As we quickly adjust to the “new” normal of working remotely, there are several new challenges to overcome. From learning new conferencing programs to stabilizing home connections and the kids (we can’t help you with that). We’ve put together some tips for protecting your devices and personal information.
Follow your employer’s security practices. Your
home is now an extension of your office. So, follow the protocols that your
employer has implemented.
Keep your security software up to date, make
sure to apply new patches and updates on your personal machine.
When you are working remote for long periods,
make sure you know who is responsible for updates. Are you supposed to keep
everything up to date or will your IT department?
Use unique passwords on all your devices and
apps. Make sure the passwords are at least 12 characters and a mix of numbers,
symbols and capital/lowercase letters.
Watch out for phishing emails. Cybercriminals
have been busy working at home too! Look out for unusual emails with misspelled
email addresses, fishy-looking links or strange requests.
If “Bob from IT” calls you and asks for you to
click a link or asks for your password, you should probably be wary. The real
Bob from IT is not going to ask you for your password.
Secure your home network. Turn on encryption
(WPA2 or WPA3) on your home router. Encryption scrambles information sent over
your network so outsiders can’t read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the most up-to-date
encryption standards to protect information sent over a wireless network. No
WPA3 or WPA2 options on your router? Try updating your router software, then
check again to see if WPA2 or WPA3 are available. If not, consider replacing
Some routers have the ability to prioritize
traffic on your home network. Sorry kids, Mom’s video conference meeting takes
priority over streaming Netflix on your iPad.
If possible, use Virtual Desktops or require
employees to connect over VPN (Virtual Public Networks). This allows the same
security, functionality and appearance as if you were within your company
Avoid public Wi-Fi. If that is your only option,
use a personal hotspot from a dedicated device or your phone. Your web traffic
will be unencrypted between the hotspot and its destination, but using a hot
spot can increase the security versus a public Wi-Fi.
If you have multiple people working from home on
an internet connection that isn’t designed to have heavy business use, you
should probably keep that in mind. Check with your provider, several are
offering easy (and affordable) upgrades to your home network with the “flip of
If working outside of your company network, how
will your backup work? Can you save and back up your local files to a corporate
Securely store sensitive files. If you need to
transfer confidential information from office to home, keep it secure.
Just because you can have a video conference
call doesn’t mean you should. Use technology appropriately.
If you live with a roommate or young children,
be sure to lock your computer when you step away. Don’t tempt your roommates or
family members by leaving your work open.
Dispose of sensitive data securely by shredding.
Protect your identity if something includes personal information about
customers or employees.
We are all navigating this together, let us know if you have
questions or need assistance. Stay safe!