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How to Stay Secure when Working Remotely

The benefits of remote working for businesses are undoubtedly clear. Remote working provides employees with greater flexibility (so they can work how they want), it saves space in the office, and it can even help to reduce costs.

However, it is not without its risks. So, with the security risks of working remotely being very real, how can you ensure your employees stay secure when working remotely and away from the office?

Practice Better Password Management

Passwords are often the weakest link. A weak password that can be guessed or easily cracked is an easy entry for cybercriminals, so ensure your employees know about the benefits of stronger passwords and that they use them for all of their devices.

Random, long passwords are almost impossible to crack. If you use a password manager like LastPass to keep them safe and secure, there is no need to remember them.

, adds: "So, one thing a lot of companies do is to set-up team members with passwords to all the different sites and tools.

When you've got quite a lot of people and quite a lot of tools, it can be difficult to keep track of everything.

We use LastPass to keep track of all of it, so we have control over all the security. If something happens we can just pull someone's access right away. Makes life a lot easier."

Ensure Docs Are Hosted Securely

When clients or team members are working on business documents remotely, make sure that this can be done securely. The best option is to ensure docs are hosted securely in the cloud store using SharePoint or another secure option. That way the docs will remain secure no matter which devices they are being accessed on.

Keep Physical Devices Secure

Educate your employees on how to keep their devices secure when they are using them to work remotely. The biggest risk is that they will lose their laptops or phones in a public place like a cafe or on a train, so work devices should never be left alone.

The second line of defense is to encrypt the devices themselves. That way, if they are stolen, the data on them will stay safe.

Another way to make your devices more secure is to make them trackable. You should have the option to locate your device on most phones, tablets, and laptops, so set this up and you will stand a better chance of recovering lost or stolen devices.

should also be set up on all devices. This allows you to delete the data securely on a device to provide an extra layer of protection in case it is stolen.

Additionally, you might want to consider using asset tracking. This provides you with a way to track all of your assets, including mobile devices, so that you always know where they are and who has them. This is often achieved by attaching barcodes to the physical devices and scanning them, but other options are available.

Additionally, you should be investing in other software to help protect your employees. Helen Down is the Chief Marketing Officer at Stay Safe, a easy to use lone worker app that allows businesses to locate staff that are working remotely and monitor their safety. She says: "For employees working alone or away from the office, safety is always a concern. The Stay Safe app was created to address these safety problems, to help give employer's peace of mind their staff are safe and, most importantly, to be able to respond to any safety alerts as soon as possible."

Protect Devices with AntiVirus

Make sure your employees all have up-to-date antivirus software and firewalls installed on their devices. Risks are everywhere, and mistakes happen, but good antivirus software will help to protect devices from viruses and malware.

To add an extra layer of security, encourage your employees to use antivirus software on their personal devices if they use them for work. Or you could ensure they don’t use their personal devices at all for business activities and provide your own secure devices instead.

Use Mobile Device Management (MDM)

MDM is security software that is used to manage and secure mobile devices used by your employees. It comprises a range of products and services that provides your organisation with end-to-end security, protecting not only the devices themselves but also the data and apps on them.

Avoid Public WiFi

Ensure your employees avoid using public WiFi to access sensitive information online, which involves any critical business data. They should only access such information via a secure connection. Public WiFi is simply not secure enough, so draw up a set of guidelines for your employees so they know what they can and cannot do.

Practice Better Email Security

Email is another easy way for hackers to gain access to your systems. Encrypt work emails so the content within them stays safe and sensitive information can only be seen by the recipients. You should also provide guidelines on how to spot phishing emails, and remind employees of the dangers of opening attachments unless they are sure that they have been sent from trusted sources.

Be Careful with USB Devices

Removable USB sticks can be infected with malware, so your employees should never use these in any of their devices. Don’t allow anyone to plug USB sticks into their computers without first getting them security checked by the IT department, even if they come from trusted sources.

Keep Remote Employees Safe

Remote working is becoming more popular, and you may want to give your employees the opportunity to work remotely. Even if you don’t have flexible work arrangements, your employees may still need to take their laptops on business trips and carry them on public transport.

Elizabeth Heusler, Owner of Heusler Public Relations, offers the following advice to employees: "It’s all gone wrong, you’ve lost the documents, your computers been hacked and your mobile phone has died. This will all happen at the worst possible time. Make that situation easier on yourself by planning for it.

"If you’re travelling with your device, put all the information you need for your trip on a USB and back it up on a cloud storage device. Have a paper copy of your passport and insurance documents. Tell your bank, and other organisations that you are travelling and provide contact numbers.  Enable the security, trackers and insurance on your devices. Additionally, when it all goes wrong, contact your workplace so they can put their risk plan in place. They may need to do backups, change passwords, notify authorities, clients and stakeholders."

Every business should take security seriously, so put these measures in place to keep devices and the data stored on them safe. Then you know you are doing all you can to avoid problems with data breaches, data theft, viruses, ransomware and all the other dangers that affect businesses large and small.

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