After Covid, most companies started working from home to reduce the risk of getting infected with the deadly virus. However, even though coronavirus has been contained in many countries, the work-from-home policy hasn’t ended. The primary reason for this is the increased productivity of employees and reduced costs for organizations.
Multinational and local businesses adopting the new work-from-home policy helped reduce the risk of spreading the virus. However, it not only helped with that, but employees also started loving their jobs even more and actually started being more productive. Who knew they would get paid working in their pajamas from the comfort of their bed?
This not only benefitted the employees but the businesses as well. Picture this, you’re a business owner, and thanks to the work-from-home policy, you are not worried about the electricity bill, rent, gas, and many other things for your office site as your whole team is working from their homes.
The work-from-home policy helped both businesses and employees immensely. The employees only needed the best home internet service to work without interruption, and the most trusted option was Kinetic Windstream, which offers stable speeds.
However, despite all the great benefits of a work-from-home policy, there are some downsides. Cybersecurity threats are increasing at a rapid pace, and one must take relevant measures to protect their online data. This not only puts the employees at risk but the organization too, as hackers can breach its data and steal all the crucial information.
This article focuses on various tips and tricks that can help you keep your data protected. This way, you will be able to work from home with the peace of mind that your company information is well-protected and prevented from any cyber-security risk.
The Most Common Threats to Remote Workers
Below we have put together some of the major threats that remote workers all over the world face. Have a look at them and be aware, as many work-from-home employees have been victims of successful cyberattack breaches.
Public Wi-Fi Networks
The Wi-Fi router in your home is relatively more secure than the public Wi-Fi networks that are found in the places such as coffee shops, airports, and restaurants. Hackers can easily steal your online information if you are connected to public Wi-Fi networks, as they are not secure.
Using Personal Devices and Networks
Most employees are told to use their personal devices on home networks to work. This is another reason why a cybersecurity plan can be successful, as the personal equipment of workers lacks tools and security software, such as online backup tools, antivirus, customized firewalls, and so on. This subsequently increases the risk of malware getting into their laptop and leaking crucial company information.
The hardware you use to work from home has to be fully updated and upgraded. Old laptops and computers are more easily hacked. However, companies investing in the latest equipment for their employees can help their data stay protected on the internet. The security of the latest equipment is always much improved and can prevent hackers from finding their way into your system.
Less or No Oversight of the Employee’s System
The cybersecurity teams must watch over their employee’s systems for any possible flaw that can lead to the company data being compromised. Moreover, training the employees about cybersecurity will allow them to stay within the conventional parameters to avoid being a victim of cyberattacks.
Being armed with the right knowledge and tools, you can stay protected from the threats mentioned above.
Cybersecurity Tips for Employees Working from Home
It is necessary to ask your employer if they follow any practices to prevent cyberattacks. If not, you can always start taking some safety measures yourself. It is always possible to start imposing simple steps that can help you avoid any data theft while you are working from home.
Let us have a look at the best cybersecurity measures to stay safe on the internet.
Use Strong Passwords
You must always protect all your work accounts with a complicated and strong password. Using the same password for multiple accounts can lead cybercriminals to hack into all of them simultaneously, even if they crack one password.
It is imperative to ensure that all your online accounts are protected with a unique password that is not used for another account. You should ensure to add upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters, etc., to set up a password so that it becomes extremely tough and nearly impossible to guess.
Moreover, you can trust the best online password tools. Various password managers are available today to help you find the best-complicated passwords and even remember them for you, so you don’t have to.
The Two-Factor Authentication
A strong password is a good first step, yes, but alone it cannot save you from modern hackers with their latest technology. If your password is breached and someone attempts to log in to your company or personal account, they will have to enter the code that will only be sent to you on the media channel only available to you.
This adds an extra layer of security over all your passwords. Be it an email, call, fingerprint, or even a text message, the 2FA will prevent cybercriminals from accessing your password-protected accounts from anywhere in the world.
Setting Up Firewalls
Firewalls are one of the best ways to prevent any threats from entering your system. They act as a barrier between the device you use and the internet by shutting the ports of communication. It helps prevent malicious files from entering your device and leaking crucial data.
Each device’s operating system has an in-built firewall. Moreover, routers have firewalls installed in them as well. You just have to make sure that they are enabled. If, however, you are looking for added protection, there are multiple third-party firewalls available in the market. We recommend you go for the premium ones as they provide you with the best value for your money.
Use an Antivirus Software
Organizations often install antivirus software on all their employees’ systems, such as laptops, computers, etc. If you have an organization’s laptop, there’s a good possibility that it will have security tools like antivirus already installed.
However, if you are using your personal laptop or computer, it is suggested to get an antivirus installed on it too. After a firewall, the antivirus software can act as a second line of defense to help block malware from entering whatever device you use.
Moreover, if any malware file does find its way into your device, the antivirus software will help you detect and remove it. You will find many antivirus software in the market that you can go with based on your preference.
Protect Your Home Router
Did you change your Wi-Fi router password when it was installed? Most people don’t do this, and this is how they leave their network vulnerable. You must take precautionary measures to get your home network protected so that the malicious files never find their way in there.
The first step to ensure that it doesn’t happen is changing the router password. However, there are other options to consider as well. To give you an idea, all the firmware must be installed and updated.
The encryption must be set to WPA3 or WPA2. You should restrict the outbound and inbound traffic with the help of the top level of available encryption, then switch off WPS.
Install the Updates Regularly
You should be actively updating the software and all the other applications installed on your device. Such updates patch the security vulnerabilities that might be uncovered from the last update iteration.
You can let the updates occur automatically, which means that they can take place at any time. All that is needed is an active and fast internet connection. Check out these Windstream packages and subscribe to the plan of your choice.
Have a Data Back Up
There are multiple ways that your data can be lost, such as human error, hardware damage, cyber-attack, and so on. Furthermore, ransomware attacks and other various attacks can also wipe out all your crucial data without you even spotting it.
Luckily, there are many ways to back up your data. Hardware backups are good, yes, but storing your data on the cloud is still one of the best ways to keep it safe. Cloud data services provide you with different options to customize the data backup and storage alternatives. Once the data is on the cloud, it stays there forever.
Stay Cautious of Phishing Emails and Websites
Be it phishing emails, text messages (smishing), or voicemails (vishing), they are used by cyber attackers to “phish” your information. Through phishing, hackers can get your account number and credit card information to take over your account.
Today, when most organizations are practicing a work-from-home policy, most cybercriminals out there are tricking employees into phishing platforms and cashing out the opportunity. You should never trust any email from an unknown source, as it’s a famous tactic used to steal your personal information and access the accounts you use.
The smart way to spot a phishing email is by having a look at the sender’s email address for any spelling errors and lousy grammar in the body or subject line. You can hover over the links without clicking them if you are unsure whether the sender is authentic or not.
If you click on a possible phishing link and land on a website that looks legitimate, check its credibility and never enter any of your personal information. Some of the common signs of a phishing website are an HTTPS padlock symbol absence, wrongly spelled domain names, wrong grammar, missing contact information, and no “about” page.
Use A VPN
People mainly use VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming services and other websites. However, a VPN can keep your online activities private by implementing impenetrable encryption so that no one on the internet can see what you do on the internet.
A VPN has servers placed in multiple countries. You can connect to any of these country servers to get a new IP address. This way, cybercriminals cannot know what your actual location is. Furthermore, when you are connected to a VPN server, all your browsing activities are hidden, even from your own ISP, which means that no matter what you use the internet for, no one can track you online.
However, a VPN can slow down internet speeds, so you must make sure to subscribe to a fast internet service provider with ultra-fast speeds. Check out these phone and internet bundles that many VPN users in the US trust.
There you go! The aforementioned cybersecurity tips will help you prevent any attempt by cyber criminals to steal your online work-related or personal information. It is necessary for employees that are working from home to take all the safety measures to stay safe online, as millions of hackers are lurking on every network looking for one loose point to infiltrate your security.
Lastly, companies and businesses should also hold sessions in which the basics of staying safe online are discussed to educate their employees about the risks of weak online security.