5 Rules of Computer Maintenance Every Remote Worker Should Know
Employers around the world are quickly tuning into the benefits of employing a remote workforce.
The cloud, mobile working, and other digital transformation efforts have made remote working strategies easier than ever before.
That doesn't mean that there aren't challenges for today's digital nomads to overcome.
On the one hand, a remote worker has more freedom and flexibility in their lives than the standard employee. You can build your schedule around your needs, save money on commuting, and even decide where you want to work each day.
On the other hand, the isolated nature of remote employees also means that they can be more vulnerable to problems like security issues, data management problems, and even common computer malfunctions.
Since your computer is the most valuable thing you own as a remote worker, we've gathered five crucial tips that you can use to protect your laptop from common threats.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi to Protect Your PC
The easiest way to simplify computer maintenance as a remote worker is to reduce your risk of falling victim to any attacks, hacks, or malware.
There are various ways that criminals can make their way into your system when you're working from a random public Wi-Fi point at your local coffee shop or café.
That's why so many digital nomads now choose to work at coworking spaces, where they know their connections are protected.
If working at a coworking spot isn't a possibility for you, then look into the steps you can take to protect your PC in other ways.
For instance, you could set up a personal password-protected hotspot from your smartphone.
Although this might cost you more in terms of mobile data, you'll eliminate the issue of being hacked by people on the same public Wi-Fi as you.
Think Like a Tech Support Specialist
We've all had moments when we've been sitting in front of our computer or laptop, and suddenly the internet service disappears, or a crucial program stops working.
In a conventional workplace, you'd be able to grab the phone and call the IT team for help. But if you're a remote worker, you need to deal with the issue on your own.
The best option is to educate yourself so that you can think like a tech support worker when you need to.
Read through guides and articles online that teach you how to troubleshoot and overcome common problems.
You might even check some resources online that will develop your knowledge and make you more capable of fixing your PC.
Choose the Right Operating System (and Learn to Use it)
The tools you choose for your remote work can make maintaining your computer easier or harder.
A lot of people find that Mac computers are more secure. The OS gets updated very frequently, and Mac devices have some of the best technology in the world.
However, Windows remains to be perhaps the most popular OS, thanks to the fact that it's so easy to use a range of different programs and services with a Windows PC.
If you decide to run on Windows, then the best thing you can do is learn everything there is to know about your operating system.
When you know the most common problems with Windows computers and more importantly, how to solve them quickly, you’ll find Windows has a lot to offer.
Get to know the equipment that you rely on each day, and you'll have a much easier time when it comes to protecting yourself.
Encrypt Everything You Can
Public Wi-Fi is far from the only thing that can damage your computer maintenance strategy. There's a wide range of other things that can go wrong when you're using your PC too.
When you're operating remotely, you may often need to download multiple files from emails, instant messages, and collaboration tools, to help you get your work done.
A single wrong download can easily compromise your system and deal substantial damage not just to you, but every organization you have access to as well.
While you might not be able to protect yourself against every potential attack that comes your way, you can at least make sure that criminals aren't able to read sensitive information that they find on your PC.
Encrypting your data will mean that anyone who manages to access your files will only see ciphers, rather than useful info.
You can also encrypt the data that you attach to emails and messages so that it's protected if someone tries to capture your information during transit.
Some security solutions even let you control who has access to email content and files.
Back Everything Up
Finally, there's always a chance that something could go wrong with your computer, no matter how carefully you look after it.
A sudden power surge could fry your motherboard.
Someone might break into your car and steal your laptop.
You might even forget your laptop somewhere.
You could even accidentally spill water on your machine when you're working.
With so many threats to consider, one of the best ways to protect yourself in the long-term is to make sure that you're regularly backing up your information.
Cloud storage providers offer a scalable and straightforward way to keep an extra copy of your crucial data safe at all times.
You can even set your computer up to automatically sync new files to your cloud storage provider, so you're always up-to-date.
This way, if something does happen to your PC, your work remains intact.
Protect Your Computer: Protect Your Career
As a remote worker, you have the freedom to work how and where you want (most of the time). You get to enjoy a more relaxing out-of-office atmosphere.
However, if you're going to make the most of your mobile working lifestyle, you need to protect yourself from the threats of working remotely.
Your computer is at the heart of your livelihood as a remote worker. Learn how to protect the assets that you work with every day, and you'll be just fine.
Guest writer Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad writing about business and tech. She currently creates content for Solvusoft, a Microsoft partner company. In her spare time, she enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. Get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.