Remote working has many benefits: you have the flexibility to work when and where you want, and you can cut out the lengthy commute, to name but a few. However, working away from the office could mean that your work is not protected by your company’s rigorous security practices, with the result being that your laptop is left vulnerable to attack from malware and cybercriminals who can infiltrate confidential work-related data. With this in mind, what can you do to protect yourself online away from the office? Here are three tips for ensuring online security when working remotely:
Use a VPN
One of the fantasies of remote working is being able to take your laptop to a coffee shop or café to work while enjoying a leisurely coffee, surrounded by other freelancers. However, using an insecure public wi-fi network to access your company’s systems can be incredibly risky, akin in fact to leaving your office doors unlocked at night. Always ensure that you use a virtual private network (VPN) when using public wi-fi networks to protect yourself.
VPNs work by disguising your IP address to establish a private network from an unsecured public network. This provides you with complete online privacy, giving you the peace of mind that your work is secure when accessing public wi-fi.
One of the benefits of working in an office is that your colleagues are right next to you, meaning that you can quickly and simply ask them a work-related question. Communication is, of course, slightly trickier when you are working from home. One solution you might have found is to create a WhatsApp group with your colleagues; however, this might not be the most professional messaging app to use when discussing sensitive professional matters.
A collaboration program provides your business with the privacy-conscious tools needed to replicate the office environment when working from home, such as secure file sharing and encrypted real-time group chat. MS Teams is a popular collaboration platform, as it is available as an add-on for customers with Office 365 licenses. However, as it lacks some basic features, look for an MS Teams alternative for a more robust, customizable collaboration platform for remote working.
Ensure your anti-virus software is up-to-scratch
Another benefit of working in the office is that your work is protected by rigorous anti-virus software to protect the network from infiltration by malware and cybercriminals. You may not have access to the same level of protection while working on a personal device at home. Ensure that any devices used for work are protected by rigorous anti-virus software – it is all too easy to let your annual anti-virus protection lapse without renewing the subscription. Ask your line manager whether there is a particular software that is company recommended for working from home. You might even be provided with a company laptop that is already equipped with company standard anti-virus software to enable you to complete your work remotely and securely.