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  • Writer's pictureJared Thompson

Where is the most secure place to work when working remotely?

With the rise of remote and hybrid working, are your employees at increased risk of falling for a scam or cyber attack when out of the office?


We looked at the most common remote working environments, explored what risks you may face, and collated some ways you can ensure your employees stay secure when working remotely.


Co-Working Spaces and Shared Offices are the most secure option when working remotely


What are the risks when working remotely in a shared office?

  • In open-plan offices and workspaces, there is always a potential for people spying and snooping over your shoulder. Be wary if you're working with lots of personal or sensitive data;' sitting behind you.

  • When working remotely, you can't leave your belongings on your desk in the same way as you would at home or in your office. If you leave a laptop/phone/tablet unlocked and unattended, you risk someone gaining access.

  • So many businesses have empowered hybrid staff by giving them access to shared offices, but this doesn't come without its distractions. Whilst having networking mornings, workshops and after-work drinks all sound great! You might become distracted from your work and let your guard down.

  • Don't allow yourself to acquire bad habits from anyone around you who isn't a cyber security expert, remember the security training that your employer has given you!

  • Even with all the guidaguidanceDon'tan give you, working remotely means that security is still your responsibility as a business owner. Ensure your staff are comfortable with the basics and know to flag anything that looks wrong.

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Why is a co-working space a more secure place to work?

  • Top of the list in shared working spaces is that you can access secure and private meeting rooms and workspaces. This allows you to work knowing that nobody is looking over your shoulder, and you can secure your devices should you need to move around the building or nip out for lunch.

  • Many co-working spaces have lockers, keycard security and a staffed reception. You can communicate with workspace staff if they need clarification on anything to do with security or how to connect to the secure Wi-Fi network.

  • Whilst we urge caution on using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, many co-working spaces will offer tenants access to Encrypted public Wi-Fi networks. Talk to reception to find out how to log into this encrypted Wi-Fi network on all your devices.

  • If you allow remote staff to access you're shared office space, ensure open communication channels with employees. You want them to continue to check in with managers or your IT team to ensure devices stay updated and documents are secure.

  • Reaffirm critical security guidance periodically with staff through emails, online documentation and in-person training.

  • Ensure all employees know your company's security policies, i.e. Remote Working Policy or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

Working remotely in a cafe

Many of us work a few hours in the local cafe, but are they secure?


What are the risks when working from a cafe?

  • You may be unaware that an innocent trip to your local cafe may have threats lurking in the background of a Wi-Fi network. Public Wi-Fi is standard in most locations when working remotely; we all frequently connect to them to check our emails or social media without thinking twice. Whilst your local cafe owner may believe they're offering free Wi-Fi to try and keep you in-store to buy that extra slice of cake, chances are it's an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

  • When working from a cafe, you don't have the luxury of leaving your belongings on your desk when you grab another drink or slice of cake the same way you would at home or in your office. If you leave a laptop/phone/tablet unlocked or unattended, you run the risk of someone having access or robbing you of your devices (and data).

  • In a cafe, there is always a potential for people spying and snooping over your shoulder, not to mention the many distractions of a busy afternoon lunch period. Be wary if you have lots of personal or sensitive data; someone could be sitting behind you. Don't leave your devices unlocked or unattended; you run the risk of someone having access to your website and data.

How can you stay secure when working in a cafe?

  • VPNs are encrypted network connections that allow remote employees to access your data securely. Using a VPN or Mobile hotspot when working in a cafe is one way to guarantee the security of 'data in transit' across an untrusted network; employees can use VPNs to access their corporate email inboxes and file storage area.

  • For staff often working remotely and on the go, we'd suggest investing in a privacy screen for your device. Although they cost as much as £20 - £30, a privacy screen protector can only keep private and sensitive information on your screen to yourself. Onlookers cannot peep into your phone and observe what you're doing.

Working from a hotel

When you're travelling to meetings, you're likely to spend some time working from a Hotel


What are the risks when working from a hotel?

  • In a hotel, there is always a potential for people spying and snooping over your shoulder in a busy restaurant or reception area. Not to mention the many distractions of a busy afternoon check-in period. Be wary if you're working with sensitive data; someone could be sitting near you.

  • Point-of-sale (POS) attacks are a popular cyber-attack in the retail and hospitality industry. POS attacks take place when malicious malware is installed on systems that are used to make payments so that credit card details are stolen when they are used.

  • Copycat public Wi-Fi networks can trick you into connecting to what they think is a legitimate network because the name sounds reputable. Say you're staying at the Hotel Easy and connect to the hotel's Wi-Fi; you may think you've connected to the correct one when you click "HotelEassy," but you haven't. Instead, you just connected to a rogue hotspot set up by cybercriminals who can now view your sensitive information.

How can you work from a hotel be a more secure remote option?

  • Don't leave your devices unattended in hotels, you can access lockers in your room, and other secure storage rooms will be available at most hotels. If you're leaving the hotel for breakfast or a lunch meeting, consider leaving any personal belongings in your room or with the hotel reception for you to pick up before you head for your train.

  • Within a hotel, a layered security approach (consisting of security guards, keycards and CCTV cameras) brings increased peace of mind if you encounter an incident or persons looking over your shoulder.

  • Many hotels will also offer secure and private meeting rooms/workspaces. Take advantage of these if you will work for extended periods or hold a meeting with any out-of-town clients.

  • Using a VPN or Mobile hotspot when working in a hotel room is a great way to guarantee the security of 'data in transit' when on an untrusted network; employees can use VPNs to access their corporate email inboxes and file storage area. Using a secure hotspot might be especially useful if the hotel room Wi-Fi signal is weak or not fast enough for you.

  • A privacy screen protector can keep private and sensitive information on your screen to your eyes only. Onlookers in the hotel lobby cannot peep over your should and look at your confidential information.

Tourism and Travel companies must stay protected from cyber attacks during spring/summer, with such a drastic change to how companies work, such as working from home and taking bookings and payments online. Learn more with our guide on how Tourism and Travel companies can stay protected from Cyber Attacks.

Working in a service station

Have you ever worked remotely at a Service Station before?


What are the security risks in a service station?

  • In a service station, people could still be spying and snooping over your shoulder, and there is a heightened risk of distractions during a busy morning. There could be someone sitting at a table behind you. Don't leave any devices unlocked or unattended in a shared food court; you run the risk of someone having access to your website and data.

  • Public Wi-Fi is standard in service stations in food courts and seating areas; we frequently connect to them to check our emails or social media. Whilst a service station, you may believe, is providing free Wi-Fi to try and keep you on-site to rest up for an extra 30 minutes, chances are unauthorised an insecure public Wi-Fi network.

  • Point-of-sale (POS) attacks are cyber-attack found in retail stores and service stations. POS attacks take place when malicious malware is installed on systems that are used to make payments so that credit card details are stolen when they are used.

  • When in a service station, you don't have the luxury of being able to leave your belongings on your desk in the same way as you would at home or in your office. If you leave a laptop/phone/tablet unlocked or unattended, you risk someone having unauthorised access or robbing you of your devices (and data).

How can you stay secure when working at a Service Station?

  • Can it wait? If you're at a service station, chances are you're resting your eyes during a long journey or with a colleague on a work trip. Take this time to connect with them or have a drink and a snack, don't rush into working in an environment that might not be as secure as you think!

  • Keep devices secure and out of sight if they are left in your vehicle; the best places are often tucked away in the boot of your car within a secure bag or safe.

  • Using a VPN or Mobile hotspot when on the go is one way to guarantee the security of 'data in transit' across an untrusted network; employees can use a VPN to access their corporate email and work's cloud file storage.

  • Invest in a privacy filter/screen on your device - they can cost as much as £20 - £30. A privacy screen protector can keep private and sensitive information on your screen to yourself only; onlookers cannot peep into your tablet and observe what you're doing.

  • Check cash points and point of sale/payment card devices for tampering when making any purchases.

Working at a train station

Many of us will find ourselves delayed at a Train Station or Airport and want to check up on some emails


What are the risks when working from a train station or airport?

  • Just as in a service station, people could still be spying and snooping over your shoulder in train station, and there is a heightened risk of distractions during busy commuter periods. Be wary if you're working with lots of personal or sensitive data; someone could be sitting at an adjoining table. Don't leave any devices unlocked or unattended on a busy train platform; you're running the risk of someone having unauthorised access to your website and data.

  • You don't have the luxury of being able to leave your belongings on your desk in the same way as you would at home or in your office. During busy periods, if you go a laptop/phone/tablet unlocked or unattended, you're increasing the risk of someone robbing you of your devices (and data).

  • Just like service stations, public Wi-Fi is standard in train stations. Whilst a train station may believe they're providing free Wi-Fi to keep you happy, chances are it's an insecure public Wi-Fi network.

  • Copycat public Wi-Fi networks can trick you into connecting to what they think is a legitimate network because the name sounds reputable. Say you're visiting Euston Station and want to grab a coffee and connect to the station's Wi-Fi. You may think you're selecting the correct one when you click "EustoonStation_Public," but you haven't. Instead, you've just connected to a rogue hotspot set up by cybercriminals who can now view your sensitive information.

How can you stay secure when working in a train station or airport?

  • Can it wait? If you're at a train station, chances are you're on a work trip. Take this time to have a drink and a snack or read the paper. Don't rush into working in an environment that might not be as secure as you think!

  • Invest in a privacy filter/screen on your device. A privacy screen protector can keep private and sensitive information on your screen to yourself only; onlookers cannot peep into your laptop and observe what you're writing up.

  • Keep devices secure either on the go in a zipped-up and locked away in your laptop bag/backpack, or keep them at arm's distance when open and working.

  • Ensure 'arm'sFind my iPhone' (or similar) is enabled on your devices.

  • Using a VPN when on the go is one way to guarantee the security of 'data in transit' across an untrusted network; employees can use a VPN to access their corporate email and work's cloud file storage.

Working whilst on public transport

Are you often working on public transport?


What are the risks when working on public transport?

  • On public transport, people can easily spy and snoop over your shoulder or from between the rows of seating. There is a heightened risk of distractions during a busy train journey if you're stuck on a cramped train. Be wary if you're working with lots of personal or sensitive data; there could be someone sitting behind you who you aren't aware is watching. Don't leave devices unlocked or unattended on a shared seating area (or luggage rack); you risk someone accessing your website and data.

  • On public transport, you can't leave your belongings on display. If you leave a laptop/phone/tablet unlocked or unattended, you're running the risk of someone having your access or robbing you of your devices (and data).

How can you stay secure when travelling on public transport?

  • Can it wait? If you're on public transport, chances are you're on a busy train/bus. Don't rush into working in an environment that might not be as secure as you think!

  • Install a privacy filter/screen on your device; this can keep private and sensitive information on your screen to yourself only; onlookers cannot peep into your laptop and observe what you're writing up.

  • Keep devices secure, zipped up and locked away in your laptop bag/backpack and at your feet.

  • Using a VPN when on the go is one way to guarantee the security of 'data in transit' across an untrusted network; employees can use a VPN to access their corporate email and work's cloud file storage.

  • Using a secure mobile hotspot might be especially useful if the train's Wi-Fi signal is weak or not fast enough for you.

  • Don't leave devices unlocked or unattended; they won't be waiting for you when you return.

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Contact us today if you want to talk through any cybersecurity questions or learn more about our affordable memberships and security services.


You can read more about the risks of Remote Working with our new guidance, 'Remote Working is Everyday Working'.


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