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Tips & tricks to keep yourself safe for remote working

Here are the top 5 things you should be aware of to ensure you and your staff are following a sensible work from home security policy

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The global COVID-19 Pandemic has fundamentally changed the Canadian workplace like any other country around the world. For most of us now, kitchen and dining room tables have transformed into home workstations during the coronavirus pandemic. For most, remote working – also referred to as teleworking – regularly has been a new experience.

In March 2020, companies across Canada, just like the rest of the world, abruptly shuttered their workplaces and instructed employees to work from home indefinitely due to the Pandemic.

At first, many thought the shutdowns would last a couple of months. But one year later, millions of workers are still working remotely. The coronavirus has forced a large percentage of the global workforce to go through a remote-work experiment on a scale never seen before, and a lot has changed in the last year.

Workplaces in Canada and globally are facing new and unique challenges as the Pandemic took its toll. Working remotely poses both challenges and opportunities. Proper safety and security of the employee is one area to think about.

Safety is the first topic addressed in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s telework agreement, and commonwealth employees must complete and sign a safety checklist.

A home workplace should offer the same safety and security level as the employee would receive at the regular workplace. When an employee is working at home, they might also be working alone. Although working alone is not a risk, it is important to keep to a contact schedule with the remote employees even if there are not “work” details to discuss.

Here are the top 5 things you should be aware of to ensure you and your staff are following a sensible work from home security policy

  • Invest in a Strong & Reliable VPN 

 A VPN (a virtual private network) offers you the ability to choose where you want your traffic to stream from. For example, if you’re going to carry out your online traffic in Canada but are located someplace else, you can choose to have the VPN show that you are in Canada. A VPN protects all of your online activity from hackers and others who may be interested in stealing your personal data. This is particularly useful if you use free Wi-Fi available in coffee shops or at airports. CanadaVPNs.com has a lot more about strong and reliable VPNs. Go check out Now!

While they do that, there are other ways to make your VPN more secure, such as:

  • Use the strongest possible authentication method – many VPNs use a username and password, but you may want to think about using smart cards.
  • Enhance the encryption method – if you are only using a Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (P2PT), you should upgrade to a Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).
  • Update passwords regularly –  At times it doesn’t matter how strong your VPN is. If an employee’s password is compromised, it would give cybercriminals an easy chance in. This can be prevented by asking everyone to update their passwords to make them stronger and more secure.
  •  Only use the VPN when you need it – if your employees are using their work laptops for personal work in the evenings, it is advisable to switch off the VPN. 
  • Purchase a secure antivirus software

It is highly advisable to invest in secure and reliable antivirus software for yourself and your employees.

According to an estimation, the global damage to businesses due to cybercrime is estimated to be $1.5 billion annually. There is a strong chance this figure will increase this year, as hackers would exploit people’s home internet and business VPNs to gain access to sensitive information.

These attacks could leave you, your business, and your employees vulnerable to DDoS attacks, malware, spyware, and other types of breaches.

  • Use a centralized storage solution.

If your company relies on cloud/server storage, you should make sure all your employees utilize it. That way, if your company is compromised and local files are lost, you are more likely to have a back-up of important documentation. 

  • Make sure your passwords are strong and secure.

One of the simplest ways to protect yourself when working from home is to make your passwords strong and ensure that you have maximized password protection on all your devices.

 According to the Federal Trade Commission’s advice, you should use passwords on all your devices and apps, and make sure the passwords are long, strong, and unique.

They also recommend adding a password screen every time you access your laptop and other devices so that if your device is breached, it will be harder for a third-party to access your sensitive files.

  • Secure your home wireless network

One of the simplest ways to ensure your safety and security when working from home is to strengthen the security of your home Wi-Fi network.

It must be notified to any staff who may also need to safeguard their home Wi-Fi networks when working from home.

  1. Create a strong, unique password
  2. Enable Network Encryption
  3. Upgrade your firmware 
  4. Change your SSID 

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