Whether your work-from-home setup was already in place prior to Coronavirus or you’ve come to know the remote-working environment over the past year intimately, you need to understand how you protect your devices and personal information while working out of your house. Regardless of your situation, cyber threats and hackers don’t take a break from doing what they do best. In fact, criminal activity has spiked with more people working from home.
If you work for an established, reputable company, there should be someone else or a separate department that takes care of IT, and cybersecurity needs when you are in the office. But what about when you are working at home? You might still be supported by the person or people in charge of your company’s cybersecurity. Whatever the setup, you’ll need to pay better attention to these needs yourself. That will allow you to address what you can from a remote standpoint. How exactly do you set yourself up for security success while working from home?
Use Antivirus Software
This tip is listed first because it’s essential if you want to keep yourself safe online. Think of antivirus software as protection that not only blocks computer viruses from entering your system but removes them if they somehow make their way through. Considering the time we live in, you should already be abiding by this common security practice. And if you are, make sure the software is kept up to date. This practice becomes even more important if you are using your personal computer for work purposes.
Secure Home Network
Turn on encryption. Doing so scrambles information sent over your network so those on the outside can’t recognize it. It’s like giving a strictly English-speaking person Yiddish to read, making it less likely that a hacker will be able to track your digital footprint. Another good tip is to make sure your Wi-Fi network requires a password and your router’s default password is personalized.
Are you using your personal computer to work from home? Secure your data with a VPN whenever you’re connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. There are more than just a couple of reasons why this is critical for keeping yourself secure.
Be Sensitive to Storage and Disposal
Securely storing sensitive files means more than digitally transferring confidential information from your employer’s office to your in-home office, it takes physical security into account. If there is paperwork you bring home with you, any sensitive data needs to be under lock and key.
The same goes for disposal. Don’t just rip paper up and throw it into the recycle bin. Buy a shredder and take care of sensitive, hard-copy data the appropriate way.
Keep Personal Information, Personal
Phishing and scams are all in a day’s work for internet criminals, and they haven’t slowed in the wake of COVID-19. The best way to make sure you safeguard your security is by keeping your personal information off messaging platforms or emails unless you are 100% sure of who the person is.
Want to share your awe-inspiring work-from-home setup? Don’t hit send on any pictures ready to travel the social media internet waves. Without knowing so, you could be sharing sensitive or important information.
Follow Employer’s Security Practices
Treat your home office just as you would your in-office office. Think of your WFH setup as an extension of your employer’s home base. With that in mind, you need to work-in the guidelines implemented by your workplace.