Working from home has become a new normal in recent years, enabling companies to maintain operations and employees to keep their jobs throughout the pandemic. And, although working remotely offers up many new possibilities, such as introducing flexible hours and employing experts from all over the globe, it also involves certain dangers, the most serious of which being cyber attacks and data breaches.
While hackers seek weaknesses and methods to exploit them to launch cyber attacks against businesses, it is crucial to understand how to protect yourself and your workplace from cyber criminals.
Below, you will find a home cyber security checklist to help you work from home and search the web safely. Always using VPN, watching out for phishing emails, securing your home wireless network, using a password manager, keeping your work and personal accounts separate are just a few of the things to remember. Continue reading to find out how to remain safe when working from home.
Manage Your Smart Appliance Smartly
According to real estate experts from www.thepattisallgroup.com, smart homes are rising in popularity among home buyers; however, while these appliances certainly improve the comfort of our lives, they also come with their share of threats. Smart appliances could be potential entry points into your home’s network, and once they are hacked, cyber criminals can use them to steal data and personal information.
To prevent unwanted cyber attacks, make sure you secure all of your smart appliances with the right home cyber security measures. It is recommended that you backup all of your data before installing new apps on your smart TV. Also, make sure you change the default passwords of your devices, turn off remote access, and install an antivirus solution that notifies you of any attacks.
Always Use a VPN
Using a VPN is one of the most important ways to stay safe and protect your data when working from home. A VPN helps you hide your IP address, or in layman terms, it protects your location and identity. Furthermore, a VPN provides you with a secure connection to the internet, ensuring that no data from your computer gets intercepted by hackers trying to steal your information.
To start working remotely using a VPN, you need to subscribe to a reliable VPN service. You can test it out before deciding if it meets your needs using a free trial. If you feel unsure about a particular VPN service, you can always request a refund if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
Watch Out for Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are one of the biggest threats to cyber security. Cybercriminals use them as an opportunity to gain access to your personal data and steal your identity. These emails come in various forms and can seem very convincing. Even though these emails might look like they are sent from a trustworthy source, such as an online banking platform, it is crucial to be cautious and verify the sender’s identity before opening any links or attachments.
To check whether an email is legitimate or not, use the following strategies:
- Check the sender’s email address. If it doesn’t match the one you are used to receiving emails from the sender, it is likely fake.
- Check if there are spelling mistakes in the email address or grammatical errors in the message.
- Make sure that there is no unwanted attachment included in the email. This could be used to install malware on your computer and expose your data to possible cyber attacks.
- Report suspicious emails to the company they claim to be from. This way, you help them warn others about potential scams.
Use a Password Manager
If you are using multiple devices, it is crucial to have strong passwords for all of them. However, it is not easy to remember complex passwords that are different for each account. This is where a password manager comes in handy. It allows you to generate long and complex passwords for all of your accounts automatically. It also stores all of your passwords securely on your device so that no one can access them without your password.
Many password managers are available on the web, some of which are free, while others require a subscription or membership fee. However, they all provide the same basic functionality, which is why you need to choose one that meets your needs.
Some of the most popular password managers include LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane, and KeePass. All of them allow you to store your passwords securely on your device and generate unique passwords for each of your accounts. They also allow you to manage accounts on multiple devices and organize your passwords by category, which is why they are recommended by security experts as an essential tool for staying safe when working remotely.
Separate Your Personal and Work Accounts
It is important to separate two types of accounts so that they do not interfere with each other. While this might seem like common sense, it is easy to forget about this precaution when working remotely. However, it can be disastrous if you do not take this step.
The most common example of this is sending work emails from personal accounts. While this might seem harmless at first, it could lead to data breaches and hacking attempts since cybercriminals know that this information can be used against you or your company.
Another example of how not separating personal and work accounts can become problematic is sharing work-related information with your contacts. If any of them fall prey to phishing attacks, they might try to use this information against you. Furthermore, it is easy to make mistakes when sharing files or messages with personal emails, which could lead to data breaches and cyber-attacks.
For this reason, you should stay vigilant and separate all of your work and personal accounts so that your information remains secure. After all, your personal information needs to remain private so that you can stay safe from creepy people who might use it against you. Moreover, if someone steals your identity and uses it against your company or clients, this could negatively impact your business’s reputation.
Ensure That Your Antivirus Software Is Up-To-Date
While working remotely, paying attention to security updates and patches for all of your devices is essential. While this might seem like an obvious precaution, it is easy to forget about this step when working remotely. However, if you don’t take this step, you leave your personal data exposed to cyber-attacks. And the consequences of this can be devastating for both you and your business.
Cybercriminals are always searching for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities to gain access to personal data. Therefore, it is essential to have up-to-date antivirus software that protects you from the latest threats that come with them. Furthermore, it is crucial to update your antivirus software regularly to identify new threats as soon as they appear.
Working remotely is a great way to make your job more comfortable, but it can pose certain dangers, especially if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Nobody knows better than you what you need to do to stay safe when working from home.
However, there are certain precautions you should always be taking, such as using a VPN, checking out suspicious emails, and protecting your online data with a password manager. So if you want to work from home and feel secure doing it, just follow the checklist above, and you will be fine.