When you work from home, whether it’s telecommuting or just working on your laptop wherever you are, there is one more layer of security you should consider to protect yourself. It may be harder to detect when someone breaks in if they hack into your network or computer. To make sure that doesn’t happen, follow these cybersecurity tips when you work from home.
Keep your devices separate . Whether you are working from home or on an individual workstation, always keep your personal devices separate from the ones you use for work. It is best to have two completely separate email accounts, web browsers, etc. This way if one device were ever infected by a virus, spyware, trojan horse, etc., your other devices would not be compromised.
Consider multi factor authentication . You may already have multi factor authentication enabled for popular sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. But did you know that multifactor authentication is good to enable when you work from home?
As an example of how multifactor authentication works, let’s say you are trying to access your Gmail account. When logging in, after entering your username and password, you’ll also be asked for a code that’s generated by an authentication app on your cell phone. That way, even if someone were to obtain your username and password from somewhere else, they wouldn’t be able to access your account without having access to your cell phone. Multi-factor authentication is not only good when working from home, but is an important security measure in general.
Using a strong password (that is not easy to guess) can help prevent hackers from accessing your accounts even if they do obtain your username and/or password. A good way to create a strong password that you can remember but which is still hard for others to guess, is to use words that are related to something that is important to you. That way, when you come across them while trying to remember your password, it will be easier for you to remember because they’re associated with something you care about.
Emails are easy to spoof; don’t click on links in emails unless you know the sender . If an email contains a link and you don’t know who sent it, do not click on the link. Instead, contact the person and ask them whether they meant to send you that particular email or if they were trying to sneak something onto your computer.
Use a hard wired connection for your internet instead of Wi-Fi. It’s much harder for people to hack into a secure network when you connect directly to the modem or router with wires, so use it whenever possible. If you must use Wi-Fi, encrypt your data and change the default password on the router.
Never leave your computer unattended. If somebody walks by and takes a look at what you’re doing, they can see anything that’s on your screen. Make it so people have to stand right in front of your desk to see what you’re working on, not just glance over at their desk while you walk away for 5 minutes.
Turn off your computer when you leave. When you walk away from your desk for more than a few minutes, shut down your computer so nobody can access it without the password. Hackers can use automated programs to find any open computers on the network and gain access after only 30 seconds of typing in passwords. Don’t give them that advantage.
Make sure your router is secure by setting a custom password just for that network. It’s easy to find websites that will help you change the default settings on the router so nobody else can connect without permission. If you have a Netgear router, go to www.netgear.com/support and type your model number in the search bar.
Update your software and make sure an antivirus is installed. Hackers use viruses and malware to automatically scan for vulnerable programs and access points in the network, so you need to make sure you’re protected by installing updates or add-ons that protect against such attacks. Keep your antivirus updated at all times too.
Encrypt your data. Nobody can access your private information if you encrypt it, which basically scrambles the words and characters into an unrecognizable format that only your computer can decode. It’s like a secret code that hackers can’t crack unless they have the key to unlock it.
When you work from home, the cyber security risks are higher than in an office. Therefore, it is important that you prioritize your online safety. Invest time in learning about cyber security basics to protect yourself against cyber-attacks.
Some of these tips are general cybersecurity best practices, but they are still important for everyone! Stay tuned into Bayshore Interactive for more information on how to stay safe when online!