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The increase in working from home has benefited us in so many ways. However, working from home has cyber security risks attached. Here are some ways to reduce those issues.
1. Invest in Trusted VPN and Antivirus Tools
Remote workers must secure their internet connection to safeguard their data and privacy. Windows has security software for this purpose, but it’s not enough when the stakes are high. Therefore, consider investing in a robust and reliable VPN (Virtual Private Network) and an updated antivirus/malware software.
VPNs safeguard your data by encrypting the data you receive or send. They also offer you anonymity when online, making it hard for attackers to identify or target you. Antivirus software is a security measure protecting you from malicious programs and software. For additional security, choose XDR style systems.
Some of these tools have built-in crypto mining software. Therefore, learn what you can about these apps to ensure you invest in those that focus primarily on security.
2. Have Watertight Password Security
Your security when working remotely is only as good as the methods used to secure passwords. Experts recommend using passwords that are hard to guess and changing them periodically. Avoid writing these credentials down on an unsecure platform. You can use a reliable password manager such as LastPass or 1Password to help keep your passwords safe and encrypted.
3. Improve Your Wi-Fi Security
The network you use to connect with your organization or office can be the weak point attackers exploit to gain access to central services and control your traffic. It’s best to lock down your wireless connectivity using a VPN.
Create a Wi-Fi password that’s unique and hard to guess. Also, choose a network ID that doesn’t tell others who you are. Furthermore, ensure the WPA3 network encryption is enabled if it’s an available option. Specify which MAC addresses are authorized to access your network. Ensure your router has the latest firmware; if not, update it. Taking these measures will ensure you’re using a secure wireless network.
4. Ensure Your Webcam is Shielded When Not in Use
Attackers come up with new ways of gaining access to your network. They can hijack webcams and microphones to help them gather the information they need. They can record you during meetings and use the recordings to extort you for money or sensitive information.
Zoom and other apps that rely on webcams have become an essential part of working remotely. However, you need not expose yourself when you’re not using the camera.
Attackers can use malware to operate your webcam without your knowledge. You can limit their activity by covering the camera with tape if it can’t be unplugged, manually disabled, or manipulated to ensure it can’t be accessed when not in use.
5. Be Savvy with Emails
WFH cyber attacks exploit emails. Phishers (attackers) are pros at disguising malicious messages to seem authentic and enticing to unsuspecting users who click on random links that make them susceptible to attacks.
Exercise extra caution when opening unknown emails. Check the address line for legitimacy, and don’t open mail from unfamiliar sources. Avoid opening attachments or clicking on links unless you’re confident you know what they contain.
Consider switching to an encrypted email service provider if you want an extra layer of security. Cybercriminals are less likely to intercept and read your emails when using encrypted email services.
6. Focus on Physical Security
Besides the cybercrime activity, you also must contend with physical theft when working remotely. Burglars can enter your premises and steal your smartphone, computer, or security authentication tools. The outcomes of such theft could be disastrous if you didn’t encrypt the data on your devices.
Therefore, be careful when using your laptop or smartphone in public spaces. Also, use encryption tools to keep out thieves. Put away your laptop and smartphone in a secure place when you’re not using them. It’s also wise to do a quick security check of your environment and assess the windows and entrances. Alarms and extra cameras can improve your security measures if you work remotely from home.
7. Use Separate Devices for Work and Personal Uses
Security lapses occur when you’re not paying attention as you use your computer. For instance, you face some security risks when shopping online and making payments via unsecure portals to fake online retailers. You don’t want to do this using the computer you use to manage sensitive business data.
Separating your work from personal use is an essential safety measure. Request that your organization or office gives you a company device with updated security tools to use when doing business remotely, and reserve personal devices, like your smartphone and laptop, for personal activities. This is especially important today when working remotely from home is increasingly becoming a norm.