Many of us revel in hybrid or remote working, as it allows us to balance our personal and professional lives better, as well as save time and money on the tedious daily commute.
Not only that, studies have shown that working remotely increases productivity.
However, for every silver lining, there is a cloud.
While most of us love working from home, it can make cybersecurity more challenging, which means we need to take extra preventative measures to ensure our company’s data isn’t falling into the wrong hands.
Our six cybersecurity tips will help you protect your online data (whether personal or professional) and will keep those pesky hackers at bay.
Remote Working Cybersecurity: Top Tips to Stay Safe
Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes, so let’s look at the expert tips to prevent work security breaches.
1. Make Sure Your Home Network is Secure
Rule number one is to make sure your home network can double as a digital fortress. And just like any fortress, it requires strong and constant defenses.
One of your main anti-hacker weapons is your passwords, and they need to be obscure, random, and in no way guessable by professional hackers.
Here are a few ways to be password savvy:
- Change Your Default Passwords: Hackers often get their paws on the manufacturer-set default password that you will find on your router, so job number one is to change that immediately. Do this by combining letters, numbers, and symbols – and keep it random.
- Enable WPA3 Encryption: Look into nifty encryption safety tech for your router, such as WPA3. This will help keep your data safe from prying eyes by providing a secure connection.
- Update Firmware: Router manufacturers tackle vulnerabilities by regularly releasing updates, so keep an eye on these updates and keep up to date with any installations.
2. Using a VPN for Data Protection
Your next weapon is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is one of your best defenses against cybercrime, as it acts as a digital invisibility cloak.
How it works is it encrypts your internet connection to ensure your data remains private at all times, even if it gets intercepted on a public network, like a café Wi-Fi.
It also means your data is encrypted, so even if someone manages to intercept it, they won’t be able to view it. This means you can rest safe in the knowledge you’re sending sensitive work emails and conducting online transactions safely – and from anywhere.
One more thing. Remember, using a VPN isn’t limited to just your computer; your Android devices can be included as well – simply initiate a VPN Android download so that working from any location and any device is hacker-free.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a Must
If you’re still relying solely on passwords, it’s time to level up your security game with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
For those unfamiliar, MFA boosts your security by requesting multiple verifications before you can get access to your accounts.
Before you can enable MFA, you’ll need to provide certain info, such as something you know (like a password), something you have (like a code sent to your phone), or something only you can provide (like a fingerprint or facial scan).
Once set up, this means that even if a cybercriminal manages to steal your password, they won’t be able to access your accounts without this additional verification security.
4. Keep Software Up to Date
Okay, so we know software updates are time-consuming and bothersome, but they are also cyber criminals’ kryptonite, so they need to be prioritized.
This step is crucial because hackers work their black magic by exploiting the vulnerabilities that come with outdated software, so by keeping everything up to date, you’re closing ranks on any potential threats.
Your best bet is to get into the habit of regularly checking for updates and installing them there and then (so you don’t forget).
You will find that most operating systems and software applications offer automatic updates anyway, which can make the process quicker and more convenient, so there’s no excuse not to stay on top of it.
5. Beware of Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are the digital equivalent of a con artist’s lucky charm – and they’re one of their go-to attacks.
In fact, they’re so common that the IBM 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report found that phishing was the second most common cause of a breach, accounting for 16% of breaches.
How phishing works is cybercriminals will send deceptive emails or messages, luring you into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links that look legit.
To defend against phishing attempts:
- Check Sender Addresses: Be mindful of the sender’s email address. Legitimate organizations will use official domain names, not misspelled variations.
- Link Scepticism: If a link looks questionable, you can hover your cursor over it to view the destination URL without actually clicking on it.
- Don’t Download Unknown Attachments: Even if an email seems like the real deal, avoid downloading attachments or clicking on links that you’re not expecting.
6. Keep Your Work & Personal Devices Separate
Many of us use the same device for work and personal use, and while this is certainly convenient, it’s also a BIG cybersecurity no-no.
Mixing work and personal digital activities increases the chance of exposing sensitive data, so as another saying goes – don’t mix business with pleasure – even on your devices.
Instead, whenever possible, try to use separate devices for work and your personal life to keep a barrier between the two.
By using separate devices, you’ll reduce the risk of accidentally exposing sensitive work data while engaging in personal online activities. This also helps you maintain a focused work environment when needed, allowing you to switch gears without compromising security.
Remote working and cybersecurity can work side-by-side simply by following these useful tips.
From sharpening your home network to embracing the wonder of VPNs and keeping on top of your updates, you’re building a robust defense against cyber threats.
Once you get into the habit of staying on top of your W-F-H digital security, you can go about your work tasks with full peace of mind.