Remote work has taken on new prominence in our nation (and world!) today. For businesses across all different industries, at-home work has become an essential component of daily operations. While remote work provides flexibility to employees and has been an invaluable tool during the COVID-19 crisis, it also has cybersecurity risks. In fact, remote work has heightened security risks than a typical office.
Just think: while an office is prepared to handle security threats that are aimed at the company, your home likely isn’t. So, remote workers need strategies and guidelines to keep their home working environment safe from cyber threats.
For remote worker security, information is power. When workers understand the best practices for working from home safely, a company’s data can remain secure. Here, we’ll explore the most effective tactics that at-home workers can implement today for online security. With these tips, you can eradicate cyberattacks before they occur.
Don’t Mix Work With Personal Devices
As an at-home worker, the line between your personal and professional lives is more blurred than it would be as a worker in an office. So, it’s not surprising that many at-home workers are tempted to complete work tasks on their personal computers. For example, imagine that you’re on your personal laptop after your at-home workday has ended. Then, it occurs to you that you forgot to send an email to your co-worker. You could boot up your work computer and send it from there. Or, you could save some time and send the email on your work computer.
While it would be more convenient to send the work email from your personal computer in this example, doing so would put your professional data at risk. You should only complete work on the devices that are designed for professional purposes. These devices, presumably, have the security measures needed to protect your employer’s data already in place.
Ditch Public Wi-Fi Networks
Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient if you’re working in a coffee shop. But, using one for work will put your employer’s data under serious risk. Many people have access to public Wi-Fi networks, and there’s no firewall separating you from a cybercriminal. If data passes between you and your co-workers on a public network in an email, for example, anyone would be able to monitor the transaction.
Hotspots: A Safe Alternative To Public Wi-Fi
For complete data security, connect your devices to a personal hotspot instead of a public Wi-Fi network. Hotspots stop other people connected to the same public Wi-Fi network from hacking your data. This will give you the freedom to work in your favorite coffee shop or coworking space without putting your data on display for hackers. Personal hotspots are available through cell service providers and require 4G or 5G data. Ideally, remote workers will have a corporate phone that they can use as a hotspot.
Keep Your Equipment Up-To-Date
Staying on top of software updates is a simple but necessary security step for at-home workers. Your computer’s operating systems, applications, and internal software should all be up-to-date. Don’t procrastinate installing the updates, as each new version will provide enhanced safety and security features.
In fact, many software updates function to eradicate a security shortcoming in the previous version. Installing the update will stabilize your software, allowing it to run more smoothly and securely. By leaving your computer without the latest updates, you’re potentially putting your work at risk for a security breach. This risk is easily avoidable for remote workers.
Invest in Home IT Support
As a remote worker, your home is your workplace. So, just like in an office setting, you’ll need IT support at home. Investing in home IT support can help remote workers manage issues, whether it be a virus, an error message, or difficulty installing the latest update. Home IT support also provides peace of mind in the fact that if a tech problem arises, you won’t have to solve it on your own. IT professionals will be able to fix the issue quickly and efficiently, allowing you to get back to work in a snap. The convenience and protection provided by home IT support make it a smart investment for remote workers’ security strategy.