Published on June 18th, 2022
With more countries welcoming tourists back and more companies open to remote working, many people are choosing to change up their ways of working.
Remote working while overseas has recently gained popularity for its flexibility. From visiting different cities every weekend to experiencing different cultures, it’s clear why working remotely is so appealing.
Unfortunately, it also comes with its own set of issues. In 2021, researchers at cyber security company ESET revealed that 29 billion attempted remote desktop protocols occurred as cyber criminals attempted to exploit remote workers.
If you’re interested in working remotely, or if you often travel for work, here are some things you can do to protect yourself and prevent malicious third parties from hacking you or taking advantage of vulnerabilities in your devices.
Install Antivirus Software
Downloading and installing antivirus software is one of the easiest things to protect your devices while traveling. Antivirus software generally scans your device for viruses and removes them for you. The most popular antivirus software also has apps for your smartphone and tablet, so you’re protected across multiple devices.
Use A VPN
Before you start using any device for remote work, subscribe to a virtual private network (VPN) to protect and encrypt your internet connection and personal data. VPNs provide a secure tunnel for your internet connection, so your information doesn’t get shared with anyone, including your internet service providers and other third parties.
Most major VPN providers have smartphone apps, so you’re protected not just on your desktop and laptop but also on your phone and tablet. The ExpressVPN app, for example, is available for various devices, including smart TVs.
Only Use Secured Wi-Fi Connections
When working remotely, you’ll likely want a change of scenery from time to time. Perhaps you’ll visit a cafe or work out of a co-working space. Wherever you choose to be, make sure you’re connected to a secure Wi-Fi network. People using unsecured Wi-Fi connections can sometimes fall prey to man-in-the-middle attacks.
This occurs when a hacker “plants” themselves between your device and your internet connection. By intercepting and interfering with your internet connection, these hackers can steal any information you input and share. A secure Wi-Fi network is usually protected with a password or requires login credentials.
If you absolutely have to use public Wi-Fi, download a VPN app on your device. A VPN provides a secure encrypted connection for your internet, which prevents malicious threat attacks from stealing your information or remotely storing malware on your device.
Avoid Revealing Too Much Information Online
When you’re travelling abroad and working in such lovely places, it’s tempting to post your whereabouts on social media. If you’re alone, though, it’s wise to properly look through your content to make sure you’re not giving too much information away.
For example, avoid posting pictures of yourself with your hotel room and room number. You’ll also want to avoid posting anything that alludes to you being alone and potentially unsafe.
Protect All Your Devices With A Password
Passwords are your first line of defence for protecting any electronic device. When creating a password, try to create ones that are at least 12 characters long and use a mix of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. Whatever you do, avoid reusing passwords.
If you struggle to memorise multiple passwords, try signing up for a password management system. These management systems store all your passwords in a secure vault, and all you have to do is memorize one master password that unlocks your vault.
Beware Of Scams Targeting Remote Workers
These days, hackers are getting increasingly cunning in the ways they attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in the devices of remote workers.
From phishing scams to installing malware remotely, there are multiple things hackers can do to steal personal details and login credentials.
If you’ve received a suspicious email or a pop-up advertisement that is asking you to click on things, always close them and report them straight away.
Phishing scams are also rife on social media. If you suddenly receive a private message from a friend or family member asking you to share personal details about yourself, it’s always wise to verify on a separate app in case the message came from someone else.
Approaching every suspicious message you receive with some level of scepticism could just save you from some major issues.
While travelling, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest cyber security threats and issues that impact remote workers. Various websites and publications share the latest information on cyber security, and big cyber security companies often release trend reports that could reveal more about the cyber security landscape.
Working remotely can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s also important to stay safe and consider some of the challenges that come while working abroad.