3 Places Remote Workers’ Privacy Can Be Exploited Online

3 Places Remote Workers’ Privacy Can Be Exploited Online

It’s been well over a year since much of the world’s workforce moved to a remote or work-from-home model, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. And believe it or not, many of these employees and companies themselves have cozied up to the idea of working cozily at home in the long-term. 

By some counts, 61 percent of employees expect to spend only half of their time in offices by July 2021. This means there might be a crusade for remote work to stay in place — at least in some capacity. 

And even as entrepreneurs strive to enhance the cybersecurity of business organizations, the reality is it’s not so easy to keep watch over every single employees’ online activities. And this is especially true for remote employees. 

Despite our best intentions, we compromise our online privacy much more often than we like to admit. This dichotomy is known as the privacy paradox, meaning that we’re aware and concerned about how we compromise our online privacy. But we do not prioritize correcting our privacy-compromising habits. 

To help put remote workers and, in turn, any organization on the right path to protecting their online privacy and sensitive information, consider the following places that employees might be compromising their online privacy during their 9-to-5.

Video conferencing services

Remote workers and remote-first companies know their way around a video conferencing service like the back of their hands. In many instances, it’s the only outlet for human connection during the workday. But what they might not know is that these platforms can compromise our privacy, too, if we don’t keep up our guards up — webcam guards, mainly. Cybercriminals can access our webcams by use of spyware that can tap into a webcam’s lens and commit a true invasion of an online users’ privacy. 

To stay ahead of these attacks, practice webcam awareness. This means always using a video background to not expose physical spaces, closing out video conferencing accounts after every call, and covering webcams when not in use. 

Online banking institutions

Even before workforces moved to remote-first models, employees were using online banking platforms, including for their paychecks to be direct deposited to them. Of course, these are among the most sought-after accounts for cybercriminals to hack into. 

To level up how you protect your online banking accounts, always use a strong, unique password and change them often. Also, opt for two-factor authentication, if it’s an option. 

Online shopping sites

Whether it’s a standing desk, new pens, or a new computer, remote workers need office supplies, too. This usually comes at a company’s expense and sometimes on a company credit card. What employers might not realize, however, is that employees could be saving their payment methods for later on online shopping sites. In the event of a data breach, these can be compromised.

To offset this risk, never create accounts on online shopping sites and instead input information for every individual transaction. Also, consider using a virtual private network while browsing any unfamiliar sites.

For more places our privacy can be exploited online — during work hours and outside of them — review the infographic below, courtesy of Norton

Please include attribution to us.norton.com with this graphic.

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An infographic created by Norton that’s an overview of the privacy paradox, including what it means and places we sacrifice our online privacy out of convenience, plus tips to protect our online privacy.

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