Working From Home Security Tips
- 29 Jul 2020
- Business Security
Unfortunately cyber threats haven’t stopped just because the world has changed, in fact with the quick rush for businesses to get employees set up working from home security measures have been skipped in order to get productivity up straight away.
In the workplace someone else generally manages security but when working from home it’s up to each employee and it’s important they take a few measures to ensure they are working as securely as possible.
Ensure your privacy with a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A VPN enables people to use the internet via an encrypted connection. This means that information sent over this connection can’t be seen or interfered with by a hacker. So the data you are viewing when logging into a work system or website can’t be seen by anyone else.
Secure your home router
Cyber criminals look to exploit default passwords on home routers because not many people bother to change it, this can leave your home network vulnerable.
By changing your router's password from the default to something unique you can protect your home network from hackers who want access to your devices.
Set up a secure router for work on your home network
If you are using a VPN to connect to your office network your home network could become a security issue. By setting up a new router with a separate WiFi signal and connecting to that purely for work processes will be a lot more secure.
Home networks can be a risk as they are often used by others, and used for purposes that are much different than in an office environment. You or a family member could accidentally download malware from home related internet use. An example would be if a teenager downloaded a pirated copy of a game and this infected your home network. This could then spread from your home network through the VPN directly into your work network and infect all the computers in your office. This is one way a VPN may not always be the best security measure.
Avoid oversharing your screen
When sharing your screen in video meetings be careful how much you share. If possible just select the specific area of the screen to share rather than your whole screen. If you are sharing your whole screen make sure you close down any windows or applications with sensitivity information on before joining the meeting. If you are moving between programs you could reveal those to everyone on the video call.
Encrypt your devices
Turning on encryption can help protect devices from being accessed should you lose them or if they are stolen as it prevents strangers from accessing the contents of your device without the password, PIN, or biometrics.
Encryption is the process of encoding information so only authorised people can access it.
How you turn on encryption will depend on your device:
- Windows: Turn on BitLocker.
- macOS: Turn on FileVault.
- Linux: Use dm-crypt or similar.
- Android: Enabled by default since Android 6.
- iOS: Enabled by default since iOS 8.
Use an antivirus
Antivirus software can help protect your computer from viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, trojans, and other types of malware.
Lock up laptops
This may be obvious but when working in public spaces and shared office space you should always keep your laptop and devices in line of sight.
When working from home people can become a bit too comfortable with just leaving devices lying around, this isn’t too much of an issue when it comes to personal laptops but if that laptop has sensitive company information it can really matter.
Stolen devices present a great opportunity for cyber criminals trying to access your company’s systems – don’t make it easy for them.
Enable find my device and remote wipe
If a laptop or phone is lost or stolen being able to remotely find or wipe the device can make it much harder to access your data, no matter how much time or determination an attacker has.
Here's how to enable find my device:
- Windows: Enable in Settings > Update & Security & Find my device.
- macOS: Setup iCloud on your device by going to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Find My Mac.
- Linux: Not built into the operating system and requires a third-party app
- Android: Set up a Google account on the device and it will be enabled by default.
- iOS: Setup iCloud on your device by going to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Find My iPhone/iPad.