In today’s digital age, more and more people are working remotely. While there are many benefits to remote work, it can also be a minefield if proper cybersecurity precautions aren’t taken.

No longer working under one company’s roof can leave you and your potentially your clients’ data more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Cyber Security Tips For Employees

According to Global Workplace Statistics, between 2009 and today, remote working has risen a staggering 159% – this rise can be attributed to a number of factors, such as the advancement of technology, an increase in flexible working arrangements, the need for organizations to reduce their carbon footprints and, let’s not forget the pandemic that forced workers in their droves to WFH/work remotely.

This created a somewhat unique opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities and access sensitive data because many people were suddenly working outside of the office, on unsecured networks and devices.

In order to minimize the risk of a data breach or cyberattack, it’s important to follow best practices for remote work cybersecurity. Here are 21 tips for reducing security risks whilst working remotely:

1. Use antivirus and internet security software at home

Always make sure that you regularly update your antivirus software and keep it switched on at all times.

It’s also a good idea to invest in internet security software to scan your computer for viruses and malware, which can be purchased online or through your IT department.

2. Keep family members away from work devices

This one should be pretty self-explanatory, however: Keep work devices for work use only.

If possible, set up a separate user account on your computer for work purposes and make sure that any devices used for work are password protected but whatever you do, do not let the kids (or anyone else, for that matter) loose on your work laptop!

3. Invest in a sliding webcam cover

If you haven’t already, now is the time to invest in a webcam cover. This will help to prevent hackers from accessing your webcam and spying on you.

Webcam covers can be purchased online or likely through your IT department – they may even be able to provide you with one free of charge.

4. Use a virtual private network [vpn]

If you are working on public options, it’s important to use a VPN (virtual private network) service. This will hide your IP address and keep your browsing secure.

A good free option is Windscribe but there are plenty of other paid services that can be found online too.  

5. Change your passwords regularly

We ALL hate to do it but it is crucially important to change your passwords regularly, especially if you are working outside of the office. Try to make it part of your routine to do so; that way, it won’t seem like such a mammoth task when you don’t have a million passwords to change all at the same time…!

Passwords should contain a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols but be different for each account or device – this will help to minimize security risks.

Use websites like – https://passwordsgenerator.net/ to make the process a little easier and be sure to store them somewhere safe but easily accessible, such as a password manager.

6. Secure your home wi-fi network

If you are working from home, it’s important to secure your home wi-fi network to prevent others from accessing it and your data.

The first step is to choose a strong password for your router – this should be a mix of numbers, letters and symbols, as mentioned above. It’s also a good idea to change the username that is displayed on the router to something unique, rather than the default username.  

7. Avoid public wi-fi

…like the plague! If you have to use public wi-fi, make sure that you connect to a VPN first.

This will encrypt your data and help to keep your browsing activity private, even on an unsecured network.

8. Ensure zoom meetings are private by requiring a password

Many businesses now conduct Zoom meetings as a way of keeping in touch with team members when they are not all in the same location.

Remember, it’s still possible for hackers to access these meetings so ensure that you require participants to use a password before joining your Zoom meetings as this will add an extra layer of security.

9. Enable two-factor authorization

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your system.  

This means that, in addition to a password, you will be prompted for a one-time passcode before accessing a given account – just make sure this code is something memorable but hard to guess – this can help prevent hackers from gaining access.

10. Beware of phishing scams

Phishing scams are becoming more and more common, so it’s important to be aware of them. These scams usually take the form of an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate source but is actually from a hacker, trying to trick you into revealing personal information or clicking on a malicious link.

If you receive an email that looks suspicious, do not open any attachments or click on any links. Instead, contact the company directly to confirm that the email is legitimate.

11. Keep work data on work computers

If you are using a work computer, it’s important to keep work data on that computer and not mix it with your personal data. This will help to keep your work data more secure and prevent any sensitive information from being compromised.

12. Beware of remote desktop tools

Remote desktop tools are a great way for remote workers to stay in touch with their teams, but they can also be a security risk if not used properly.  

Make sure you only use approved remote desktop tools, and that any data shared through these tools is encrypted and password protected.

13. Don’t use random thumb drives

Thumb drives are often used to transfer data between computers, but they can be risky – not only do they contain sensitive information, but you may also pick up malware without realizing it.

To minimize the risks associated with thumb drives, always scan them before using them and don’t use any that have been plugged into other people’s computers.

14. Never leave your devices or laptop in the car

This is one most will have had drilled into us from an early age – if you leave your devices or laptop (or anything else, for that matter) in the car, they are more likely to be stolen. So, make sure you keep them with you at all times, or at least in a secure location.

15. Use a USB data blocker when charging up at a public phone charging station

In recent years, we’ve become increasingly reliant on our phones and other devices, which means that we often have to charge them up in public places. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with using public phone charging stations.

One way to reduce the risks is to use a USB data blocker, which will physically prevent data from being transferred between your device and the charging station.

Cyber Security Tips For Employers

Today, there won’t be many companies that don’t have at least some staff working remotely, and with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in an increase in remote work, it’s more important than ever for employers to be aware of the potential cybersecurity risks.

Here are a few tips for employers to help keep their employees’ data safe:

16. Install a remote work security policy

The first step is to install a remote work security policy. This should outline the company’s expectations for employees in terms of cybersecurity and should be made available to all staff.

17. Use a centralized storage solution

If you have a lot of remote workers, it can be difficult to keep track of who has which files and documents. This is where centralized storage comes in handy – using an online file sharing platform will help make sure that everyone always has the latest version of any given document.

18. Train employees on cybersecurity threats

It’s important to regularly train your employees on cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them. This can be done through online courses, in-person training, or even just sending out regular reminders.

19. Implement BYOD/MDM policies

If your employees are using their own devices for work, it’s important to have a BYOD (bring your own device) or MDM (mobile device management) policy in place. This will help to keep work data safe and protect company information.

20. Require VPN use

One way to increase security for remote workers is to require the use of a VPN. This will encrypt all data that’s sent over public networks, helping to keep it safe from hackers and other unauthorized users.

Cybersecurity is more important than ever in today’s digital world, and as more and more businesses embrace remote work, it’s crucial for employers to understand the risks involved and take steps to mitigate them.

22. Migrate your business applications to the cloud

If you’re still relying on in-house servers for your business applications, it may be time to consider migrating them to the cloud.

This will not only help to reduce your cybersecurity risks but will also make it easier for your employees to work remotely.

23. Install updates regularly

Another important step in keeping your business data safe is to install updates regularly. This will ensure that you’re using the latest security patches and will help prevent hackers from taking advantage of any known vulnerabilities.

24. Use password managers

  • Onelogin.
  • Dashlane.
  • LastPass.
  • 1Password.
  • Dashlane.
  • Bitwarden.
  • Keeper Password Manager.
  • RoboForm.
  • KeePassXC.
  • Zoho Vault.

Wrapping Up:

As we can see, there are a number of things employers can do to help keep their employees’ data safe.

By implementing some, if not all of these tips, you can help protect your business from cyberattacks and keep your staff productive and connected.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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