How to Work From Home Securely
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, employees who typically work from home were forced to reevaluate their working practices due to increased cybersecurity risks from working remotely.
Employees should implement basic security measures, including updating their routers, protecting their computers and mobile phones from malicious attacks, avoiding public WiFi networks, and employing multifactor authentication.
Set Up a Private Network
Working from home can be an attractive option for many people, yet it can pose security concerns. Employees using unfamiliar technologies and unprotected networks could leave themselves more susceptible to cyber threats; however, there are several simple but critical steps you can take to help ensure remote workers remain both productive and safe.
First, create a private network. This involves connecting several computers together through a router so they can communicate, but their addresses don’t appear online. A straightforward method would be using two Windows computing devices with Ethernet network adapter cards (NIC) connected directly to a switch which would connect them using their respective MAC addresses; as your business expands you could add more computers or switches.
Next, find a workspace that is free from distraction and minimizes physical security risks. A good rule of thumb would be selecting a room with at least four walls that isn’t in an open public area, such as a coffee shop or library. Also ensure your computer security settings are on high, to limit how much data can travel over your network.
After you have copied any work files onto personal devices – especially if they’re on a Wi-Fi network – this could lead to leaks of confidential corporate information. Furthermore, use different passwords for each of your business and personal accounts as this has proven the easiest way for hackers to gain entry to employees’ computers.
Remind remote workers of company guidelines for telework and to stay current with operating system and software updates as they arrive. Make sure they sign into the company VPN before starting work each day, back up files frequently, and consider switching over to more secure communication platforms like secure messaging apps or document sharing services instead of email as this gives hackers easy access to sensitive data.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Router
As more employers enable employees to work remotely, it is increasingly essential for individuals who telecommute or work from home to take steps to secure their networks and devices so their work remains free from unauthorised access or theft.
This is especially important if other members of their household have access to work computers and mobile devices, making work harder when there’s family access. Therefore, setting aside a dedicated workspace for work with family members out is always recommended, while locking any work computers when not in use will prevent accidental malware launches or data theft from taking place.
Change the default username and password on a router is one of the simplest yet effective methods of protecting a home Wi-Fi network, as this will prevent strangers from accessing and changing its settings. Users should change their password regularly in order to ensure only they have access.
Other simple yet effective security measures include using a VPN, enabling WPA2 encryption on the router, and disabling SSID broadcasting – making the network invisible so hackers have less chance to find and attack it.
Finally, updating all devices connected to the network with their firmware and device software can also be an effective defense against cyber threats. Many manufacturers release regular updates containing essential security patches; therefore, it’s advisable to install these as soon as they become available.
Keep these tips in mind to ensure remote workers can rest easy knowing that their data is as protected as if it were at an office, as well as selecting almost impossible-to-guess passwords and changing them frequently to thwart any attempts at cracking them. By pairing this strategy with tools like VPN and other robust cybersecurity products, remote workers can avoid some of the most dangerous cyber threats when working from home.
Set Up Password Protection
During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers decided to avoid spreading the virus and complete their work at home instead. While working from home poses unique security risks that many workers are unfamiliar with, there are ways you can minimize those risks so that your job gets done effectively.
One of the key steps when working from home is password protecting all devices you use – this will prevent cybercriminals and snoops from viewing files, documents and information you send online during your working day. You could even set up two-factor authentication for additional protection.
Consider employing a VPN when accessing company or personal apps through public Wi-Fi on a personal device, to encrypt your data so no one can read it even if someone manages to intercept and manipulate your network traffic. This way, they cannot read what was written inside it!
If your password storage habits tend to be disorganized, consider investing in a password manager. With one of these tools at your disposal, creating and storing complex passwords that are easy for you to remember but difficult for hackers to guess is now possible – be sure to switch up your passwords regularly as well.
When working from home, make sure to lock your screen before leaving it for any length of time. This helps prevent strangers from accessing and viewing sensitive company data on your computer. In addition, make sure that at the end of each workday, your workstation is logged off properly, with its screen facing no windows or doors where others could peek through and observe what’s on it.
Physical security should also not be ignored when working from home. Just as you would lock up an office at work, so should your laptop and conference calls in an isolated space – or with noise-canceling headphones!
Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
No matter whether an employee works from home or the office, they must take precautions against password breaches and theft. Passwords have been compromised through various hacks and leaks; for this reason it’s essential for work from home workers to set up two-factor authentication as well as authenticator apps and security keys as additional measures of protection.
Working from home requires maintaining separation between personal and work emails, using a separate account for work will keep personal emails away from any sensitive documents or sensitive information. A password manager can also help safeguard passwords against being compromised; create unique passwords for every device to ensure better protection.
Employers can ensure remote workers are working securely by creating work-from-home policies with both technical and policy controls to enforce them. These can be included in onboarding materials, cybersecurity awareness training programs or employee handbooks for remote workers.
Be mindful that employees can be the source of cyberthreats when working from home, so companies must remind employees about potential cyberthreats and how to avoid falling prey to them. Employees should be educated on phishing scams, how to secure home Wi-Fi routers and the importance of using password protection on each device they access work files with.
Employees working from home should avoid sharing computers with family members as these could potentially view or hear what’s on the screen and conversations. When positioning screens for working remotely, employees should ensure they cannot be overheard; only print documents when necessary and dispose of confidential waste bins when finished, or follow their organization’s recommendations on safe storage until returning back into the office.
As part of an effective two-factor authentication plan, employees should consider enrolling in SMS two-factor authentication so they receive a security code via text when they log into a new device or browser. To do this in Slack account settings simply select your profile icon > Settings > Two-Factor Auth (you may also choose an authenticator app, generate recovery codes or enable security keys) when needing to sign in.