How to Help Remote Teams Stay Safe While Working Online
The new technologies coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are shaping the way we live and work. Remote working has been on a rapid rise for the past year which has had both positive and negative effects.
We aren’t here to delve into the benefits of remote working as they are extensive and deserve their own space. Our job is to prevent the negative aspects from happening by giving you some safety tips to fight off cyber-crime. So you have built and organized a few teams – now’s the time to help your remote teams to stay safe while working online. Considering how much is at stake, you don’t have the luxury of disregarding online safety.
Teach Your Staff Some Good Practices
There are some general rules we are taught as the basic training for avoiding online scams. Being watchful of what and where we click is one of the most important things to keep in mind.
We don’t know the composition and characteristics of your virtual team, as it could be composed of people from all kinds of backgrounds. But we do know that it certainly doesn’t hurt to go over these general guidelines with them. After all, is there such a thing as too much knowledge?
In case you don’t feel confident enough in your knowledge, or simply don’t like assuming the role of an educator, you can always hire an expert for the job. The important thing is to help your remote workers stay safe while working online through sufficient education, it doesn’t matter where that knowledge is coming from.
Utilize a company-issued VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the best ways to protect the data of your company, as well as your remote teams. VPNs have many roles. But since you are interested in online safety of your workers, the number one benefit of a VPN for you would be data encryption. Simply put, the job of a VPN is to create a safe connection between a person and the Internet by making data undecipherable.
However, it’s very important that you don’t allow such liberty where everyone can choose which VPN to use. That’s because there are many free VPNs your teams might opt for if given the choice. Instead, choose one reliable provider and make sure every employee uses it while working online.
Remember to always instruct your workers not to access their work accounts when using public WiFi. They are oftentimes created by hackers with the sole purpose of stealing sensitive information from people.
Just imagine all the info about your company someone could steal if they managed to get a hold of the work account of someone inside your organization.
Deny access to work-related devices
With COVID-19 and the global pandemic still in full swing, whole families find themselves locked in a house for days and weeks. In such an environment, it’s easy for someone else, be it a child or a spouse, to get access to a gadget. After all, a person can’t be fully alert 24/7.
However, it’s very important to instruct your workers to deny access to all work-related devices to every person in their surroundings.
The reason is simple – your employee will go through safety training and will learn how to stay safe while working online. But a child will know nothing of online safety and he/she might visit websites that have been flagged as malware. So unless you are living alone, it would be best to put your work equipment in a designated storage space in your home when you are off work.
Help your remote teams stay safe while working online with antivirus software
It’s hard to say what the best way to improve and promote the online safety of your teams is. However, it’s safe to say that investing in good antivirus software is one of the top ways to achieve complete online safety.
Did you know that yearly damage from cyber-crime has been estimated at $1.5 billion? And with the rise of remote working, this number is expected to increase year after year.
The good news is that antivirus software can protect your organization from a number of different threats, such as phishing scams, viruses, malware, and zero-day attacks. Comprehensive antivirus software could improve online safety by 100% thus helping you keep your data private and secure.
This software will run in the background, so you won’t even know it’s there. Something so simple will protect all of your operations, which is why you shouldn’t rush when looking for suitable antivirus software. You want to pick one that will provide absolute protection, even if it costs a few extra bucks.
Use strong and secure passwords
A good and strong password should be the backbone of all of your attempts to keep your workers safe. It does sound almost incredible to think that something as simple as a strong password can make such a difference when online safety is concerned – but that doesn’t make it any less of a reality. Hence, instruct your online workers to create passwords across all of their devices and all of their accounts. While doing so, there are a couple of rules they should remember.
The definition of a good and strong password is a clear one – you need to use at least 12 characters with a mix of numbers, symbols, capital, and lowercase letters. It’s also recommendable to set auto log-out when you walk away from your computer, as well as to add a password screen anytime you access your computer. If a person is the only one who will be using a computer, this might seem like an awful lot of work.
However, if your laptop should ever fall into the wrong hands, the third party will have a much harder time accessing sensitive files.
If you are trying to help your remote teams to stay safe while working online, then you need to cover all of your bases. There’s no such thing as being too cautious, is there?