Remote work is a dream job for a lot of people. However, it’s not without its own challenges. First of all, staying on schedule requires a lot of discipline. And secondly, you yourself take responsibility for the security of your data. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at surefire ways to protect your data from hacking and unauthorized access. Keep reading to discover more.
1. Use Strong and Varied Passwords
A lot of people aren’t very careful when it comes to password practices. Some use the same credentials for all of their accounts, while others choose recognizable patterns, such as their personal name and date of birth, that can be easily deciphered by hackers. With that in mind, one of the first things to do while working remotely is to ensure you utilize a strong password generator to create robust and secure passwords.
Don’t use passwords that can be easily guessed from your email. Ideally, you should have a different password for each of your accounts, and each password should be strong enough not to be hacked. The best practice is to utilize a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Aside from that, be sure that your passwords can’t easily get trapped. If you still keep them written down in your notebook, make sure to consider using a reliable password manager like Keeper, Dashlane, NordPass, and the like.
With these apps, you’ll not only have peace of mind knowing that your passwords are protected, but you’ll also be able to access them from any device.
2. Ensure Secure Connection
Quite often, remote workers work from cafes and coffee shops to break the monotony of their routine, which is definitely good. There’s nothing better than to have a chance to work from a place that motivates you and gives you a change of pace. What’s not so good, however, is that these places don’t have the most secure network, potentially exposing your data to breaches.
Does it mean you can’t get out of your home from time to time? Absolutely, not. If you feel motivated and energized while working from locations other than your home, don’t lock yourself in. Just make sure your connection is secure.
A good solution is to use a VPN. By switching the VPN on before connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, you’ll encrypt your Internet traffic and will be able to track any suspicious activities, making it much more challenging for hackers to intercept your data.
3. Take Advantage of Two-Factor Authentication
If you’ve not been using two-factor authentication (2FA) yet, it’s time you started. Unlike the usual way when you only enter your username and password, two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of protection.
With 2FA, you’re required to enter one more piece of information, which can be either an answer to a question you’ve chosen as a verification or a code sent to your phone number. As a result, hackers who might get access to your password won’t be able to do much with it, as they simply won’t be able to pass the verification.
For companies with remote teams, it might be a good solution to opt for multi-factor authentication, requiring people to provide their biometrics like fingerprint, face ID, voice, or even retina. While the implementation of multi-factor authentication isn’t the cheapest, the level of security it provides is definitely worth it, especially if data security is a top priority.
4. Rely on Cloud Applications
Remote work has been made possible largely due to a massive shift to cloud applications. Now everyone can get in touch or share files and documents without having to be present in the same room. Some of the most popular applications used by companies with remote employees are Jira and Google apps, which are known as the best productivity tools.Additionally, for those in the education sector, tools that align with EduTrust Singapore standards can be beneficial.
However, these tools are great not just for their ability to boost team performance. What’s no less important is that they provide a safe virtual space where any sensitive data can be freely shared without getting exposed to unauthorized access.
It’s important to note that as with any other applications, you need to secure your virtual storage space with a strong password. Don’t use the same passwords across all your accounts, and, if possible, take advantage of 2FA to play it completely safe.
5. Install Antivirus Software and Use Firewalls
It goes without saying that remote employees need to have antivirus software, and it has to be installed on all of the devices they use for work. So, first things first, make sure to check out reputable antivirus software options that suit your needs and budget.
In addition, don’t forget to check your laptop settings. All computers have a built-in firewall to protect your system from unauthorized network access. However, sometimes, it might be either configured incorrectly or completely disabled.
In this case, the first thing to do is ensure that it’s turned on. Next, customize firewall rules to allow essential applications and services while blocking potentially harmful or unnecessary traffic. This fine-tuning ensures that the firewall provides protection without disrupting legitimate work-related activities.
Finally, keep firewall rules up to date as your or your remote employee’s work requirements evolve. Regularly review and adjust these rules to accommodate new software or services used in the company.
By equipping your gear with reliable antivirus software and optimizing the built-in firewall settings on your devices, you can enhance the overall security of your remote work environment.
6. Use Encryption Software
Another way to secure your data while working remotely is to use encryption software. Using such software can give you confidence that your data won’t be exposed to prying eyes in case your laptop or tablet ever gets stolen or lost.
If the worst happens, nobody will be able to access your files because they will be protected by encryption and will require a specific password and software to decrypt them. For these purposes, you may want to consider programs like FileVault for Mac or Bitlocker for Windows.
Aside from that, pay particular attention to the messengers you or your team use for communication with clients. The programs must have end-to-end encryption to ensure that your conversations remain private and can’t be intercepted by unauthorized parties.
Some of the most popular tools used for encrypting files shared between remote teams are Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office. On top of that, make sure to maintain regular backups. Backing up encrypted data ensures you can recover it in case of hardware failure or data loss.
To bring it to an end, data security is an essential aspect of remote work that should be given particular attention from the beginning. It’s how you protect your account and credentials that will determine whether working remotely will bring you satisfaction or become a source of constant pressure and stress.
Cyber attacks have never been so prevalent as they are today. Just to give you an idea of how big this thing is: an average of 97 crimes occur every hour, meaning there’s a data breach of one victim every 37 seconds, which is an alarming statistic.
However, you don’t have to fall victim to such attacks. In this article, we’ve described some of the most effective ways to protect your data and ensure that nobody can get access to it. Make sure to follow them, and you’ll be able to work from any corner of the world without worrying about anyone getting access to your private information.
Additionally, adopting eco-friendly practices can go hand in hand with safeguarding your data. One simple yet impactful way to contribute to a safer digital and physical environment is to recycle your old electronic devices securely. Many people overlook the importance of responsibly disposing of their outdated gadgets, which can lead to security breaches if not handled properly. By recycling your electronics through certified programs, you not only protect your data but also reduce electronic waste, making the world a safer and more sustainable place for future generations. So, remember to recycle your old devices while safeguarding your digital privacy.