Working Remotely? Here Are a Few Tips to Keep Your Data Secure
Coronavirus Pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives and our jobs are no exception to it. The authorities are urging people to practise social distancing and stay at home. Looking at the crisis and sensitivity of the situation, many companies and governments have announced the ‘Work From Home’ policy to deal with the scenario. The employers and workers are handling the situation together to ensure self-isolation and curb the virus to spread further.
However, in this era of internet and technology, remote working is not as simple as it sounds. It is more than working in the comfort of your home, sitting on a couch with a cup of joe and a laptop. It also has some of its adverse effects and cybersecurity threat is one of them. While working remotely, employees don’t only put their privacy at risk but also face a breach of security at times. Whether you are a developer, IT professional or digital marketer, you have to be careful while delivering your task from home. Therefore, we have listed 3 tips to ensure that you accomplish your professional duties efficiently while keeping the data secure. Here we go:
- Secure Internet Connection
Most employees end up using an open WiFi network while working from home. However, this can lead to cyber theft and security infringement, hampering with the significant data of the company. As other people also have access to the same network, they can easily pave their way to their system. Moreover, any public network can monitor the traffic easily between the employees and the workplace. Hence, it is important to encrypt the traffic and protect PC and there are two trusted ways — Personal hotspot and VPN. Internet connection received from your device or phone eliminates the chances of hacking. You can get a WiFi network on your smartphone in exchange for a nominal amount and get assured of data security on your system. Another easy solution is Virtual Private Network (VPN) that encrypts internet traffic, making it unreadable to others who are trying to intercept it. Be it any government agency, hacker or even your Internet Service Provider (ISP), VPN keeps the data protected from all the prying eyes.
2. Firewalls & Antivirus Software
Before employees start remote working, they must set up firewalls and antivirus software on their cell phones, tablets and laptops. With firewalls as a cybersecurity measure, workers create a line of defence that restricts the entry of any threat to the system and also acts as a barrier by closing all the portals to communication, thereby, keeping the data safe. Of course, this eventually prevents any malicious program to interfere with the information. Most of the devices’ operating systems already have a built-in firewall and are also present in routers. So, make sure that yours is enabled. However, in case you are looking for added protection, you can select from ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2019, AVS Firewall, and many other options. Apart from this, you can also use antivirus software as the next line of defence that detects and blocks malware.
Last but certainly one of the effective tools to protect data is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or two-step verification (2SV). This is an additional step to provide the data with an extra layer of security in the form of email, text message, a biometric method like a fingerprint scan or facial recognition. With this technique, user identity is confirmed through username and password along with a few other details, be it as a ‘secret question’ or a PIN sent on the phone. This is because there is always a chance for passwords to be compromised or stolen but there are hard chances that security question or PIN will be leaked. Companies and employees are assured of security and work with peace of mind which is rarely possible with a password system. There is also multi-factor authentication which includes more complex authentication system which is expensive but worth the investment, considering the level of protection it ensures.
Working remotely is the need of the hour, considering the global crisis that the world is facing. However, this should not compromise the company’s data and information. A well-planned security policy with technical and administrative control can be implemented in an organization to keep important data away from any theft. The above-mentioned tips if incorporated in cybersecurity policies can work in favour of the business and protect employer’s data. So, adopt these methods and get familiar with them and work without any worries.