In this continuously changing environment, more and more employers prefer their employees to work from home. There are some precautions to be taken by both, the employers and employees. This post talks about some safety and security tips to protect data when working remotely.
Remote working – Safety and security tips
You need to make sure that your OS and installed software is always updated. Uninstall software you do not need. There are some other areas you need to take a look at to be safe and secure when working remotely:
- Use a VPN
- Educate your employees
- Use a good Security software
- Strong Passwords
- Use some form of data encryption
- Use a secure video conferencing tool.
1] Use a VPN
The first security tip when connecting to the company intranet over the home or some other Wi-Fi is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). An intranet is a private network created using the Internet.
The Wi-Fi at home may not be 100 percent safe as people tend to use default or weak passwords in their routers. Public free Wi-Fi hotspots also need plenty of precautions because someone might be listening to your traffic to hack into your computer. VPN software is recommended for public Wi-Fi hotspots too. Pick a good VPN after reading different brand reviews and asking suggestions from your teammates and friends.
The best method in finalizing the VPN for insecure Wi-Fi hotspots and home Wi-Fi is the feedback from the IT people of your company. The company can go for some paid VPN’s enterprise edition and install it on all employees’ computers. That should protect the employers’ data.
2] Educate your employees
Contact all your employees and educate them concerning:
- how social engineering works,
- all about phishing,
- how hackers attack computers and access them, and
- how to stay safe and keep the employers’ data safer when connected to the Internet
- and similar things that would avoid anything that may compromise the employers’ intranet
3] Firewall and Security software
Update all software loaded on employees’ computers or ask your employees to install the latest version. The security software used for work should be always updated so that it doesn’t compromise any employees’ computer and thereby contaminate the office LAN or Intranet. The software list includes anti-virus and firewall. If using a VPN, make sure it is the latest version.
4] Strong Passwords
Check the strength of passwords in use in your company. See how strong passwords your employees are using. Provide them with a good password manager like Lastpass and tell them how to create and use strong passwords. But add only the websites and forms the employees can visit/use on the employee device. Different people working at different levels need access to different types of websites. For example, a work computer would seldom have Facebook or Twitter unless they are part of the business processes related to the employee’s profile.
5] Use some form of data encryption
Data encryption will protect your data even if one of your computers is compromised. Make sure the encryption key is secure somewhere. It is a better practice to encrypt the entire disk at a go. Check out some good encryption software that we covered at The Windows Club.
6] Use a secure video conferencing tool
The chance are that you will be making use of a video conferencing tool. You ned a good secure one and foe those reasons, you could use Microsoft Teams or Skype Meet. Zoom is popular and if you wish to use it, you need to take some security precautions.
Security tips for employees when working remotely
- Make sure your company computer has a good VPN. Always keep the VPN turned on while using the Internet.
- Avoid doing corporate and personal work at the same time or by multi-tasking. Moving between company work and personal work may leak the contents of your browser. It may also lead to Tabnabbing. Be aware of the risks of doing personal work on the corporate intranet.
- Always keep the disk encrypted and decrypt only those files that you are using for office work. This also means that the company should use file encryption software over entire disk encryption software so that the data is protected. The problem with entire disk encryption software is that they decrypt the whole disk at a time.
- Use only company provided services on the work computer: email, instant messaging, conferencing software, and browsers.
- Do NOT use Proxies to access sites that have been disallowed on your work computer. This may sound safer, but the proxy may be making notes of what you are doing on the Internet and otherwise.
Did we miss any remote working safety and security tip in this post? Share with us, your own tips and experiences in the comments section below.