Working remotely is becoming normal for many organizations and employees. And while some employees love the idea and others are not at all thrilled with the idea, there is one group that could not be happier – cybercriminals. Cybercriminals see remote work as an opportunity. They are banking on the idea that employees working from home will become complacent or will take a shortcut. While a lot of the bigger cybersecurity strategies need to be implemented by the organization that you work for, there are quite a few that an employee can implement at home to stay cybersecure.
Secure Your WiFi
The WiFi in your home is likely in constant use during “regular” business hours. Ensure it is secure by creating a strong, unique password or passphrase and changing its SSID. When changing the SSID, avoid using your name, address, or anything that can be used to identify you (like your pet’s name). In addition, enable network encryption through your security settings.
Yep, strong passwords continue to be an important component of cybersecurity. Avoid re-using passwords, make sure to password-protect your work-related devices, and use a password manager to store your credentials.
Stay Safe During Video Conferencing
When scheduling video conferences, ensure they are private by requiring a password to access the conference, or utilize a waiting room and select who can enter the conference. This helps block cyber criminals from joining and listening to company information. Also, if your video conferencing tool offers the background blurring capability, use it. This functionality not only blurs out your background, it also blurs out any confidential information you may have on your desk, or personal information about you. And, when you are not on a video call, cover or unplug your webcam. Hackers have been known to access webcams without permission, which compromises your privacy and creates an opportunity to see information in your home office.
Install Antivirus Software
Antivirus security can protect against a number of cyber activities, including zero-day attacks, malware, spyware, trojans, and phishing emails. If possible, look for antivirus software that automatically updates and runs in the background, so you don’t even notice it. And, not noticing an antivirus software is a good thing – it means it is doing its job!
Keep Work Devices For Work
It sounds easy, but having an extra computer in the house can be tempting. Make it known that your work devices are off-limits, and ensure you only use them for work. This helps protect your organization, as well as your personal life.
If it seems suspicious, it probably is, and that applies to emails, texts, phone calls, instant messages, and more. Cybercriminals are trying every way possible to gain access to your information or to deploy ransomware – do not let them. When in doubt, avoid the situation and contact your IT team.
Install Those Updates And Patches
It may sound simple, but this is an extremely important step in protecting your devices from cybercriminals. And, don’t wait to install them. When your device signals that an update is ready, install it!
Utilize Your Organization’s Cloud Or Server Storage
Understand where you should be storing company information, and be sure to use it. Files located in a secure cloud or server storage environment have the added benefit of being protected by the attached firewall.
And lastly, don’t let your guard down. Cybercriminals are opportunists, and they are waiting for you to miss a step and give them an in. Consider yourself the first line of defense for your company against cybercriminals…It is an important and necessary role.