Tips for Remote Workers on Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity protocols are used well beyond the workplace, as employers increasingly rely on remote workers.

Regardless of whether employees complete their work assignments remotely or in the office, hackers and other digital bad actors don’t care. Their only concern is breaching a company’s secure walls and causing everyone to suffer.

That’s why your remote team needs to be fully on board and up-to-date when it comes to cybersecurity. Here are valuable tips for business leaders and remote workers to keep in mind:

Be professional.

Cybersecurity measures shouldn’t be relaxed when you work from home or another remote location.

As an employer, it’s up to you to ensure remote workers “maintain the same level of professionalism regarding secure and sensitive data as they do in the office,” notes Business News Daily. The remote worker must understand that “personal email cannot be used in an official capacity” and that sensitive documents “must either be shredded properly or set aside for shredding later.”

Beware of phishing attacks.

Employees working remotely often rely on email to stay in touch with their employers. This leaves them vulnerable to potential phishing attacks, which try to trick employees into revealing sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. Moreover, since ransomware (attacks resulting from phishing attempts) poses a significant financial and reputational threat to small businesses, everyone should prioritise cybersecurity best practices.

Remote workers should always check their emails for:

  • Email addresses that are “peculiar”
  • Grammatical or phrasing errors
  • Using words that indicate “urgency” in clicking on a link

It is imperative that businesses train their employees, wherever they may be located, to be more aware of the dangers lurking in their email boxes.

Maintain strict password, encryption, and access policies.

A strong password should be at least 16 characters long, a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. It should always be combined with multi-factor authentication—that is, taking at least one additional step after entering a password.

A key component of maintaining cybersecurity is encryption. In Forcepoint’s definition of data encryption, information is encoded and can only be accessed or decrypted by those with the correct encryption key, otherwise appearing scrambled or unreadable to a third party without permission.

Among the most important things, businesses should carefully limit who should have access to their network among their remote employees. You shouldn’t allow a particular individual access to sensitive business data without authorisation if you can’t make a strong case for that individual.

In the same respect, offsite employees should be reminded that “working from home means company computers are more likely to be exposed to young children” and other family members, notes Kaspersky. Remote workers must ensure that their laptops, smartphones, and other devices cannot be accessed by family members.

Update and educate.

Your remote team should also be included in any network security updates. Encourage them to download approved anti-virus software and/or other upgrades to maintain strict data security.

In the same respect, cybersecurity training and education should extend to remote workers. In order for all users to be able to recognise and avert new phishing and other hacker threats, an organisation’s IT department must provide training.

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