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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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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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