Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were gradually beginning to implement work from home schedules where their employees could use “flex schedules” to work from home a couple days per week. Some teams were even transitioning to a more full-time work from home schedule.
But like it or not, even the most remote work adverse companies were thrust into the remote world because of the need to reduce face-to-face contact while still keeping business operations alive.
Suddenly learning how to work from home has been a stressor for businesses and employees alike as people figure out how to manage their new schedules, create new working spaces at home, and stay accountable.
One of the main things that held many businesses back from transitioning to remote working was the concern about security. In particular, highly regulated and secure businesses have been remote work resistant. But remote does not mean unsecured work.
There are several simple steps that any employee can take to ensure they are keeping their personal and business-related files safe from predators, viruses, and other cybersecurity threats.
Update your passwords
It’s important to ensure that your accounts and information are as secure as possible by protecting them behind a safe password. Your passwords should meet the following requirements:
- Passwords must be unique: Don’t use one password across all of your accounts. This puts them all at risk if the password is hacked. For instance, if someone hacks into your email account, they can then try to use that same password on the other accounts from which you receive emails. If your passwords are all the same, they not only have access to your email—they have access to anything else that uses that password.
- Passwords must not be guessable: Don’t use information that can be easily found as your password. For instance, don’t use a pet’s name, your spouse’s name, your birthdate, or anything else that someone might be able to easily find from your social media profiles or elsewhere. This is also important because there is software that can “guess” your password in seconds. Don’t make it easy to crack.
- Passwords must use a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers: This also helps ensure your password is not guessable or easy for a software system to crack. It’s recommended that you use at least eight to ten characters and randomize the location that the numbers and symbols appear.