Since last year employees have been forced to work from home due to the coronavirus. Many companies have encouraged social distancing by having their employees work from home, and it has been nearly a year since our world shut down and as a result, businesses had their staff start working remotely. Although this has been necessary and we have learned just how many meetings could have been emails, working from home has brought up security issues for employees.
Moving from a safe and secure office work environment to working from a remote location has brought up many cybersecurity issues. Although you may think that, after so long working from home and setting up precautions you may have it all figured out, it can never hurt to be reminded of the basics when it comes to security. These tips may seem obvious, but they are always a good reminder to keep in mind.
Separate Work and Personal Devices
This is often easier said than done but it is important to try your best to keep your work devices separate from your personal devices. Avoid using your personal devices for things that can easily be checked on your work devices. It may seem frustrating to have to switch to your work device every time that you need to send an email, pay a bill, or respond to a message, but you should attempt to do so. This also goes hand in hand with trying to keep your personal life separate from your work one while at home.
Put Your Mental Health First
When we get tired or put too much stress on ourselves, it is easy to forget even the simplest of security precautions. Working from home can be more stressful than typical workdays at the office and it may be necessary to give yourself more time to recharge. By taking the necessary time away from work and giving your body and mind time to reset not only will you be more productive, but you will also be more on top of your security.
Be Aware of Phishing Attacks
Cybercriminals are taking advantage more than ever of COVID – 19 for their phishing scams. Although you may be thinking that it is obvious that you’ll realize scams, many smart people have fallen into scams by not knowing a few simple precautions against them. Be wary when it comes to emails mentioning the coronavirus, even if you may think that they are from trusted sources. Do not give your information to emails that don’t mention your name in them and keep away from clicking on links in emails.
Avoid Using Public Internet Connections
As places begin re-opening and the weather gets nicer, it is tempting to start taking work outside of your house and opt to go to small coffee shops or parks and work there instead. There is no harm in working outside your home for a change, but you do want to be careful about what internet connections you connect to while you are there. There is even the risk of people snooping over your shoulder and seeing passcodes or other information. Be safe and use VPNs while you work outside of your home and protect your screens.
Back-Up Your Files Regularly
This goes for just about anyone that owns a laptop or smartphone since this is a smart tip for anyone. Backing up your files is important, but it is especially important when you forget to back up your work files. If you have especially important files, then you should back them up instantly so as not to forget to do it later. This may seem annoying to do now but you will regret it if not!
Make Sure All Your Devices Are Locked
Again, this may seem like a basic reminder but it is one that a lot of employees forget about when they work remotely. Roommates, spouses, and children may not seem like a threat, but you always want to make sure that your devices are locked before you step away from the desk. The best way to ensure that you always remember is by making it a habit to always lock your device after using it. This can also be done with quick keyboard shortcuts that can make it quick to lock your device before you step away from it.
Make Sure All Your Systems Are Updated
How many of us click that ‘Remind Me Later’ button when our devices say that it’s time to install a new update? Honestly, it is more of us than we would like to admit. Making sure that you have anti-virus protection on your computer and that your computer is updated regularly. Although it may not seem like it, the updates are there for a reason, and keeping your devices up to date with the latest ones can be hugely beneficial for your security.
Keep Up with All the Latest Security News
Keeping up with all the latest security news and the latest scams can help you be more aware of what you need to watch for. Scams are all over the internet and being aware of what you should watch out for can help you avoid them. Make sure that you keep the rest of your coworkers updated on new breaches, scams, or security information that you find. Make sure that you are aware of any third-party software that you and your company use so that you can monitor it.
Regularly Update Your Router Password
Your router can be logged into and once someone is logged into it, they can make changes to your network settings. Not many people take the time to update their router password, and few even bother to think of it. If someone logs in, they can make unwanted changes to your network and interfere with your work. Make sure that you keep your router regularly updated, especially changing it from the simple password that is initially set after it is installed.