By now we know the importance of liability insurance for businesses, but with more than a quarter of Americans working remotely for the foreseeable future, it’s time to direct our attention to telecommuting safety.

Hackers exploit crises, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Make sure your employees stay safe while working at home, so your company’s data isn’t accessed through phishing and malware attacks.

No matter how large or small your company is, significant damage can be done if hackers get a hold of secure data. From employee location to tech tools, we’re here to make sure your company thrives in a remote environment.

Remember: Location Matters

A common misconception about remote work is that your risk doesn’t change based on your location, but that’s simply not true. According to a recent study, safety risk vastly changes over state lines. It’s important to know where your employees are working from, what the privacy laws are in those states, and how those states combat cyberattacks.

Many companies are widening their hiring pool by offering full-time remote positions, which is a great benefit to come from the changes we experienced in the last year. As you extend your hiring pool geographically, pay attention to cybersecurity laws where any new employees may be based.

Provide Phishing Education

Human error is the cause of 90% of cyber attacks. Phishing is when hackers get you to give them your information by posing as an authoritative site or figure. Educate your employees on phishing scams to ensure your data isn’t given up voluntarily.

Common phishing scams include:

  • Pretending to be your coworker and asking you to fulfill an invoice
  • Emailing you stating you need to click a link to change your password for an account
  • Impersonating your boss and asking for private work information
  • Using a fake email to pose as customer support from a brand

Spotting phishing attacks like these saves your company time and money in the long run.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication involves using another device (commonly, your cell phone) to verify that you are the user logging into an online account or app. Without multi-factor authentication, it’s much easier for hackers to get into your account because there is no verification that the account owner is the one trying to log in. 

Essentially, multi-factor authentication provides extra protection so hackers can’t find their way into your accounts (and it is much easier to set up and use than it may seem). The majority of people keep their smartphones by their side at all times anyway, and the extra 15 seconds to keep your data safe is well worth the investment.

Provide At-Home Safety Lessons

When an employee is working from home, electrical and technical safety is largely their responsibility. It is important to set your employees up for success by educating them on the dos and don’ts of workplace safety. Plus, you’re likely loaning employees expensive equipment to work from home, and it’s wise to provide tips sooner than later on how to keep their tech safe from preventable damage.

Topics for safety education include:

  • Not overloading electrical sources
  • Setting up equipment ergonomically
  • Securing your technology
  • Accessing via a Virtual Private Network
  • Connecting to a secure internet connection
  • Implementing emergency evacuation plans

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides a great checklist for telecommuting safety to help you prepare your employees for remote work.

In Summary

Working from home has many awesome benefits—from spending more time with family to saving gas money on a commute, we have all enjoyed the perks of working remotely. Before you take the plunge and keep workers remote full-time, or even part-time, make sure you cover your bases so your business can stay safe while it grows.