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A Remote Worker Cybersecurity Checklist for Your Virtual Office

Remote Worker Security

If you’re one of the millions of people now working online from home and coffee shops, you need to protect yourself from hackers. That’s why this remote worker cybersecurity checklist is a guide to help you do exactly that.

The Covid-19 pandemic is what changed everything for us. It forced us to become smarter about avoiding hackers and network attacks. Before the pandemic arrived, most people were lazy or uninformed about online security.

We should have been more prepared. Working remotely, what people use to call “working from home,” was on the increase the past few years. The pandemic arrived, it forced everyone to turn their spare bedroom or kitchen table into an office.

It’s a new time. Today, we’re required to work from home—it’s not an option. This change makes remote workers with weak network security easy prey for cybercrooks.

That means you have a greater responsibility. You need to make sure your computer, your software and your network are all protected. With hackers, and scammers looking out to steal business and personal data, you have to be ready.

Dr. Eric Cole - Remote Worker Cybersecurity Risks

If you’re working inside your home, you need to keep hackers on outside.

Remote worker cybersecurity awareness is the key. As more people around the world have shifted from their workplace jobs to their home or a remote office, there is more valuable data floating around online—unsecured and tempting—for cybercriminals to steal.

Here’s the good news: You can increase your home office security with a fresh look at your set up. Start by taking a step back to assess your current situation. Next, fix the security holes in your computer, your modem/router, or access to your home network or data.   

A cybersecurity checklist for remote workers in virtual offices.

Very few people are IT experts and won’t know where to start. A remote worker cybersecurity checklist is the tool to do the trick.

It won’t be too hard. First, review the questions below and assess whether you’re in a good spot. If you need to make some changes, do them soon.

Remember, you’re no longer protected like you were at your office, where your IT department likely installed layers of security protections.

You’re on your own.

Here’s your cybersecurity checklist:

  1. Have you updated your computer’s operating system lately? Windows, the OS for all PCs that aren’t Apple Macs, are the greatest targets. Tip: If you are not using Windows 10, the latest version, you’re at greater risk.
  2. How old is your current computer? If you cannot update your computer with the latest security patches, you’re at risk. Ask your company network technicians for advice. Microsoft has stopped providing OS patches for some versions.
  3. Is your wireless network secure? If you’re not sure, ask the person who set it up. If anyone with a computer can log into your network, it’s not a secure network.
  4. Do you automatically open all work emails and click on attachments? If you do, change that habit ASAP. Scammers work hard to hack or imitate email accounts from your coworkers to go phishing for data.
  5. Are you using a router? Most of us use routers; nonetheless, you should double check your network setup. Using only a modem is one of the riskiest ways to use internet.
  6. Have you changed your router’s default password? If the answer is no, a hacker can easily slip into your network and take over your computer. If you don’t know, assume you haven’t changed your router’s password. Find the brand and model of your router and Google “how do I change the password for my [brand and model] modem?”

Remote workers need to patch their security holes.

There’s a good chance most remote workers probably haven’t run through a security checklist in a long time—if at all. That’s risky. Hackers feast on computer users that are behind the times when it comes to security.

Remote workers need to make big changes. and have to protect their themselves and their employers’ valuable business data as well.

Are you using a Virtual Private Network?

A VPN boosts your internet security by adding a layer of protection to your internet. The problem is many smaller business don’t VPN service to their employees.

You need to choose one that will do the trick from home. Remote worker cybersecurity is the key, and a VPN is a great decision. Just remember that while some VPNs are free, they don’t offer the security level you need.

For top protection, check out these top-rated VPNs known for their security measures.

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