Ah the office, remember the days when you knew exactly when you were meant to start, what you needed to get done and that you could get it all done on a secure network? Those were the days but now we are in the remote working era. So how do you stay secure whilst not working in the office?
Let us give you some tips so you can keep working securely.
Everyone is guilty of sticking with a password. It’s so much easier than trying to remember all the different credentials for each account but why do you need to have multiple passwords. Here’s an example. Your Facebook account has a breach and now they know your password, this is also the same password to your work accounts and your work is listed on your Facebook profile, now that person has access to way more than just selfies from 2010.
We understand that it sucks to have multiple passwords but there are easy ways to store them that are secure. Your browser can save your credentials in a secure location on your corresponding account, so you can auto-fill rather than give up security for convenience.
I know, you’re probably sick of seeing every app you own tell you to activate two-factor authentication but it really does nullify the risk of a breach. It has been proven that this method of security block %100 of automated bots, %99 of bulk phishing attacks and 66% of targeted attacks according to Googles research. The way this works is you attach a contact method, such as text, email or push notification and you then have to either approve through the notification or input a code sent to you to then access your account. This means you have full control over the access to your account as it contacts a device that you own.
If you’re in a situation where you are able to work from a café or somewhere similar, make sure you pick a private workspace. You should always be aware of your security online but a lot of people forget about the security of their devices from a more analogue perspective.
There are a few simple ways you can increase privacy and security in public spaces whilst working. Find a private spot in your chosen work environment, this will allow you to keep an eye on who is around and also allow you to keep your work private. Wear some in-ear or noise-cancelling headphones whilst in meetings, the last thing you need is someone listening in on your meetings and writing down credentials. Lock your device if you step away from it. This is super simple but it’s very important and was built into operating systems for a reason. A quick way to do so would be hitting the Windows logo key + L (Windows) or control + command + Q (Mac) to swiftly lock your computer.
Free WIFI, it has the word free in it but is it really? Free WIFI is a quick way to open up your data to anyone who wants it. Due to the lack of encryption, anyone can join and anyone can access the devices on that network with the correct technical know-how. Make sure that the network your connecting to is WPA-2 or higher. This is a network encryption type and is commonly used on most home networks and private networks. To find out if a network is encrypted, go to the internet icon on your taskbar, select the network you want to check and click properties. This will give you a rundown of network settings along with it’s encrypting type. Don’t let the idea of free WIFI draw you in, because it may cost you more than it’s worth.
A virtual private network, also known as a VPN is a virtual network that allows you to connect to a network securely even if it’s open. VPN’s create an encrypted tunnel for your data to flow through, meaning that virtually no one can track, steal or breach your data or system. This tunnel then connects to secure servers and bounces it around so one can see it let alone do anything. If you enjoy working from cafés or public spaces with free WIFI please invest in a VPN as it will save you dealing with any breaches in regards to private data or work data and we all know the boss doesn’t want the companies files just flapping in the virtual wind.
Scams are extremely common events on the internet. From a so-called long-lost lover asking from $7000000 to be wired to them to a fake tech support page telling you that your device has been breached. If you don’t know what you’re looking for it’s easy to fall for these. Do not under any circumstances let someone take control over your computer or ask for access to your device’s accounts. Unless you have asked someone to do this, no self-respecting company would request access to your system without a formal request beforehand. For our Aussie readers we will link to a government recourse Scamwatch so you can further educate yourself on online scams.