The opportunity to work from home, on the beach or anywhere other than a corporate office leads many to seek employment with companies offering online work. The millennial generation has quickly made employers think twice about demanding traditional workplaces.
The influx of online workers has created new areas for hackers to practice their trade. Thus, it is important that online employees realize that cybersecurity is of the utmost importance. Not only is the personal information of the employee put at risk, but a cyber-attack could impact the employer as well.
Like all online activity, steps should be taken to prevent the loss of private information. Those fortunate enough to work remotely online should take the utmost care to reduce the chances of experiencing a data breach.
Cybersecurity can be obtained by following a few simple ideas to stay safe. The opportunity to work online is a great privilege and employees should keep this in mind as they operate. Most of these safety tips are useful for both business and personal cybersecurity.
Say “Yes” to the Next Update Reminder
It is an unfortunate truth that many users refuse to update apps, operating systems, and programs regularly. Whether to save time or out of pure laziness, avoiding these updates can leave you vulnerable to cyber-attack.
Most updates contain security fixes called patches. These patches correct and reinforce known vulnerabilities, in addition to potentially making the program function better. If an update is offered, make it a priority to install it immediately.
Most updates take very little time to install, and many programs offer automatic updates. Take advantage of automation to help ensure your systems are constantly protected against a new hacking technique.
Be Aware that “Phishing” Has Become More Sophisticated
Gone are the days of “phishing” scams being emails from a mysterious prince asking for your bank account numbers. Cybercriminals are much more adept at this technique to trick individuals into providing private information.
Be wary of any unusual emails that seem out of place, untimely, or from a misspelled address. Furthermore, be aware of web addresses, as hackers have mastered mimicking legitimate websites. Pay attention to any spelling errors or sites that look slightly different than usual.
No financial data should be entered on URLs that begin with “HTTPS”. These sites are feature security protocols to provide a safer transaction.
Be Smart and Take Advantage of Simple Security Solutions
It is no secret that many people use the same username and password combination for almost every account they have. This can include both work and personal accounts. Hackers are well aware of this and regularly take advantage.
Use a unique password for every account requiring one. There are apps available now to make this a much easier task. This is one of the simplest security steps that very few people take. At a minimum, keep your work and personal usernames and passwords unique. This will keep your company-related information safe if a hacker guesses your log-in.
Most accounts will request some form of secondary contact, like a mobile number. Many people see this as an invasion of privacy and decline to provide it. Providing this information is a security feature. Banks and other companies will contact account holders if something is amiss. Keep this in mind when an account asks for another contact aside from email.
Use Advanced Security Features Like a VPN and Two-Factor Authentication
Many people who work online find themselves using mobile devices or laptops to get the job done. While very convenient, it is important to remember that devices require safety precautions as well.
Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi, as it is one of the most vulnerable networks to hacking. If you must connect for some reason, consider downloading a virtual private network to your device or laptop. The VPN will provide some privacy by creating encryption of data coming and going.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is another valuable tool to use. Enabling this function requires a password and a unique passcode that is sent to a mobile device. 2FA is known to reduce instances of “brute force” attacks, which require a hacker to simply guess your username and password.
Personal and business cybersecurity are very similar for those who work online. Following the simple steps above could eliminate a vast majority of cyber threats. Take a moment to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep yourself, and the company you work for, safe.