While the ability to allow employees to work remotely (whether by necessity or choice) enables greater flexibility to employees and corporations alike, it also comes with tremendous cybersecurity risks. Not only can a remote employee put their own privacy at risk, but working remotely could result in a serious breach of the company’s security.
Most companies did not have the infrastructure to support a mass amount of people working remotely, and even less have the security to ensure their sensitive data isn’t being exposed.
And while most of this responsibility falls on company management, there are several simple steps every individual can take to prevent catastrophic security issues.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Many consumers know about VPN services because they can bypass geographic restrictions on streaming sites like MLB.TV. But what they don’t know is the true purpose of a VPN: to encrypt your internet traffic, including where it’s coming from and what you’re doing, making it unreadable to anyone who intercepts it.
We highly recommend NordVPN, the fastest VPN available. NordVPN can be used on your Mac, PC, streaming device, tablets, and mobile devices.
- Secure Your Passwords. There are two levels here: one, it’s important to ensure all accounts are secured with strong passwords – not “password” or the name of your dog. But secondly, it’s about how you store these passwords. Don’t write them down in a note on your phone – any time you store a password in plain text, you’re putting it at risk. Use the password storage tool on Apple devices, if you use them, or a multi-platform tool like LastPass, an app on your computer and phone which will encrypt your passwords for you.
- Don’t Forget Physical Security. Technology-based solutions to digital security problems are, in many ways, obvious. But many overlook basic physical security of their digital devices. After all, if your laptop falls into the wrong hands, what’s to keep someone from digging through your work files or e-mail address? Keep an eye on your devices when you’re out of the house and, if your work is especially sensitive, consider this safe to store your devices when you’re out of the house or asleep.
As remote work becomes increasingly common, it is essential all companies put policies in place to ensure data security – but if you, as an employee, take these initial steps, you’re taking strong initial steps to making sure you aren’t putting your company at risk.