With the COVID-19 pandemic, our health is not the only one at risk, but our data and privacy as well. Here’re some tips on how you can keep your privacy protected.
The world is currently dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the profound impact it caused across the regions and industries. Lots of companies are facing complicated business and legal challenges. Some are even required to make urgent decisions to make sure their workforce is safe, and their business is continuing its operations. In this crisis, data privacy plays a vital role in containing the spread of the virus. But there should be a balance between protecting personal and public health privacy.
That is the main reason why telecom companies are working non-stop. It is to ensure that telecom networks continue to run and function and to make sure the continuity of the service. It includes both business and private communications as well as emergency services.
The Effect of COVID-19 to Businesses
The COVID-19 presents many challenges to society and the economy. Because of this, businesses are set to face dramatic changes in trying to control the impact and spread of the pandemic. We’re starting to see companies enforcing or encouraging their workers and staff to work from their home, particularly in areas where there have been virus cases.
The Cost of Cybersecurity
But, with this setup, how can companies make sure their employees, devices, and infrastructure are safe from cyber threats? Not to mention that many security and IT teams may not be ready for such a massive transition for the organization to start working remotely immediately.
Cybersecurity is something that businesses should prioritize, especially that hackers see this remote working as a new opportunity to capitalize on the widespread panic. Companies and organizations pay $7.7 million to $30.9 million to meet and maintain compliance – depending on their industry.
If ever an organization failed to comply, and a data breach happened, the cost of non-compliance can spike up to two times the cost of compliance. No business would want to afford the risk. That’s why they need to make sure that even with the work-from-home setup, their data, devices, employees, and infrastructure are safe from any cyber threats.
How to Ensure Data Privacy?
Data and privacy protection are not only crucial for the company but to you as well. Here are some tips on how you can keep your privacy protected.
Set strong password
This is the most basic step in protecting your data and devices. You need to utilize a strong password and 2FA. This is particularly important if the devices are leaving the place of work.
Google Hangouts and Slack are examples of collaboration tools that you need to secure. These are convenient tools that enable teams to communicate securely. When looking for such tools, make sure it offers end-to-end encryption and can store data privately.
Use a trusted VPN
VPN or virtual private network comes in handy by masking your location and online activity. It routes the data you send and receive via a secure virtual tunnel between the VPN server and your device. It does not only work for computers because there are also VPN for all devices. You can use it on your mobile phone, tablets, laptop, and computer.
Most organizations that have VPNs are those with a traveling workforce that leave the corporate network. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all businesses are forced to have their staffs work from home. This could be one of the main reasons why there’s a surge of VPN usage during the pandemic.
According to a study, there’s a 124% spike in the usage of VPN in the United States in the last two weeks. Spain and Italy also experienced a higher VPN usage with 58% and 160% increases over the previous couple of weeks.
VPNs are used by those who work remotely and by those who regularly log onto public wifi. Its role is to protect their internet traffic from cybercriminals and unwanted onlookers.
As much as possible, avoid public wifi
If you’re using any corporate device, you should avoid public wifi. If ever you need to use one, make sure you have an active VPN in place. It’s preferable to use a VPN for all devices before connecting to public wifi. Other options include tethering to a mobile device with a reliable internet connection, probably 4G or 5G.
Update anti-virus software
Make sure the anti-virus software installed in all devices are up to date. Keep in mind that anti-virus can only detect previously seen attacks, so it’s essential to update your anti-virus software.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, our health is not the only one at risk, but our data and privacy as well. Because of the increasing activities of cybercriminals, the data protection regulators all over the world have published guidance on enforcement and compliance during the virus outbreak. At the same time, governments are utilizing tracking technologies to slow down the spread of the virus. Businesses are at risk of paying fines if they ignore privacy laws and data protection.
Lianna Arakelyan is a content writer and digital marketing expert to the extreme with a knack for social media marketing strategy and implementation. She is extreme in her work with a deep goal of always being updated on online and offline marketing and technology news of the world.