Remote and in-office working styles continue to become more fluid with remote work increasing by 24% and hybrid work increasing by 16% in 2022, plus interest in in-office work decreasing by 24%. 
The desire and demand for remote work is underscored by the fact that 66% of workers would immediately start searching for another job if the ability to work from home was taken away. 
With such an increase in the remote workforce, it’s essential that business owners take the time to teach and implement best work from home cyber security practices to their employees to ensure the safety of their business. Continue reading to learn about the eight best cyber security practices for remote workers.
When it comes to protecting yourself and your employer while working remotely, creating and properly managing your passwords is a great first step.
For every work account you utilize, you should be creating a different and complex password that’s made up of a combination of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols that are longer than eight characters with no personal details.
Cyber security experts also recommend changing your passwords every 60 to 90 days to more effectively avoid cyber threats. Consider asking your employer for access to an enterprise-level password manager to securely organize and save all of your passwords.
Although it can be inconvenient at times, it’s also best to implement multi factor authentication when logging in to your business accounts for an extra layer of security by its utilization of two different entry points to keep hackers from accessing your accounts.
When your laptop or desktop alerts you to available updates, don’t ignore them. In addition to improving performance, your device’s regular software updates often fix security flaws and help safeguard your device’s data, which is essential to following best cyber security practices.
Your employer should also implement antivirus and anti-malware software on your devices. Antivirus software will protect your devices from zero-day attacks, spyware, trojans and worms, phishing scams, and other viruses that could lead to catastrophic consequences should they not be prevented. Anti-malware software not only provides protection against malware attacks, but often provides warnings when an attack is being attempted.
One of the biggest cyber threats posed to remote employees are email scammers. Email scammers aim to infiltrate businesses and their networks by convincing the reader to download a malicious attachment or share login information, so they can access sensitive data and install dangerous software on your devices.
It’s important for you to learn how to detect a malicious email and properly manage them once received. Detect a malicious email by looking out for these red flags:
If you receive a suspicious email, be sure to not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to your email service provider and the FTC’s Report Fraud website.
How to recognize and avoid malicious emails
If you need access to your company’s network while working remotely, your employer will likely ask you to access it through a virtual private network (VPN)—a secure direct connection to your employer’s network.
Many organizations ask their employees to use VPNs when accessing certain files, visiting specific websites, or working with sensitive information to properly secure the information from hackers and cyber spies through data encryption.
If you’re utilizing a VPN, it’s best to keep it on at all times throughout the workday to block hacker attempts to steal proprietary information. If you enjoy working at coffee shops or other shared spaces where you utilize a public Wi-Fi network, it will be especially important for you to sign in to your employer’s VPN to protect your device’s data.
With video meetings and teleconferences an essential part of working remotely, it’s important that you practice proper webcam etiquette to ensure the security of your employer.
Hackers can easily access webcams without permissions, which compromises both your personal privacy and the privacy of sensitive documents around your workspace that hackers could gain visibility to.
Experts recommend that if your webcam is separate from your device, you unplug it when it’s not in use. If your webcam is built-in, consider buying a sliding webcam cover to eliminate visibility when not in use. Sliding webcam covers can easily be found online in all shapes and sizes and are usually easily added to the device with an adhesive.
Although not always an option, it’s best to keep your personal and work devices separate.
Many companies provide their employees with a laptop to utilize while working from home. If this is the case for your current job, be sure to use the provided device for work-related tasks only and your personal laptop for all day-to-day activities like streaming your favorite TV show or buying vacation tickets.
By keeping your work and personal lives separate on devices, you’ll minimize cyber security risks for yourself and your company by preventing sensitive business and personal data from being stolen.
In the case that your employer has you use your personal device when working remotely, it’s important to follow their bring your own device policy to keep the company network and your personal data secure.
Nowadays, many companies have remote work policies to follow that can help you manage your cyber security risks and learn how to respond in the event that a cyber incident occurs.
Many of these policies include when and where you’re allowed to work out of the office, best security measures and practices, correct communication software and meeting tools to utilize, communication frequency, and general expectations.
When you’re working remotely, it’s important to remember that technology issues will still arise, just like when you’re in the office, but you won’t be expected to solve those issues on your own. When you need tech assistance, it’s important to reach out to your employer’s internal IT team or managed IT partner for help.
Be sure that your employer provides you with the correct contact information for your IT team in case you need help during an emergency or general assistance with software updates.
Whether your team is completely remote or works from home a few days a week, our team at NeverBlue IT can keep your business protected from online threats with a cyber security service tailored to you.
We’re proud to support businesses in Central Florida and Southeast Michigan by keeping their data safe through:
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