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Working from home opens up new possibilities, but also comes with new risks. While organizations are restructuring how their employees are connecting, opportunists are trying to take advantage of any weaknesses they can find. But don’t worry. By taking a few extra steps and remaining vigilant, you can protect your network from being hacked and your data from scammers.

Step 1: Stay up to date.

Most computers come with built-in security applications and a quick internet search will show dozens of robust and premium options. Setting these programs to update automatically ensures that as hackers evolve, so will your protection. In addition, keeping your software updated is necessary. Most programs release security patches as part of their periodic updates.

Step 2: Keep regular backups 

Weekly or even daily backups to a password-protected external hard drive or to a secure cloud are an excellent idea for anyone relying on technology to store and protect their data. Hardware failure is a constant possibility, so keep redundant drives of your most important information. 

Step 3: Create (and recreate) strong passwords

Security experts recommend all passwords be at least 12 characters longs and include a mix of both lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using duplicate passwords to minimize risk. Routinely changing all of your passwords is another great habit.

Step 4: Add Layers to your security

Wherever possible, utilize Two-Factor Identification (2FA). Set your laptop and/or desktop to lock automatically when you close it or turn off the monitor. Never leave your laptop anywhere in public, open or closed. In addition, you can take the extra step and store your most sensitive data in password-protected folders. 

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Want To Know More?

We would love to answer any questions you might have about remote security. You can do so by calling us at (540) 400-7358 or sending an email to info@ncg-net.com and we'll get back to you!

Step 5: Only use encrypted Wifi connections

Be sure your wifi network is password-protected and private, as either WPA2 or WPA. This way, hackers can’t use other insecure devices on your network to observe your online activity. Should you ever need to share a network or use a public connection, consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to cloak your IP address and provide another layer of protection?  Many alternate browsers provide this as a built-in option, such as Brave, Firefox, and Iridium. 

Step 6: Don’t forget about physical theft

With so much focus on cyber-security, don’t forget that old-fashioned burglary is still a threat. Be careful to shred any physical documents that contain sensitive information before disposing of them. Also, store your backup hard drives in a different location than your computer.

Step 7: Separate work from personal whenever possible

Getting personal data intermingled with work data not only puts it at risk but increases the odds that a hacker can find a backdoor into your work network. Besides the practical benefits or separating work life from personal life, protecting your privacy is an important step towards collective security.

Use the services provided by your company for all messaging, email, and file storage. Cloud services are one of the most secure and flexible options. 

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And most importantly: Careful where you click

No matter how carefully you hide it, scam artists and hackers will always be able to either find or guess email addresses, especially for businesses with personalized URLs. Be extra careful opening emails from any address you don’t recognize. And unless you know the sender, don’t open attachments. Doing so may expose not only you but your entire network to hackers. 

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With so many types of threats to consider and so many options for addressing each, it can be hard to build, maintain, and update cybersecurity systems.


NCG IT Solutions
NCG IT Solutions

Want To Know More?

We would love to answer any questions you might have about remote security. You can do so by calling us at (540) 400-7358 or sending an email to info@ncg-net.com and we'll get back to you!

Contact NCG Today

Cybersecurity

Train Your Workforce for Remote Working

The Coronavirus has created quite a dilemma for businesses and now may employees find themselves away from their office and creating a workspace within their homes. This can cause issues as most businesses are unprepared to run completely remote, lacking both the policy and security. For this reason, we created this simple guide. We aim to make the transition painless and negate your risks to security.

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Get Your Home Office Secure

Ultimately, we wanted to make an easy to follow set of steps to guide you and your coworkers so protect your company while working remotely. While there are many different avenues to explore when it comes to working from home, we decided to make a good starting point for you to build off from. While we highly recommend making your own custom list from ours, be careful to not drown out the key issues that we present as that could result in someone accidentally compromising your business's security.

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For Businesses – Become Secure From Home

The key to success in running your business remotely is making all of your employees are all coming from the same direction. Using our guide, you can easily send out a company-wide email to answer any questions your employees may have. Use the tips and resources in this guide to create a truly secure remote work environment for your business.

Download the Deployment Guide
NCG IT Solutions

Want To Know More?

We would love to answer any questions you might have about remote security. You can do so by calling us at (540) 400-7358 or sending an email to info@ncg-net.com and we'll get back to you!

NCG IT Solutions

There has always been a desire for businesses to figure out remote working but the urgency was never there to come up with a solution. As the world throws more and more problems to small businesses, it has become incredibly important to sort out the rights and wrongs of remote working.

Finding a solution to remote work as a business owner can be troublesome with a lot of misinformation and stigma surrounding it. It may seem like the best idea to put off thinking about it. However, especially in the event of an emergency, remote work can help break apart some problems in your business as well as create new opportunities.

A Fair Case For Remote Work

Firstly, keeping an open mind to the process is crucial to its success. Having trust in your employees and acquiring a managed service provider can make the transition relatively painless.

Secondly, it's good to understand that you're not alone on the journey to undertake remote work. There are thousands of businesses moving the same direction and taking the precautionary steps, and innovative technology is making the switch seem possible, maybe even appealing.

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In this guide, we will be looking at all aspects of remote work including its advantages, it's problems, as well as a few common tips other businesses have used to improve their remote environments.

Some Advantages of a Remote Workspace

Common issues with Remote Work

Beneficial Tools For Working From Home

It can seem overwhelming thinking about all the areas you'll need to cover when making decisions for your remote business operations. However, there is an abundance of tools you can use to tackle your unique problems. Here's a broad look at your options when looking at tools and software:

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Microsoft

Also, many businesses have decided to migrate to Microsoft 365 because of its unparalleled toolset covering most of the functions of the above areas of collaboration and communication.

Learn more about Microsoft 365

Contact NCG Today For Help With Your Business Technology

Monthly Fee Managed IT: Consistent Technology Solutions

There are many moving parts to remote work that can begin to feel overwhelming. That's why we recommend seeking out assistance if you're eager to have your remote workspaces set up and maintained for a manageable monthly fee. Managed IT is the way to go to streamline your workload, allowing you to focus on what's important for your business, while we keep your network and tools operational.

How to Help Your Team

Provide Structure
There will be plenty of questions and confusion at first, but you can negate this by providing a plan to your team. What's important to remember is that you don't have to remake your daily routines. Keep your video conferences on time and check in on your team members to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Dismantle Myths

These are several common myths that get spun around remote work:

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All of these issues can be avoided, and often are just simply false. Your day to day doesn't need to drastically change and you will avoid these pitfalls.

Maintain schedule and routine

Keeping your same business hours is important to keep a level of consistency in your employees. Remember, your employees won't be needing to commute to the office which provides them more freedom in their day without cutting into work. Also, encouraging them to use a video conferencing platform on breaks for those who enjoy chatting with their coworkers over lunch.

Creating a home workstation

The benefits of separating work life from home life cannot be understated. While the drive to and from the office usually provides that separation, designating an area of the home as a workspace can have the same effect. While not everyone will have a full room they can convert into a home office, clearing a desk of everything but work materials is certainly a viable option.

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It is incredibly important to separate home and work life or issues may arise. Without the drive to the office, you and your employees will need to create their own way of making that separation. One simple but effective way to do this is to designate a room or even a desk to solely work-related activities. This helps engrain a level of focus to your work life that you can leave behind when it's time to clock-out.

Create a Workstation 'Feel' In Your Personal Space

Prioritize Communication Methods

Not all messages have the same level of priority attached to them. Creating a system for your communication methods can help reduce confusion and prevent your employees from becoming overwhelmed. For example, a weekly company-wide email may contain to plan your weeks, but a direct message in RingCentral or Slack would indicate a high priority idea.

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Another advantage of a Managed Service Provider is the ability for your employees to provide feedback anonymously. Many times, employees won't come straight to you with problems regarding different technologies or systems in place. With the veil of anonymity, they may feel more comfortable to ask questions or share their personal feedback that is invaluable for businesses today.

Getting Help Throughout Your Transition

The infrastructure of remote work is an ongoing task, and if you want to stay ahead of it consider contacting a managed service provider. Managed IT solutions can guarantee that you'll have the support and knowledge to address any of your tech and structural needs. Our Comprehensive IT Support provides:

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If you'd like to learn more about how NCG can help your business make the transition to remote as smooth as possible, consider contacting us here.

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