Working remotely has become a necessity for many businesses over the past year. While a great way to keep your staff employed, it presents some unique challenges to information security. Consider these guidelines for you and your employees to follow:
Use Secure Wi-Fi, Hotspots or Another Way to Encrypt Your Internet Connection.
Never use public Wi-Fi to transfer sensitive data between employees or share any other personal data you may have. If your company provides cell service, consider adding a hotspot to help ensure secured Wi-Fi access wherever your employees may be.
Keep Your Computer Updated or Use a Remote Access Environment.
Typically, your company’s IT professionals keep your computers running as securely as possible. They install regular updates, run antivirus scans, block malicious websites and more. You must follow the same protocols with your personal computer to keep your work information safe. However, an even safer option may be to allow employee access to a portal or remote access environment (such as Office 365) where they work online and avoid downloading or saving files to a personal computer or other devices
Encrypt Data in Emails or on Your Device.
In some cases, you may need to send sensitive data via email. There’s a risk of doing so because it may be intercepted or viewed by a third party. But if you encrypt the attached data, it may prevent any unintended recipient from viewing your information. And be sure to set any device you use to encrypt all stored data in case of theft.
Take Precautions Against Phishing.
One of the most significant risks to company security is phishing emails. These emails will often appear to be from a trusted source, but don’t be fooled – they’re scams. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links from emails when you’re unfamiliar with the sender. And if you think an email or text is from a legitimate source and don’t feel comfortable providing the requested information, delete the email or text and call them about it. For example, Pinnacle Bank will never email or text you to ask for your personal financial information, such as your Social Security or account number.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings.
Now that some coffee shops and restaurants are open, many people may want to step away from home and work in different environments. No matter where you decide to work, be sure you pay attention to your sightline. That means if someone’s behind you, they can see what you’re typing or may even identify confidential information. Additionally, if you have to use the restroom, take everything with you – even if it means you’ll lose your seat.
Be Careful of What You Share.
Since the start of the pandemic, most of us have attended a video conference call in one form or another. If you meet via Zoom, Skype, or other video conference service, make sure you’re in a quiet location in your home, and keep your device on mute until you need to talk. Also, be aware that people can see everything in your home, so take note of what’s behind you (and who may be behind you). Use a PIN if possible to get into any video conference call, and don’t broadcast your meeting information to those who shouldn’t be on the call.
Working remotely is an excellent way to help people balance their work and personal lives more effectively. If you can work remotely, follow these guidelines to keep your personal and other information safe and secure.