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Working remotely has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it's easy to see why. It offers a level of flexibility and freedom that many people find appealing. However, it's important to remember that just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're entirely safe from potential security threats.
Cybersecurity attacks can come from everywhere. These days, confidential company data has become one of the most valuable things for cybercriminals, since it can be held for ransom or sold on the dark web. To access it, attackers usually target remote teams and attempt to infect their devices with malware or gain valuable information through phishing.
To keep company data secure, it takes more than just simply installing tools like antivirus firewalls. Here are other practices that you can adopt to help keep you safe while working remotely.
Be on The Look Out for Phishing Emails or Phone Calls
Phishing attacks can be a major threat to your security while working remotely. Be careful when clicking on links, especially if you receive them via email or social media. Hackers often use phishing techniques to try to trick people into clicking on malicious links that can install malware or expose personal information. They achieve this by pretending to be trustworthy people and typically carry out their attacks through emails, phone calls, or text messages.
According to a report by Statista, three percent of all employees who received a malicious email clicked on the link provided. Without the proper awareness, you could easily end up clicking on these links.
Another study showed that 47% of employees stated distraction as the primary reason for falling for a phishing attack while working remotely. This is why it's essential to remain vigilant and on the lookout for phishing attacks.
One way to achieve this is by being cautious about clicking or viewing links from unfamiliar sources. If you receive an email or phone call from someone you don't know, be wary of any requests for personal information or requests to click on a link.
Use Strong, Unique Passwords
You’ve heard the importance of using strong, unique passwords for all your accounts. These accounts include your email, social media, and any other accounts you use for work. As a rule of thumb, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Try using a different and unique password for each account you have.
Using simple passwords makes it easy for hackers to crack them. Make sure your password is long (at least 12 characters), with a mix of special characters, numbers, and letters.
You could also use a reputable password manager to help you generate and store strong passwords. A password manager is a tool that securely stores your passwords and can even generate strong passwords for you. This can be especially helpful if you have a lot of accounts and need help remembering all of your different passwords.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
If you're working remotely, it's essential to make sure that you're taking steps to keep your work and personal accounts safe. One way to do this is by using strong authentication methods, such as a PIN, face recognition, or fingerprint.
A PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a series of numbers you use to access your account. It's essential to choose a unique and not easy-to-guess PIN. Also, avoid using the same PIN for multiple accounts.
Face recognition and fingerprint authentication use biometric data to verify your identity. These methods can be convenient and provide an extra layer of security, as it's much harder for someone else to impersonate you using your biometric data.
Using two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible is also a good idea. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. It achieves this by forcing you to enter a unique code sent to your email or phone. This helps prevent unauthorized access to your accounts, even if a hacker gets access to your password(s).
Ensure Your Software or Devices Are Up To Date
It's vital to ensure that your devices and software are up to date. This is important for keeping them safe while ensuring they run smoothly
When you keep your devices and software up to date, you're getting the latest security patches and updates, which include fixes for vulnerabilities or loopholes that hackers could exploit.
By keeping your devices and software up to date, you're helping to protect yourself and your data from potential cyber threats.
Use a VPN
One tool that is particularly important for remote workers to stay safe against such attacks is a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN allows you to create a secure, encrypted connection to another network over the internet.
A VPN can help protect you against many threats. For example, using a VPN suited for your operating system will protect you against phishing attacks by encrypting your internet connection. This makes it extremely difficult for hackers to intercept, read or access your sensitive data, such as login credentials or financial information.
Store Your Files in a Secure Cloud Location
While it might be tempting to save your files to a removable media or local drive, it's safer to store them in a secure cloud location.
There are a few reasons why storing your files in the cloud is a good idea. Most importantly, cloud storage providers often have strong security measures in place to protect your data. This can include encryption, regular backups, and other measures to ensure that your files are safe and secure.
Working remotely has become increasingly popular in recent years, and with it comes the need to adopt the best tools and practices to stay safe and secure. Some of the most effective tools to use include virtual private networks (VPNs), cloud storage, and password managers. These tools can help to protect your internet connection, data, and accounts from various online threats.
In addition to using these tools, it is also important to be on the lookout for phishing emails or calls, as attackers often use these to trick people into revealing sensitive information or installing malicious software. To protect yourself, be sure to verify the identity of anyone requesting sensitive information, and never click on links, emails, messages, or download attachments from unknown sources.
Finally, using strong passwords is crucial for protecting your accounts and data. Be sure to use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. By following these best practices and adopting the right tools, you can stay safe and secure while working remotely.