Working from Home during COVID-19: How to Stay Safe Online

If your employer has directed you to work from home during the novel coronavirus, it’s likely been challenging to get work done as usual. Thankfully, technology, such as video conferencing software, is helping to keep businesses moving forward by connecting teams. With increasing reliance on tech, home workers must take steps to keep their computers and devices safe from online threats.

The tips below can help employees avoid a cybersecurity attack while doing your job at home:

Create Strong Passwords

Take care to use complex passwords rather than simple ones to guess by someone who is trying to get into your account. Also, utilize multi-factor authentication whenever possible.

Keeping strong passwords applies not only to work email and other online accounts but also to your router. If you are not using WPA2 or WPA3 encryption on your router, start doing so today to help stay secure.

Don’t Fall for COVID-19 Scams

Unfortunately, online scams exist during this uncertain time. For example, you might receive an email from a fraudster wanting to profit off the coronavirus outbreak by encouraging you to click a link for monetary support.

Or, a suspect on social media might pose as part of a non-profit offering a free face mask in return for paying the shipping fee. Unfortunately, they want to steal your money or personal data (or both).

Avoid being taken advantage of by not clicking on any malicious links or attachments. Also, never send your personal details by email, including your banking information.

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Maintain Contact with Your Employer

Also, ensure that you read your employer’s emails and communicate regularly about any policy changes. If you’re not sure about secure protocols for using the company’s intranet, then speak up. The last thing you want to do is unknowingly put you, your employer, or your co-workers at risk.

Use a VPN

If you are connecting with your employer’s platform regularly to use their tools, they will likely ensure you use a VPN or virtual private network. A VPN gives extra protection against malware threats as it encrypts traffic between the two points.

Complete Software Updates

Although work may be extra busy right now, depending on what sector you are in, don’t forget to stay on top of software updates. These updates can improve the security of the applications you use daily. If you’d rather not manually update them, then set your apps to update automatically.

Maintaining a Secure Home Network

Lastly, ensure that you maintain good security measures by changing passwords regularly and keeping software up to date, including the firmware for your Wi-Fi router. Over time, new vulnerabilities can pop up, and it’s crucial to stay as secure as possible, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many people are focusing on ways to improve productivity in their new home office, it’s vital not to forget about network security. The tips above are important reminders of how to prevent cybersecurity threats while working from your house.

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