Working from home? Use these Five Tips to Stay Safe

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The coronavirus outbreak has caused the largest ever migration of workers to become home workers. Over the past few weeks, a lot of us have been transitioning to work from home.

There are many considerations such as, is the employee using the company’s device or rather using their own? Do they need access to sensitive data, email or phone network access? What else is there on the network home? You are at a conference and need to connect to the guest Wi-Fi network to check your email. How secure is that network? How you can stay safe when working remotely?

Thus, for many companies especially for small businesses remote working is an enchanted territory making maintaining cybersecurity during this unprecedented global instance essential.

If you are one of the thousands of people who are suddenly working remotely from home then, we have some tips to help keep you and your company safe.

1-   Separate Personal and Work Machine

If possible, separate your work device from your personal device. Start by using only authorised laptops and devices provided by your organisation and do not use personal devices unless you have received prior approval.

If you have to use your personal laptop for office work then, have your IT team double-check that you have hard drive encryption, firewall and the latest OS updates pushed on laptops. Be sure that your applications such as your browsers or email are using encryption while connecting to the internet whenever possible.

Also, make sure that you have installed the latest updates on your video conferencing desktops app. In addition, do not allow others to access these devices including family members, friends and guests.

2-   Ensure your Passwords are Secure

There are numerous frauds exploiting the current situation. Thus, making it important to keep your devices secured by acquiring a strong password, pin code or biometric such as your figure print to unlock your devices screen.

Strong passwords, multifactor authentication, virtual product networking, securing the impound  device, controlling the connection of external device such as UPS storage are just a few; make sure two-factor authentication is set up on your email and other mission-critical apps, if you have not already, use a password manager to generate strong secure passwords. Especially for any new software that you may need to install.

3-   Use a VPN

If your device supports a VPN incapability then, you may be required to use it. A VPN ensures that you can use network securely. You can use your company VPN or invest in a personal VPN in order to secure your connection.

Try to keep your devices safe in all possible ways, even when you want to take a break. Do you want to work and listen to music on your Kindle at the same time? Use VPN for Kindle to remain safe. Take every step to protect against all attacks. If network access is no longer needed then, turn off your Wi-Fi as, it ensures that your device is more secure.

4-   Update and Restart your Device

Protect your device by regularly updating the operating systems and apps. You have to make sure that you are in fact keeping your system up to date whether you are running an old version of the operating system or you are running an old version of the browser.

Restart your computers at least once a week, as this freeze-up memory usage making your video calls less strappy. Ensure that you have the proper devices to remain productive.

In addition, do not disable any security protection that you already have in place such as anti-virus and firewall. If you ever have a concern, that a laptop or mobile device has been compromised or is not secured properly or has been lost or stolen then, contact the help desk or security team right away.

5-   Take your IT team’s Help

If you suspect suspicious cyber activity on your computer then, utilize your IT team’s help if you have it. However, remember one thing, they might be really overworked right now as they are trying to make a lot of things happen, they have to reconfigure the way the resources are allocated, it means it is going to take them a while to get back to you.

Final Thoughts

Technology has allowed us to work anywhere at any time but right now most of us not in the office are working at home which comes with some risks.

Someone who is new to remote work is automatically more vulnerable. If you are just making up procedures as you go along or you are using brand new procedures, you are going to be much more susceptible of being tricked. That will escalate your anxiety, that is going to increase the chances of you making mistakes because you are not going to have the cognitive capacity to be able to deal with your work and everything else that is going on.

To prevent that from happening, slow down, get off social media, and stop clicking around online and designate time to focus only on your work.

For many organisations where employees no longer work at the office, securely working remotely has become more important than ever, whether you are traveling, working from a local café, or you are at home.

Be careful when you are using public Wi-Fi networks. Such as at coffee shops, restaurants or hotels. These are untrusted networks and you never know what people may be doing on them including monitoring your on online activity.

Along with social distancing, try to practice virtual distancing. Ensure not to click on any links, emails or attachments from unknown senders. You are the boss of your home office making it your responsibility to ensure safety of your work.

We have enough to worry about keeping our family, friends and ourselves healthy and safe. Do not let the internet be another cause of stress.

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