6 security tips for safe remote working

February 2, 2024 - 3 minutes reading time
Article by Serena De Pater

Do you work outside the office at times? For many employees, working from home or elsewhere is just as common as a day among colleagues. Convenient as this may be, remote working comes with a few security concerns. Can you benefit from these great security tips or are you fully security-proof? Let’s see.

These tips may not be for you. Do you only use software and devices approved by your organisation? Do you always install software updates as soon as they appear? Have you long since changed the default password for your home router to something no one is ever going to guess? Do you avoid public Wi-Fi networks like the plague?

If your answer to all these is a confident ‘yes’, you are all set. On behalf of all security professionals: thank you for keeping it safe!

If, however, you don't quite recognise yourself in the above, you’d better have a look at the following helpful best practices for safe remote working.

Tip 1 | Only use company approved devices and tooling

Only use pre-approved tooling, services, and devices. Applications that are not pre-approved or facilitated by your organization may contain security or privacy vulnerabilities.

Tip 2 | Be vigilant about your devices

Do not leave your work devices unattended in a freely accessible public area or in your car. Do you have to leave your device unattended at your workplace? Press Windows key + L on a Windows device, or Control + Command + Q on a Mac, to quickly lock your screen.

When working from home, ensure your network is properly protected from unauthorized access. This starts with changing your router’s factory settings. The default login credentials of your router are usually printed on the bottom or back of your router or in a manual, and are often disclosed on the public internet. Finding default login credentials is trivial for any cybercriminal. Oh, when setting a password, make sure it’s a strong one!

Tip 3 | Avoid public Wi-Fi

Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. A public network is often not password protected (they are missing the signature padlock next to their name). Everyone can connect to this network, including, of course, cybercriminals. The key concern with public Wi-Fi is that it's often less secure, making it easier for cybercriminals to intercept data transmitted over this network.

Another example is that cybercriminals can set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots with names similar to legitimate networks, unknowingly tricking you into connecting to them instead.

If you need to access resources or documents that live at your company’s location, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect to your office network.

Tip 4 | Keep your software up to date

Regularly update your operating system, antivirus software, and other applications. What some people don’t know, is that software updates often include (hot)fixes and security updates, which are designed to patch newly discovered vulnerabilities in the software that you’re using. Enable automatic updates whenever possible.

Tip 5 | Meet safely

Do you need to make a phone call outside of the office? Then make sure that others around you can't eavesdrop on your meeting. Preferably use a headset.

Avoid using video conferencing applications that are not approved by your organization. This also applies to meeting invitations by external parties.

Tip 6 | Put a privacy filter on your screen

Work on a physical location where people cannot see your screen. If you can't find a private place to work, consider getting a privacy filter. This is a shield that attaches to your screen, which makes it difficult to read what's on your screen, unless you're right in front of it. Your business is yours alone.

Keep on keeping it safe

See? Safe remote working does not have to be complicated. A vigilant mindset goes a long way. By adhering to these simple security practices, you can rest assured that your company’s sensitive information stays safe, even when opening your laptop in a public library or your favorite coffeeshop. Now back to work!

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