If you are working from home, you may have become concerned with cybersecurity, mainly because most of it is set up for employees working in an office and not from home. Work from home cybersecurity should be at the forefront of everything you do.
Since many employees are facing the prospect of working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s important to pay more attention to cybersecurity. With more and more businesses being harassed and working from home, they are likely to experience certain vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can’t wait to exploit.
When you work from home, you are in your own tech support, which means that there are several things that you need to pay attention to in order to protect yourself and your devices. The good news is many of these tips for improving your work from home cybersecurity are low-cost and don’t require you to be a techie to apply them.
1. Use strong passwords
Using strong passwords is essential not just for your work but for your personal account as well. Passwords protect your accounts, security tools, and applications, get people are still using weak passwords across multiple accounts.
The most common passwords that most people use are, and they can be broken in a matter of seconds by brute force. Some of them have already been exposed in previous data breaches because they have been used for other accounts, so it is important to create unique passwords for every application.
2. Use two-factor authentication
Once you’ve set up strong passwords, and important also set up multifactor authentication for extra protection of your accounts and applications. Even though strong passwords are essential, they may not be enough when your credentials are leaked after the data breach. To protect yourself even further, use multifactor authentication for all your accounts. This means that you will have the next step of verification after using your passwords, similarly to what most banks have these days.
3. Install updates regularly
The need to install new updates regularly may be annoying, but they’re essential for the security of your applications and devices. Most updates typically include badges for security vulnerabilities that have been discovered since the release of the software. If you are managing a team, you should make sure that your staff updates their devices regularly.
4. Use business devices if possible
Employees who are using their own personal devices for work are one of the biggest variables in cybersecurity. Even though there are lots of advantages for staff using their own devices, this can create a lot of issues when it comes to security, and when employees connect to the business network, that will affect the whole business if their device has been affected without them knowing.
If possible, have your staff use company devices even when they work from home, as this is the best way to ensure that devices are if vetted. Have your staff install antivirus software on their devices if they have to use their own.
5. Backup your data
Data can be lost by human error, cyber-attacks, or physical damage to hardware. For example, ransomware can wipe out the entire system, so it’s important to have backups of all your data either using hardware or cloud solutions.
6. Learn how to spot phishing emails
Cybercriminals are targeting remote workers in a bid to gain access to company accounts or steal their personal information. It’s important to know how to spot a phishing email to protect your data. Some of the common signs of a phishing website include the lack of an SSL certificate (even though many of them increasingly have the certificates), poor spelling and grammar, misspelled domain names, missing contact information, and lack of an “about” page.
7. Secure your home router
Not many people bother to change their home router’s default password, so cybercriminals are looking to exploit this vulnerability. Change the password from the default to something unique to protect your home network from malicious attacks. It’s also important to make sure that firmware updates are installed as soon as they are available.
8. Keep your operating system up to date
To minimize the risk of being hacked, it’s important to keep your operating system up to date and install the updates as soon as they are available. You can do so by making sure all your devices have automatic updates turned on.
9. Enable automatic locking
If you work remotely from a co-working space, a coffee shop or even at home, it’s important to lock your devices to protect them when they’re not attended. You should configure an amount of time that’s convenient but not unreasonably long, such as 30 seconds followed by phone and five minutes for your laptop.
10. Use an antivirus
Antivirus software can help you protect your computer from viruses, ransomware, spyware, Trojans, and other types of malware. A good antivirus detects the presence of the virus and removes it from your computer. Besides eliminating viruses, the software can also prevent any potential virus from infecting your computer in the first place.
11. Use a private VPN
Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) when you use the internet, especially when you do so from a public location. This masks your online activities and helps protect your sensitive data and passwords.
12. Be extra careful with social media
If you use social media regularly, you can be at risk. The minimizing, make sure you only accept requests from people you know and lock down your profiles for everyone except your connections.
13. Avoid sharing your accounts with your co-workers
Even when you work remotely, you should have your own unique company account. This reduces the opportunity for passports to be leaked, and it also makes it easier to investigate any security incidents.
14. Don’t send sensitive information over email
Email, text, or team chat are all convenient ways to communicate with your team members every day, but you should avoid sending sensitive data using them. A better alternative for sensitive data is using an encrypted file sharing tool.
15. Don’t use unauthorized USB devices
Never plug in a USB device that the IT department has not preapproved. If you don’t have any encryption enabled, your own personal USB device might not be secure enough.
Search Remotely has been instrumental for employers around the world. We enable some of the greatest remote companies to hire the best remote talent. Work from home cybersecurity should be a top priority for all remote teams.