It is the 21st century and working in the office full-time is no longer necessary to be productive, as working from home can provide the same or even better results. We now have platforms like Zoom, Facetime, Slack, and Email to make this possible.
While the decision to work from home provides an opportunity to be free from the hassles of the traditional work setting, it has brought with it an increased threat for cyber attacks.
We have discusses cybersecurity tips for businesses in a previous article. In this article, we will provide you with tips that make sure that you are cyber secure while working from home.
1. USE ANTIVIRUS
This might sound cliché but it is very important. It is the bare minimum. Whether it is your personal computer or an official one, an antivirus prevents malware from compromising your work and your employer’s data.
Here are a few we’d highly recommend (in no particular order) ☺
2. FOLLOW YOUR EMPLOYER’S SECURITY POLICIES WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
Now that most people work from home, the home is an extension of the office. It is crucial for both your safety and that of your employer/company, to adhere to security policies that have been made mandatory. Many times, employers enforce this by making sure there is a signed agreement by employees. However, with or without a signed agreement, everyone should be committed to cyber safety.
Policies may be drafted as below:
Failure to adhere to these policies may lead to consequences as stated in the document.
3. KEEP YOUR PROGRAMS UP-TO-DATE
The operating system is the most important software running on your computer. It controls the memory and operation of the machine, as well as all its applications and hardware. It also allows you to communicate with your computer without knowing how to speak the computer’s language. The computer is useless without an operating system. Programs and operating systems (OS) are updated regularly to prevent criminals from exploiting their weaknesses and hacking systems. Make sure your operating system(OS) is running at its latest version.
For your Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 Operating System:
- Enable Windows Update by pressing the Start button in the lower-left corner. In the search window, enter Install, and in the results column, select either Windows Update or Check Updates.
- Click the Check for updates button and then wait as Windows checks for the new updates on your device.
- If you see a notification informing you that important updates are available, or asking you to review important updates, press the notification to display and pick important updates to download or activate.
- For further information, click on the important updates in the list. Choose the checkboxes for any updates you want to install, then click OK
- Click Install updates
For macOS, click “update my mac” to view it in detail.
Do not shut your computer off or allow it to run out of battery during the update process. Doing so can cause corruption of the operating system. Remember to enable automatic updates to make sure all your systems are safe!
4. SECURE YOUR HOME PRIVACY AND SECURITY WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
To make sure your home is cyber secure, start with making sure your WiFi network is encrypted. Ensure that whoever needs to access it will need a password to do so.
Usually, new routers come with a default password. Be sure to change it to a custom one immediately if you have not changed it. It may seem like not much of a big deal, but a router breach is a good way for a cyber-attacker to access your devices and everything you send through the router.
If you are using an official computer (one provided by your employer), this should be checked for you. If you are using your computer, get a VPN to secure your connection, and encrypt your data. With VPN your important data can’t be accessed by anyone you don’t want to.
5. BEWARE OF OVERSHARING YOUR SCREEN WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
Be vigilant when sharing the computer during online meetings. The recently updated ‘share’ feature of online meeting channels such as Zoom, Teams, etc are frequently used in meetings, to share screen display between multiple team members and businesses. As such, you should ensure you close ALL windows you wouldn’t want to display on your screen. Personal messages, inbox, photos, and every other non-official/confidential slide.
The Zoom application allows you to limit screen sharing as in the screenshot below;
Don’t leave any windows open which you don’t want to share if possible. You may be over-sharing information that is not intended for anyone to access.
6. SECURELY STORE AND DISPOSE OF SENSITIVE FILES
When working with files at home and you need to dispose of any, don’t just dump it into your recycling bin. Make sure you clear it out as well because cybercriminals are quick to check your recycle bins to fish for customer or employee details.
Africa Prudential connects your company with digital technology solutions to simplify processes and improve customer experience. We provide superior technology customized to your company’s peculiarities. Leave your email address below and get a free 10-minute consultation with our team of experts!