How To Protect Your Privacy When Working Remotely

How To Protect Privacy When Working Remotely
Digital Wellbeing

How To Protect Your Privacy When Working Remotely

Ever have the feeling that you’re being watched? Ever felt depressed about how to protect privacy when working remotely? You’re not alone.

A 2021 survey found that out of 2,209 workers in the UK, 60% believed they had been subject to some form of surveillance and monitoring at their current or most recent job, up from 53% in 2020. And while the pandemic may have proved that the vast majority of employees can be trusted to maintain their productivity away from the office, there are plenty of managers who remain unconvinced.

Of course, nosy bosses aren’t the only ones posing a privacy threat; the WFH revolution has also led to a boom in cybercrime. And with employees scattered across the country — or indeed the world, as global expansion is now easier than ever before — workers are dependent on their laptops and mobile devices, making the threat all the more serious. 

It has been seen that nowadays many people are using online websites indiscriminately and here they share their phone number, email, credit card details and so on without thinking what can go wrong later. And now when someone hacks the saved data, they can use the user’s data to spam a phone number, spam email inbox with lots of fake offers or even send messages on WhatsApp. That’s why, these days it has been seen that you, your friends or relatives receive anonymous calls or messages and you become a victim of fraud.

As you might expect, the team here at Mobilespy are experts in the field of online privacy, and to that end, we’ve together a list of 5 essential tips for protecting your privacy while you’re working remotely. And while we’re not going to help you avoid the watchful eye of your manager — that would be rather underhanded of us — we will be providing some actionable tips for avoiding the sinister gaze of those sneaky cybercriminals. 

1: Secure Your Home Network

The first line of defense in protecting your privacy while working remotely is securing your home network. Your home Wi-Fi network is the gateway to your online world, and if left vulnerable, it can be an open invitation for cybercriminals to sneak in. Here are some tips to lock down your network:

  • Change Default Router Passwords: Most routers come with default passwords set by the manufacturer. Change these passwords immediately to something strong and unique.
  • Use WPA2 or WPA3 Encryption: Ensure your Wi-Fi network is encrypted with WPA2 or WPA3, which are more secure than the older WEP encryption.
  • Enable the Firewall: Turn on the firewall on your router to block unauthorized access to your network.
  • Hide Your Wi-Fi Network: Disable SSID broadcasting to make your network less visible to potential attackers.
  • Regularly Update Firmware: Keep your router’s firmware up-to-date to patch any security vulnerabilities.

2: Implement Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Passwords are the keys to your online accounts, and weak passwords can leave you susceptible to cyber attacks. Here’s how to strengthen your passwords and add an extra layer of protection with 2FA:

  • Use Complex Passwords: Create strong passwords that include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like birth dates or pet names.
  • Deploy a Password Manager: Consider using a reputable password manager to store and generate complex passwords for all your accounts.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary code, usually sent to your smartphone, in addition to your password when logging into an account.
  • Avoid Password Reuse: Never reuse passwords across multiple accounts, as it makes you more vulnerable if one account is compromised.
  • Regular Password Updates: Periodically change your passwords, especially for critical accounts like email and banking.

3: Bolster Security with Remote Cyber Experts

In the realm of remote work, enhancing your privacy can involve enlisting the expertise of a remote cybersecurity team. Cyber threats are growing more advanced, making dedicated experts crucial for defense. Here’s how remote cybersecurity professionals can elevate your security:

Expert Insight: Remote cyber specialists are skilled in detecting and countering various threats, staying ahead of cybercriminals.

24/7 Monitoring: A remote team offers continuous system and network monitoring, swiftly addressing suspicious activities.

Tailored Solutions: These experts craft personalized security protocols, targeting your unique vulnerabilities.

Swift Response: In case of a breach, remote experts analyze, contain, and prevent future incidents promptly.

Employee Training: Many remote cybersecurity teams provide training to educate your remote workforce on security best practices, reducing human error risks.

To fortify your privacy and data protection, consider integrating remote cybersecurity experts. Their insights and proactive measures can create a secure digital work environment, safeguarding you and your team. For a comprehensive exploration of remote cybersecurity roles, consider publishing cyber security job listings on RemoteWork, your platform to assemble an exceptional remote cybersecurity team.

4: Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a powerful tool for safeguarding your online privacy. It encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a secure server, making it difficult for cybercriminals to intercept your data. Here’s how to use a VPN effectively:

  • Choose a Reputable VPN Provider: Select a reliable VPN service with a good track record for privacy and security.
  • Enable Automatic Connection: Use a VPN app that automatically connects whenever you go online.
  • Avoid Free VPNs: Free VPN services may compromise your privacy by logging and selling your data.
  • Opt for Strong Encryption Protocols: Ensure your VPN uses robust encryption protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec.
  • Connect to Trusted Servers: When using a VPN, connect to servers operated by the VPN provider and avoid untrusted public Wi-Fi networks.

5: Be Cautious with Emails and Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks remain one of the most common ways cybercriminals try to exploit remote workers. By tricking you into clicking malicious links or providing sensitive information, they can gain unauthorized access to your accounts. Here’s how to stay safe from phishing attacks:

  • Verify Email Senders: Double-check the sender’s email address using a reverse email lookup tool before clicking on any links or attachments.
  • Don’t Click Suspicious Links: Hover over links to see the actual URL before clicking, and avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails.
  • Be Wary of Urgent Requests: Cybercriminals often use urgency to pressure you into acting quickly. Think twice before complying with such requests.
  • Check for Spelling and Grammar Errors: Phishing emails often contain multiple spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Educate Yourself and Your Team: Educate yourself and your colleagues about phishing attacks and cybersecurity best practices to create a strong defense against these threats. We’ve prepared a great primer on the topic here

6: Regularly Update and Secure Your Devices

Keeping your devices updated with the latest software and security patches is crucial for protecting your privacy. Hackers often exploit known vulnerabilities in outdated software. Here’s what you should do:

  • Update Operating Systems: Enable automatic updates for your computer’s operating system, as well as mobile devices, to receive the latest security fixes.
  • Keep Software Up to Date: Regularly update all software applications, including web browsers and productivity tools.
  • Use Antivirus Software: Install reputable antivirus software and keep it up-to-date to detect and prevent malware infections.
  • Encrypt Sensitive Data: Use device encryption to protect sensitive information stored on your devices.
  • Secure Physical Access: Lock your devices when not in use and avoid leaving them unattended in public places.

While remote work brings flexibility and convenience, it also demands responsibility and awareness to maintain a safe and secure online environment. So, take these tips seriously, and you’ll be well on your way to safeguarding your privacy and data in the digital realm. For more on the topic, check out our articles on the rise of spying apps and protecting your phone against spying software