You can hear Christmas carols, lights flood the streets, you can smell freshly baked cookies, and the mission to decorate your Christmas tree is on—the holiday season is here.
The season of giving brings a lot of joy all around—whether you celebrate it or not, the festive season is sure to rub off on you while holiday-themed movies are upon every other TV channel.
This is usually the time where most of us log off from work to enjoy the festivities or to simply be with family and friends. Some of you may still be working remotely throughout the holidays. Some might work for a couple of days and log in as and when required. You might be working because you want to, have to, vacation policies, or just ran out of leaves by the end of the year! Whatever is your reason—you don’t want work flexibility inconvenience to come in between your celebrations.
Moreover, remote work brings with it the complications of security, not just feasibility. According to a study, nearly 70% of employees work from home during the holiday season. So, this discussion is all the more important.
‘Tis the season to not get hacked while you work remotely, let’s talk about how we can make that happen!
Work while you travel with ease
Are you traveling for multiple days to reach your home or a vacation destination? Then make sure you enable yourself with the right resources to carry it out seamlessly.
Make sure you have all your necessary devices with you. Charge your devices, and always keep a portable charger handy. Make sure you have an internet connection on your mobile and use your hotspot as and when needed. If you absolutely need to connect to a Wi-Fi on the go, make sure you don’t connect to an open network. Tip: Turn off connect to open network automatically option on your phone. Open networks are a prime place for hackers to get hold of your device and the information it holds, beware!
Make sure your devices are all recognized by your company network, it wouldn’t be a pleasant travel experience to panic when you are locked out. Ensure these are done prior to the days that you take off from your office—no matter how much of a hurry you are in!
Make remote work easy
Now that you reached your destination let’s work on making your holiday enjoyable while you work.
You might be sipping your hot chocolate while you type that email, or sit by the fireplace while you write that article. Whatever may be the case, there is nothing that can kill the holiday mood like a miscommunication with your co-workers miles away.
You can ease into your remote work through the following:
- When you work remotely, you cannot go up to your colleague’s desk and clarify that doubt or discuss a project. In such a case, you have to find a way to collaborate without giving yourself a headache. Make sure you and your colleagues throughout the globe are communicating on one shared platform. While you try to collaborate over different time zones and schedules, unify your communications. You can look up tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams to collaborate.
- Everyone might be working at their own time, make sure your calendar is updated to let everyone know what your timelines of work are and when you would be available.
- Are all your work expectations transparent enough? Your work timelines, work expectations must be defined such that you aren’t stressed about your deliverables. Discuss it with your managers and team beforehand.
- Make sure you are enabled with Single Sign-On solutions that let you access all your applications in one go. It is a productive and secure tool even when you are at the office but especially when you are away. You do not need to remember a hundred different passwords to log in to each application. Imagine you forget your password as you work remotely. It becomes all the more difficult to coordinate with your IT team to get the job done.
Make remote work secure
86% of CXOs believe that remote work increases the chances of a data breach, according to a report. You don’t want to support this statistic during your holidays, do you? With you out of your office environment, outside the regular firewalls, and the added aspect of personal devices—the chances of you getting hacked by the bad elves are definitely high.
Secure yourself by following the best practices below:
- Use a VPN for business purposes, always. Make sure your company provides you with a VPN. If they don’t, take it upon yourself to acquire one. There are several free tools available, all you have to ensure is that the sources you acquire it from are trustworthy. Learn about VPN best practices in our blog, How secure is your VPN?.
- Practice password best practices, this is a general rule of thumb for all your work applications. We are all guilty of using common, easy passwords all the time. Even Mark Zuckerberg was guilty of it. A hacker group called “OurMine” team revealed that his twitter and Pinterest password was “dadada”. Before you facepalm yourself over this password, what was your last password? Are they just as easy to hack, or can a bad actor decode it with a simple glance at your social media? Be sure to change it even if you have the slightest of doubts. Most importantly, ensure your personal and business accounts always have different passwords, always. It is always a good practice to enable your organization with a password manager itself to make things simpler for all your future remote work endeavors. Learn about our enterprise password manager here.
- Enable multi-factor authentication. All your applications should be secured, at least with 2FA. This ensures that by any chance, if someone tries to get hold of your accounts, there are additional layers of security that step up the authentication. It is a good practice to have your Gmail accounts and personal devices go through multiple factors of authentication. Read more about the five factors of authentication in our blog.
During the holiday season, along with the good spirit, there is also a rise in bad actors. You will receive many emails, spamming you with the subject lines, “50% off”, “Holiday discount is here”! These might be tempting but make sure they are from reliable sources. They can be petty phishing attempts to put your accounts at risk, and considering you might use personal devices for work, it might put your business applications at risk too! Do not, I repeat, do not click on that email!
Have an actual holiday!
In the corporate hustle bustle, do not forget actually to log off. As necessary as it is to be on your toes with work, remember to have fun this holiday!
Happy holidays from Ilantus!