Working from home means you can work in your pyjamas with your dogs, but it also means you’re in command of your home office security. Sure, the companies you work for will have protections in place, but you should put your own in place to secure critical data and your devices. The challenge of protecting your remote environment from cyber threats and criminal actors might appear daunting, but here are some strategies to help you secure your home office and safeguard your data.
- Segregate your personal and work devices
Keeping your work and personal gadgets separate is a vital security precaution. While it may be easy to access a work account on your personal phone or laptop, or to access your social media accounts on your work computer, this is not encouraged. You don’t want a hacker or virus accessing vital information if your device suffers a security breach. Keeping all of your devices apart reduces the amount of sensitive data that an attacker may access.
- Physically secure your devices
Now that your computer has been protected from a digital assault, you can go the extra mile and protect it against a physical one. Computer theft is costly in terms of both money and data loss. If you’re concerned that someone may take your technology while you’re away, you can physically lock it to deter burglars. Laptops contain a plethora of security features, ranging from cover locks to GPS tracking. But what about your bigger PCs? Fortunately, there are several solutions to prevent your home office from being taken, with a wide range of pricing ranges.
- Secure your Wi-F
A key cybersecurity advice for working from home is to make sure your Wi-Fi is safe. Hackers might possibly acquire access to your devices or utilize your Wi-Fi network for illegal activity by penetrating your Wi-Fi network. As a first step, you should update your Wi-Fi router’s default password to a new, uniquely strong password. It’s also a good idea to alter the wireless network name to something that doesn’t include any personal information, such as your name or address, for further protection. Other actions you may take to safeguard your wireless network include setting network encryption and remaining up to speed on recent security upgrades or patches. Finally, while it may be tempting to use public Wi-Fi in a café or a nearby park, it is not worth the risk. Because public Wi-Fi signals are renowned for being susceptible to hostile agents, it is always preferable to work from a safe, well-protected home Wi-Fi network.
- Continually update your operating system
The most recent version of your operating system: The operating system controls the whole internal system of the machine. An operating system is exemplified by Windows 10 and macOS Big Sur. It cannot be overstated how crucial it is to keep your PC’s operating system up to date. For example, if an operating system update is available, we strongly advise installing it towards the end of the day. In fact, applying the updates towards the end of the workday will avoid any downtime. Similarly, installing the updates over the weekend allows the PC to reboot as many times as necessary to install the new operating system.
Aside from your operating system, any software or programs you use, such as your web browser, must be kept up to date. Most applications will look for and install updates automatically. If you discover that your phone’s applications aren’t updating on a regular basis, check your software update settings. If you have old or unsupported software on your device, make sure to remove it. Hackers hunt for holes that they may exploit to gain access to your devices and data, so take the necessary steps and stay on top of your device security.
- Encrypt your data
Encryption became a catchphrase around the time the Internet began to push toward greater security. Encryption is a method of encrypting data so that only authorized parties may decipher it. In other words, encryption transforms readable data such that it seems unreadable to people or machines. Click here to read more about how to encrypt the data on your pc.
- Backup your sensitive data
Of course, if your computer is stolen, you can always replace it. Your data, on the other hand, is more difficult to replace. That is why it is critical to establish a backup so that you can recover your data fast and effortlessly.
When creating a backup, you have the option of saving it on physical storage (such as a memory stick) or uploading it to the cloud. Putting it on a memory stick keeps hackers and organizations from snooping on your data, yet a cloud backup is far more difficult to delete than physical storage.
If you want an online backup but don’t want firms prying on your data, choose the best secure cloud storage options to keep your data safe.
- Use a third-party firewall
While antivirus software helps to protect the file system against unwanted programs, a firewall helps to keep attackers or external threats from getting access to your system in the first place. When traffic flows to and from your network freely, cyber threats can intrude and wreak havoc. Thankfully, a firewall can manage the flow of your network’s traffic to help ensure that cyber threats such as malware aren’t allowed through.A firewall is a cyber security device that monitors inbound and outbound network traffic and permits/blocks data packets based on a set of security rules.
- Use an authenticator app
In the early days of the internet, all hackers needed was a password to get access to an account. Fortunately, more security measures are now available to secure our accounts from hackers. Two-factor authentication requires you to provide extra “evidence” that you are the rightful owner of your account and not a hacker.
An authenticator app is the most useful tool for verifying your identity using two-factor authentication. When you try to log in to your account, you will receive a push message on your device or a particular timed code in your app.
- Install a virtual private network (VPN)
For those building a home office to work remotely, a VPN can help ensure that a secure connection is made between your home office and corporate office and that corporate data is safe when it’s sent out of your network.Virtual Private Networks, or VPN’s, can be used in conjunction with an existing WiFi network to ensure that data is encrypted when it’s sent to and from your home office. VPN’s also anonymize an employee’s web traffic when they’re working remote and using a less secure WiFi signal, for instance at Starbucks or in their house.
- Beware of phishing scams
Email phishing is a common hacking technique used by unscrupulous actors to gain an individual’s email password. Email security awareness is something that should be practiced on a regular basis, regardless of where you work. In other words, be cautious while reading emails. Calling the person who sent you a strange-looking email is a smart way to get secondary confirmation. Especially if the email does not appear to be correct. If you are unsure about the provenance of an email, never click on any links inside it. Scammers are more interested than ever in targeting home workers. Maintain vigilance and always confirm the email’s legitimacy with the sender.