10, May 2021

5 Data Security Tips for Teams Working Remotely

The world of technology has grown exponentially in the past couple of decades. As such, entire workforces no longer need to be tethered to the business premises to do their job to the best of their ability. The option to work remotely has not only managed to keep costs down for a lot of companies and their workers, but it has also led to higher employee satisfaction rates. 

That being said, working remotely does not come without its difficulties. Many businesses have noted that remote teams run into challenges with scheduling, performance tracking, general communication, and Wi-Fi connections. 

There is also the issue of data security. With so many employees working from home, they will be accessing sensitive documents with security protections afforded by their normal office system. Their firewall may not be as robust on their personal computer. This leaves documents, attachments, and emails vulnerable to theft and compromise.

For this reason, you should be clued to several vital data security tips that will ensure your information remains safe no matter where your employees are working.

1. Make sure you use strong passwords

One of the simplest ways to keep your information safe is to ensure you use a strong password on your device. It goes without saying that every device should be firewall-protected by an uncheckable password if you lose or misplace them. If you decide to protect your computer with an easy-to-guess password, you leave your company files vulnerable to theft. 

We recommend that you create a long password that incorporates uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols. You should also refrain from including personal information as this is relatively easy to decipher for anybody who knows you.

2. Utilize a VPN

If you are the sort of person who likes to browse Netflix or Amazon Prime from a different country’s server, you will probably already be well acquainted with VPN software. 

When working from “home”, you may take your laptop to multiple locations (cafes, train stations, airports). The problem with these locations is that their Wi-Fi connection lacks adequate data encryption. Anyone who uses the same connection can potentially see what you are doing and steal the data you share and receive. This includes your passwords and financial details. For this reason, you should use a comprehensive VPN to encrypt your data. 

We recommend utilizing a trusted VPN solution, which should be available on the likes of Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and iOS. You can also download extensions for Firefox and Chrome.

3. Avoid sharing data during phone calls

We’ve all received a scam call at some point in our life, scary conversations with an official-sounding individual who claims we owe money or that we were in an accident that wasn’t our fault. There have been numerous reports of people receiving calls from unnamed sources who claim to be service providers or government workers. 

The person then divulges their personal information, which can then be used to commit fraud or leads to serious data breaches. You should never give out sensitive information over the phone. We also recommend tracing or researching the caller’s phone number to establish if it is genuine.

4. Keep your devices always updated

Whether you are working from an Android phone, Windows PC, or macOS, you will want to make sure you have the latest software update. This is easy to do — you’ll be reminded by a pop-up whenever an update is available. 

While many of us ignore these notifications, software updates are the key to fixing any patches and holes in your device’s security. These gaps in your software are the doorway many hackers use to steal your data. Shut the door before they get the chance to take what they want.

5. Stay secure, even offline

It is not just your online data you should keep secure. You also want to ensure any physical documents are well-protected. We suggest keeping any personal documents locked up somewhere secure, like a desk drawer or filing cabinet. 

We would also advise that you never leave your house with documents that you would not want to misplace. Also, make sure you do not fill in your personal information or provide your signature on any forms without knowing what they are first.

Final thoughts

As you can see, data security is of the utmost importance. There is always more you could be doing to ensure the safety of your personal information — not to mention your workplace information. Apply these data security measures to protect sensitive information while working remotely.

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