Whether you’re new to remote working and just getting started, or you’ve been doing it for a while, you should be aware that security is paramount. Failure to remain secure might result in the leakage of personal information from your company, yourself, and even your clients, causing major difficulties.

Protecting your business is crucial, so today we’ll look at the top five mistakes that all remote employees should be aware of to keep everything safe. This is what you should consider regarding your security policy as a person, a firm, a business, or a non-profit organization.

1. Making Use of Weak Passwords

Regarding sensitive materials, cybersecurity and IT experts have long emphasized the need to adopt unique, secure, difficult, and random passwords. Unfortunately, research shows that those cautions aren’t usually heeded. Users tend to use passwords that are simple and easy to remember at the price of their own security.

“If you use the internet, use a personal password manager so that every site has a unique password – that’s first and foremost.

2. Failure to keep up with technological advancements

It’s critical to maintain your smartphone, tablet, or computer/laptop up to date and running the newest firmware, whether you’re remote working or not. Technology is constantly updated, and most of these upgrades will contain a security update.

If you don’t upgrade your gadget, it will remain exposed to whatever bug was patched, making your sensitive data available.

3. Using High-Risk Security Workarounds

Cybersecurity procedures can feel cumbersome at times, and remote employees may be tempted to discover workarounds that boost productivity at the price of security during a hectic workday.

According to the same Cybersecurity survey, 67 per cent of respondents admit to trying to go around company security standards by emailing work documents to their personal email address, exchanging passwords, or installing untrusted apps on their work computers.

4. Device Sharing with Family

As they are trapped at home, remote employees may be tempted to allow family members to use their work computers for non-work-related purposes. Because things are so hectic right now, business devices become personal devices — for example, my children need to use Zoom, so I’ll simply sit at my desk and do it,” Murphy adds. “It’s not that Zoom has a weakness or a bug but utilizing an unfamiliar gadget might put your child at risk of clicking a link or visiting an unexpected website.” So it all boils down to the distinction between business and personal use, which we’re blurring much too often.”

5. Setting Software Updates to “Remind Me Tomorrow”

Because new software updates are meant to lessen security threats, keeping devices up to date is one of the greatest methods to keep them safe. These updates are quite successful at keeping devices safe, and they just need acceptance when requested.

6. Not Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Because employees aren’t utilizing the regularly monitored in-office secure network, security is a major issue for remote workers. To address this problem, you may use a VPN to expand your geographical reach while maintaining security.

Because it prevents your internet service provider from recording your browsing history, location, and IP address, a VPN is an exceptionally beneficial security tool. This means your data is safe and you won’t have to worry about fraudsters spying on your online activities.

If any of your employees utilize public WiFi, you’ll need a VPN even more. A VPN can protect you from the numerous cyber threats that target public networks. It will safeguard the information that your workers send and receive (including your company’s secret information).

7. Failure to make full use of all security features and settings

Regardless of the applications, web-based apps, or cloud services you use, you’ll have access to a variety of security-related features and options.

Multiple passwords, room passwords, two-step login, and more features are included. You’re deliberately letting your systems and information be hacked if you don’t use these services. People usually avoid using two-step logins and similar services because they are inconvenient, but it’s vital to remember that they are in place for a purpose. Take Zoom, a popular video conferencing software that has grown in popularity since the outbreak of COVID-19. Previously, you could just click a link to attend a meeting. Even yet, as it grew in popularity, it had to add a feature that required every meeting to have a password, since anybody could attend at any time if they knew how, but the hosts could choose whether or not to establish the password. Make sure to take advantage of the security tools available to ensure your safety.

8. Using Only Approved Apps/Software

While it’s tempting to test out every collaboration and productivity tool available to discover what works best for you, the more applications and software you use, the more likely you are to use an unauthorized program that compromises your security.

Even if you take every precaution to safeguard your computer, if the app’s service isn’t secure, others will be able to gain access to your system this way. To help protect your information, only use approved applications and software that your organization authorizes you to use.

9. Devices That Aren’t Secure

Do you lock your computer or phone when you leave a café or coworking space to fetch a drink or something to eat, or do you leave it open? One of the simplest ways to risk your device and business security is to not secure your devices. Of course, this will be less prevalent during COVID, but your gadgets will still be accessible to youngsters, family members, housemates, and others.

Assume you’re working on your company network when the doorbell rings. Imagine losing everything because your youngster comes by and taps on the computer. To prevent this from happening, simply lock your computer, and the rest will be gone.

10. Ignoring Email Attachments and Links

While this is an age-old classic that doesn’t require any explanation, be sure you know who sent you the email before clicking on the link or downloading the file. This is how viruses and malware spread, so be cautious and scan your files first.

UK Cyber Security Ltd is here to help

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If you would like to know more, do get in touch as we are happy to answer any questions. Looking to improve your cybersecurity but not sure where to start? Begin by getting certified in Cyber Essentials, the UK government’s scheme that covers all the technical controls that will provide the protection that you need to help guard against criminal attacks. Or just get in touch by clicking contact us

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