Home Business Remote Working: Cybersecurity Mistakes You Might Not Realize You’re Making

Remote Working: Cybersecurity Mistakes You Might Not Realize You’re Making

by Olufisayo
Remote Working

In the United States, roughly half of the country’s employees hold positions that allow them to work remotely from home, or from anywhere else in the world, at least part-time. This comes from a 2016 study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, which has also shown that the number of remote employees working full-time has risen by 140% since the year 2005.

Furthermore, it’s no surprise that the risk of a cybersecurity threat has been on the rise everywhere around the world. In fact, according to the American Statistical Association, the total cost of cyber attacks is set to rise from $400 billion to $2.1 trillion per year in 2019.

With that being said, it’s becoming increasingly common for companies of all sizes, big or small, to be targeted by cybercriminals at some point or another. And, as more and more employees are using cloud services and accessing their employers’ servers from outside of the office, it’s more important than ever to make sure that the necessary security measures are being taken.

In the following article, we’re going to take a look at a few of the most common cybersecurity mistakes that remote works might be making without even realizing it.

Not Using a VPN Service

Using a VPN is one of the best and easiest ways to protect yourself and your data while using the internet.

       

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, work as secure, encrypted tunnels that allow you to access the internet anonymously. This means that no matter what you’re doing online, hackers and criminals won’t be able to track your online activity.

And, even if they were able to get their hands on your information, it would be encrypted, meaning that the criminal wouldn’t be able to decode the data.

Learn more about the best VPNs on the market in this resource.

Using Unsecured Public Wi-Fi

When working remotely, it’s not uncommon for an employee to enjoy a cup of coffee at their favourite café, while getting some of their work done on a company laptop. The problem is that, in this scenario, the worker will likely log onto a public Wi-Fi network, which is also available to hackers and criminals.

Unfortunately, there are several ways that a hacker can take advantage of a public Wi-Fi network. In some cases, they might even create their own “fake” network, which looks exactly like the restaurant or café’s Wi-Fi connection. These “fake” networks are then used as a way to access and monitor the network’s user activity.

       

Therefore, when an employee connects to a public network, they leave their credit card and banking information, emails, passwords, any other sensitive data vulnerable to anyone else who may be using the network at the same time.

Learn more about the dangers of using unsecured Wi-Fi.

Not Using and Updating Antivirus Software Frequently

Using antivirus software is another extremely important way to protect your data and private information while working remotely. Not only can this type of software prevent malware from infecting your computer or device, but it can also help fix the problem once the system has been compromised.

Furthermore, once an antivirus application has been installed, it’s important to run scans often and frequently update the software with patches to ensure that your data stays safe at all times.

Not Using Strong Passwords

It’s vitally important that companies enforce strict password policies, especially if they have employees that work remotely. Furthermore, passwords need to be strong, so that criminals can’t easily guess or crack the password.

       

It’s also important that employees use different passwords from each and every account they use. If they use the same password and a hacker is able to obtain it for a single account, they will also be able to gain access to every other account that uses that same password.

So, what type of password makes a strong password? Essentially, the longer the password is, the harder it will be to crack. Therefore, most guidelines suggest using at least 10 or 12 upper and lowercase letters, combined with numbers and a few special characters as well.

However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, has recently made changes to their recommended password guidelines to make things easier for internet users.

Learn more about what the NIST recommends for creating strong passwords.

In the end, a strong password should always be unexplainable and obscure, as well as being as long as possible, while also being easy to remember.

       

Not Using Physical Locks on Your Devices

Most laptop bags or cases have features that allow for a physical lock to be placed on the zipper or closure. We highly recommend that remote workers use these features, especially if they are travelling or working in unfamiliar places.

While it’s great to have a strong password and be running all the latest privacy software, these measures won’t prevent a criminal from physically stealing your laptop or device. And, if they’re able to obtain the laptop, they’re much likelier to be able to gain access to the information it contains.

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