How To Keep Your Data Safe While Working Remotely
Updated October 6, 2023
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced more and more people to work remotely. According to a survey recently conducted, 77% of employees want to continue with remote working once the pandemic is over. While remote working is being embraced by many businesses, cyber criminals are taking advantage of this opportunity which has led to a surge in cyber attacks.
While working remotely can protect you from the literal virus, it won’t protect you from cyber attacks such as malwares, hacking, ransomware attacks, phishing — the list goes on! So how can you avoid being a victim of cyber attacks while working remotely? In this post, you’ll learn how to keep your data safe while working outside of the office.
Three common security issues with working remotely
Below are the three risks of remote working:
1. Phishing attacks
Cyber criminals use phishing attacks to steal user data such as credit card numbers and passwords. Cyber criminals normally achieve this by impersonating themselves as trustworthy entities in your work activities. The attackers could, for instance, send a phishing email requesting change in bank account details, and then direct funds to themselves.
2. Unsecured endpoint devices
Endpoint devices refer to devices such as computers and routers, and cyber criminals tend to use these devices to access your home network. While endpoint devices at work are normally well updated from attacks, when you’re working remotely, you have to take care of your hardware and software needs. If you ignore updating your antivirus or using a strong Wi-Fi password, you’ll become susceptible to cyber attacks.
3. Home working risks
You may not worry about it, but did you know that your roommates or people you live with while working at home could potentially steal your company’s valuable information? They could, for instance, listen to your work phone calls or access company data using your login details. While you may trust the people you live with, accidents do happen. For example, your kid could download what appears to be a computer game, only for it to turn out to be malware.
Working remotely security tips
Avoid using public Wi-Fi or use a VPN when working remotely
If you’re using a public Wi-Fi while working remotely, ensure you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt your browsing data. A VPN ensures your IP and browsing activities are anonymous and secure. You can, for example, use VPN to watch Netflix or do your remote jobs without worry of being tracked or hacked.
Store your work data on your work computer and not your personal computer
You may be tempted to use your personal computer to work, if for example your work computer is in a different room far from you. This could pose a great security risk to you and your company. Your work computer may be well updated in terms of security, than your personal computer. For example, your work computer’s antivirus may have a more updated antivirus compared to your personal computer. This could expose your company and yourself to hacking attacks.
Take notice of your sight lines
This may seem like an unlikely thing to happen, but did you know that if someone was behind you while you’re working on your computer remotely, they could see your activities and what you’re typing on the screen? Cyber criminals could use this method to spy on you and steal confidential information, especially in a public place. Always look who’s around you while working on your computer.
Lock your home office doors
If you’re working from home, one could easily sneak into your home office if it’s unlocked and steal your computer. The computer could contain sensitive company information that you may end up losing. Always ensure your home office doors are locked when you’re not at home or nearby.