Remember the time when people (including you, maybe) dismissed the coronavirus as just some pesky disease from China that will come to pass in weeks? Currently, literally thousands die in the US alone from the disease and confirmed cases now number to over a million. This unprecedented increase has twisted the arms of authorities to impose drastic measures to flatten the curve of new cases and avoid the overwhelming of the healthcare sector. Other countries have imposed border lockdowns, curfews, and the US included, allow those who can, to work from home.
As expected, employees will need to utilize company-provided devices in these uncertain times, as there is no timeline yet as to when the crisis will be completely defeated. But then, the ambiguity of the situation has been taken advantage of by cybercriminals who will exploit the paranoia of remote workers and expose data and hardware vulnerabilities in the systems they use. How can remote workers then ensure the integrity of the data they get to handle is never compromised during the duration of their remote work period?
VPNs for more security
Among the tools your company can provide you for your peace of mind while remote working is a VPN, which is a program that would allow you to connect to a computer safely, especially when you are using a network that isn’t really that secure, like your home network that may not be that strong against cyberattacks. Using a VPN gives you an added layer of privacy by hiding your browsing history. With that, your company documents can be protected from being seen by unauthorized people.
VPN technology has been around for years, but there has been a spike in interest over recent times. This has been fueled by various factors, including increased concerns about governments monitoring online activities, ISPs potentially reselling user data, more people working at home, and of course, those ever-present hackers looking to intercept data for nefarious deeds.
Store your docs in a cloud
During this era of remote work, cloud-based services are a great option to use to store and transfer data. When documents are stored in a cloud, people with access to it can have copies to them, removing the taxing procedure of emailing documents to those who need to have them. Data loss due to malfunctioning or misplaced computers is reduced, if not avoided altogether.
Whether it’s tapping into the tools included with the cloud storage app you already use or simply dragging files into an open browser window, you’ve got several options to weigh.
Stay away from USB sticks and memory cards
If you are working from home, chances are you are using a laptop or PC issued by your company. If this is the case, you have to avoid using USB stick or memory SD cards. These devices usually carry with them a lot of malware that can adversely affect the files you have stored on your laptop or PC.
But, be careful where you place it since some flash drives tend to be too small for comfort. Therefore, you can quickly lose the device and all your valuable data if you’re not careful.
Employ strong passwords
Hackers are having a field day with so many people working from home as they use less secured networks that do not necessarily have industrial-strength firewalls and anti-hacking software. Thus, if you are working from home, your best defense against hackers would be to make sure they can’t infiltrate your accounts with you using super strong and hard-to-guess passwords. With your accounts and devices being un-hackable, you can be sure unauthorized people can’t get their hands on your documents easily.
Conversely, a password that is difficult to guess makes it prohibitively difficult for common hackers to break into a machine and will force them to look for another target. The more difficult the password, the lower the likelihood that one’s computer will fall victim to an unwanted intrusion.
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