Working remotely was considered a luxury in the past; but today, it’s a necessity because employees worldwide are practicing self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, during these unprecedented periods, you and your business may experience newer cybersecurity risks that may attempt to take advantage of you while you work remotely. This is why you must think about your home office security.
Typically, a different person takes care of your security measures at your workplace; but when you work remotely, you have to do that yourself, especially if you’re using your personal computer for office work.
There are unique security threats associated with remote work. You can improve the security of sensitive information and protect yourself and your business against cyber security threats by following these security tips.
2021 Cyber Security tips for Office and Remote Work
- Use reliable antivirus software
This is probably the easiest and most effective measure to take. It is estimated that the global damage to businesses as a result of cybercrime is $1.5 billion yearly.
There’s a high probability that this figure will be more this year, as cybercriminals look to exploit home internet networks and business VPNs to access sensitive data.
When these attacks are successful, they could leave you, your workers, and your business open to malware, ransomware, and spyware attacks. Antivirus software takes the most difficult work off your hands by providing automatic remote working security against various threats such as:
- Zero-day attacks
- Phishing scams
In addition to completely fighting online security threats, an antivirus also automatically updates itself to remain on top of new and emerging security threats. It runs secretly in the background of your other operations, so you’ll not even notice that it’s there.
- Protect your home router
Attackers seek ways to exploit passwords on home routers because most people don’t change them. This leaves the home network vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
It is simple to change the default password on your router to something difficult to guess. You’ll protect your home network from malicious actors who want access to your devices when you do this.
There are other things you can do, for instance, ensure that your firmware updates are immediately installed to prevent known vulnerabilities.
- Securely your sensitive files
When you need to transfer confidential files from your office to your home, keep them out of sight and under lock and key. If you don’t have a file cabinet at home, keep the files in a locked room.
- Practice good password hygiene
In our digital age, we have passwords for almost everything – from banking apps to social media accounts – there are several passwords you have to manage.
Most people use the same password for all their accounts because they feel like it’s easier to remember. But doing this is an open invitation to be hacked – on all your accounts.
Some other people use passwords that are easy to guess – such as their nicknames, anniversary date, date of birth, birthdays of family members, and worst – 12345.
Your passwords are the first things that reveal your identity online. If a hacker manages to breach them, that could cause you big trouble.
There are several attacks that hackers can use to access your passwords, such as credential stuffing, brute force attack, or hash cracking. However, you can protect your data by following these important password practices:
- Set strong passwords that are difficult to guess, such as passwords that are a combination of random letters, symbols, or long phrases
- Change your password regularly
- Avoid using the same passwords for all your accounts
- Take note of devices where you input your password
- Use two-factor authentication to have added security to your accounts
- Avoid writing down your passwords, particularly your banking and social media passwords
- Use a password manager if you find it difficult to remember your passwords
- Don’t overshare your screen
As you take meetings of conferences online, be cautious when sharing your screen. If you don’t want to share a window, don’t leave it open. Someone could accidentally see it, and you’ll end up sharing something sensitive. Although it seems awkward, it is a privacy concern. Be cautious enough to avoid oversharing content that is not meant to be seen by others.
- Authenticate your accounts
This should be the top priority of every employee, particularly those that work remotely. When it comes to personal information such as your banking details, private messages, pictures on your social media accounts, authentication can make your accounts more secure.
Almost all social media platforms and cloud storage accounts provide two-factor authentication to users. This provides an extra layer of security to your accounts. This step shouldn’t be an afterthought. Sometimes attackers can use employees as bait to reach the confidential data of an organization.
- Back up your data
Some hackers use malware to perform ransomware attacks that could prevent businesses from accessing their systems unless they pay a ransom. Such attacks are getting more popular. According to research by IBM, those attacks have risen by 6,000 percent worldwide since 2016.
There have been more reports of ransomware attacks during the coronavirus pandemic because hackers are now targeting the IT systems of hospitals and healthcare providers.
- Avoid sharing personal information
Phishing is similar to scams. Never share your emails, messages, or information. Also, avoid sharing images of your home workspace on social media. You might end up accidentally sharing sensitive information.
- Regularly update your operating system
To reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, make sure that your operating systems are up-to-date. A lot of modern devices will automatically update by default but you’ll have to restart your computer to complete the process.
- Activate automatic locking
Anytime you move away from your device; whether at the office, coffee shop, or home, you should lock it. We always forget to do this; this is why you should enable automatic locking to protect your devices. Ensure that you configure the time that will be most convenient for your device to lock.
The internet is now a place rife with dangerous viruses, Trojans, and contacts. While developers are regularly coming up with newer ways of fighting against cyber-attacks, hackers are becoming more cunning. Most organizations understand the importance of security measures. These cybersecurity tips will help you remain ahead of hackers and cyber-attackers.