Amid a real-world virus outbreak many people are avoiding crowds and working from home to minimize the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. As a safety-oriented company, we fully understand that you can never be too careful and that also applies to cyber security when working outside the office.
Working from home comes with its own set of security challenges as hackers are likely to view those working remotely as targets. To help employees stay safe from real-world viruses, online-viruses, data breaches and malware we have put together a full ‘Working from home’ training program on our security awareness training platform. You can sign up now and make the telecommuting safer for everyone.
We’ve also put together these 9 cyber security tips for working from home to working safely and virus-free.
1. Make Sure Your Home WiFi is Secure and Encrypted
Home WiFi is often set up in a rush but a secure WiFi is essential when working remotely. Too often people don’t take any steps towards securing their home network which makes it easily accessible to hackers. Changing the router SSID and the admin username and password are the first steps in securing a home WiFi network. Updating the router firmware is also something that should be done on a regular basis to patch security holes.
2. Connect to Your Company Servers Through a VPN Connection
If your company is using an internal server, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection is a secure and encrypted way to connect to it when working from home. Essentially a VPN connection creates a safe “tunnel” between your home and your office, through which you can work on your documents without showing up at your workplace. Never use your private email or online storage for sensitive work documents.
3. Use a Secure Messaging Platform
Using regular social media, private email addresses or other common communication methods to discuss work matters with your colleagues might not be safe. Instead, use secure messaging platforms and collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Asana.
4. Make Sure that the Website You’re Using Has HTTPS Protocol
The S at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure.’ It means that all communication between your browser and the website is encrypted. Even if somebody managed to break into the connection, they would not be able to decrypt the data.
5. Make Sure Your Software is Updated
Whether you are working from home or at the office, this is a key issue. Software or operating system that is not updated can be a security threat. Malicious codes exploit unpatched security bugs. These codes can be sent through a website or an email and can set up malware that can be used for espionage or fraud.
6. Lock Your Computer When Not In Use
Don’t leave your computer open and unattended if it has access to company data. If you are working remotely your children or guests might do some damage to the data or setup malware on your computer by mistake, for instance when installing a game.
7. Don’t Leave Confidential Information Out in the Open
Make sure you don’t leave confidential company data in any form, digital or printed, where people can see or remove it. This goes for both your home and your car.
8. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
On your critical accounts, such as your email and company data, multi factor authentication should be enabled and used. If your password becomes compromised your account is not endangered. A hacker would also need access to your other authenticator, such as your phone, to gain access.
9. Encrypt Removable Media
If you use removable media for working remotely, such as USB drives, make sure all confidential data is encrypted and stored securely on the drive. Some USB drives have an extra layer of security such as tamper proof casings, automatic lockdown and reformat after 10 invalid login attempts.
Keep Calm and Train
Although a real virus outbreak is truly unfortunate, we are lucky that many companies now offer a flexible workplace. Work can now be done from the relative safety of our homes using the latest technology and communication tools such as instant messaging and remote meeting services. This way we can help slow down the spreading of COVID-19 while keeping our businesses running.
Security awareness training is essential for all companies and employees and freelancers who work from home need it just as much as those who work at the office. As an added bonus, in this day and age security awareness training done at your desk is a lot safer and more effective than regular seminars and lectures. Download our Hybrid Work and Cybersecurity guide for more information about remote work and cybersecurity.
To all of you working from home: Stay safe, think about cyber security and wash your hands.
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