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Best Cybersecurity Practices When Working Remotely

When it comes to setting up a conducive working environment, most remote workers tend to focus on the physical aspects, such as buying the most ergonomic desk or finding the perfect chair.

And by the time they consider the technology, it’s usually concerning things like upgrading their work laptop or securing a fast and steady internet connection.

But what about cybersecurity?

Data breaches, information theft, and other cybersecurity threats are at an all-time high. The latest cybersecurity statistics show that at least one cyberattack happens every 39 seconds—that’s 2,215+ cyberattacks every day and 800,000+ cyberattacks a year.

When an employee isn’t on-site, it can be difficult for them to maintain the same level of digital safety that they may have in an IT-backed physical office, which makes them the most vulnerable when it comes to these malicious strikes.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your remote setup or those of your employees, here are some strategies to help you boost your cybersecurity wherever work takes you.

Ready to get into it?

Best Cybersecurity Practices When Working Remotely

#1 Install anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware software

Cybersecurity software is your first line of defense against cyber criminals. These tools can protect you from most cyberattacks, which can permanently damage your files or leave you unable to access your computer altogether.

However, not all software is made equal. Take some time to research the different types of anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware available for your device (you can start here). From there, choose the best software that meets your requirements and install it ASAP.

#2 Utilize VPNs or personal hotspots

Public Wi-Fi’s are public enemy #1—when it comes to cybersecurity, that is.

Because they are open networks, their security levels are uncertain. Any connected device is vulnerable to cyber attackers lurking in the network.

Instead of connecting to public Wi-Fi when working in cafes, airports, or other out-of-home locations, we highly recommend using your phone’s (or another trusted device’s) personal hotspot.

But if you have no choice, you can use VPNs to mask your device’s IP address and keep your online activity incognito from whichever network you are connected to.

#3 Enable multi-factor authentication

Strong passwords are just not good enough nowadays. Skilled hackers with specialized programs can break into the most complicated login credentials if they wish.

Multi-factor authentication asks users to provide more than one form of authentication to prove who they are before allowing them to access any account. That means that even if hackers manage to guess your password, they can’t access your account without you.

Most apps have this functionality, either in the form of additional security questions, text/email authentication, biological authentication, or one-time passwords (OTP). All you have to do is go to the settings, turn on this feature, and you’re done!

#4 Use Cloud Services

When you want to transfer files online, cloud services are the way to go.

Cloud services let users store and share files safely thanks to data encryption technology which uses complex algorithms to conceal your data from hackers and cyber thieves.

Here are some of our quick suggestions per platform and/or need:


#5 Establish a Data Breach Protocol

It never hurts to plan for the unexpected.

In case cyberattackers do infiltrate your system, having a concrete protocol on how to respond puts you in the best position to end the attack immediately and minimize the damage.

Every data breach protocol looks different, but there are a few action points that should be present in all plans to successfully mitigate the risk. These include:

  1. Identifying the breach

  2. Stopping the breach

  3. Assessing the damage

  4. Notifying the parties affected

  5. Performing a security audit

  6. Updating your security plans & data breach protocol

Conclusion

Working remotely carries some innate risks, such as data breaches and information theft. To address these, make it a point to invest in a solid cybersecurity plan.

If you enforce the best cybersecurity practices now, you and your team will be able to enjoy all the benefits of remote work without the dark cloud of security risks looming overhead.

For additional advice on remote working, see the links below from different government authorities:

And of course, follow our blog for more tips!

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