The new age of the digital nomad and the threats that come along with it

Top Business Tech looks at the rise of digital nomads and the cybersecurity threats that accompany them.
Top Business Tech looks at the rise of digital nomads and the cybersecurity threats that accompany them.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we work and where we work from. Gone are the days where you go into the office from 9-5. Instead, companies are planning to either allow most employees to work remotely permanently or implement a hybrid workplace where employees come in a few days a week. With the changes seen over 2020 and 2021, employees realized that they could work from wherever they are, and many have decided to become digital nomads.

Identifying a digital normad

Ring Central stated: Digital nomads can work for themselves or complete tasks for another company from a distance. Unlike standard remote workers who usually work from home, co-working spaces, or a nearby coffee shop, nomads are defined by their passion for exploration. Many companies have accepted this way of living; Revolut, Shopify, Siemens and Spotify are among those that have introduced work from anywhere policies. 

Becoming a digital nomad

When you become a digital nomad, it is essential to ensure that you have all the tech you might need to conduct day-to-day activities. So, what do you need to do to become a digital nomad?

Firstly, and most importantly, you will need a laptop that gives you long battery life and enough processing power for your work, one that is light and easy to take with you no matter where you go. Look at something like Dell’s New Inspiron 14 2-in-1 Laptop. The thin design makes it easy to slide in and out of bags, so you don’t have to compromise function for portability while staying connected. 

Secondly, you will need a smartphone to check emails, share files and connect with your teams. Therefore, it is essential to find a phone that can manage all of the tools and requirements. As most of us know, Samsung and Apple are probably the most reliable options to go with as they can manage vast amounts of apps and store a lot of information.

Along with your laptop and smartphone, you will need to invest in a pair of good quality earphones with a clear microphone. Noise-cancelling earphones are probably your best choice as you may be working from a coffee shop or restaurant during meetings, etc. If the earphones you have don’t have a great microphone, think about getting a microphone that eliminates any background noise, making it easier for you to work from anywhere. 

Finally, for security purposes, you will need to look at using a VPN service. By doing so, your private and company information will be safe when using different public networks worldwide. NordVPN provides you with unlimited speed, no logging of your activity, military-grade data encryption, thousands of servers worldwide, and you can relax knowing that none of your data is being collected or sold. 

When working for a company, you will have access to various software to help you manage your time, communicate with colleagues and share information.  

Companies could provide their employees with a scheduling tool that allows in-office managers and colleagues to schedule time and tasks for the digital nomad. The digital nomad can also log what they are doing and how long it has taken them. This makes it easier for both parties; employers know that tasks are being completed, and employees can manage their time and tasks around their movements. Some examples of scheduling tools are Paymo and Trello.

Since covid, companies have started using various communication tools to ensure that all of their employees can be interacted with and teams can chat throughout the day. This is a great way for digital nomads to ensure that they don’t feel isolated and disconnected from their teams. Some great examples of these tools are Zoom, Slack and internal intranet systems. These connection tools also allow employees to share folders safely, making it easier for digital nomads to share their work with all relevant parties.

The risks

Now, with the freedom that comes from being a digital nomad, comes cybersecurity risks.

Wherever a digital nomad chooses to set up at a location, they are at an increased risk of cybersecurity attacks than their office and home-based colleagues. However, there are a few things that you can do to reduce this risk.

One of the major risks of living as a digital nomad is the Wi-Fi you connect with. The majority of public Wi-Fi setups are deemed as high risk. It doesn’t matter if you connect from a coffee shop, airport or hotel; your data will be visible. This is why it is essential to use the VPN I previously mentioned.  Webroot stated that a quality VPN app is simple to set up on your mobile devices—including laptops and smartphones—and uses a strong encryption protocol to prevent hackers and other snoops from stealing important personal information such as account passwords, banking information, and private messages.

Make use of the cloud to secure and backup your data. By using the cloud, you won’t lose any of your confidential and important information should anything occur to your devices. The cloud has also made it harder for cybercriminals to access information. Yet, if you want to put your mind at ease further, cloud security services can be added to your cloud, which will ensure that your data is 100% secure from any threats.

Next up, you can update your passwords and make each one unique with various letters, numbers, and special characters. Even if a cybercriminal accesses one of your passwords, it will be harder for them to access all your data when your passwords are unique. If you, like me, struggle to remember your passwords, use a password manager, such as LastPass or 1Password. On top of your password, you can also implement multi-factor authentication, especially for your most important accounts, such as your bank and email.

If your company has not provided you with anti-virus software, I suggest that you invest in a trusted anti-virus software company. A good quality anti-virus will provide you with protection from ransomware, backdoors, spyware, etc. To ensure you are always protected, you must regularly conduct searches and update your software. When choosing your anti-virus, try and find one that provides you with added extras, such as firewalls and network monitoring software.  

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In closing, the increase of the digital nomads has been seen throughout the last two years, and it looks like it will continue to grow over the next few years. As a digital nomad, it is essential that you have the technology that assists you in completing your tasks and keeping your data secure when cyberattacks are running rampant across the world.

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digital nomad, Security & Data, The new age of the digital nomad and the threats that come along with it

Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

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