Given current events, more people are working from home than we ever would have imagined possible. While working from home may be relaxing and a nice change of pace for some, it comes with its fair share of complications.
Whether you’re a freelance translator who has been working remotely for years or someone who has suddenly been forced to work from home, making sure that you’re keeping all your data safe while working outside the office is crucial. Here are some tips and tidbits to help guarantee your private information stays just that: private.
Make sure your connection is secure
Having a secure connection is the principal building block for all cybersecurity. Without the foundation of a secure connection to the internet, the rest of our tips are much less effective and you are putting your personal and work-related information at risk.
While working from home, many people have turned to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to help keep their connection to the internet private. A VPN helps hide your IP address from everyone else online. An IP for your computer functions very similarly to your address for your physical house: if people have it, they can eventually figure out where you are, and gain access to your data.
Many companies are also offering their remote workers SD-WAN networking options to help them stay secure while working remotely. SD-WAN is similar to a VPN in the sense that it helps keep you secure while you’re connected to the internet. If this is something that your company offers, definitely look into it as a viable option for network safety.
Only work from company-approved devices
While working from home, it can be tempting to use personal devices out of familiarity, or because they’re easier to use. This is strongly discouraged as it can open up a whole can of worms. Your personal device may not have updated security programs, or even security programs installed at all. During personal use, you might expose yourself to harmful files that could affect your work information. You also have to worry about leaving sensitive work-related information on it when you sell it or give it away.
The computers given to you by your employer are setup and secured specifically for the systems that they have in place. Many companies have varying types of “Mobile Device Management” in place to allow them to “monitor, manage and secure employees’ mobile devices.” Working only on your approved devices better helps them understand any issues that you might encounter.
Working from company-approved devices simply means that you don’t have to worry about any of these things going wrong and can help you separate your work and personal life even more easily. If it becomes an issue for you, talk to your employers about setting up the necessary precautions on your personal devices, and you might be able to come to an agreement.
Watching out for “phishing” attempts
Phishing attempts are an effort to gain access to personal or work-related information by hackers, and with the internet growing as quickly as it is, they are very prevalent. Make sure that you watch out for somewhat strange emails or files, as they could be attempts to access your data.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has a PDF on ways to recognize and avoid email phishing attempts. The most common avenue for a phishing attempt to take place is through email. If you are skeptical about any kind of emails that you are receiving, the CISA recommends that you “verify the message with the person you believe to be the sender before opening any email attachment”.
What to do if you spot a phishing attempt
Once you’ve identified the phishing email, there are several different ways that you can report the attempt. The first thing you should do if it’s an attempt to gain access to work-related information would be to notify your IT department immediately. Chances are good that you were not the only one to receive this email and having your IT department aware of the situation can help them handle it more effectively.
Afterward, you can report the phishing attempt directly through Gmail, if that’s the platform you are using. If you are using an email client that doesn’t have this feature, you can report the attempt directly to the CISA through their website.
Transitioning to remote work can be a big change of pace for those who are unfamiliar with it. Making sure that you keep your information safe and secure is challenging but implementing some easy and effective solutions can help. Make sure your connection is secure before working with any sensitive information. Only using company approved devices can cut down on the possibility of data breaches. Identifying and reporting phishing attempts can help keep your work and personal information safe and out of the hands of hackers.
As a highly experienced professional language service, BeTranslated ensures the security of its customers’ documents, which are translated by skilled linguists. For more information about reliable translations into the languages relevant to your field, from European languages like Dutch to global tongues like Japanese, or a free, no-obligation quote, contact us today.