Working remotely can mean better productivity, increased independence, a better work life balance, and have a ton of other benefits for those who feel it suits their personality and working style. It’s not for everybody, but for those who find it suits their flow, it can be a huge benefit. However, there are numerous things to consider before taking the plunge and applying for a remote position, or at least before you start your remote position. Protecting yourself when you work remotely is crucial to your health and happiness, as well as your effectiveness as a remote worker. You’ll need to take the steps to protect yourself online, as well as protect yourself from issues that can come hand in hand with remote work, such as burn out.
Let’s take a look at 12 ways you can protect yourself when you work remotely:
1. Get The Right Insurance Policy
Having the right insurance policy could be important if you’re a freelancer who works with sensitive information, or you simply want to be sure that if you are ever unable to work you can survive. Insurance isn’t the most exciting part of working remotely, but it can give you peace of mind.
2. Use A VPN
Using a VPN allows you to encrypt web traffic so that nobody can access your data. You may want to keep your data safe from a hacker or the government – whatever it is, a VPN can be endlessly useful. Many consider a VPN necessary for remote work. Your IP address can give away a lot about you, too. Check out how to find IP address on Mac and you may be able to see for yourself.
3. Use Tools and Software To Ensure You Know What’s Happening at All Times
There’s all kinds of collaboration software and useful tools that can help you to ensure you know what’s happening with the rest of the team at all times. Falling out of the loop could mean getting something wrong or not ensuring it’s up to the standard that it should be. At the very least, you could miss important details that collaborating would have helped you to include. The software you use could be largely down to the company you are working for, but if you have a choice, make it your mission to find the best tools for your needs.
4. Don’t Use An Unsecured Wi-fi Network
Using an unsecured wi-fi network could encourage viruses, such as the distribution of malware to your system. Having infected software on your device could be crippling to you and the business. Only ever use wi-fi networks that you know and trust.
5. Become Aware of The Scams Targeting Remote Workers
Unfortunately, there are scams out there designed to target remote workers specifically. Becoming aware of these scams will ensure they lose their power and that you won’t be susceptible to the dangers. These scams often request personal information and payments before work can begin. By the time a worker has realized that it is a scam, they have usually parted with money that they won’t be able to get back. It’s important to only use legitimate sites for freelance work, and to avoid sharing personal information with a client without doing proper research.
6. Use Strong Passwords
Using strong passwords isn’t a new or innovative piece of advice, but it’s just as important today as it has always been – if not more so. Having the same password for everything or making it too easy to guess could cost you a lot. Using a password manager could help you to ensure you keep all of your passwords safe and that you’re able to have different passwords for different things without them slipping your mind.
7. Use Firewalls
Firewalls act as a barrier between your device and the internet and prevent threats from entering your system. Using them means that malicious programs aren’t able to leak confidential information once they have made their way into your system.
8. Set Up Anti Virus Software
Having a firewall in place is not enough. You still need to set up anti virus software. A good antivirus software can help you to ensure you are protected by blocking malware and other issues. Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender are some of the most well known, effective, and trusted antivirus products.
9. Back Up Your Data
Backing up your data should not be something you do when you remember. You should have a schedule in place to do this regularly and keep everything you’ve worked so hard on, as well as sensitive information safe. Data from your computer could get lost due to damage to your hardware, human error, and even cyberattacks. Backing your data up will ensure you have peace of mind. Storing data in the cloud is convenient and cost-effective. You can also customize your storage options and the back up frequency to ensure you don’t need to do it manually each time.
10. Communicate Your Needs and Give Feedback
As well as taking many steps to ensure you’re protected wherever you may decide to work, make sure you communicate your needs with the businesses you work with and provide feedback – especially if you are trying to build a long term working relationship with them. If you don’t tell them how they can improve, then they probably won’t. Most businesses want to help remote workers to work more effectively, so don’t be shy about making suggestions.
11. Take Regular Breaks
It can be tough to remember to take breaks when you work at home and home life/work life can blend into one. Try to set a schedule so you can take regular breaks without feeling guilty.
12. Prioritize Self Care
Self care is so important as a remote worker. If you don’t prioritize it, your sleep could suffer, you could get less exercise, and you may eat for convenience rather than health. This will affect all areas of your life.
How will you protect yourself?