I’ll Have a Vanilla Caramel Latte and That Hacker Over There Will Have All of My Company’s Information
Working remotely in a coffee shop or outside on a sunny day—it sounds perfect, right? You’re able to get your work done, but also enjoy your favorite latte or take in some fresh air and sunshine at the same time. Thanks to the abundance of hotspots and free Wi-Fi connections available these days, it’s easy to work from almost anywhere. But by working through a public Wi-Fi connection, are you putting your information (as well as your company’s information) at risk?
Many companies invest substantial assets in order to provide employees with access to computers to perform the responsibilities of their jobs. Employees who are provided with computers, or access to computers in the course of their jobs, have significant responsibilities regarding their use. Here are some precautions to help keep that information secure, especially when working remotely:
Make Good Use of Your Firewall
Always start with the basics. Be sure that your mobile firewall is on. Most operating systems have a basic firewall pre-installed, but it may not be something that is automatically enabled. Check to see that it is on and operating to give yourself at least another layer of protection when accessing public Wi-Fi networks.
Ensure the Site You Are Using is Encrypted
Sites that encrypt their data make it unreadable to others, which is important for pages that require you to plug in passwords, social security numbers, account numbers and other confidential information. Many websites that ask for confidential data automatically take this step for you, yet it makes sense to check for yourself to ensure you’re not handing over sensitive information across a public connection. Look for URLs that start with https:// rather than just http:// for the most secure connection. For employees who are required to work many hours away from the office, many companies provide a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for them to use. A VPN offers the security of a private network when you’re using an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection. All of the information sent or received will be automatically encrypted.