Working remotely comes with numerous benefits, but it also poses significant cybersecurity risks. By implementing the tips and best practices, you can work safely and protect your sensitive information and data from cybercriminals when you’re off-site.

woman sitting at a desk and working on a tablet

Keep your network locked down

The network you use for remote work is the first line of defense against cybersecurity threats. To protect it, ensure that your Wi-Fi network is secured with a strong password and that you're using the latest security protocols, such as WPA3. Regularly update your router firmware and avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to connect to your work accounts.

When you’re working in an area with public Wi-Fi, connect only to secure networks that require a password or another form of authentication. Even after you take this precaution, don’t access sensitive information from a public Wi-Fi network, and be sure to log out — and tell your computer to forget the network — when you’re done.

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) creates an encrypted connection between your device and your organization's network, ensuring that your online activity is secure and private. Use a reputable VPN service to protect sensitive data, and ensure that you're using a strong password for the VPN.

Keep your devices updated

Regularly update your operating system, applications and antivirus software to patch any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals. Enable automatic updates on your devices to ensure that you have the latest security features and software.

Secure your work devices

Protect your work devices with strong passwords, biometric authentication or other multifactor authentication methods. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and regularly change your passwords. Also make sure you don’t download any unauthorized apps or software on your work devices.

When working remotely, it’s also important to remember to lock your screen or log out of your computer whenever you leave the room.

Protective sensitive data

It's critical to take extra measures to secure any sensitive data that you handle while working remotely. Use encryption tools to protect confidential files and avoid sharing them over unsecured networks or via email. Also, make sure you store sensitive information in secure storage, such as encrypted external hard drives or cloud storage services that use strong encryption methods.

Be mindful of what you print

Printing sensitive data can also pose a security risk, especially if the printed document is visible to other people. If you must print sensitive documents, ensure that the printer is set up in a secure location, and the print job is immediately retrieved. Also, ensure that you destroy any unwanted hard copies securely, such as shredding them.

Be cautious of phishing attacks

Phishing attacks are among the most common cyberthreats. Cybercriminals use phishing emails and messages to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information such as passwords and account details. Be cautious of any unsolicited emails or messages, and do not click on any suspicious links or download any attachments from unknown sources.

Watch out for your smart speakers

Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod are increasingly popular. If the device can take your voice commands, it is constantly listening and can record sensitive conversations. Be cautious of what information you share with these devices and ensure that they’re set up securely. Consider placing these devices away from your remote workspace, review the device's privacy settings and disable any features that you don’t need.

By implementing these additional measures, you can significantly enhance your cybersecurity when working remotely. It's essential to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and stay vigilant against potential risks and threats. Stay informed and up to date with the latest cybersecurity best practices and keep your work and personal devices secure to minimize the risk of cybersecurity breaches.