Working from home was a dramatic transition for many workers to make. Whether you're counting the days until you can return to the office, or are thoroughly enjoying spending the work day in your jammies, we likely have more remote work ahead of us still. Now that we're all a little more comfortable working from home, it's important to make sure that you don't let any of your company's cybersecurity practices lapse.
Opening the wrong email, even once, can put you and your organization at risk.
These ten security tips for remote workers will help keep you safe.
10 Cybersecurity Tips You Need to Know While Working From Home
#1: Be Cautious About the Emails You Open
Phishing emails are on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hackers will start by targeting low level employees, and then move on to their managers. Similarly, they'll target smaller, more vulnerable businesses before moving on to their larger business partners. Because of that, be cautious about the emails you click on, even if they're from a known client or colleague.
Popular phishing scams in 2020 include:
- Emails claiming to be from the IRS or Social Security
- Fake charities soliciting donations
- Payroll and HR scams requesting a wire transfer or paying a fake invoice
#2: Use Your Company's VPN
If your company uses a VPN, verify that you're using it when you access the internet for your work day. This is a simple way to ensure you're keeping yourself safe.
#3: Secure Your Wifi
If you're still using the default password your wifi router came with, now is the time to change it. Default passwords are often easily guessed or found online. This is especially true if your company doesn't use a VPN.
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#4: Use Company-Issued Devices
You're already cozy in bed with your coffee. It can be tempting just to pop open your personal laptop instead of going downstairs for the work computer. However, this can put your organization at risk. It's important to be diligent about cybersecurity by always using company-issued devices.
#5: Use Trusted Apps
Ensure you're using your organization's preferred apps. For example, if your company uses a cloud storage solution like Google Drive, be sure to store your files there, not locally on your computer. This helps in case your computer gets stolen or damaged.
#6: Lock Your Devices
Avoid tempting the pranksters in your household by shutting your computer off or locking it when it's not in use. This cybersecurity measure is especially important if you have access to sensitive files and information.
#7: Use a Strong Password
Protect your computer and its contents by setting a strong password.
#8: Use Antivirus Software
If you don't use an antivirus program, ask your IT department if your company provides a license, or consider investing in your own.
#9: Keep Your Computer up to Date
Old and outdated computer programs can contain security risks that make your device an easy target for hackers. It's vital to your company's cybersecurity that you keep your computer and all programs up to date.
#10: Ask About Specific Policies
If you're ever unsure about the steps you should be taking to ensure your company's security online, check with IT. You may not know if you should have certain programs installed, or use a specific login. The best way to be safe is to verify with your organization.
Hackers are taking advantage of the pandemic by targeting remote workers, which can put many companies at risk. By following these cybersecurity tips and your organization's best practices, you can make sure you're keeping yourself and your company safe while you're working from home. Looking to go even further to keep your organization safe? Learn more about cyber liability insurance.