- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
With 2020 being a crazy year when many businesses have had to shut down their offices and allow their employees to work from home, this is an adjustment that no one was expecting. If you are used to commuting to a nice office building where you have a cubicle or office space of your own, then making your kitchen table your home office can be tough.
Also, the computer that you have at home might not have the same type of security measures like that of the computer at your office. This can make you feel less protected when you are handling private information. So, to help you feel safer on your computer, we have cybersecurity tips you need to know when working from home.
UPGRADE YOUR NETWORK SECURITY SYSTEM
Some people might keep up with this already, but many don’t think about it. Security systems at work are necessary, but when you mainly use your computer for things that are not work-related, you might not think about security as much when you are at home. However, this is the main issue when it comes to home computers.
Network security systems that are outdated or need to be upgraded allow others to get ahold of your information much easier. When you are doing your work at home, all of the information that is usually kept safe on the company’s security system might now be at risk. So, getting the latest version of your security system or switching to another altogether will help you stay safe.
DON’T OPEN UNUSUAL EMAILS
Now that you are at home, many bosses must rely on emails to get in touch with their employees. This allows malicious attacks through the use of phishing emails. These can look like they are being sent by your boss but always come with a link that you have to click on to see the information. You will likely also be told to download a file, which is often malware that is being installed on your computer.
This can compromise your computer and all the information on it, not just for work, but also for your personal data. This is a known way that many people are attempting to get ahold of:
- Social security numbers
- Bank information
- Private files and photos
- Credit card information
- Social media account info
All of these things can be accessed if you open these emails and click on the links given. So, even if it looks like someone you know sent it, make sure. These emails are often generic and sound urgent but have unusual grammar or poor reasons to open the link. If you sense that something is off, then message the sender or give them a call to see if it was from them. If not, trash it.
USE MULTIFACTOR IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS
Using the same password for everything you have on the computer makes it easy to check your emails, update social media accounts, and conduct your business tasks. Unfortunately, this also makes it easier for hackers to get your information by using your own password. There are programs out there that are used to crack codes, which gives people the ability to figure out others’ passwords.
This information can be used to get anything off your computer, which could be your information or one of your business’s clients. This is a huge issue for many reasons, so making sure that someone using your password can’t get through other identification methods will keep yours and your company’s client’s information safe.
Having at least one other form of identification required can help stop hackers from getting your data, and if you can have more than that, it will be harder. So, ensure that all your private information for yourself and your business is safe on your computer by getting more than one identification method.
USE A VPN
For companies that already have some at-home employees, this is nothing new. But for those who had to make a swift adjustment due to COVID-19, this could be a new concept. A VPN is a private network that allows users to send and receive information over a public network. With the added security of having encryption in the system, this makes information tougher to get into.
A VPN works to connect people who are not at a certain location by allowing them to gain remote access to the private network. This makes it easy for stay-at-home employees to have the same security as they would in the office. It requires people to pass multiple identification measures to gain access, which makes it a better option than a public network.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT?
You might think that all of this seems like a waste of time because you don’t have much to steal, or that the work you do isn’t focused on private information. However, if you have any information like an address, phone number, or email address, this could be compromising for someone else. This is seen at its most severe when hackers target celebrities and get ahold of their private data.
Things like payment information, phone numbers, or home addresses can be used maliciously when they are in the hands of someone else. So, even if you just take down a name and phone number for an appointment, then secure a payment, you are putting others at risk. In a digital world, information is much easier to steal, and keeping up with cybersecurity measures can help.
Cybersecurity all comes down to protecting private information. Whether the data is yours or your company’s, you don’t want anything to compromise it. Using the security measures that are listed above can help stop cyber-attacks from being successful and can keep your information safe when working from home.
You don’t need to be at your work desk to have the same security, so by upgrading your network security system, not opening unusual emails, using multifactor identification methods, or using a VPN you can keep all the data that you handle safe from hackers.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell