These days it’s possible to work from home in nearly every field imaginable. This can be fantastic if you’re sick or on vacation. Rather than burn all of your vacation days, you can get some work done remotely, just as if you were in the office. Or for plenty of people, remote employment is all they do; they have no office to go into and instead work from home every day. If you’re working from home though, there are a couple steps you need to make sure you’re taking to ensure your customers’ personal information and confidentiality are not compromised. Here are five things to remember:
The internet is not 100 percent safe. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but these days, the internet has become so ingrained in our daily lives that sometimes we forget the dangers that can come with its use. Malware and identity theft are just the start. Make sure you know the dangers, so you can protect yourself against them.
Public WiFi has its dangers. The dangers that come with using the internet in general are only amplified when it comes to using public WiFi at coffee shops or other places. Using a password doesn’t matter—if you could get the password, what’s stopping cyberattack masterminds from getting that password as well? You also need to make sure you’re not accidentally connecting to a malicious hotspot designed to steal your information or allow easy access to your computer.
You need to protect your computer and keep applications up-to-date. One of the easiest ways for a hacker to worm their way into your computer and your personal information is for you to be lax about the security tools on your computer. Usually updates are meant to fix known bugs and known weaknesses of an operating system, so you’d be silly to ignore them. If a hacker manages to slip some malware onto your computer or you contract a virus, who knows what information they might be able to get their hands on.
Your website can be compromised too. It’s not just your computer you have to worry about, though. If you’ve got a website for your business, your whole domain could be stolen—even without your realizing it. Not only could someone totally shut down your website or set it to redirect to another website, they could also set up an identical version of the site and use it to steal information from your customers every time they log on. Make sure you’ve taken the correct steps to protect your website.
When you’re accessing the internet, you’re sharing more information than you realize. Every time you browse the internet, you’re sharing information about your browsing habits and passwords—and not just to government officials who might happen to be looking into your activity! Instead, each time you visit a site, your computer automatically shares “cookies”, or little bits of data about you, to provide a cleaner web experience. Many sites won’t allow you to visit their sites if you turn off cookies, but if you use a VPN, you’ll have a good buffer between your computer and the site you’re accessing so that you won’t be sharing all your information.
Hackers like to target businessmen. The main thing to remember is that hackers like to target businessmen, so you need to make sure you’re on your game. Fortunately, if you make things a little difficult for them by doing things such as using secure passwords, keeping your antivirus software updated, and installing a VPN, you become a much less attractive target for them and will find that the risk of cyberattack goes down exponentially.
Whenever your customers access your website or share information with you, they’re displaying a high level of trust that you won’t allow that information to get into the wrong hands. Show that you deserve that trust by protecting your customers’ information—even while working from home—to build a strong rapport with your customers and ensure their future business and recommendation.
Author Information :
Isa Cox is a business technology and online security blogger and a huge proponent for working from home, but she implores you to use the best security measures if you do. She recommends Secure Thoughts for identifying the best online VPN.
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