5 Data Privacy Tips for Remote Workers

Data privacy for remote workers is essential – it always has been – but now, more than ever, it is dominating the cybersecurity strategies of all businesses with a staggering 4.7 million people in the U.S. now working remotely.

But, with increasing levels of cybercrime and remote workers being targeted, it begs the question: How do we protect the privacy of remote workers and company data?

Last year, 4.1 billion data records were exposed due to data breaches, illustrating just how important it is for companies and remote workers to ensure that their data is kept safe and out of the hands of hackers.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the five tips you should follow to ensure the privacy of your data.

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1. Store Your Passwords in an Encrypted Vault

Every online account is protected by a password, but just how safe are they? The truth is that most of the passwords we use are not all secure. The reason why: entropy.

Entropy is the measurement of the randomness or diversity of a data-generating function.

Passwords with high entropy are completely random and have no meaningful patterns, making them almost impossible to crack.

Unfortunately, the average person can’t memorize complex random passwords, meaning human-generated ones tend to only be about 40 bits of entropy.

To put this into perspective, a password with 128 bits of entropy is virtually unbreakable; therefore, 40 bits give hackers a much higher possibility to predict the value.

With the average person having 70-80 passwords, the sheer volume that we have to remember makes us prone to unsafe password practices such as recycling old passwords or using the same ones for multiple accounts.

Hackers are well aware of these cyber hygiene pitfalls, and exploit them regularly for financial gain. No country or business is immune, and exposure to cybercrime is rife.

Poor password practices compound remote working risks, as employees often opt for convenience over security, saving sensitive login credentials using unsecured methods including spreadsheets, notes of paper, and sharing them over email.

The most effective way to protect credentials from malicious hackers is to store them in an encrypted password vault, otherwise known as a password manager.

Password managers for remote work security

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Password managers facilitate security and convenience by enabling businesses to add, edit, and store an unlimited number of passwords in a securely encrypted vault.

Therefore, your remote team no longer needs to remember long complex passwords. Instead, they can rely on the software to automatically fill the login credentials whenever they need them.

The zero-knowledge security models employed by password managers also lends itself to full data privacy where the software never sees or stores your unencrypted passwords on their servers.

If a hacker managed to hack the servers where your data is stored, they would only see streams of encrypted code that is meaningless and not of any value.

Ultimately, password managers enable remote workers to save unique passwords with high levels of entropy for each account in securely encrypted vaults to strengthen the security of business accounts.

They can also play a key role in ensuring complete data privacy is via single sign-on solutions that make business-critical accounts accessible in one convenient portal.

Remote workers simply need to login to the vault, click on the account they need access to, and they will be logged in automatically without ever seeing the login credentials.

2. Shield Your Data From Prying Eyes

Shield your data

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One of the main challenges that IT staff face with remote workers is the conundrum of providing them with a safe and secure way of accessing company resources while maintaining security and optimal network speeds.

This is where a VPN, or virtual private network, comes into play.

VPNs form the basic backbone of remote working security and provide workers with a secure method to connect to company resources, such as shared files. More than 400 million businesses and consumers are already making use of VPN connections, and this number continues to grow as more people start working from home.

Working remotely without using a VPN poses a serious security risk, since it makes it much easier for hackers to intercept confidential company data as it travels between your remote location and the office.

A VPN can be compared to a private tunnel that links your remote location directly with your office, and since the data that travels in this tunnel is shielded from view, it is much more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal sensitive data.

They can be used to connect to most remote resources, including mail servers, CRM programs and software, and even accounting systems.

It is especially important to use a VPN in cases where remote employees use their computers for both their personal and professional computing needs.

Employees can often unknowingly download emails or other files that have been infected with malware, and in doing so, expose confidential company data. – Read more

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