Young workers are tired of home working – and their careers are taking the hit. Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has urged young professionals to return to the office if they want to progress in their early careers, as it’s impossible to forge develop working networks and relationships via Zoom.
It’s likely that we’ll see a surge of young professionals returning to offices now that restrictions on home working have been eased, in a bid to make up for lost time. But amidst rising cyber threats, do these new-to-the-office employees have the right knowledge to safely work from the office, after so many months of only connecting at home? Are they set-up to safely connect to public Wi-Fi while commuting and working from cafes?
According to McAfee’s research, less than half of Brits (45%) take the same online security measures when on-the-go as they would at home, making them even more vulnerable to cyber-crime. What’s more, half (50%) say they often connect to public WiFi while on-the-go and over a third (34%) connect to the WiFi on public transport – raising caution as workers begin to commute and work while on the move.
Says Steve Grobman, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, McAfee:
“As we return to work environments outside the home, it’s important to remember to protect our digital lives. We will be meeting co-workers, customers and colleagues in coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and on customer sites, all of which offer public Wi-Fi networks.
“Our recent research found that almost half of UK citizens don’t check whether the network they’re joining is secure before connecting, which is a vital step in protecting their personal or sensitive work information from online criminals. If connecting to a public Wi-Fi connection use a virtual private network (VPN) to help keep the connection secure.”
McAfee’s top tips for how workers can protect themselves as they return to the office:
Connect with caution. Be cautious when connecting to public Wi-Fi while on vacation, and make sure the Wi-Fi is secure and attached to a trusted source. Ensure that you don’t conduct any financial transactions or share any personal details while on public Wi-Fi.
Consider a holistic security solution. Understand what tools are available to you in order to give you peace of mind that your identity and personal information are safeguarded across all of your devices as you return to the office.
Lock down your login. Relying on passwords alone to protect your data is not enough to protect accounts and sensitive company information. Strengthen online accounts and use strong authentication tools like a unique, one-time code or two-step authentication through an app on your mobile device.
Update your software. Before commuting and connecting to public Wi-Fi, check for any software updates on your devices. Updates often fix security bugs and seal up cracks in the system.