Security for Remote Workers

200171401-001There has been a lot of talk about changes in the work environment over the last several years. Much of this has to do with the evolution of the internet and the many ways it can be leveraged to create entirely new work spaces. The gig economy has brought the concept of working outside the confines of traditional employment into the social consciousness in a dramatic way. But the possibilities are far more extensive than those provided by companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Turning Art.

Remote opportunities also include freelancing in almost every industry, temporary staffing positions that facilitate the freedom to travel from one location to another, a virtual workforce that has the same responsibilities as the onsite staff, and many more combinations.

Public Access

One of the nice things about holding a nontraditional position is the flexibility of work locations. It’s possible to work from home, a coffee shop, a library, or an internet café. It is possible to work entirely from locations other than one’s home or office by accessing public machines and connectivity along with cloud-based software. However, choosing this option can lead to far more security risks than when working from a private machine.

It is important for those workers who will be accessing data on public machines to take a few extra precautions. Be sure they know to use complex passwords to online accounts, social media, and email. A portable backup solution is another important component in increasing one’s personal data security in a public setting. provides a wide range of devices that can be used to store and transport important documents and files from one location to another.

Private Access

There are many ways to enhance the security of your data when in a home environment. Wireless routers should have long passwords with multiple upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. They, along with other passwords, should be changed a minimum of every six months. Ideally, the passwords should be randomly generated to make it more difficult for them to be hacked.

All devices that have access to the network should be similarly secured. This can include printers, monitors, televisions, cell phones, and tablets. Each device should have its own password to gain access to the settings and network through it. For example, your phone and tablet should have passwords that are as secure as that of your email or network.

Updates to all services that are used should be maintained diligently. This includes updates for the operating system of your computer, phone and tablet. It also includes updating your email client, preferred web browser, and any frequently used plugins that may allow access through identified security flaws in the outdated version. For those who have difficulty remembering to follow up on these tasks, there are usually automatic settings that can be chosen to have updates scanned for on a regular basis.

It can be challenging for those from a traditional workplace background to begin taking responsibility for their own data security needs once they transition to one of the newer models. However, the need to do so can’t be overstated. Taking the time to plan, monitor, and limit one’s exposure to security threats can dramatically reduce the risk one is exposed to on a daily basis and create a safe working environment that will be both fun and profitable.

Sara Stringer

Sara Stringer
Sara is a former medical and surgical assistant who now does freelance business consulting.

Sara Stringer

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