How To Stay Secure Online While Working Remotely From Home
The advent of the pandemic forced companies to act fast and find a way to ensure business continuity amidst all the safety precautions in place. Thankfully, the prevalence of the internet in virtually all modern homes meant that the solution was within reach－remote working.
Remote working, or more so known as working from home, is undoubtedly a convenient arrangement that offers many benefits now recognised by both employees and their employers. It is sure to remain even after the pandemic ends. But working from home is not without its downsides; the most concerning is the greater range of cybersecurity risks. Therefore, to protect yourself and your company, consider following the few tips below on how to stay secure while working remotely.
1. Use a VPN
More often than not, remote working will require employees to use the company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection during working hours, which encrypts the data they send and receive, reducing the risk of threat actors accessing sensitive information.
However, a VPN is only as strong as its user’s password; hackers will have an easy way in if it ever gets compromised. Thus, make sure to practice good password hygiene by using long and unguessable password keys and updating them regularly. If your company does not have a VPN service of its own, be proactive by signing up for your own subscription.
2. Invest in a reputable antivirus software
A comprehensive antivirus and internet security software suite is the average employee’s primary defence against cyberattacks. Without this security software, you are likely to be more vulnerable to the many common types of cyberattacks today, such as ransomware, malware, spyware, and more. According to the experts, the estimated global damage from cybercrime costs businesses US$1.5 billion annually, with the figure expected to increase as hackers continue to exploit unsecured home internet networks and even company VPNs.
Many antivirus software now features automated remote work security; it protects you from many other threats, such as social engineering attacks like phishing scams and zero-day attacks. Like VPNs, countless brands offer antivirus software, so do proper research on picking those that guarantee protection against all online security threats and continually get updated to protect against emerging threats.
3. Keep work devices away from family members
Working from home means your children or other family members could easily access work devices like company laptops, tablets, and phones. As such, be sure to set down access rules regarding these devices and keep them locked when not in use, such as inside your home office. Consider protecting them with passwords (if they did not require authentication when provided) as another layer of security.
4. Use a centralised storage solution
Storing sensitive company files and information on unsecured storage such as your personal drives could lead to them being compromised, lost, or destroyed, hence the importance of centralised storage. Nowadays, nearly all companies use cloud or server storage in some shape and form. Centralised storage is considered the best way to store data for a remote working setup because of enhanced firewall protection and backup capabilities.
5. Secure your WiFi
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to improve your home network’s cybersecurity is by strengthening your home WiFi’s security. You can achieve this through the following steps:
- Use a strong password
A good password is a tough password to crack. Make sure to choose a password key that nobody can easily guess and practise good password hygiene by following rules like making long passwords, using various characters like uppercase letters, numbers, special symbols, etc., and regularly updating it from time to time.
- Enable the strongest network encryption method for your router
Routers can use several security methods to authenticate users and allow them into your network. Users can typically select between WEP, WPA, and WPA2 under their router’s security settings. The strongest encryption method available for newer hardware or those created after 2006 is WPA2.
- Limit device access via MAC address filtering
A MAC address is essentially a unique identifier that every network-capable device comes with, from computers to smartphones. MAC address filtering allows users to block incoming traffic from unknown devices. The easiest way to enable this is through whitelisting verified devices, like those from your work laptop and your family’s gadgets, through your router’s configuration settings.
With working from home now adopted globally, remote workers should pay more attention to their cybersecurity. By following the best practices mentioned above and many other measures along the way, employees and organisations alike can better avoid the risks of cyberattacks and ensure their safety.
If your organisation needs secure business hardware for remote working, JK Tech has you covered. We offer IT equipment leasing for all your modern hardware procurement needs as well as other solutions like software licensing and IT security services in Singapore. Drop us a line today to learn more details!