Working remotely: 7 tips to work in a secure way
More and more people are working from home these days. This asks for more awareness, when it comes to a secure way of working. This is necessary, with the increase of cybercriminals who are on the lookout. Several phishing emails have beent sent over the past weeks, with the goal to intercept sensitive data. So how can we make sure we continue working in a secure way? We have these 7 tips for you:
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1. Secure your router
Not a lot of people change the password of their router regularly. As a matter of fact:
most of us probably still use the same password that was created when the router got installed. And that brings risks. Multiple devices are often used within a network: if unauthorized people gain access via your network, it’s likely that they will get access to your connected devices. Secure your router as much as you can, by changing its password regularly.
2. Be careful with phishing e-mails.
Phishing e-mails are not a new phenomenon. However, due to the increase of people working remotely, more phishing e-mails will be sent out. Therefore, we need to be extra careful. Do you receive a message from a sender you don’t trust? Then don’t open it and delete it immediately. Did you already open such an e-mail? Then make sure you don’t click on any link used in the e-mail: these can re-direct you to unsecure environments where data can be stolen.
3. Use the right encryption
It is important to carefully look at the encryption of your communication. Are your messages secured properly and is access by unauthorized persons made impossible? End-to-end encryption, for example, is an effective way to keep outsiders away from your information. Only the sender and the authenticated recipient will have access.
4. Create strong passwords
We can't pinpoint you enough on this: the creation of a strong password. A weak password will be easy to guess, which means that your data can be accessed easily. Many people limit themselves to words – but this can be tricky. Therefore, we need to go a step further and combine capitals, numbers and special characters to create the strongest password possible.
5. Follow rules set by your IT department
This might seem a no-brainer, but follow internal processes set within your organization. When working remotely, this often can be difficult. You can’t just ask your colleague sitting next to you. Nevertheless, it is important to take these rules into account. For example: don’t install software on your laptop if this service is not needed for work. If you think you need it, then consult your IT department first before making your own decisions.
6. Don’t share everything
Not only do we know that almost everyone is working remotely – we also see it. Many pictures are being shared on social media. And that’s fine, until the point we accidentally share information we rather not share online. Think of the screen of your laptop, which could contain information that can be linked to a customer. Or privacy-sensitive data in general. Therefore, check what you are about to share before you post it.
Most importantly, please be aware of everything you create, process and share. When you work from home, there are no colleagues around who can alert you. Be careful with distractions that could make you less aware: most data leaks are caused by human error. All previous tips mentioned above are therefore related to awareness. If you stay alert to, for example, incoming e-mails and don’t click on links you don’t trust, you are protecting yourself to external factors with the wrong intentions.