Have you been in the remote work economy before now? Have you been forced to become a remote worker due to the events of the recent pandemic?
Whichever category you fall into, there are certain security risks that you might be exposed to as you log in to work daily. We will list out some of those threats here – and also round them off with the fixes you can apply to each one of them.
Issue #1 – Weak Passwords
Remote workers rely heavily on a series of apps and programs to make their lives and work easier. Of these, we have emailing apps, payment platforms, online banking platforms, and so much more.
Depending on the nature of your work, there will be other applications that you use.
Each one of these apps and services holds a lot of data about you that you don't want to fall into the wrong hands. In those wrong hands, it might even be easy to hack the rest of the network to the company you work for itself.
We bet you don’t want that to happen.
Fix: This is pretty straightforward. Set firm and secure passwords, and never use the same password for more than one account. Likewise, use other password protection practices (like two-factor authentication) if available.
Issue #2 – Unencrypted Networks
Many of us do not know that what we do on the internet is visible to a set of people. Those that will be able to see the data being transferred on the network will be dependent on how secure the system is.
For example, a public Wi-Fi network will make it easy for the network admins and even hackers who know how to snoop on you. On the other hand, your personal network isn’t as encrypted as you think, either. Your ISP can still see what you are doing on the net – and hackers can get in too.
This will be a big issue if you are handling sensitive files. Even if you aren’t, accessing the company’s servers via an unencrypted network, for example, will leave them exposed from your end.
Fix: In anything you do, always stay away from public Wi-Fi networks. The convenience that they bring is no match for what you will pay for them if you are ever caught on one. It is much better to maintain your connection at all times and go with that.
When on a personal network, too, it would be in your best interest to download a VPN online for improved security. This allows you to encrypt your internet traffic, preventing anyone from seeing your internet activity.
Issue #3 – Phishing Scams
Since everyone is now home and mostly communicating via mails, hackers can pull out the most successful social hacking technique ever launched. Dubbed phishing attacks, hackers are starting to get smarter with how they launch it, too – so you might not even know anything is wrong till it’s too late.
It usually starts with getting a mail/ SMS/ other forms of text with a link or attachment. The trick here is that the hacker poses like an authorized institution – maybe even one that you have done business with in the past.
With that trust in the real brand, they trick you into taking action on the lookalike brand. Most times, this is done to obtain sensitive login details.
Fix: Never open attachments in emails if you do not trust the sender. You can also download antivirus software to scan files before you download them at all.
Likewise, it is much preferable to manually enter all links in your browser address bar rather than following from the email. This will put you at a lesser risk of clicking on a wrong link that has been disguised as the real thing.