Cybersecurity While Working Remotely

Working remotely has its benefits but doing so comes with the added responsibility of taking the appropriate steps to protect your organization’s data while being connected online. Keep these tips in mind.

  • Know your organization’s telework policies. This includes when and where it is acceptable to work away from the office as well as any security measures or best practices.
  • Use only devices approved by your organization. Avoid using personal computers, tablets and cellphones – as well as those shared with others – to work.
  • Use VPN when necessary. Virtual private networks, which provide secure direct connections to your organization’s computer network, might be necessary when accessing files, working with sensitive information or using certain websites.
  • Think before you click. Avoid downloading or clicking on unknown links in emails. If you aren’t sure if you should, call the sender first. Hackers often use fake websites to trick you into giving sensitive information or to install malware onto your device. Get more tips.
  • Guard your devices. If your organization allows you to work elsewhere from your home, never leave your laptop, tablet or cellphone – including any USB or external storage devices – unattended. Avoid entering passwords where others can see.
  • Connect only to trusted networks or your cellular Wi-Fi connection. Many public hotspots aren’t secure and might not protect your passwords, emails and work.
  • Update your router's software. Home routers should be updated to the most current software and secured with a lengthy, unique passphrase.
  • Create strong passwords. Be sure they include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Make them difficult enough that someone can’t guess them.
  • Don’t share passwords online. If you must share log-in information with a coworker, call them with the details instead of sending via email, text or instant message.
  • Use multifactor authentication. Although it can be inconvenient, multifactor authentication, if available, provides an extra layer of security to keep hackers from accessing accounts.
  • Encrypt your email. Some data and information might need to be encrypted before sending it electronically. This might also include information that you might otherwise share in a conversation if you were at the office.
  • Keep your devices updated. Be sure they are running the most current operating systems and that your web browsers and other applications are also up to date. Also be sure you are running an up-to-date and modern anti-virus software solution. Updates include important changes that improve the performance and security of your devices.
  • Contact your IT help desk. If you need technical support, contact your organization’s IT department. Don’t try to fix technical issues yourself.