7 Security Tips To Follow When Working From Home
The impact of COVID-19 is felt everywhere. The majority of employees have been asked to work from home to prevent the spread of the disease.
While this is a quick solution to carry out business seamlessly, there are few consequences you can’t ignore. One of them is the risk involved while accessing the data outside the secured environment of the company workstation.
When working from home, there are chances of security breaches as the environment is not meant to deal with high-grade sensitive data. So, there are several security considerations you need to explore to ensure data safety.
Here are a few security tips to follow when working from home to minimize the risk of data loss and hacking.
1 – Learn Basic System Security
People hardly think of protecting their laptops or desktops when using it for personal purposes but cybersecurity threats affect countless individuals each year. Some of them even don’t care to go for basic system protection practices like password protection.
This is the first step towards guarding against unauthorized access when you are using your laptops for office work. There can be anyone around who might tamper with your machine or your WI-Fi connection while working from home, intentionally or unintentionally.
Always apply for password protection on your system and WI-Fi connection and keep the password strong, preferably Alphanumeric codes. Also, ensure you keep changing the password every month.
2 – Deploy a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
To secure data, you can encrypt your internet traffic by masking your IP address. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent security breaches. A VPN helps you to encrypt your connection and keeps your data secure.
VPN gives you an extra layer of security while accessing your organization’s cloud infrastructure with the following benefits:
- Masking the location of the user
- Covering the IP address of the user
- Encrypting the data being transferred
The safety of the data is a matter of high concern; therefore, every organization, be it big or small, must opt for a VPN service as this is one of the best ways to secure confidential data.
3 – Secure Your Router
Your home network must be secured, and therefore, you need to check with your router. Activate your data encryption (WPA2 or WPA3).
The data encryption converts the information into an unreadable format before sending over your network. It makes it impossible for hackers to decrypt.
WPA2 and WPA3 are accepted to be the latest encryption standards for the protection of information shared over a wireless network.
If your router is missing with WPA3 or WPA2 options, update your router software. Still, if you are unable to find WPA2 or WPA3 options, it is advisable to replace the router.
4 – Practice Cyber Security Rules
Working from home is different than working in an office. People go through several emotional stages while working in isolation, which can be an opportunity for hackers.
- Phishing emails or voice phishing scams: You might get emails offering attractive discounts on products/services, winning holidays, or lottery tickets. Opening such emails and clicking the links in it can be fatal for your organization. Always avoid any such mail sent by an unknown. Besides, you might become a victim of a voice-phishing scam. It is better to keep yourself safe from such common voice-phishing scams.
- Restrict Using Social Media: It is a good habit to avoid accessing your social networks on your office laptop. This is because social media networks are quite a popular medium for hackers to get into your computer.
5- Use Two-Factor Authentication
The benefit of using two-factor authentication is that it reduces the risk of successful phishing emails and malware infections to a considerable level.
Two-factor authentication is a method that requires two pieces of passwords presented to an authentication mechanism to get access. One part is the password, and the second is the one-time code generated by the authenticator app or security key. This entire process makes it difficult for hackers to log in to your account.
There are several authenticator apps that can be used for this purpose The most common ones are Google Authenticator and Authy.
6 – Update Your Software
Any outdated software on your computer can be a target for cybercriminals to steal your data. Always keep your operating system, browser, and any other applications in your system updated.
Most of the applications are designed to find and apply security patches on their own. But, for this, it is essential that your system is connected to the internet, and all the automatic updates are installed when your system manager prompts you to do so.
If you don’t want to go for an additional task of updating software, a secure SaaS application which is a category of Cloud Computing can be considered. In this case, the user doesn’t have to update the version manually. The management of the security of the service provider looks after all the required security features. Consequently, the application never goes outdated, and your system remains safe.
7 – Use an Antivirus Program
While working, you might visit many websites or open attachments in the emails, which increases the chances of infection on your computer. This is the reason why your computer must have antivirus software.
Antivirus programs protect your computer system from malicious software like spyware, viruses, ransomware, trojans, rootkits, and other malware. Most of the antiviruses are even capable of preventing or removing unwanted spyware and adware in addition to removing different types of malicious programs.
When you install an antivirus on your system, the program runs in the background to detect and identify the viruses and act to remove them. While it finds and removes the existing viruses, it prevents the system from possible virus attacks by scanning every program or application before it runs.
The risk to the data grows multiple times when they are accessed from a remote location, and this is a matter you shouldn’t dodge. Following the above tips can help you prevent any data loss or data-stealing to some extent.
Besides, there are other security aspects that your organization also needs to take care of. The effort put in from both ends will ensure the complete safety of your computer and the organization data.