The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the daily habits of millions of people globally, including where they work. To maintain social distancing, many employers have already sent their employees — or offering them the option — to work from home.
More employees are working from home than ever before. Remote work has several advantages for employees like greater levels of job satisfaction, less stress and higher productivity. But, it also presents a few challenges — one of the biggest being how to keep personal and work-related information secure when someone is accessing it at home. According to a survey, the risk for data breaches is significantly higher with remote work. However, proactively addressing security challenges by following the below given tips you can work from home without risking your personal data.
Learn to recognize fraudulent links
Along with cyber attacks, human error is also a significant contributor to digital-security issues. As per an analysis which took place in Australia, human error is accountable for about 36 percent of cases of data breaches.
Phishing emails are one of the most common threats facing professionals right now. They trick them for clicking on fraudulent links that are designed to install malware or steal account information.
Now that you are working outside the office, make sure that you understand the dangers of phishing and other attacks. Learn to identify fraudulent communications.
Use two-factor authentication
To counter cyber crimes, a large number of companies are using two-factor authentication for their employees’ login. Two-factor authentication adds a layer of redundancy to ensure that only the actual account owner can access their account. A hacker could steal an employee’s password, but they probably won’t have a phone that receives the verification code. They certainly wouldn’t have a fingerprint, which is used in some systems. Adding one extra step to the login process could make all the difference in keeping hackers out.
Two-factor authentication systems can also serve as a type of alert when an unauthorized user is attempting to log in to an account. This will help remote employees know when they need to change their password or contact you about a potential issue.
A VPN (short for virtual private network) can help protect the data you send and receive while you work from home. A VPN can provide a secure link between employees and businesses by encrypting data.
VPNs help protect against cybercriminals and snoops from seeing what you do online during a workday. That might include sending or receiving financial information, strategy documents, and customer data. A VPN helps keep that information secure from cybercriminals and competitors.
Stay current on software updates and patches
You might get reminders that software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Don’t wait. Update. Also, keep in mind you can configure your devices to update automatically.
It’s important because updates help patch security flaws and help protect your data. Updates can also add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.
Use an encrypted software for all your communication
The use of end-to-end encryption softwares like Signal can also protect your data while you are working from home. Want to discuss project progress with coworkers? Want to share a confidential file? Want to send or receive financial information securely? All of these and a lot more can be done with an encrypted software like Signal.
Signal uses end-to-end encryption to secure all communications to other Signal users. The app includes mechanisms by which users can independently verify the identity of their contacts and the integrity of the data channel.
Since all Signal communications are automatically end-to-end encrypted therefore the keys that are used to encrypt the user’s communications are generated and stored at the endpoints (i.e. by users, not by servers). To verify that a correspondent is really the person that they claim to be, Signal users can compare key fingerprints (or scan QR codes). The app employs a trust-on-first-use mechanism in order to notify the user if a correspondent’s key changes.
The Signal applications on Android and iOS can be locked with the phone’s pin, passphrase, or biometric authentication. The user can define a “screen lock timeout” interval, providing an additional protection mechanism in case the phone is lost or stolen.