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10 Ways to Secure Your Data When Working Remotely

10 Ways to Secure Your Data When Working Remotely

The freedom to work remotely is one of the many perks of self-employment. But working on the go makes your data more vulnerable to attack than logging online from home or your office. So, what can you do? Help keep your information safe wherever you connect to the web with these 10 security tips.

1. Install tracking software.

Before you work on the road, install tracking software like Prey. In addition to geo-locating your device if it’s lost or stolen, the service can also provide a picture of the person using it — which can help police locate your stolen device. To help prevent access to your data, Prey lets you remotely lock down your device and delete stored passwords. With Prey’s basic plan you can protect up to three devices at no charge.

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2. Create strong passwords.

One of the easiest ways to tighten data security is creating robust passwords and changing them regularly. Use a password generator to create passwords that are hacker-resistant, and avoid using the same password for multiple sites or applications. When possible, set passwords to expire every few months and never allow your device to “remember” them.

3. Use a secure email program.

Securing your email is a critical part of protecting your data when you work remotely, especially if you transmit proprietary or sensitive information. Using an email encryption service like Virtru or Tutanota can be an effective way to protect your communications. Both services offer free basic encryption plans that work with your existing email system.

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4. Migrate data to the Cloud.

Cloud-based storage can help keep your data safe in the event your device is stolen or compromised by a hacker or virus. Plus, using the Cloud allows you to access your data from any device, whenever and wherever you want. Cloud storage services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and MediaFire offer basic plans at no cost.

5. Turn on your mobile firewall.

A firewall can help fend off many of the security risks presented by public Wi-Fi by blocking unauthorized access to your device — but only if it’s turned on. Before you use a public Wi-Fi network, ensure your mobile firewall is on and operating.

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6. Install updates.

When you receive software update notifications, don’t dismiss them. Software patches and browser updates are usually free, take only a few minutes to install, and could save you from a cyber attack. For the best protection, install updates immediately or at least within one week of receiving a notification. Be careful that you are only allowing updates and installations from trusted sources.

7. Use a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN is an effective way to help keep your data secure when connecting to the web via public Wi-Fi. VPNs provide a secure tunnel through which information passing in and out of your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other device can travel. To maintain data security, it’s especially important to use a VPN if you connect to corporate file servers or applications from a remote location. VPNBook and SpotFlux are two VPN services that offer complimentary basic plans.

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8. Get online only when you need to.

It’s convenient stay connected to public Wi-Fi even when you’re not actively using it, but doing so increases your exposure to everything from malware and worms to cyber criminals. When you don’t need Wi-Fi, log off the network.

9. Use a hotspot.

In lieu of public Wi-Fi, consider using a mobile hotspot or your smartphone’s personal hotspot. Although no means of getting online is 100 percent secure, hotspots protected by robust passwords may provide better protection than public wireless Internet.

10. Be sure you’re connected to the right Wi-Fi.

Before logging on to a public network, double check the name of the Wi-Fi connection for accuracy. Hackers will often create similarly named networks to fool users, and then collect passwords and other sensitive data.

Take these precautions to secure your data, and make working remotely as safe as it is rewarding.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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