The number of remote workers has vastly increased over the last few years, let alone the last number of months. A worldwide pandemic has pushed everyone away from each other and it’s become important to isolate yourself from everyone else.

This means that offices have shut down, and employees are now working from home.

Many people are now accessing company files on their own wifi and some may even be using a public or shared network, which increases the risk of being hacked. Personal computers are now being used for the sending of important emails without the proper software in place to protect the messages being sent from one person to the next.

Our professional life has never been more at risk to hackers and spammers, but not many people are interested in talking about it. I know the world has lots of other things to think about right now, but online safety should be top of mind for everyone who is using the Internet in this day and age.

Hacking numbers have increased alongside remote working numbers, and both are expected to continue to rise.

But how many companies (big and small) will do something about it and take the necessary precautions to keep their company (and employees) safe? How many people will tread carefully online knowing they have important documents at their fingertips? Hopefully everyone, but it’s still scary.

The Online world is a dangerous place and there are evil people out there who are looking to scam, steal, and expose you. Here are some safety measures we should all consider before 2020 comes to an end:

(1) Virus Protection

Virus protection software – like Norton Antivirus – has been around for many years now. When I first purchased a computer in the early-2000s, I purchased Norton Antivirus and installed it to make sure my computer was actively looking for viruses and removing them.

These days, it’s even more important to have some protection software on your computer to analyze incoming files and the websites you travel to. Like everything, virus protection software has advanced rapidly and is quite knowledgeable.

Do some research into the best antivirus protection for 2020 and be prepared!

(2) End-to-End Email Encryption

An end-to-end email encryption add-in can help you maintain your online safety while working out of the office.

Email encryption will keep your files safe and make sure they are viewed only by the intended recipient. If you are sending and receiving important documents – personal information, disclosed client information, financial information – then your emails should be encrypted.

Email encryption add-ins are easy to use, can be quite affordable, and the software does all of the work.

(3) Password Protection

Online password protection is an obvious one but it is something many people don’t take seriously enough. Work passwords are usually strong and hard to guess, but personal passwords can be as easy as 1-2-3… literally.

You should make sure every password you’re using at home – wifi, computer login, email, and more – are hard to guess and have not been exposed to anybody.

Consider installing software like LastPass to store all of your strong, hacker-proof passwords.

(4) Mobile Device Protection

Many people install some protection on their computers, create strong passwords, and think they’re in the clear. Next, they will grab their smartphone and log in to their work email, connect their social media, and join a public wifi network.

Your mobile device is one of the most vulnerable devices you can use, and not enough thought is put into the protection of what you do on it. You should make sure you are using two-factor authentication, you’re watching pages you access on your mobile device and you are (most importantly) not joining any public wifi networks.

If you can, do not do work on your mobile device and keep it all on your computer.

The Bottom Line:

The bottom line is that there are lots of dangerous people in the world that want to access your online information. They might even have access to it as we speak – you just never know.

You have to tread lightly online and make sure the proper measures are put in place to protect yourself. The transition from working in an office to working from home is the perfect scenario for hackers to find you vulnerable and unprotected.

Don’t let this happen to you and prepare for it!

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