Working from home has become quite popular over the past few years, with many businesses allowing their employees to do so at least once a week. However, recently, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This has lead to more people being forced to work from home.
This has led to a lockdown in many countries and people having to work full time from home. However, working from home is no easy feat, especially when it comes to security.
Here, you are not protected from Cyber Security issues as you would be in your office. So, how do you protect yourself from online threats while working from home? Read on to find out below.
Working from the office is usually safer since the employer often has installed measures to protect computers from malware. Computers usually have security solutions, and online access is restricted. However, the situation at home is different. This is why you need to install functional and reliable antivirus software.
They will automatically scan websites, your downloaded files, content that is stored on external hard drives, and also any email attachments that you get. There are some free ones that you can find online, but you also have the option of purchasing one. Whatever you decide, ensure that the software is reliable and will protect your computer.
An efficient way of protecting the data moving from the core systems of the company to the employees at home is to use a virtual private network. It provides additional security by ensuring that hides the user’s IP address, masks their location, and also encrypts the data transfers while they are in transit.
Ensure that you tunnel into the organization’s infrastructure through a VPN that is encrypted. The good news about using a VPN is that all your data will be encrypted while you are working, regardless of what your network settings are.
Another critical point that you need to keep in mind while working from home is to be careful about phishing emails. This is a crucial time; hence people will try to catfish you by capitalizing on your fear of the coronavirus, while others will pretend to offer advice on combating it and its impacts.
Avoid emails with subjects such as “The Right stocks to invest in during this pandemic” or “Things to buy at a discount during this period” at all costs. Ensure that you do not open attachments that are from an untrustworthy source. Also, beware of emails that are asking you to give confidential information.
Emails with links should also be looked into carefully. If the link does not point to a corporate resource, it is advised to ignore it. If the link is okay, it is still recommended not to enter your credentials on it since it may be unsafe to do so.
When visiting various websites from home, it is crucial to check for TLS/SSL. Ensure that you are only visiting authorized websites. Get to know how to identify authenticated sites from other phishing sites by checking for SSL.
It is crucial to use strong passwords on all your devices at home. This will help protect you from online attacks. Use alphanumeric codes and also two-factor authentication on the devices. Do not use the name of your cat or dog as the password, as it is an easy one to crack. Also, ensure that all the business-critical passwords are stored securely in case anything happens to key personnel.
Ensure that these passwords are not only applied to your devices, buy to your Wi-Fi router as well. It does not make sense to use a strong password on your computer while your router has 1234 as the password. The attacker will be able to intrude and intercept everything that you are doing online.
They can even gain access to your corporate emails and remote access to the office-based computer, which will not be great for the company. Ensure that the connection is encrypted, preferably by WPA2.
Another critical point to note while working from home is to update your software and keep them up to date. Ensure that you have the latest operating systems, apps, and browsers. Ensure that you have activated automatic updates on all your devices to ensure that your systems are not outdated, and also an easy target to cyber attacks.
Cybercriminals will rely on people that are too lazy to update their software and infiltrate their systems. This is because the vulnerabilities in the latest versions will be patched, and protect you.
Since all your internet traffic will be passing through your home router, it is crucial to protect it from cybercriminals. They will attempt to hack it, intercept the traffic, and gain access to your network. It is therefore advised to review your configuration settings of the home router. Use a password manager to help you come up with a strong password. Also, change the default settings and even the SSID.
Do all these top avoid attackers getting access to your network. With default passwords, they write them into their code of malicious programs, and if it works, the router is then captured. Once that is done, it is then turned into a bot. They can then spy on you and steal relevant information from you.
This Coronavirus pandemic has led to a blossoming in cyber attacks. It is therefore advised to ensure that you protect yourself while working from home. With the above security measures, you will be able to protect yourself and your devices from online threats and attacks from home.
It is a big adjustment to work from home, but having the above security tips will help you have fruitful working days. While doing all these, also ensure to keep your phone updated with the latest softwares since you will also need it to access emails and other work documents.