The following is a guest post by Gergo Varga from SEON Fraud Prevention
The development of technology has brought a ton of benefits to our lives. One of the greatest is the ability to work online from anywhere in the world!
Digital nomads & remote workers use technology to work online or conduct their job from wherever they want to.
Since they are location-independent, they can work remotely from virtually anywhere.
This might mean working in their favorite coffee shop, renting a table in a co-working space, or perhaps working from a hammock on an idyllic beach!
Some will want nothing more than to find a small cabin in the middle of nowhere that offers peace combined with amazing views.
Who would’ve even thought this would be possible just a decade or two ago?
While the location they choose may vary, they all have one thing in common. They are facing a higher risk of online fraud or scamming dangers than a traditional worker.
Digital nomads need to be aware of the dangers they face and take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Implementing a proper security & fraud detection strategy, such as SEON’s fraud prevention software, is essential.
Whether you’re a digital nomad, an occasional remote worker, or even if you are currently working from home, you need to be aware of the cybersecurity threats you’re facing and how to improve your data safety.
The technology that allows you to work online is also what brings all the online dangers into your life. It has made it easier for cybercriminals to reach more victims than ever, and believe me they are not ones to let the opportunity pass them by.
While cyberattacks can affect anyone, traditional workers are usually protected by their company’s online fraud prevention strategy.
Digital nomads or remote workers typically have to fend for themselves, making them a desirable target for fraudsters.
Fraudsters can use these attacks to steal your money, exploit data or confidential information or even ruin your reputation and relationship with your clients.
This is why it’s imperative you develop an online fraud prevention strategy to protect yourself or your devices, business, clients, or even your employer or employees.
When working in a physical company, you are obliged to follow the security protocols to ensure the safety of yourself and the company.
But, when you are working remotely or for yourself, security guidelines can easily slip your mind since there is nobody holding you accountable.
However, you owe it to yourself and the work you’ve put into your online business to stay safe. You need to create your own set of security guidelines and stick to them.
Here are 11 online fraud prevention tips to keep your data safe and to help you work confidently from wherever you like!
Your devices are your livelihood. They allow you to lead your digital nomad lifestyle, and without them, you would have no means to continue your work.
This is why protecting them needs to be your priority, whether your laptop, tablet, or even a phone. Without the proper protection, you are risking a security breach.
Before you even start using them for your work, ensure that every device you use is set up to provide you with maximum security.
- Using a firewall and antivirus software can help you protect your device from different types of threats such as trojans, viruses, and malware attacks. In addition to installing firewall and antivirus software, you need to ensure they are regularly updated. Keep all of your devices and online accounts password-protected, and don’t be stingy with antivirus software.
- A simple way to protect your devices is by encrypting them. By encrypting your device to request passwords, pins or biometrics to access your device, you will ensure only authorized people can access it. Ensure that your password or pin is not too easy or commonly used so you don’t make it easier for cybercriminals.
We are not usually as strict with the security of our personal devices as we are with our work devices.
To improve your online fraud prevention and ensure that your sensitive data is kept safe, you should always ensure you don’t use work devices for personal matters.
You probably never thought about your router before, but you need to be aware of the dangers it can bring into your life.
Have you ever changed the default password on your router? You should do it as soon as possible. Create a new complex password and secure the router from cybercriminals.
This is a critical step for any remote worker, especially for digital nomads.
VPNs create a secure and encrypted connection, masking your identity and allowing your details to stay hidden from cybercriminals. This is especially important if you access the internet through a public network, such as at a hotel or a cafe.
Passwords are actually one of the most critical aspects of your online security.
They are the key to your entire life online, and if cybercriminals manage to get access to your passwords, they can cause significant damage. This is why your passwords need to be not only complex but also unique for each account you have.
By having different passwords for every account, you will ensure that in case of a breach, cybercriminals will be able to access only one isolated account and not all of them.
It could be impossible to remember all of these different passwords; try utilizing a password manager like Lastpass.
Protecting your passwords is a hugely important part of your online fraud prevention strategy!
One of the biggest threats digital nomads face when working from various locations worldwide is public WI-FI.
Many of the public WI-FI are infected by viruses, worms, or keyloggers that can be easily transferred to your device and slow it down or even be used to steal your sensitive data.
It could be hard to avoid using it since you can’t guarantee a stable internet connection at all times, especially when leading a nomadic lifestyle.
If you really need to use them, ensure you use a VPN and don’t input confidential data such as your financial details.
Most sites today offer you an option to secure your account by using Two Factor Authentication (2FA) or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
Although it’s a bit of a hassle, this gives you an additional level of protection as it requires at least two verification factors, making it harder for cybercriminals to access your account.
Even if a fraudster manages to get hold of your password, they still won’t be able to access your accounts since they won’t be able to provide the details needed for additional verification, such as a one-time code sent to your phone.
The best way to protect your data is by backing it up.
Even if you do get hacked and lose all your data, you will still be able to access your backup and continue working as usual.
This can be a lifesaver in case of a ransomware attack, as you will have access to your data without paying a ransom. Your backup should be online and in physical form for the ultimate protection.
Remember, external hard drives don’t take a lot of space, but they can make a difference between falling victim or staying safe.
Fraudsters will often try to trick people into revealing confidential data that can give them access to your accounts.
They will send you an email pretending they are a trusted source or try to pressure you by providing a time limit and enticing a sense of urgency. If you are mindful of unexpected emails and never click on the link in the email, you can avoid falling victim to their tricks.
Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid of double-checking something if it seems too good to be true.
Set up your devices to automatically lock when you are no longer using them.
It just takes a second for a fraudster to steal your device; why would you leave all your info wide open?
Can you imagine how easy it would be for them to use your device while you are waiting in a line to get another coffee, and how much damage they could do in that time?
Setting up the automatic lock on your device will protect your devices even if you are not next to them.
If your device gets stolen or lost, the find my device application might be the only way to find it again.
According to Lifewire’s article, if this step is unsuccessful, you can activate remote wipe and delete all the information you have on the device, preventing fraudsters from using it for their benefit.
The online world is full of dangers & opportunists who will stop at nothing to exploit your information.
Unfortunately they’re not going anywhere any time soon.
If you want to keep your business, identity & personal records safe, it’s time to start learning how to protect yourself.
Employ these simple guidelines outlined above, and keep leading your dream digital nomad lifestyle without worries.
Gergo Varga has been fighting online fraud since 2009 at various companies – even co-founding his anti-fraud startup. He’s the author of the Fraud Prevention Guide for Dummies – SEON Special edition. He currently works as the Senior Content Manager / Evangelist at SEON.