threat of being attacked. People in office spaces often have IT persons on hand to deal with their systems, but remote workers do not have that luxury.
Hence, they need to take matters into their own hands when it comes to taking care of their computers and keeping documents secure. If you are one of those remote workers, you might find the tips given below to be of some use:
Sign Up for a Secure Wi-Fi Connection
When working from home, you need an internet connection that is secure and reliable. Otherwise, the hackers can easily breach your Wi-Fi connection, gain access to your devices, and then steal private information.
That is why you should have an internet connection that can keep all the connected devices secure. On that note, dial the Xfinity customer service phone number to sign up for reliable internet with smooth connectivity and advanced security.
There are some steps you can take yourself as well. Change the default password of your Wi-Fi router to something stronger and unique. Also, make sure the router is updated according to recent security patches.
Lastly, don’t be tempted to connect your work laptop to public Wi-Fi since they are vulnerable to malicious programs.
Follow Your Company’s Security Guidelines
Many organizations, especially companies with a large number of employees, have put precautions in place to keep the devices safe from any cyber threats. They even provide training and guides to their employees to help them be aware and educated about the dangers of cyber threats.
If you are unsure about any equipment provided by the company or any security measures, you can reach out to the company IT team for more queries. If you receive a suspicious email or notice on your computer, that’s also when you should contact the IT team.
Moreover, your company may also provide you with VPN credentials or other security tools. Use those to protect your devices from any security breach.
Avoid Clickbait on Phishing Emails
Scam and phishing emails are very common when it comes to a company’s security.
Many employees receive hundreds of emails every other day from scammers, who impersonate an authoritative person or someone with credibility just to get them to give up confidential information. They ask for login credentials or bank account information.
You are even more susceptible to such cyber threats as a work-from-home employee. You should be on the lookout for any emails from fake individuals. Avoid replying to them, or better yet, do not open their emails at all.
Keep Important Files Secure
When working from home, your personal files tend to get mixed up with work documents. This confusion could jeopardize the company’s confidential information, including work files.
That’s why you need to keep your work documents separate, and confidential files secure. Most applications offer a security feature where you can lock up confidential files with a password. These applications are Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, etc. You also have the option of storing your confidential files on cloud-based file-sharing programs, such as Google Drive. These programs are secure and have security measures in place.
Also, don’t forget to create backups of your files, in case the original files are damaged or lost.
All Devices Must Have Strong Passwords
This doesn’t get said enough: hackers can easily hack into your account if your passwords are too easy and not strong enough. And it is an important tip for keeping your digital files safe while working from home.
Make sure that the password you have is 12 characters long and includes symbols, numbers, and different case letters.
Make your password complex and unique. Don’t use important dates as your passwords, and definitely no names either.
Try strings of numbers and words that are just random, make no logical sense (except to you), or follow a pattern.
Turn On the Two-Factor Authentication
Years before all the security protocols were installed in the system, all a hacker needed to breach was a password. But today there are security measures in place that protect your online accounts from these hackers.
One such security feature is two-factor authentication, which is an additional layer of protection. The feature requires you to provide proof that it’s really you accessing your own account, and not the hacker.
One example of such a tool is Google Authenticator to verify your identity. When you log in to your Google account on a laptop, you’ll receive a notification on your device. Once approved, the login process will complete and you’ll be able to access your Google account.
Hence, such a feature can go a long way toward securing company information from any unknown threats.
Your Video Calls Are Also Susceptible To Viruses
Back when the pandemic started and video conferences were becoming the norm for all employees, many video-calling apps especially Zoom were becoming susceptible to cyber threats.
Users would enter into Zoom meetings without any invitation or permission, which threatened the security of private video conferences.
Since then, Zoom and such apps have worked on improving their security features.
However, users should still take precautions, wherever they can. When scheduling an online meeting, make sure to enable a password for joining the video conference.
Share that password only with those who are authorized to be in the meeting. Also, enable the “waiting room” feature in the videoconferencing app so that you can screen all the attendees before allowing them to join the online meeting.
Keep Your Devices Updated
Keeping all your devices and their program is crucial for keeping them safe from any malicious cybersecurity threats.
New viruses are created every day, evolving to become more sophisticated and difficult to tackle.
As a result, programs and operating systems are kept updated every day, so that they can also protect themselves from such threats. Software and systems that are not updated are vulnerable to such viruses.
You need to keep your system updated. Use supported ones, so that your devices have access to the latest security updates.
If your system is assigned by the company, you should receive daily updates; you need to approve them to your system.
Any software and programs you use need to be updated too. Most of them will automatically install updates into your system, while some of them need your approval to get started with the updates.
Don’t give hackers any opportunity to access your device and data!
Following the above-mentioned tips should help remote employees like yourself to establish a strong defense against cybersecurity threats.
As long as you follow them all, you should have an effective work-from-home routine with little to no disturbance from hackers and unknown internet users alike.
Last modified: May 23, 2023