In the age of the flexible workforce with more employees working remotely, are you concerned that they might pose a security risk? If the answer is yes, the following seven recommendations should help you develop a solid strategy when it comes maintaining security for remote employees.
Don’t trust WiFi
Mobile technology is a necessity of working remotely. Whether you’re working on your laptop from a local coffee shop or checking your email from your phone, think twice before connecting to the internet via unsecured public WiFi. Many mobile devices are set up to connect automatically to wifi when a connection comes within range, so we recommend turning off this particular feature. Only connect to WiFi connections that you know are secure.
Keep your devices close
Did you know that one laptop is stolen every 53 seconds? In addition to being an expensive loss for you or your company, if there is any sensitive data on the device you could be looking at steep fines related to compliance regulations.
Make sure you always keep your devices with you and lock them when not in use. Never leave laptops and other devices unattended in vehicles, or, if you must, keep them out of sight.
Turn on the “find my device” feature
Most mobile devices come with the “find my device” feature. This feature is just what it sounds like: if your device goes missing you can activate it from another device and it will help you to locate the missing device.
Use strong passwords
Always use strong passwords on your devices, and always use unique passwords for each device you have. Never share your password with anyone or write it down, and don’t use a password that could be easily guessed. When available, use multi-factor authentication. If your password is incorrectly entered or entered from a new location, this will require that you respond to notifications before allowing you to log in.
Use a VPN
If you often find yourself needing to use public WiFi connections, it might be worth looking into a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs encrypt your data, helping to keep your connection and your data secure. A VPN can also allow you to access your home or business network while traveling. For more information, check out, What is a VPN, and why would I need one?.
Consider the source
When it comes to storing or accessing data, consider the source. Be cautious of downloading files from unfamiliar persons, and always use your antivirus software to scan files from familiar sources. Never plug a strange USB drive into your computer. When traveling, be cautious of USB charging stations. These can be used to transmit malware to your device or steal data.
Use secure cloud-based services
While there are many ways to remotely access your work, the safest option is to use secure cloud-based services. When you keep your work on the cloud you can access all of your files as needed with fewer risks. Using cloud services also enables you to access your work from multiple devices, and use cloud-based apps to keep up with your work on the go.
With some employee education, clear expectations, and BYOD policies in place, you can create a safe and secure workplace– even if the workplace is remote.