The emergence of COVID-19 has forced people across the country to stay home and practice social distancing. Consequently, it has also forced many businesses to adopt a work from home (WFH) strategy to continue business as usual. While remote work is nothing new, this is a first for many employees. Without the protection and support that comes from working in an office, these employees may not know how to keep themselves safe from cyber threats. If this includes you, then keep reading as we share some security tips for working from home.
Working in an office and telecommuting are two different beasts, and it’s not just because one work environment allows you to wear your pajamas all day. There are a lot more distractions at home than in the office, so productivity is a concern. However, the more important issue is cyber security.
Usually, your home Wi-Fi isn’t going to have the same security standards as the internet in your office building. So to protect yourself from viruses and social engineering attacks—like phishing attacks—you’ll need to take some proactive measures. Here are some steps you can follow to deal with the security issues with working remotely.
First and foremost, you need to make sure your devices are physically secure. Even if you’re at home, physical security can still be an issue. Whether it’s intentional or not, if other people live in your household, they can gain unauthorized access or see sensitive materials you’re working on if you’re not careful. Here are a few things you can do:
- If you leave home, make sure your devices are shut down or locked.
- Store the hardware in places that are out of sight when you’re not using them.
Hackers are always working hard to find cracks in programs and operating systems. Finding these vulnerabilities can allow them to infiltrate your devices. Fortunately, updates can patch any known vulnerabilities, which can help keep your devices safe for use. As soon as a new update comes along, you should install it.
Just as it’s important to set boundaries between your work life and home life, you should also set boundaries between your personal and work devices. It’s tempting to take care of personal matters—like ordering groceries—while on your work computer. But you should only use your work computer for work.
It may seem inconvenient to switch back and forth when your work computer is capable of doing everything your home computer can do. However, when you use your work computer for personal needs, it puts your personal information at risk.
Your business likely has its own set of business tools it commonly relies on for business. This can include services such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Outlook, and more. These applications are configured by your IT department or service to be secure. However, your department or vendor is not responsible for something like your personal Google Drive.
Applications that are configured for business are simply more reliable than your personal tools and programs. For example, corporate email tends to get less spam, which can lower your chances of falling victim to something like a phishing email.
Social engineering attacks are cyber threats that are meant to manipulate a user into giving up sensitive information. They often come in the form of phishing attacks. Identifying a phishing attack can be easy or hard depending on the effort put into the email. To protect yourself, always carefully review the emails you receive and avoid clicking suspicious-looking links.
At Stability Networks, we’re experts in all matters related to IT, which includes cyber security. Our security offerings are robust and designed to keep your network protected at all times. If a cyber threat somehow manages to show up, we take care of it immediately with our first-class threat remediation services. We also offer 24/7 monitoring, allowing you to rest easy.
To find out more about our cyber security services, please contact us today to set up a meeting.