Working from home might be new to you, or maybe you are already experienced with it. Regardless, now most of us have to stay home for work as well. There’s no question about it, these are unfortunate times. We are all in the same mess now, and we all need to do what we can to prevent coronavirus from spreading. Unfortunately, cyber threats are not on a pause. In fact, there is a clear spike in phishing and other cyber crime activity now that most people are working from home.
At workplaces typically somebody else takes care of the cyber security measures. But when you are working from home, you may have to pay attention to it more yourself. This applies even more if you are using your own computer for working. To make working from home more secure for you, we have compiled a list of our tips to safe remote working.
1. Use antivirus software
There’s no way around it, you just need to have it to be safe. Antivirus software is important to have on your personal computer, but its importance is even bigger if you are using your own computer for working. Prevent malware from compromising your work and your employer’s systems.
2. Make sure your system and programs are up to date
Programs and operating systems are updated regularly to prevent criminals from exploiting their weaknesses. Make sure your operating system is running the latest version. Enable automatic updates to make sure your systems are safe.
3. Secure your home network
Make sure you have your WiFi network encrypted. If your WiFi requires a password, then it’s a good start. If not, access your router settings to change this.
You also need to change your router’s default password, if you have never done it before. If your router is breached, then an attacker could get access to your devices and everything you send through the router. The default passwords for routers are a weak link in their protection.
4. Ensure your privacy with a VPN
If you are using a computer provided by your employer, this should be checked for you. If you are using your own computer, get a VPN to secure your connection and encrypt your data. With VPN your important data can’t be accessed by anyone you don’t want to. Use it always when you are connecting to public WiFi networks.
5. Avoid oversharing your screen
During online meetings, be cautious when sharing your screen. If possible, don’t leave any windows open that you don’t want to share. Accidents do happen, and sometimes you might share something that you didn’t mean to. While it can be awkward, it’s also a privacy issue. You might be oversharing content that is not meant to be viewed by others.
6. Beware Covid-19 related scams
Internet criminals have widely exploited the Covid-19 outbreaks. It has been the topic of numerous international and national phishing and scam campaigns. If you get emails with any suspicious links or attachments related to Covid-19, don’t open them. Better safe than sorry. Other phishing emails can be encountered as well.
7. Don’t share personal information in messages or social media
Related to scams and phishing, don’t share any personal information on messages or emails. It could be just another case of phishing. Ensure that the person who asked really did so before sending important personal information.
It’s also a risk to share pictures of your remote working station in social media. You might accidentally share important information while you do it. Same goes with using your webcam. With webcams you might also accidentally share too much about your home or your family members.
8. Create a good working environment
As no-one knows how long the situation is going to last, it is a good idea to create a comfortable working environment for yourself. Getting every inch of your body aching with unergonomic working methods will definitely do no good for you. Social media is full of good ideas from other people you can use yourself.
We hope that with these tips you can get started with making your home office running in a safe way. Stay safe!