Best Practices for Remote Working

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, bringing with it new security risks.

In an office environment, your network and devices will be thoroughly secure – at least if the company takes cybersecurity seriously. While you’re not completely secure, it’s harder to make a security blunder when you’re in a corporate environment. But when you’re working remotely – whether that’s at home or in a public space like a café – your security is probably not up to scratch.

We recommend you always have an up-to-date antivirus solution on any computer or laptop, but with home working, this is even more essential; Any device that stores company data should have antivirus software installed. You should also make sure that your operating system is up-to-date too, as new vulnerabilities can be patched before they are discovered by cybercriminals. If you’re using an outdated version of your OS, it could spell trouble. There’s a high chance that your employer will be able to sort this out for you, perhaps on a company laptop. If this is the case, you should keep your work data on your work computer.

You should always use an encrypted Wi-Fi connection to ensure an attacker cannot connect to your computer. Your home Wi-Fi is probably encrypted already; if it asks anyone connecting for a password, it’s encrypted. There are several Wi-Fi encryption standards, but we’d recommend WPA2 for maximum security. Make sure you have a strong password, too. You should also change your router login and password, as the default ones are easily available online and could put you at risk. To do this, enter your router’s login details (these can normally be found on the back of the router), and change your username and password.

While most remote working you undertake will be at home, you might occasionally work from a public space, connecting to a public hotspot. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are a minefield when it comes to keeping your data safe. Other users have access to the network you’re connected to, putting your data at risk. To prevent other users from spying on you, use a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure your data is encrypted. Another option is to use a personal hotspot from your phone or dedicated device.

Finally, we’d encrypting all data stored on your work device to provide an additional layer of protection, and to protect your data in the event of theft. Encryption takes your data and scrambles it into an unreadable format, useless without a dedicated decryption key.

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