Many more people are choosing to work from home. It’s a great option, especially when you’re trying to balance work and family obligations. People who work from home are often more productive, happier, and healthier employees. But you also need to know how to protect yourself in cyberspace. Here are some expert cyber-security tips to keep yourself and your organization safe when you’re working from home.
1. Follow Your Company’s Security Practices
Have a dedicated inbox folder for your work emails and check them regularly for security updates. Before you set up your home office, get all the details on what your organization’s rules and protocols are for cybersecurity.
2. Stick to Your Organization’s IT Products
Make sure your home computer has the same tech products that your company uses, especially when it comes to secure messaging, antivirus, and firewall protection. You don’t want to be your company’s weakest link when it comes to cyber-criminals.
3. Keep Your Software and Operating Systems Updated
As soon as you see a reminder to update your software, do it! Software companies release patches and issues updates fixing glitches all the time. Don’t ignore those messages. Either act on them straight away or set your computer to update automatically.
4. Swap Out Passwords for Passphrases
Security experts are now advising the use of strong passphrases rather than passwords. They are easier to remember and harder for hackers to hack. Use a different password for every website and app on your phone, tablet, and computer.
5. Switch on Multi-factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication gives you an extra layer of protection from cyber-criminals eager to hack your computer. This form of security can use combinations of a passphrase, PIN, security key, or biometric identification such as a fingerprint and is extremely difficult for hackers to decode.
6. Use a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a way of shielding your device from external observation. Many organizations specify that employees working from home use a VPN on their computers. A VPN will encrypt any data you send to the office and will scan for malicious software like viruses.
7. Don’t Fall for Phishers
Being skeptical of emails from people you don’t know should be your regular practice anyway, but it’s especially important when you are working from home. Cybercriminals might send an email purporting to be from your organization or bank, and these can look extremely convincing. Be aware and cautious, especially before opening messages and email attachments.