Seven important cybersecurity measures for remote workers
Is part (or all) of your team working remotely? Here are seven important cybersecurity measures you need to be aware of.
While remote working has gained a significant popularity boost during the pandemic, the associated security concerns and corresponding preventive measures aren’t discussed enough.
In reality, this can be devastating for companies whose employees aren’t aware of the everyday dangers. The following seven tips discuss some of the best security methods associated with remote working.
1) Cloud-based apps
While you might think that storing data on the cloud is more dangerous than on-site, that’s not the case. Companies that offer these services make significant investments towards user safety, and everything is monitored 24/7 so that the providers can shut down certain parts in case any breach is detected.
Cloud apps also use robust encryption methods, such as SSL protocols and AES-256 (256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard). Furthermore, some platforms (such as MEGA) even let users keep full control by storing encryption functions locally inside the user’s app.
2) Virtual private networks
If you know anything related to how data travels through the Internet, you’ll find Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) very easy to understand. Instead of the traffic going directly through your router and being traceable to your IP address, VPN reroutes it so that it exits out of the VPN server.
For example, if you’re located in the USA and the VPN server is in Germany, anyone wanting to track you won’t be able to pinpoint the correct location. However, even though it’s a very powerful tool, a VPN alone won’t be able to provide 100% protection.
3) Password managers
With the computing power almost doubling every 18 months, the importance of strong passwords increases accordingly. This is because it’s becoming easier to brute-force simpler combinations, with some taking as little as a couple of minutes. U
nfortunately, multiple complex passwords can be difficult to remember, which is where a password manager can come in handy. This tool encompasses a lot of different phrases under a singular master key. This means that whenever you want to access a website, all you have to do is log into your password manager and it will autofill everything for you.
4) Avoid scams with Spokeo
While working remotely, you’re bound to receive countless emails and phone calls related to your job. You probably won’t even double-check whether they come from a reputable source, but this gives hackers the perfect opportunity to invade your data.
Scam calls/emails will try to get you to give up certain valuable information, such as customer data, which can ruin the company that you’re working for. In order to avoid becoming a victim, you can take advantage of Spokeo – a phone number search and email lookup tool.
In order to use it, all you have to do is enter the sender’s email address or the phone number from which the call came. Spokeo will run a cross-reference through its database in an attempt to find a match. If successful, you’ll receive a detailed report containing the person’s name, criminal history, and other information. This way, you’ll know whether you’re facing a scam or a legitimate business inquiry.
5) Say no to public WiFi
Nowadays, you can find WiFi hotspots virtually everywhere. You’re probably connecting to them without even thinking about the possible security issues. However, once connected, you’re visible to everyone on the network and extremely vulnerable to eavesdropping and malicious attacks.
Ideally, you want to avoid using these hotspots as much as possible. If you do connect to them, make sure that you’re at least using the aforementioned VPNs. There’s still a brief window where you’ll be vulnerable between connecting and turning the VPN on, but it’s still a lot safer.
6) The 2FA method
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the multi-factor authentication practices wherein the user is granted access only after presenting two different pieces of evidence of its identity. In most cases, this is a password and a device that the user has such as a mobile phone.
By downloading a 2FA app, the user receives a one-time code that has to be inputted alongside the corresponding password, after which everything is accessible. Some websites (such as banking platforms) require 2FA due to the delicate nature of their business model. Still, it’s a good idea to use it everywhere, since it only adds a couple of seconds to the whole process.
7) Off-site backups
While backups are not a security method per se, they’re arguably more important than any other traditional measure. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll only have to go through the trouble of restoring the data from the backup to the source.
It’s important that these backups are stored in a different place from the originals. If that’s not the case, they’ll likely going to be compromised during the attack. There are many different mediums for backups – cloud storage, external hard drives, flash memories, etc.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.
Photo by Brandy Kennedy