COVID-19 Cybersecurity Tips To Help You Work Remotely In Sydney
There are risks associated with moving to a work-from-home strategy during the COVID-19 crisis. But by following four guidelines you can be productive and safe.
Many leaders in the Sydney business community are taking proactive measures to keep employees safe during the COVID-19 crisis. Shifting substantial portions of daily operations to the Cloud and utilising platforms that can further company goals deliver safe social distancing.
But tossing people who are accustomed to working in a brick-and-mortar facility into a virtual world can be more than a little confusing. And possibly the worst thing anyone can do right now is to try to overcompensate by downloading a bunch of apps that you believe will help the transition. You might be surprised how many seemingly legitimate apps are infected with malicious software. Once you click on the link, hackers can take over your devices and infiltrate the companies network. At Sydney Technology Solutions, we understand these are challenging times and would like to offer these remote workforce and COVID-19 cybersecurity tips.
1: Step One: Breathe & Communicate
In all likelihood, your organisation provided a memo or some form of instruction about how to proceed working remotely. Take a deep breath, hold, release, and re-read the information. What may surprise first-time remote workers is that you probably already have every app needed. These are common apps found on many cell phones and other devices that allow you to participate in video conferencing.
- FaceTime: This video chat app can be found in many Apple devices, including iPhones and Mac computers.
- Slack: This app replaces standard email with a type of chat room. It provides limited features at no cost.
- Microsoft Teams: This product has emerged as the gold standard in remote workflow. It also offers video conferencing, collaborative project space, and other features. It’s entirely likely your company can connect with you through this app.
These are generally secure apps as long as you download them through either the Apple App Store or Google Play. Under no circumstances should you risk downloading an app through a third-party website or another platform.
2: Virtual Private Networks Are Your Best Friend
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, cost a little money, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s mostly because VPNs provide a security proxy that allows you to leverage public Wi-Fi in complete privacy. If you were in a coffee shop and connected using a VPN, a cybercriminal would be blind to your presence. They also provide value because VPNs allow you to connect directly with the company’s network and avoid cybersecurity gaps.
It may be worthwhile to contact your IT department to get information about which VPN they prefer. If your outfit does not have a lead technology person, providers such as NordVPN, CyberGhost, Express VPN, and IPVanish are generally considered reliable.
3: Backup Your Data Daily
Organisations frequently have a specific team member make sure the system automatically backs up data, or they do it manually. Most employees conducting other profit-driving tasks are unaware of the practice. Working remotely places this responsibility squarely on your shoulders. Consider storing files using a Google Drive and Dropbox for modest amounts of data. If you are working on a substantial project or manage large files, IDrive, and IBackup, may be options.
4: Beware COVID-19 Phishing Scams
Since the COVID-19 pandemic upended everyday life, cybercriminals have been launching illicit bulk emails and websites that appear to provide vital health information. If you received a direct email from a health department and did not sign up, don’t open it.
Digital bandits have been crafting emails that appear to be from health and other government agencies. Once you open the message or click on a link, malicious software downloads, other schemes include offering overnight COVID-19 test kits, cures, and critical information. For updates about the health crisis, visit the Australian Government Department of Health’s website.
Although the COVID-19 health crisis has all of us on edge, the good news is that you are working from a safe location. At Sydney Technology Solutions, we hope this remote workforce and COVID-19 Cybersecurity tips prove helpful for our Sydney, Australian, community members.