How to Protect Your Data When Working From Home

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives. To halt the spread of novel coronavirus, most of the organizations have implemented company-wide work from home policies. However, as more and more businesses are forced into remote working, phishing attacks are on the rise. Work from home offers many perks but it also makes your data more vulnerable to attacks. Remote work has become a viable solution for most businesses but it also presents a unique challenge for data security. Employees working from home are more at risk of cyber attacks because they usually don’t have the same IT safeguards as in the office.

Working from home

Even though lockdown restrictions are lifted, remote working has become a new normal. It not only helps in protecting the health of employees but also saves the company’s resources. Most of the jobs these days require a laptop and a good internet connection. That’s why work from home has become a feasible solution for both employers and employees. However, companies are finding it tricky to enforce work-from-home best practices to protect their valuable data.

The remote working environment is new for many professionals and most of them are unaware of safe remote working practices. Many employees, on the other hand, are ignorant about keeping their devices safe and networks secure. And any negligence to keep confidential information private may have serious consequences for businesses. So, it’s important to stay safe while working from home to ensure that business data isn’t stolen or leaked. In this post, we’ve listed the best methods to protect your valuable data while working from home.

Provide Security Guidelines

Implementing a work from the home policy may pose new privacy vulnerabilities and data loss threats. So, it’s important to train your employees for remote working by providing them basic IT security knowledge. They should be aware of phishing emails and other common cyber threats. Encourage your workers to avoid the use of public Wi-Fi and ask them to ensure the safety of their home Wi-Fi routers. Keep reminding them to update the security of their work devices and contact your IT department immediately if they encounter any issues. Also, ask employees to exercise caution if they receive a random call purportedly from your helpdesk. Nobody should provide account information, home networking information, and other details without verifying the phone number or email address as listed in your corporate directory.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

Working from home poses several risks and issues in terms of access to internal IT infrastructure and data repatriation. Enterprises that operate remotely are more vulnerable to data breaches because employees access the company’s databases remotely. Workers also send and receive emails containing sensitive data that could be intercepted by a third party. So, to keep your business data safe and secure, employees need to encrypt confidential data stored on their devices or send via emails. Encrypting data when sending an email will help in preventing unauthorized access to your sensitive information. Likewise, encrypting data stored on your device will keep your data safe even if it gets stolen. In addition to this, you or your employees should never click on links in emails from unauthorized/unknown sources to prevent phishing attacks.

Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Every job requires access to the internet and the best way to ensure the safety of your data when connecting to the web via public Wi-Fi is by using a VPN. Setting up a VPN creates a secure tunnel and provides a safe way to move data between your core systems and externally based employees. When employees connect to corporate file servers or applications from a remote location, VPN helps in ensuring safe transfer of data from laptop, tablet, or smartphone. VPN creates an additional layer of security by hiding the user’s IP address and location. It also encrypts data transfers in transit that help in keeping the company’s data safe.

Install Updates

Whether you’re looking to protect your personal data or professional documents, it’s important to follow the best cyber protection practices. Most users make a common mistake of avoiding software update notifications. If you ignore updating your system software and other applications, then hackers and cybercriminals may take advantage of your negligence. It takes only a few minutes to install software patches and browser updates that are mostly free of cost and protects you against cyber attacks. However, make sure to install updates from trusted sources only. It should be the company’s IT security policy to install updates within one week of receiving a notification. You may also activate automatic updating on all your devices for the best possible safety. Also, the apps and software installed on your device should be updated timely.

Use Secure Wi-Fi

Make sure to avoid using public Wi-Fi that poses significant security risks. Instead of using public Wi-Fi, it’s better to use a mobile hotspot which is protected by a robust password. If using public Wi-Fi is the only option available then carefully check the name of the Wi-Fi connection. Sometimes, hackers attack users by creating a network with a similar name to collect passwords and other data. Also, turn on a firewall that helps in preventing security risks presented by public Wi-Fi. To protect your device and data stored on it, it’s best to use a secure home network. It is also important that you reset the default Wi-Fi router password and choose strong passwords to prevent a data breach.

Create Strong Passwords

Setting up strong passwords is the most basic and often neglected aspect of ensuring cybersecurity. You must create robust passwords and keep updating them regularly. You may use a password generator to create passwords to tighten up your data security. It can be easy to use the same password for multiple sites or applications but it’s not the best practice. Make use of alphanumeric codes, two-factor authentication, and don’t allow your device to “remember” your password.

Avoid Using Random USB Drives

It can be tempting to find a large capacity thumb drive but picking up any unidentified USB drive and opening the files could land you in serious trouble. You should never use a random USB drive or connect your own thumb drive to an unknown system to avoid malware attacks and data loss.

Despite taking all the precautions, if you still end up losing data. Then reach out to top-rated data recovery company Platinum Data Recovery for emergency data recovery services.