Data security is probably one of the least popular topics of working remotely. Typically, people spend their time searching for amazing beaches, cultural activities, local food and other hidden gems. However, it’s fairly important to keep your data secure and access any sensitive and personal information in a secure way while working remotely.
I’ve created some tips how you can access your data in a secure manner and break down the most important aspects, below.
Only Connect to Secure Wi-Fi
Public transport waiting rooms, airports, public working spaces, hostels and other places offering free Wi-Fi, are all examples of frequently used free Wi-Fi networks. Typically, the data that is being transferred over these networks isn’t protected. Thus, hackers could potentially obtain your personal information and the data you’re transmitting over the network without too much effort.
So, don’t enter any payment information or login details while being connected to the network. Don’t make any money transfers. Point being, someone could be logging and scanning all of your online activities, without you having the slightest of notice.
If you do find yourself relying on public networks to get by on a daily basis, I would strongly consider investing in a cheap VPN to help keep your private data safe.
Don’t Use Public Computers
Many places have public computers available for guests, travelers or anyone who comes in. A public computer doesn’t pose a big threat if you simply want to find something on Google but, again, don’t enter any personal or payment information using a public computer.
Typically, these computers are infected with many viruses, keyloggers or other malicious files. Keylogging software will capture every single keystroke and could easily steal a lot of data, and more. Just don’t ever use these computers for more than a Google search.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
A good method to protect sensitive data is to employ two-factor authentication. For example, if you want to login to your Google Drive folder that stores a bunch of important data, you would need the password to complete the first layer of protection. Then, for example, a unique code will be generated on your smartphone’s “Google Authenticator” application which will complete the second layer of protection.
That means that you can only access your sensitive information with physical access to your smartphone, which creates a much safer environment.
Use a VPN
Using a VPN is essential when you’re connected to an insecure Wi-Fi connection. Simply because a VPN allows you to connect to another server first and then it’ll connect you to the internet.
VPN providers have servers that will automatically encrypt all your data, so even if a hacker would be able to intercept the information you’ve entered somewhere, it would be in unreadable text format (and useless).
Just make sure that the VPN you choose works properly in your destination country.
Whenever you access any sensitive stored information or other important files, always make sure it’s via an HTTPS connection. HTTPS stands for an SSL-encrypted connection, which simply means that your data/information is protected by encryption, similar to a VPN.
Especially when you enter login details to access an important account or payment information, the data is protected.
Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers support an application called “HTTPS Everywhere.” This is an awesome application that will encrypt all the data between you and a web server – even if the website itself doesn’t have an SSL certificate.
You can recognize encryption protected websites from the green padlock together with “Secure” sign and the http”s” before the address.
Secure Cloud Based Storage
Cloud based storage is a very helpful storage solution to opt for if you want to store sensitive information in a secure and online environment. Not only can you access it from anywhere, cloud storage providers such as Dropbox and Google Drive encrypt all the data that is stored on the platform.
When you connect to the platform, make sure to do so in a secure manner as described in the above mentioned tips.
If you don’t want to risk any of the online threats that you might face, you can always choose to bring a thumb drive while traveling or being abroad. Simply store all your sensitive information on the thumb drive and only connect it to your computer while being offline.
Of course, it’s important to have a virus and malware free laptop/computer, because some types of malware are able to infect a thumb drive as well. But generally speaking, a thumb drive is a perfect method to opt for and store important data.
A safe method to store your passwords is to use a password manager such as LastPass. It’s incredibly handy to store strong and unique passwords for all your accounts. So, even if one of your accounts is hacked, the others will remain secure. All you need to remember is the password to your LastPass account!
Accessing and keeping your data secure isn’t that complicated when you travel. All it takes is some time, money and preparation to set everything up. With these tips you can even access an unsecure Wi-Fi networks, have super-strong passwords (that you don’t need to remember) and all your data is encrypted. At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
PixelPrivacy.com is all about making the world of online security accessible to everyone. We pride ourself in writing guides that we’re certain even our own mothers could understand! Be sure to head over to our blog if you’re interested in keeping your private information just that: Private!