Pagoda Blog

9 Security Tips for Working Remotely

October 1, 2020

Many companies are embracing the remote workforce, allowing most if not all of their employees to telecommute to the office five days a week. This opens up the possibility of both working from home and on the road. After all, if you don’t have to physically clock-in everyday, why not take this as an opportunity for a family road trip or solo adventure? (Taking all Covid-19 safety precautions, of course.) Even if you’re just planning to work from your home office and bring your laptop to the local coffee shop once a week, it’s important to ensure you follow these remote work security tips.  

1. Physically hide, secure, or lock up your devices when not in use

As we become accustomed to working remotely, it’s easy to become careless with our laptop, smartphone, and other devices. Whether you’re at a cafe or working in an AirBnB, take the time to secure your work devices when you leave the space. At a public space like a coffee shop this means packing up your laptop and bringing it with you to use the restroom. In a more private space like an AirBnB or hotel room, always use the provided lock box (if available) or at least physically hide your devices so they’re not ready to swipe should a break-in occur. When it’s not possible to hide or lock up devices, you can at least secure them by ensuring your screen is locked before you walk away. For optimal security, you should encrypt your laptop data drive. (We recommend Bitlocker for Windows and FileVault for Mac.) This protects your data should a thief remove your laptop’s drive and attempt to access it by plugging the drive into another computer.  


2. Don’t display sensitive information if you’re in public

When working in a public space, be conscientious of the documents, files, and accounts you choose to view. A common way for cybercriminals to gain access to private accounts and data is by literally looking over your shoulder and copying down sensitive information displayed on your screen. This could be a bank account number, your full name and address, credit card number, or private company data. Always be aware of your surroundings and what a nearby nosy patron could gain access to.  


3. Keep all devices and their software up-to-date (“patched”)

We can never say this enough: Keep your devices and software updated! Software updates include security patches that fix bugs and close identified loopholes or vulnerabilities, improving overall security for users. Updates also often improve functionality with new features. Lastly, it’s important to remember that updating your devices and software on a regular basis not only protects your data but other users’ data as well. When you don’t download the latest updates, your device becomes a weak point that cybercriminals can use to potentially access thousands of other users’ information stored within that software.     


4. Establish a safe network 

Wherever you’re working, you should be using a secure, encrypted internet connection. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates an encrypted tunnel between your local network and an exit node at another location, making your data unreadable. It also prevents your online activity from being traced back to your device, allowing you to remain anonymous to both your ISP and potential cybercriminals. 


5. Use separate devices for work and personal/family needs

Keeping your virtual work and personal life on separate devices will not only improve security, it will probably help with productivity as well. We recommend this to reduce the chances of infecting your work computer with a virus (either through a malicious email link or software), to save space, and keep your files better organized.  


6. Use strong, unique passwords for every account

Strong, unique passwords still matter—even with all the other layers of security in play. A strong password is either one randomly created by a reliable, trusted password management system or a long, memorable passphrase of your own creation. For additional security, use a unique password for each of your accounts. That way, if a cybercriminal gains access to your password, it only puts one of your accounts at risk.


7. Enable 2FA across accounts  

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is yet another layer of security that makes it even harder for an outside party to gain access to your accounts. 2FA requires two pieces of identification to log into an account, typically your password and a code sent to your email or via text to your smartphone. Someone trying to break into your account would need both identifiers to gain access.      


8. Use cutting edge antivirus security software; not just basic antivirus

While free, basic endpoint security software (commonly known as antivirus) does provide some protection, it’s not nearly as effective as paid software. Your company’s network is too valuable to risk on a free version of antivirus. Find a reputable, paid version, like SentinelOne, and always keep it up to date. 


9. Use a multi-layered security strategy 

Multi-layered security is a network security approach that uses a number of components to protect your operations with multiple levels of security measures. In other words, this means that you take a holistic approach to your cybersecurity, investing not only in reputable endpoint protection but also investing resources in training your entire team in cybersecurity best practices. We recommend using the following products together for a secure IT infrastructure:


Endpoint protection: SentinelOne

Internet connection: Express VPN

Password Management System: PassPortal or LastPass

Network Perimeter Firewall: Sonicwall

Cloud security and protection against internal threats: Cisco Umbrella 

End user training and phishing testing: KnowBe4      


Working remotely has the potential to open the doors to a better work/life balance, improved productivity, and greater job satisfaction. It also has the potential, however, to open the doors wide to an onslaught of cybersecurity threats if you don’t put the necessary safeguards in place. Check out the resources below for more tips on making the switch to a remote workforce. 


Related reading: 

Setting Up a Secure and Productive Home Office for the COVID-19 Outbreak

Managing Cybersecurity During a Pandemic and Civil Unrest  

Video Conference Call Etiquette and Security Tips 

How to Avoid Video Call Burnout 

How to Train Your Entire Team in Cybersecurity 


Want to get more posts like these once a month in your inbox? Sign up for the Pagoda newsletter and sharpen your technical skills, from cybersecurity to digital marketing



Want IT to serve you better?





About Pagoda Technologies IT services

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Pagoda Technologies provides trusted IT support to businesses and IT departments throughout Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and across the globe. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at to schedule a complimentary IT consultation.

Return to Pagoda Blog Main Page

As your trusted IT service partner, Pagoda Technologies is here to help you achieve your near and long-term business goals through reliable and affordable IT support. 

Pagoda Technologies

101 Cooper Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95060


Contact us for a free IT consultation



Get in touch 

Join our newsletter

Want IT to serve you better? 




Follow Us

Facebook LinkedIn LinkedIn