How to Avoid Remote Work Security Risks
Are you currently in the middle of a job search? The chances are pretty high that you’re spending a lot of time online if you are. Or, perhaps you’ve already landed your dream job, and you get to work remotely full-time or part-time.
If all or some of your job-related work is remote, you have some additional security concerns to factor in. In a traditional office setting, the organization is generally responsible for creating firewalls and password-protection update reminders, and you do all of your work on their devices. Working remotely, a lot of that responsibility falls to you.
Mitigating Remote Work Security Risks-
Congratulations! You’re taking one of the essential steps in creating a more secure remote work environment by simply not becoming complacent. You are the first line of defense for protecting your company’s data and any sensitive customer information that they’re housing. Beyond awareness, we’ve got some best practices for you to consider.
1.Invest in Antivirus Software
Antivirus software generally updates itself regularly, and you can set it to run updates automatically in the background. Invest in well-regarded and robust antivirus software and ensure that it’s installed on your primary devices, such as tablets, computers, and cell phones. This might be the hardest working assistant you’ve ever had.
Pair that with other security practices, such as multi factor authentication and an encrypted password manager, to create the best initial line of defense.
2.Run Software and Device Updates Regularly
It may be difficult to set “Run Updates” on your computer since updates are often created as concerns are created. Your best choice is to set “Update Automatically” on all of your software and devices.
This is true of anything that connects to your network as well. So, if you have a digital thermostat, security cameras, a smart TV, or a wireless picture frame—to name just a few devices—those are back doors for access into your network.
3.Schedule Regular Password Updates
Consider creating a log of everything that regularly connects to your home Wi-Fi system. Make it a best practice to reset the passwords regularly and check for security updates that will send security patches.
Cyber security expert Dr. Erik Huffman recognizes that updates are a necessary hassle, but often, if hackers see robust and updated passwords, they’ll move on to less secure victims. Ensure you have protected every opening to your network at home. Create a complicated router password and ensure that you’re updating it on the same schedule as your other devices.
4.Beware of Email Scams
Never open or click on suspicious links. Your first line of defense is to verify if the sender is someone familiar. Hackers have become adept at using identical-looking emails to lure employees. It might be something as minor as a single letter difference. If you’re in doubt, call your contact or reach out via a different communication method to verify they sent the email.
And never provide any personal or confidential information via email. One of the best things you can do is slow down and listen to your gut instincts. Cyber criminals are relying on you to be busy and distracted.
5.Hide Your Network
When you turn on your laptop and search for Wi-Fi signals, all available networks pop up, right? Well, unfortunately, the pop-up for everyone else is within range as well.
Consider making your network hidden so that no one driving or walking by can see it being broadcast. All of your devices that are already connected will stay connected, but no one else will be able to access them. Without knowing the network’s name, it’s nearly impossible to connect to it.
6.Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Coffee shops, libraries, and other public networks are notorious for creating internet security risks. When you do choose to work remotely outside of your home, you should invest in a private hotspot, or use your phone as a hotspot. You’ll need to check in with your company’s IT department to ascertain that you stay within their remote work security guidelines.
Also, ensure that you’re never leaving your laptop unattended when you are in public. There should never be a trip to the bathroom or up to the order counter when it’s not in your possession. Likewise, don’t leave your computer bag on the seat of your car.
7.Be Mindful of Who Has Access to Your Computer
It’s not just in public that you’ll need to be mindful of who has access to your computer. You have family and friends at home among whom you’ll need to maintain computer privacy too. While you might trust them, you need to remember that your company probably didn’t agree to do so.
It would be best to consider that any friends who are connecting in your home are bringing their own security concerns to your home network. A best practice is to create a separate guest network from your main Wi-Fi network.
Actively Maintain Remote Security-
Cybersecurity for remote work centers on a proactive approach. One of your best defenses is creating challenging boundaries for hackers who will often move on to easier targets.
If you’re currently involved in a job search, ensure that you’re not engaging in risky behavior while submitting applications. Maintain a layer of protection around your personal information that you only breach after verifying a legitimate need at a reputable company via a secure network.
Are you ready to ensure that your job search is safe and scam-free? Here at StartWorkNow, we have an entire team dedicated to vetting our job postings so that our members’ experiences are kept safe. Take the tour to discover all of the ways that a StartWorkNow membership can support your flexible job hunt.