The concept of remote working is growing with each year and this new business practice has the potential to be the future of employment. Even our own staff here at Best Reviews works remotely in one big, connected, multicultural digital office that has no boundaries. Like any other job, there are positives and negatives to this: while flexible work schedules to organize your own personal life are great, on the other hand the fact that there are no physical co-workers around can be quite a bummer sometimes.
But as a result of all work and communication being done online, the constant threat of cyber attacks, password theft, and other menaces put not only work lives at risk, but private lives, too. Consequently, every remote worker needs to take appropriate measures to ensure a safe work environment when online.
Separating Personal and Business Lives
This is one of the hardest goals to achieve simply because usually all the devices used for work are personal ones supplied by the remote worker. Because there’s no actual office, all the work takes place on the various laptops, tablets, or smartphones of each employee. Very few remote workers have separate devices just for work, so it’s likely that the same computer serves both personal and business matters.
Additionally, some people might even lend these devices to family members, which automatically means that the owner is not in complete control of the machine’s security and could therefore become perfect targets for attackers to mine data from. Family photos, online bank management, and social media details can all be lost to attackers, and important work information like passwords and other company details are just as vulnerable.
Even if the best-case scenario of having separate personal and professional devices isn’t possible, the necessary security precautions should still be taken to thoroughly protect the equipment – especially so for the business-related content stored within. Remote workers should also be aware and educated about the latest threats, from any common concerns to the most ingenious ways of tricking them into installing malware.
Antivirus, VPNs and More
Working alone at home can be really boring sometimes and many remote workers fight the absence of other people with a nice afternoon at the closest coffee shop. But this too can be a problem since cyber criminals often use public Wi-Fi to choose their next victims. A poorly protected device that has just connected to an open network displays all its traffic to the administrator and attackers have no lack of ingenious ways to take a peek at this data. Even more, sometimes they’ll create forged Wi-Fi hotspots to catch the imprudent users.
Therefore, VPNs are needed more than ever nowadays, and one of their biggest advantages is precisely the protection against the dangers of public Wi-Fi. In fact, there are hundreds of options out there and even special solutions created just for businesses such as Perimeter 81, which allows for the creation of private networks for companies, establishing an online hierarchy for personnel, and more. But even the best VPN won’t do much if your computer is infected with a virus or malware, so a proper antivirus should never be ignored.
Nowadays, VPNs and antivirus software is more complete than ever and bring with them other important security features such as ad-blockers and website advisors, which along with an up-to-date browser and operating system are more than enough to keep your computer healthy and secure. Last but not least, it’s always important to remember the importance of strong passwords and to use two-factor authentication whenever possible, particularly when it comes to sensitive work data or when using online backup services, for instance.
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