Working remotely is highly appealing – especially to Millennials and Generation Z. Prospective employees want the ability to have a flexible schedule and office structure, because let’s face it, working in a cube from 9 am to 5 pm is far from appealing. As more companies move to more flexible work accommodations for their employees, cybersecurity concerns arise. It’s important to prioritize protecting remote workers in the digital age.
According to Cybint Solutions, 62% of businesses experienced phishing and social engineering attacks in 2018. Likewise, Accenture reports that 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. The numbers don’t lie – cybersecurity issues are on the rise. Protecting remote workers from cybersecurity may seem overwhelming, but taking a few easy precautions can help lessen your risk substantially.
Physical Control of your Devices
It may seem obvious, but don’t lose your laptop. Many security breaches happen when remote workers lose their laptops while they are out and about. Traveling in an airport alone poses a huge security risk—one laptop is stolen every minute. When you’re traveling or working in a public space, keep your devices in eyesight or securely stored. If available, turn on the “Find my Device” option and consider data encryption solutions.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks
Although it’s super easy to log into an available public network, encourage remote workers not to do so. Public Wi-Fi networks are a breeding ground for risky cybersecurity concerns. If possible, use a personal hotspot or have your employer invest in one while you are working outside of the home. If all else fails and you need to access Wi-Fi, take a few quick precautions:
- Sit so that your screen is not viewable by others walking by.
- Manually delete any documents you’ve downloaded.
- Before you close your computer down, log out of everything.
- Use private browsing when available.
Report Any Issues to Your Employer Immediately
It’s almost inevitable that you will eventually have a cybersecurity breach. As soon as you recognize a breach, contact your IT support or employer immediately. If you notice an increase in pop-ups, a decrease in internet or program speed, or frequent error messages – contact support. IT will be able to investigate the issue and take the correct steps to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Cybersecurity issues are looming every time you log in to your devices. Being aware of some of the common issues that affect remote workers will help you be prepared and take precautionary steps to avoid these risks. Protecting remote workers is crucial to the success of your company.
Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.