Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers
As COVID-19 (the coronavirus) continues to affect many parts of the world, small businesses and organizations are feeling the heat.
This week, Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan ordered all non-essential businesses to close until further notice.
As a result, more people are working from home than ever before.
Fortunately, the Internet era has made it relevantly simple for many of us to carry out our work duties from home. That said, there are downsides to remote work.
This surge of remote workers is music to a cybercriminal’s ears.
Bad actors are taking advantage of these inexperienced remote workers through exploiting weaknesses. Not only can remote workers have their privacy put at risk, but they could accidentally open the floodgates to company and personal data.
The cybersecurity team from MRW Systems is here to help. In this article, we will share our top best 8 cybersecurity tips for remote workers.
1. Use multi-factor authentication.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a form of security authentication that requires a user to present two or more authentication factors. For the authentication to be complete, the user must confirm each factor
MFA acts as an extra layer of security on top of your remote employees’ accounts. And as we always preach, the more layers of protection you have, the better off you’ll be.
To learn more about multi-factor authentication: click here.
2. Use a VPN.
When working remotely, we recommend that you use your company’s VPN.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. The role of a VPN is to encrypt all your internet traffic so that it is unreadable to anyone who intercepts it.
3. Secure your home router.
When was the last time you changed your router password? Many people use the password it came with. Don’t be like those people! A bad router password leaves your home network vulnerable.
While changing the router password is a good first step, there are other actions you can take. One entry-level measure is to make sure to enable wireless password encryption. If possible, use WPA/WPA2 over WEP. Without wireless security, anyone can join your network and use your Internet. That’s a hacker’s dream right there!
To activate wireless security, check out this blog from Lifewire.
4. Watch out for phishing emails.
Another way that cybercriminals will capitalize on COVID-19 is with phishing emails.
Phishing attacks are fraudulent communications that appear to come from a reputable source. Typically, phishing attacks come in the form of an email. And for today’s purposes, we are going to focus on phishing emails.
The goal of a phishing attack is to steal sensitive data, like credit card and login information. Or, to install malware on the victim’s machine.
To learn how to identify a phishing email, check out this blog post.
5. Keep everything up to date.
Our fifth cybersecurity tip for remote works is a tale as old as time (or at least Internet-time). Unpatched or non-updated software is a frequent cause of malware infections. Why? Because updates help protect against the latest threat.
So, make sure you keep your browser, antivirus, and operating system up to date.
6. Back up your data.
Data can be lost in several ways. This may include human error, physical damage to hardware, or a cyberattack. For instance, malware can wipe entire systems without you having a chance to spot it. So, make sure you back up your data. Don’t save files to your desktop.
If you are unsure how you should back up your data, reach out to our IT department, or managed service team.
7. Use commonsense.
Having good security awareness will help you make smarter decisions online. If you combine these commonsense rules with security practices, your online safety will be better for it:
- Don’t click on any suspicious links or emails.
- Use strong and unique passwords.
- Report any email that seems fraudulent by clicking on the “flag as spam” button.
- Don’t reveal more personal information than you have to.
8. Unsure about your setup, contact your support desk.
Our most important remote work cybersecurity tip is to ask for help. It can take a village to keep a network secure. If you have concerns about your work from home setup, contact your support desk. They can make recommendations that will keep you safe.
If we are your support desk, our all-star techs can help you with your remote solution. Give us a call at, 410-751-7111.