Millions of people around the world are adopting the remote work arrangement to stay safe amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of commuting to work each day, they are executing their official duties and advancing their careers from their home. Though remote work opens up possibilities of career progression and lets the commercial organizations stay afloat during the ravages of coronavirus, it also gives way to more cyberattacks than ever before. Employees who are using their home networks or public hotspots to handle company data are subject to becoming malware victims. So, what’s the way out? This post unravels the key tips to stay cyber-safe while working from home. Let’s explore them below.
Install the Best Security Software & Antivirus Suite
Now that you are working from home, you need to safeguard your devices against possible hacking attempts or malware infestation. Since a huge part of your day is spent online completing the day-to-day company tasks, you should have a robust security suite at your back to protect you and your company’s confidential data from harm. This harm can be anything from a viral code that creates chaos in your devices to a phishing link that quietly slips malware into your computer.
The good news is that you can find a pretty good antivirus software in the market, free or paid, that can do the job well. If you have subscribed to a security-backed internet service, that’s even better! Cox internet packages, for instance, come with a powerful Cox Security Suite powered by McAfee, which gives you 360° protection when you’re working online. So, invest in a solid security suite before you begin your remote work.
Strengthen Your Router’s Security & In-Home Wi-Fi Network
Once your devices are protected, next, you need to secure your in-home wireless network. Why? Because you are no longer connected to your corporate LAN at the firm that had the best cybersecurity defenses installed on it by your IT team. You are working from home and tapping into the company’s private data over your in-home wireless network. How can you secure your Wi-Fi?
Begin with password protection. Create a strong password for your wireless network by heading into the router’s settings. It should be at least 11 characters long and made up of a unique combination of letters, symbols, and numbers. Then, you should also change your network SSID to a unique name, like “Ben’s Den” instead of the default “admin”. Disable your network SSID for extra protection. Also, make sure to update your router’s firmware now and then to install the latest security patches on it that combat cyberattacks and bugs. Thus, by securing your wireless network at the source, i.e. the router, you also safeguard the entire row of devices that are connected over it.
Shield Collaboration Tools & Videoconferencing Programs
Working from home means attending office meetings and collaborating on different team projects from your personal space. This is where videoconferencing and project management tools come in handy. As per videoconferencing on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, here are a few key rules you should follow to communicate safely during the pandemic:
- Cover the webcam when not in use.
- Download videoconferencing program from the provider’s official site itself.
- Create a unique meeting ID and password for every meeting.
- Launch a waiting room before starting the meeting to screen participants and allow only authorized individuals into the meeting.
- Make sure to give the control of screen-sharing and other options to only one host.
Regarding collaboration tools like Asana, experts recommend you use a VPN to hide your information exchange with your team. What does a VPN do? A Virtual Private Network routes your web traffic through a server located anywhere around the world, thus masking your IP address. Besides this, it ‘tunnels’ your data, encrypts, and encodes it, so hackers who may be able to access it won’t be able to decipher it or make any sense of it. VPNs also unlock blocked content on the web. If you are dealing with an international client, a VPN will allow you to bypass content restrictions and gain access to information otherwise unavailable. Installing a VPN is super-easy, and it surrounds your remote work with an extra security shield.
Keep an Eye on New Company Policies & Security Updates
Thousands of business organizations and companies are adopting remote work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While they are setting up necessary systems and IT mechanisms to make work-from-home possible for their employees, they are also establishing new security protocols and grounds to keep their employees safe from phishing attacks and other cyber-threats to the corporate network. In this regard, they roll out security updates and patches often. Therefore, you should stay aware of the new company policies and install updates sent by your organization’s IT department on your work laptop to ensure cybersecurity compliance.
Working from home is unavoidable, these days. To work from home in the safest way possible, you should get your hands on good security software, protect your Wi-Fi from interception, safeguard your videoconferences, and know about the latest company security policies & updates, as covered in this post.