Emily S., who works as a HR manager for a health insurance company, primarily used her personal laptop for Netflix binges and Facebook updates before the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, and for the foreseeable future, she’s had to give it a new task: handling confidential employee records. Emily was worried her home computer wasn’t up for the task!
“My company usually does provide us necessary technology to feel secure, but because of Covid-19, they had to send everyone home immediately without any notice or time to plan,” Emily told Diriga. “If they did not provide us with a work from home setup already, we were forced to use what we had at home.”
She Added – :”I do not feel as secure as I should be”
A lot of people around the world are in a similar situation to Emily. We hope to provide some useful information for you to help you stay secure!
Cover the basics
In your working (and personal) lives, there are a few easy and important things you should do to help keep yourself safe. For example , make sure you use strong passwords for each account, and choose different passwords. Do not use the same password for everything. Everywhere it is provided, be sure to two-factor authentication. And if you’re one of the millions who will work even more from home as the pandemic extends for months, you should take a clean look at everything.
With employees setting up multiple new accounts for different remote work services, such as file sharing and virtual meetings, it is particularly important that they use strong , unique passwords. And that applies to your home equipment: Change it if you are using your router’s default password. Hackers enjoy default passwords!
Your work and personal life should always be kept as separate as possible. Don’t use your personal work device and vice-versa to do other tasks. That’s a lot harder to do when everything is done in your house, where in a given moment your personal computer might be just a little more convenient. If you have to use the same device to work and play it is even harder. You might open your personal computer to do something for work and let in a virus which can compromise your work.
Try a VPN
A private virtual network (VPN) provides a private connection over a public network. Some VPNs allow remote workers to connect via their home internet connection directly to the server or intranet in their physical office. Think of these VPNs as secure tunnels between the two. Naturally, as more people operate from home, there has been a increase in VPN use during the pandemic — but attacks on VPNs also have. So when you are at VPN at home be sure to keep following these best practices!
Be cautious of FREE and CONSUMER VPN’s. Any free VPN is using your data and sharing it out with everyone. Free VPNs are not safe and should not be used for business purposes.
Upgrade Your Antivirus
Consumer grade antivirus is not cutting it anymore. Windows defender and all the free antiviruses you get will not be sufficient in terms of being able to block all attacks especially ransomware. It is important that you are using a 2nd Generation or Next Generation antivirus on your home and work computers. Hackers love infecting computers without any means of protection.
While you might be okay with running the risk of getting a virus or malware on your home computer, it might not be worth the risk on your work equipment. You also may be putting your company at risk of a ransomware attack, and those can be devastating both in the money that has to be paid out and the time lost.
Watch out for email phishing attempts
The vast majority of security infringements are not caused by malicious actors hacking their way into your device or home network. They come from you letting them in through phishing attacks — that is, emails or even text messages that seem to come from someone you know and trust, like your employer or the World Health Organization, containing links to malicious websites or files that contain malware to download onto your computer. They also try and get your login credentials via fake login forms.
You can prevent most, if not all, of these just by being careful about clicking on links or downloading files in emails, especially if they come from unknown senders.