The recent pandemic and need for social distancing have increased the number of people not working in offices. Because of this trend, the number of people working outside of their usual secure network and environment has skyrocketed. Althoughworking from home has had its upsides for both the employee and the employer, it has presented a unique set of challenges for the security of valuable data. Data that used to be confined to the 9-5 work environment and the secure walls of an office and its many network firewalls is now floating around between home, the local pub, a village coffee shop, and a crowded library or communal workspace.
All of these make it ripe for invasions, hacks, viruses, and threats. Cybersecurity has been important to business operation since the introduction of technology and advancement of cybercrime, but it has become increasingly crucial in the now data-driven world we live in, where information is now the most valuable currency we possess. Carrying valuable data and information around from network to network, without protection, is extremely dangerous and needs to be done with extreme caution and preparation. As we all know, it is better to be safe than sorry. Here are our top four tips for security to keep in mind while remote-working.
If you use online banking or other secure websites and servers online, you will already be pre-familiar with this concept. Two factor authentication is the process of connecting a secondary account, whether it is a phone number or an email address, or some other form of communication; in order to confirm and verify that it is you logging into the account. Erica Harris, a tech blogger at Best Australian writers and Revieweal, commented that, “Many people skip past two-factor authentication when it is offered to them on some websites as it may seem pointless, requires a lot of effort and tiresome. However, two factor authentication stops anyone who does not have your chosen verification device or login, from logging into the account.” This is a secure and almost fool-proof way of stopping random people from logging into your accounts and accessing the data you have stored on them.
The vast majority of people who know anything about technology are aware that anti-virus software and firewalls are a good idea. Firewalls are the first line of defense against hackers, viruses, and potential threats to any system. Antivirus systems are a great start, but can be bolstered well with firewalls, which increase their effectiveness. Installing a software firewall straight onto your device is great for remote workers, as it means that their data has an extra layer of protection wherever it goes. Whether you are working from home, the office, or your local Starbucks; your data will have an extra layer of defence with an installed firewall.
Although any Wi-Fi can be hacked, the biggest concern when working remotely is totally unsecured, not password-protected, open networks. ‘Free Wi-Fi’ may be a great help for ease of use, but it can potentially be extremely dangerous for the data and information you may have stored on your device. Terrence Williams, a marketing writer at Australian Reviewer and Write my Australia, noted, “A better idea if you happen to be working in a place without a secured, firewall protected internet connection is to simply use your 4G network.” It can be expensive, and may run up your data plan, but it is much better than having to explain to your superiors why you were hacked working down at your local pub.
This one is an amazingly easy tick box to forget. We put off updates, we say they can wait, and we often let it slip into the background of our priorities. However, next time you receive a notification on your device to update; do it straight away! Software, device, and application updates almost always come with increased securities, debugging, and extra protection. The easiest way to stay protected is to stay updated.
There may be a time when we do not have to think so hard about the dangers and difficulties of remote working, or it may have become the new normal. Who knows? But for now, it is our reality, and we need to get better at it! Cybersecurity is so important, and failure to prioritize it can not only damage your work, but your business as a whole. Hopefully these four top tips will help you sure up your security as you continue to work remotely.
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