Working from home has become a revolutionary idea over the past couple of years with many people opting to save themselves the time and expense of a daily commute by relocating their office to their spare bedroom or kitchen table. However, you should still be aware of your internet security when you are working from home as your computer may hold sensitive data. Here are six ways to keep your data safe when you are working from home.
Many people forget about physical security when they work from home, but a good opportunist thief can steal your laptop in seconds if it is on view and not attended. If you work from your back garden or can be overlooked from your office, you could give thieves a chance. It might only take a few minutes to make a cup of coffee or do the school run but that is all a thief might need. It will be embarrassing and potentially career-threatening to have to explain to your boss where your laptop has gone.
Make Sure Your Home Router Is Secure
Not many people bother to change their home passwords frequently so your home router can become an easy target for cybercriminals. Changing your home computer passwords frequently and making sure that firewalls are installed and updated will help to keep your data safe when you are working from home.
Use Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are essential as they stop hackers from getting to your information. Use a series of letters, numbers, and characters in your password to make sure that they are hard to guess and then memorise them. Never write them down to help you remember them as this information could be stolen and used. Avoid making it too easy for yourself when you change your password too. You should not use consecutive numbers when you decide to make a change but keep the rest of the password the same. For example, changing from Smith1 to Smith2 is easy to guess and could compromise your security.
Use Antivirus Software
Anti-virus software can protect your computer from getting infected with viruses. This means that a hacker will find it a lot harder to access the information held on your computer. It works by deleting any viruses that it has found and updates itself regularly to make sure that your computer stays virus-free, and hackers can’t access your information.
Use a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is used frequently by people who are working from home so that they can log in to their company’s information when working from home. This may make the employee’s life easier, but it also makes things easier for hackers. It should scramble information so it is not easy to hack but you can help to keep your company data secure by only logging in to this when you need to use it rather than keeping it logged in all the time. This will give hackers less opportunity to steal your information. Make sure that this is turned off during the evenings and weekends or whenever you are not using it. To better understand how to tell if your works computers have been hacked, read these tips from Dial a Geek.
Beware of Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is used by a lot of companies so that you can conduct meetings without having to go to a physical office. These are a fantastic platform to use when you are working from home, but they can be compromised. Zoom was forced to upgrade its security recently as it was found that hackers have been entering video conferences that they had not been invited to. To make sure that company meetings are kept private, always use a password to control entry or manage guest access from a virtual waiting room on the platform.
Webcams can be easy to hack too but most people use these for video conferencing. Secure your privacy by making sure you don’t have sensitive data on view and using a sliding webcam cover when you are not in a virtual meeting. Many conferencing platforms have a ‘blur background’ feature that you can use to make sure that any sensitive data in your room can’t be seen.
Your company is responsible for some of your internet security if you are working from home but if you are found to be negligent yourself it can cost you your job and even your career. Make sure you keep your data safe when working from home by following these six tips.