While working from home or a remote location certainly has its advantages such as not having to commute into the office every single day, there are also a few major concerns and drawbacks to consider.
One of the biggest concerns a lot of freelancers and remote workers have to contend with is the growing threat against their cybersecurity. Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and skilled at breaking down these cybersecurity networks and barriers to gain access to confidential information.
During the current economic climate, the number of people working from home has already seen a whopping increase and is expected to continue to rise in the coming months. In this sense, COVID-19 has forever altered the workforce landscape and that’s something a lot of experienced hackers are banking on.
Renting a virtual office in Mississauga or Ottawa is an excellent solution that offers a variety of custom-tailored business support including strong cybersecurity and network connectivity. Here are a few more proven cybersecurity tips for freelancers and remote workers.
1. Change Your Passwords Frequently
It may sound oversimplified, but changing your password frequently can effectively help prevent hackers from gaining access to your confidential work platforms, emails, computers, databases, and more. Changing or updating your password once a month or biweekly makes it harder for hackers to guess what it is. Refrain from using simple words or phrases. The longer and more complicated you make it by adding numbers and characters, the harder it’ll be for hackers to guess. Consider making a password that contains an abbreviated phrase that contains capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authorization
Multi-factor authorization involves using a variety of access methods in addition to password authentication. Advanced authentication technology includes fingerprint scanning, retina identification, sending a unique PIN code to your phone, using a key fob, or answering a series of security questions. The benefit to this is that it adds additional layers of protective barriers to keep hackers from gaining access to sensitive company or client data. The more layers hackers have to go through to get the data they want, the less likely they are to be successful in their attempts.
3. Make Sure You Have a Secure Connection
One of the disadvantages of working from home or a public location is that you might not always have access to a secure connection. When you rent a temporary private office or virtual office space in Mississauga or Ottawa, however, you can rest assured that you’ll be provided with a secure Wi-Fi network connection. Private office space rentals are a great solution for boosting productivity and concentration on your work while also reducing the risk of cyberattacks or threats from malicious hackers.
Professionally curated office spaces are typically well equipped with highly secure networks to guarantee cybersecurity and prevent hackers from gaining access to sensitive or confidential company information.
4. De-Authorize Applications
Many modern business owners use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to directly engage with online audiences. But did you know that these applications and many others that are like them have the capability to collect data even after their permissions have been denied? They’re developed with built-in functions that allow third-party companies to access data on smartphones, laptops, and other devices.
If you’ve been hacked or threatened for a breach of security, the first thing you should do immediately is de-authorize all of these apps to prevent them from gaining access to sensitive information from your accounts. Hackers can obtain sensitive information collected from these third-party companies, so it’s important to cut off all ties as quickly as possible.
5. Get the Latest Virus Protection Software
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced record numbers of people to work remotely. As a result, the FBI has reported a 300% increase (or almost 4,000 cases daily) in cybercrimes since the beginning of 2019.
They recommend updating your antivirus security software as frequently as possible to prevent hackers from penetrating outdated security systems and obtaining sensitive company information. Download new software updates every time they become available to prevent hackers from installing malware, which is malicious software that’s designed to infect your devices with spyware and viruses. Avoid opening emails, text messages, or links that you don’t recognize. And don’t click on links that come from unfamiliar or sketchy sources that claim to be giving you money or that your CRA account has been compromised.
These are obvious phishing scams that hackers use to prey on unknowing individuals and businesses to gain access to their private information for various reasons including identity theft.
6. Always Backup All of Your Data
As a freelancer or remote worker, chances are high that you probably have access to a lot of confidential company and client information. If this data were to fall into the wrong hands through preventable data security breaches, the consequences could be dire for you and your clients. Make sure to backup all of your data across various trustworthy platforms and devices that only you and trusted individuals have access to. Always read through cybersecurity protocols, terms, and conditions carefully to ensure the security of your important data and files.
Use an external hard drive or USB key to store important data files and prevent hackers from gaining access to them.
7. Only Accept Secure Payment Transactions
In a post-COVID-19 world, the new normal is to accept more electronic payments. As a freelancer, you’re still running a business. Keep in mind that you have fewer resources than a large enterprise and therefore need to make sure that all payment transactions are completely secure. Use a highly regarded online payment platform like PayPal to ensure that all transactions are completely safe and secure.
8. Work from a Secure Location
When you rent a private office in Ottawa or Mississauga, you get access to a VPN (virtual private network). VPNs create an encrypted connection between your devices and an external server (the office rental vendor), so that you can securely work from their physical location.
Alternatively, you can also rent virtual office space in Mississauga or Ottawa. This option allows you to take advantage of all of the business support and cybersecurity offered by the office rental company while working from any remote location of your choosing.
Innovative Professional Offices provides completely secure private office spaces and virtual office services in Mississauga and Ottawa. Take advantage of our expert business support programs and other amenities including office administration, a fully trained reception staff, and mailbox services. Contact us today to learn more!
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