Working remotely or from home office has become the norm for many people due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These professionals, however, need to take extra care with online security. IT department’s at large companies often take serious steps to prevent leakage of corporate information. However small businesses and professionals alike need to take precautions when adopting a remote work posture. And above all follow these seven data security tips.
There is always the possibility for employees to access important data that may be stored in work tools, and use it illegally. This article is intended to help data security mitigate risks associated with terminating employees or contractors when they have access to confidential or sensitive information business.
Here are 7 tips for the remote worker or home office that will help increase the security of your data during your period of work at home in times of Coronavirus.
1. Change and protect your passwords
It is necessary to assume that a remote or home network is less secure than corporate. The recommendation of security companies is to adopt strong passwords and enable two-step verification on all accessed services. Swap weak or very old passwords for 12-digit strings by merging numbers, letters and symbols. Experts also indicate that long sentences can have even more effect against possible invasion attempts.
Do not write down passwords on paper or common notepads. Instead, opt for digital safes specializing in storing sensitive information, both with a mobile app and browser extension. Another option is to record the logins in the Chrome password manager although this presents other risks. In addition, it is important to enter a password and configure the computer’s digital reader.
2. Use a tool that can help you wipe data out remotely
You can use DriveStrike. We recommend this tool because this tool has 4 important features to protect your data:
– Locate: This feature can help you to find your device in the case when your device is stolen by one of your employees.
– Lock: With this feature you can prevent your employees from accessing confidential information on the device. With DriveStrike, remote lock is easy and traceable.
– Wipe: There will always be the possibility that your device cannot be found anymore or it might be in a very remote place. In this case you might make a decision to delete data remotely.
– Encrypt: Integrated BitLocker support or assistance with VeraCrypt enables data encryption to prevent unwanted third party access.
DriveStrike, no doubt, is a mandatory tool to protect all information stored on your smartphone or laptop.
3. Install a good antivirus
It is essential to scan the computer with a good antivirus before starting work, especially if the machine is personal. Malwarebytes is one of the best for this type of task, while software such as AVG and BitDefender are good free alternatives to complement Windows Defender, which comes pre-installed on Windows 10. It is important to note that Mac users should also seek extra protection: the Apple platform has been increasingly targeted by hackers, among other factors, because users think the system is more secure than it really is. AVG is one of the popular options with version for macOS.
4. Change the default password for the router
Before using home Wi-Fi to work, make sure that the router is no longer configured with the manufacturer’s default password. This type of code is usually widely known, which ends up eliminating an important security bed on the network: if an attacker accesses your Wi-Fi, they can quickly control the main point of the network and infect other devices.
The procedure to change the password can be performed by PC or cell phone and usually varies according to the model. In general, it is necessary to enter the router’s IP address in the browser, insert the default login data and change the data in the security option.
5. Use a VPN
Even though it improves the security of the home network, the use of VPN is still the best way to protect company data when working at home. The virtual network technology creates a kind of tunnel between your computer and the company’s server. Preventing any intruders from having access to the information being transferred.
The solution is suitable for those who do home office and need access to documents that will be on the company’s computers. Do not use a free VPN on your computer. To work, prefer to use VPN with a paid plan, which offers more security guarantee and, mainly, data privacy. ExpressVPN, Surfshark and IPVanish are some good options. NordVPN is also very popular, but it must be taken into account that the service was already hacked in 2018.
6. Update computer and applications
Before you start working from home, it is also important to update all equipment and programs to ensure the latest security packages. In Windows 10, the recommendation is to leave Windows Update on automatic and install all items available for download.
Also update the browser and Office, which usually has many updates pending in the Mac version. It is important to remember that Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 and Windows XP. Which makes systems very dangerous for handling sensitive files. If the PC still runs one of these software, the recommendation is to buy and install Windows 10 as soon as possible or to change computers.
7. Avoid using USB sticks and external hard drives
Pendrives, external hard drives and other storage devices are the gateway to infections and should be avoided in the home office. The precaution is the same as that normally adopted within companies: even if the network is secure, it is difficult to protect yourself from malware. Malware that has direct access to the victim’s computer via the USB port.
Antivirus with active monitoring can help block any threats. But not using this type of disk is always more appropriate to keep yourself more secure.
True security is based on how we are alert to the various risks that may arise. By taking into account all threats, we can prevent unwanted third-party access to our important data.