Working remotely without certain security privileges that the office provides can leave one exposed to certain risks on the internet. But fret not just follow these 10 easy and cost-effective steps that will make working from home hassle free. Let’s check them out:
10 web security tips for remote workers
1. Download an antivirus or update your default antivirus
This tip is the most obvious with all the malware that we are susceptible to while we cruise through the web. Signature malicious files are being released daily so it is essential to update your antivirus. This way you’ll be better equipped to handle the new risks.
2. Using an advanced Firewall
More than simply rejecting unauthorized access, firewalls can also have special features such as Data Loss prevention. In fact, most firewalls can identify sensitive data like credit card information or a national insurance number. They work to prevent data from being copied and transferred without authorization. This is particularly important to protect the credentials of your patrons while you work remotely.
3. Having secure passwords
A strong and complex password can make it difficult to hack into your account. Many automated machines work by testing thousands of combinations in hopes of accessing your account. When setting up a secure password be sure to include a combination of special characters, numbers, common and capital letters. Try to AVOID the following password structures:
- Storing your passwords, a hard drive or cloud
- Recycling passwords that you used in the past
- Using passwords like your username, birth date, pet name, etc.
4. Using a two- factor authentication
Takes security to another level by covering the risk of being hacked virtually with two-step verification. Give users the option to verify the previous login attempt. So even if a hacker or automated machine correctly guesses your password you will still be safe as they will have yet another code to crack.
5. Locking your mobile device
Naturally, if you’re using your mobile device to authenticate your login, it is vital to also secure these devices. Simply use a PIN or the biometric features integrated in the device to lock it. Additionally, consider turning off your Bluetooth when there is no need, and be wary of public wi-fi. Even if you do not work remotely with your phone you must be alert as certain accounts accessed on your phone are linked to your professional life.
6. Avoiding public hotspots
Public wi-fi can come at the cost of your privacy. Through these open networks, hackers may pry on your data. If you must connect by these means, consider using a VPN to prevent data loss. Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to work remotely on a private encrypted network. As a bonus, a VPN can also allow Protected File Sharing through the network and bypassing country IP restrictions.
7. Boosting Email Security
Email is a tried-and-true method in which staff working remotely communicate with one another. It is fast and offers an essence of professionalism that isn’t as apparent in instant messaging. On the downside, emails may also carry malware or phishing links that can lead to data loss. Here are a few tips to help you identify malicious emails:
Check both sender and email address
If an email address seems fishy it probably is, so approach it with caution. First, look if the sender is using a public email. Many companies follow the practice of using an email domain for all employees. So, if it is a @gmail.com or @yahoo.com chances are it’s not legitimate. Even Google has its very own email with its domain – @google.com. To avoid this trap, don’t just look at the sender’s name, check the email address too.
Don’t click on direct links to personal logins
If the email has a links to something familiar like your bank or LinkedIn account, rather than clicking from your email, go to the address bar and login from there. This will help you avoid clicking to fake websites.
Don’t just click any attachment
Avoid malware attachments by being vigilant and make sure that the file extension corresponds with the file that you are expecting. Simply put, if the supposed.doc file you received ends in a .exe or .doc.exe there is a problem.
Having to thread on thin ice while navigating through the mailbox isn’t practical while working remotely. Not to mention human error can occur, so it’s also advised to use a reliable email hosting service. This service comes loaded with spam guard to fight against phishing attacks. It also performs regular virus scans to find and destroy potential malware. Without the added hassle, you will be able to work remotely with a peace of mind.
8. Making your Social Media Private
While it may seem unrelated to remote work, social engineering is a common source of information for hackers looking to create spoof emails. By learning about your habits, hackers can use this information to seem familiar when they execute phishing attacks. So, in order to limit the risks be prudent about your social media posts or keep them private.
9. Prioritize Sites with an SSL certificate
Sites where you provide sensitive information about yourself should ALWAYS have a Secure Sockets Layer certificate. SSL certs validate sites authenticity which helps to safeguard users’ delicate information from hackers. This tip isn’t only valid for your security but also if you have a website where that users need to provide sensitive information.
10. Back up your data
In the misevent there is a security breach or coffee spilling on your PC, causing you to lose your important files, having a backup might save you from great difficulty. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a back-up on a cloud. As a rule of thumb, you should create frequent backups and always have at least two copies of the most recent version of your site/data. Don’t forget to back up on a physical device just to be sure.