Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Eight Cybersecurity Steps Every Remote Worker Should Take To Protect Company Data

In recent years, technological advances and the Covid-19 pandemic have paved the way for many companies to go completely or partially remote. This type of work environment means professionals are now more responsible for protecting confidential company data, no matter where they’re working.

From using weak passwords to logging into unsecured networks, there are many ways for well-intentioned remote workers to inadvertently open the door for hackers. Below, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council explain how remote professionals can protect themselves against cyberattacks when they’re not working at a central company location.

1. Keep Your Hardware And Software Updated

Employees can protect themselves and sensitive company data by keeping all of their hardware and software updated. Vulnerabilities can pop up in a matter of minutes. I send periodic reminders to my team to enable automatic updates and to use a reputable antivirus to keep their activity and data secure. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

2. Use A Reliable Cloud Service

Use a good and reliable cloud service. Such services help you hold your private data securely in the virtual, encrypted infrastructure of a service provider. It can be a safe way to access, edit or manage work documents from anywhere you’re working from, without having to worry about any malicious attacks. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

3. Be Wary Of Working In Public Spaces

Avoid public Wi-Fi and be aware of your surroundings. Public Wi-Fi does not have the same protections that an office or even a home router will have. Cybercriminals can easily access your machine if you are on the same network. If you are working in a cafe that has Wi-Fi, make sure to use a personal hotspot. Additionally, you should always be aware of your surroundings. This means if you are working out in public, make sure your sightlines are blocked and no one sitting near you can see what you are doing. You should also take regular security precautions such as locking your doors at night and keeping your work laptop on you at all times while you are out in public. Having a work laptop stolen is not just an inconvenience—it can be a catastrophe if there is also a data breach. – Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

4. Invest In A VPN

Using a VPN is one of the most essential elements of keeping data and personal information private while remote working on networks that may be less secure, like those found in coffee shops and hotels. But beyond simply using any VPN for internet access, implementing a VPN that provides multi-factor authentication adds far greater levels of security for accounts, data and the intellectual property of companies. Multi-factor authentication should be used at every login for sensitive data to ensure the greatest security possible. – Richard Fong, SeniorStrong.org

5. Stick To Company Devices

For remote workers to keep safe against cyberattacks, it helps to only use company devices. These devices normally come with the malware and protection you need to avoid attacks of any kind and keep your work safe from potential threats. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

6. Create Complex Passwords

Using complex passwords is a simple but underestimated way to prevent cybersecurity issues. However, the reason that many people don’t create passwords with special characters and a mix of numbers and letters is that they struggle to remember them. Employees need to create strong passwords that are memorable. It’s possible to do this with personalized questions and hints when you log into your account. Another useful measure is to use password encryption software that stores usernames and passwords without actually knowing what they are. The information is encrypted from the start. With a few added measures like this, it’s possible to protect your company from cyberattacks. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Educate Yourself

If you’re not aware of phishing attacks, even the best VPNs and antivirus software will fail to protect you from falling prey to it. So educate yourself and your team to recognize it. Attend training sessions and phishing simulation tests to identify them easily, and then encourage your team to do the same. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

8. Install A Firewall

Firewalls are very important in protecting against cyberattacks. A firewall monitors all incoming and outgoing network traffic. While some experts say that firewalls aren’t as important as they used to be, it doesn’t hurt to use any versions that come with your computer. Simply turn on the firewall in your settings to block potentially harmful connections. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

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