Andrew Lemon, principal security engineer at Alias Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics, discusses steps remote workers can take to protect their data when working outside a company’s IT security measures.
What unique concerns should remote workers have concerning online security?
Since remote workers are routinely using devices connected to networks outside of the office, it’s important they understand and recognize cybersecurity risks. Common risks and concerns include phishing, password attacks and malware. When remote workers fall victim to these common scams, they risk exposing important company data, personal information and losing access to files and devices.
What are some tips to keep your device safe without the help of an IT department?
Remote workers can keep devices secure by doing the following:
- Use company-issued devices that are equipped with firewall, antivirus protection and ad-blocking software.
- Routinely update software on all devices.
- Connect to a virtual private network (VPN) to securely send and receive sensitive data.
- Bookmark websites frequently used for work and only use those links to avoid phishing.
- Review all emails to make sure that they don’t look suspicious. If they look suspicious, don’t click on any links.
What should remote workers be watching for to be aware of potential hacking attempts?
Remote workers should watch for suspicious emails or phone calls that ask for personal information, including social security numbers, passwords or bank account information. Avoid clicking on links or giving important information to anyone emailing or calling that claims to be from IT or help support from an unrecognizable phone number or email address.
If a remote worker is hacked, what should he or she do?
If you suspect you’ve been hacked:
- Call Alias (or a trusted data security company) to quickly investigate the situation.
- Change your passwords immediately.
- Set up fraud alerts.
- Set up two-factor authentication.
- Monitor all accounts closely after the attack.
What else do remote workers need to know to keep themselves safe?
- Always connect to secure Wi-Fi networks and utilize a VPN.
- Refrain from using public computers for work-related purposes.
- If you are suspicious of anything, immediately report it to your IT department.
- Cover webcams when not in use.
- Use strong and secure passwords and update them often.