Working securely online is essential for businesses and individuals alike. We are in a time when almost everything we do takes place online. Emails, video conferences, online banking; everything requires some level of cybersecurity. A small mistake or oversight can lead to big problems. At Emploware, we help people and businesses better defend themselves against online threats. In this article, we explore different aspects of working safely online.
Why is online safety important?
The growing number of cyber attacks demonstrates the need for robust online security practices. Every day we hear stories of large and small businesses falling victim to cyber attacks. The damage is not only financial, but also reputational.
In an age where customer trust is everything, one data breach can kill a company. This risk is magnified as people increasingly work from home. Working safely from home and the cyber risks of working from home is therefore a big topic in cybersecurity.
In a successful attack, the consequences can go very far. In our article the impact of phishing, we elaborate on these consequences.
Basics of how to stay safe online
Before we dive into specific strategies, it is crucial to understand the fundamental principles of online security. Every device connected to the Internet is essentially a doorway to your personal or business information. Each of these “doors” must be properly secured to prevent unauthorized access.
A secure connection, strong passwords and a basic understanding of common cyber attacks are essential. The key is to always be vigilant and remember that much of online security is in your own hands.
Secure password practices
The importance of strong, unique passwords cannot be overemphasized. An easily guessed password can be as dangerous as leaving your front door open. For optimal security online, it is advisable to change passwords regularly. In addition, you should not reuse them across multiple sites. Finally, they should be a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Password managers can also be useful for storing complex passwords so you don’t have to remember them all. You can read more about this topic in our article: secure password management.
Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
VPNs provide an extra layer of security by encrypting your online activities and hiding your location. In other words, a VPN connection hides your data traffic online. In addition, it provides protection against remote access.
Unencrypted data can be viewed by anyone who has access to the network and wants to see it. With a VPN, hackers and cybercriminals cannot decrypt this data. Another nice benefit of a VPN? Because in addition to privacy, a VPN also allows you to bypass geographical restrictions. Thus, in some cases, you can access content that may be blocked in certain regions.
A well-known provider of a VPN is NordVPN.
Two-factor authentication (2FA).
2FA adds an extra step to the login process, significantly reducing the chances of unauthorized access. By having this extra layer of security, even if someone knows your password, they still won’t be able to access your account without the second authentication factor, which can be something you know, something you have, or something you are (such as a fingerprint).
Regular software updates
Keeping your software up-to-date ensures that you are protected from the latest known security vulnerabilities. Developers regularly release patches and updates to address known security issues. Ignoring these updates can leave your devices vulnerable. So for safe online working, it is essential to regularly update all your devices.
Safety awareness and training
The human factor is often the weakest link; therefore, it is essential to promote regular training and awareness. Employees should be trained to recognize suspicious emails, follow secure password practices and understand what to do in the event of a suspected cyber attack. At Emploware, we offer security awareness training for businesses.
The importance of backups
Regular backups ensure that you can recover quickly in the event of data loss or a cyber attack. Whether it’s important business documents or personal photos, backing up your data regularly can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a catastrophic loss.