Five tips for data security when working remotely

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Robust information security management has been vital in business for years. But today, millions more Americans work from home than just two years ago, and data security has taken on new importance. More studies you can find at

The following tips will ensure that your data remains secure no matter where you are when you work.

Cybersecurity 101

The FTC stresses that anyone working from home should start with cybersecurity basics.

First, make sure all software on your computer and work devices are up to date. Next, use complicated passwords on every application and device, and change them every three months.

The best passwords are a minimum of 12 characters and have letters, numbers, and symbols. Any word in the dictionary is less secure, so think of something that isn't.

Never use public WiFi

Using public WiFi is a high-risk behavior that can compromise critical data. If you must use public WiFi, try using a personal hotspot from your cell phone. Web traffic will not be encrypted from your phone to the destination, but the hotspot ensures that you will not be hacked when using that public WiFi network.

Don't move your work data from your work PC

You're lying in bed with your personal laptop and are tempted to answer some work emails before bed. But your work computer probably hasWiFi, VPN, and other encrypted protections, so you shouldn't use your personal laptop for work because it's probably not that secure.

If your firm has a solid IT team, your work PC is likely to receive frequent software upgrades and hacker checks. Unfortunately, you are most likely not doing the same on your home computer.

Plus, large companies often have the money for more robust data security, so your personal laptop isn't secure for work emails or anything else work-related.

Examine your router to ensure the security of your network

You should use encryption, which is usually WPA2 or 3. When data is encrypted, it is scrambled as it passes through your network and out of your home, so hackers can't read it.

WPA2 and 3 are the best encryption standards that protect information sent over wireless networks.

If your router does not have these encryption options, you should probably buy a new router.

Regardless of the type of router you have, create a unique password; it should be nearly impossible for anyone to guess. Also, consider changing your network name and never use your physical address to identify your network.


Working from home may mean connecting to your company's virtual private network or VPN. But this can open 'back doors' that hackers can walkthrough.

You need to know how to make your VPN as secure as possible. One method is to utilize the best method for authenticating people. For example, your system can use a regular username and password but consider using a smart card.

You can also increase the strength of encryption by using L2TP, which is Layer Two Tunneling Protocol.

It won't matter how good your VPN is if other workers use weak passwords. Therefore, everyone using the VPN system remotely should have complex passwords updated every month or so.

In addition, experts note that the VPN should only be used when necessary and should be shut down if workers are not using it.

The above security awareness tips are what can keep your data and information secure when working off-site. It may take practice and effort, but once you have internalized these security tips, your information will be more secure when working from home.

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