Working from anywhere, safely

by | Feb 2, 2022 | Business, Cybersecurity, Microsoft

The year 2022 is bringing yet another wave of challenges as we continue our parade of working from the office, working from home, or working while travelling.

Now, many of us have been doing this for quite a while, thanks to our laptops, docks, home Wi-Fi etc. We are becoming increasingly comfortable with this level of flexibility. We are expanding the potential of work-from-anywhere (WFA) beyond life spaces to coffee shops, or dare I say the beach cabana in Mexico?

airport wifi

Technology and process has made this a much easier reality but where there is convenience there is often security compromise. We can, however, find a good balance between blind ease and something as drastic as wrapping your laptop in chicken wire. The secure middle ground can be achieved by logging into a virtual private network (VPN) while using unsecured networks and using a password or biometric pin on your device. Also, by limiting the personal information that you share online and off-line.

The biggest WFA risk when working from places like coffee shops, an airport, or a hotel conference centre is unsecured Wi-Fi networks. If you are accessing Wi-FI in these places you absolutely need to increase your security. The most common option is a VPN, either the office VPN or a secure VPN service which are sometimes available on your home router, antivirus software, through an internet provider, or some other third party. Using a VPN will encrypt your communication so that someone on that hotel Wi-Fi network cannot listen in.

Do not leave that password on a Post-it note on the monitor. Do not use the model number that is plastered on the device. Keep your login credentials private. We encourage everyone to have a different password or pin on each device. Any additional protection is better than none. With these measures, you can ensure that if you lose your phone or forget your laptop at the café your data will be secure.

Lastly, limit how much personal information you share. The more information you share on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter) and in-person (loud coffee shop conversations) the greater the chances that those details are tied back to your profile to successfully compromise you, not just your technology.

One common example is when people make Facebook posts letting friends know that you are on vacation for two weeks. Someone could attempt a break-in at your house. This is information that can be used to impersonate you. Or, the bad actors could target the company you work for while you are away. We have seen many email phishing cases like this: “Hey this is Bob from accounting, I know you are away on vacation, but I need this urgently, can you approve this wire transfer?”

Keep your ‘tomorrow’ life to yourself and your actual friends as well as your family. If you need to share your travel stories online, do so after you return.

With these security measures, you can securely enjoy the benefits of working from anywhere, wherever that anywhere is in your world.

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