Cybersecurity is vital for those working from home. Tech experts TechWarn have some valuable advice on how to stay safe.
During these unsettling and unprecedented times, many parents are dipping their toes into the working-from-home pool for the first time and joining the ranks of thousands of men and women around the globe who work remotely.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the living-room office, there are some cybersecurity risks you should familiarise yourself with so you can effectively protect both your identity and the great work you produce. Jeff Anderson from tech news experts TechWarn has some advice.
1. Phishing scams can lead to data breaches in a single click. All an employee must do is click on the wrong link and hackers can gain access to their device at a moment’s notice.
2. A home network often consists of a variety of devices that can serve as a breeding ground for malware. Routers, gaming consoles, printers and smart home devices all operate on the same network you’re doing business on. If any of these are hacked, the whole system can fail.
3. Hackers are clever and they play on the collective weaknesses in our society. While everyone is adhering to stay-at-home orders and keeping up with the news on the pandemic, vicious cyber threats and malware disguised as coronavirus precautions, measures or even aid, keep popping up around us.
4. Peer to peer (P2P) collaboration is essential for many high-functioning businesses. Remote workers might start using software and applications not authorised by the employer to share data and files among colleagues. A seemingly harmless file transfer has the potential to disrupt the entire company’s integrity.
5. If you’re using your personal laptop to perform your duties remotely while connecting to your employer’s network, not only is that network at risk of any security challenges you’re facing on your personal device but if the network’s safety is compromised, this can immediately leak into your own home.
Thankfully, you can solve all of these issues by taking a few simple, yet highly effective safety measures.
1. Download a VPN on all of your devices — this includes your computers, smartphones, and tablets. With a virtual private network, all of your connections are encrypted, secure and untraceable.
2. Complicate all of your passwords. Use case-sensitive passwords with letters and numbers and symbols when possible. Do not use the same password across accounts. Remember that simple passwords are easier to hack.
3. Keep your physical devices secure. When you leave your home, make sure you lock up and hide your work computer and other devices that may appear valuable to a thief.
4. If possible, keep work and leisure separate with different devices for both. A hacker may not be interested in your personal information, but if they’re trying to hack your accounts to get closer to the company you work for, your own details are now vulnerable.
5. Invest in decent antivirus and malware protection. If you’re working for a company, ask them to provide the software, it’s in their best interests after all. If you’re the boss, consider company subscriptions so all your workers and the company’s data are protected.
Working from home comes with plenty of perks — who knew your favourite video conferencing shirt would pair so well with those tattered, well-loved sweats you’ve had since uni? It’s a comfy game indeed, but you’ll only be able to reap these benefits for as long you’re able to mitigate your cybersecurity risks.