Businesses across the country have closed their office doors while their employees are working remotely from home. With this sudden change in operations, businesses are more vulnerable than ever to cyberattacks. This is because companies are more reliant on online tools, such as videoconferencing and chat programs. Also, remote workers are unlikely to have sophisticated cybersecurity available in their homes.
Here are seven simple tips for maintaining cybersecurity while working remotely.
1. Use strong passwords. Home Wi-Fi networks are a prime target for hackers to gain access and steal information. Use secure passwords — 12 characters or longer, using upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
2. Enable firewalls. Firewalls create a barrier to prevent cyber threats from entering your system. Your computer will typically have a built-in firewall. Make sure that it is set up and enabled.
3. Secure your home network. Hackers are trying to access sensitive data through Wi-Fi networks. Change the name of your home network to something not easily associated with you. Also, if you haven’t changed your router password since it was first installed, update it with a secure password.
4. Connect with a VPN. If your company has a virtual private network, use it. VPNs protect laptop data online while retaining the same security, functionality and appearance as if they were within the company network.
5. Watch for phishing scams. Watch for suspicious activity that asks you to do something right away, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or needs your personal information.
6. Don’t get personal. Many workers use company devices for personal use, increasing the risk of cybersecurity threats. Make sure that you’re the only person that uses your company computer, and use it only for company purposes.
7. Backup data. Don’t take chances with data storage, especially at this time. Make sure data is continuously and securely backed up.
Report any suspicious cyber activity or problems with your device to your company’s IT department. By working together, you can help maintain a secure and productive remote work environment.