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Remote working and cybersecurity risks, unfortunately, go hand in hand. As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be far from over, cyber threats to individuals and businesses continue to loom large. The only solution at the moment is to invest in robust technology solutions that protect your network and to train employees in cybersecurity so that they develop healthy remote working practices.

If you allow a bulk of your employees to work remotely, it is important to adopt a few basic habits to protect your devices and your business network from cyber criminals.

Here’s a quick look at a few basic tips

  1. Choose Strong Passwords

Passwords provide the first line of defence against unauthorized access to your devices and personal information. By creating a strong, unique password, you increase protection levels tremendously. You make it more challenging for cybercriminals to gain access and disrupt your systems networks.

  1. Install Updates

Rule number two is never to ignore those little pop-up windows that tell you that software updates are available for your device. Once you get such a notification, be sure to install the latest software as soon as possible. Timely software updates (including antivirus updates) help patch security flaws and safeguard the computer system.

  1. Write a remote work policy for your team

If you are a remote team leader or business owner, it is imperative that you create a strong remote working policy to help your team with risk management. You could also consider providing them training in cyber incident response to deal with any cyber incidents that may occur.

  • You need to cover the following topics:
    • Compliance requirements
    • Information systems security
    • Data protection
    • Remote access control
    • Backup and media storage
    • Information disposal
    • Alternative work sites
  1. Learn to detect phishing scams

The Covid-19 outbreak has led to a significant rise in phishing email scams. In the first month of the coronavirus lockdown, the number of phishing emails sent globally increased by 667%.

As a remote worker, you should be careful about clicking on attachments or links in any email that looks suspicious to you. Here is how you can detect phishing email:

Don’t trust emails sent from a public email domain like @gmail.com and @yahoo.com. Remember that every legitimate organization has its own email domain and company accounts. For example, legitimate emails from LinkedIn include “@linkedin.com” Check whether the domain name is spelled correctly.

  1. Turn on VPN

Do your employees access your network through a virtual private network (VPN)? If so, you should instruct them never to turn off the VPN as an essential part of network security. A VPN is designed to secure information transmitted between employers and remote employees through data encryption.

While you keep the VPN turned on, you secure your network from hackers and cyber spies who can intercept sensitive data, such as financial documents and customer data. Whether your remote workers work from home or a local coffee shop, staying signed into the organisational VPN is imperative to secure all important information.

  1. Keep your devices separate

If your employees use a device provided by the business, make sure that they use it only for work. Encourage them not to use it to watch their favourite TV shows on Netflix or buy tickets for vacations – things that can be done on personal devices. And vice versa is true too. Don’t use your personal tablet or PC for work because it lacks proper security.

The number of cyberattacks is growing day by day. And you should put some extra effort into safeguarding the security of your business networks and devices.

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