Working from home means you are no longer assured of the cybersecurity protections that are (presumably) in force at your place of business. Here are some home cybersecurity tips:
- Secure Your Home WiFi Network: Make sure the WiFi password for your network is a strong one. Strong passwords that are easier to remember are phrases; often silly or nonsensical ones. An example could be “I always wear purples socks on Sundays”. If you use a password manager that will generate a complex password for you, use that. Note that your WiFi router also has a password. It will just be the default password that came with the device, unless you have changed it. Make sure this password is a strong one as well, and not the same as your WiFi password, or any other. All your passwords should be unique. Cybercriminals will be on the lookout more than ever, for these easy ways to hack into your home network.
- WiFi Security Protocol: Make sure your WiFi router is not using WEP as the security protocol. This protocol was originally released in 1999. The preferred protocol is WPA2. If your router does not support WPA2, it’s probably time to think about a new one. You can read all about WiFi security protocols here: WiFi Security Protocols
- Don’t Use Public or Borrowed WiFi Networks: It is never a good idea to connect to a public WiFi network or someone else’s WiFi network to conduct business. You have no idea how secure that network is. Furthermore, cybercriminals can disguise public WiFi networks using a legitimate sounding name. Once you connect to their network, they can access your computer and steal data. If you must use a WiFi connection other than your home or business, ensure that your IT department has configured a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other secure Remote Connection as your means of connecting to the office. This will ensure a secure tunnel is created between you and the remote computer you are connecting to.
- Password Protect All Devices: Laptops, tablets, phones and other home smart devices all need to be protected with strong passwords. Pay particular attention to smart devices like cameras, personal assistants (Alexa, Google Home), thermostats, etc., which often come with default passwords. Be sure to change these, and again, make sure every password is unique.
- Antivirus and Patching: Check that your antivirus software is up-to-date, particularly if you are using a home computer which is not normally managed and updated by your IT department. Likewise, Microsoft Windows and typical third party software security patches should be up-to-date.
- Secure Messaging and Information Sharing: When communicating and collaborating with coworkers, be sure to only use company-approved methods. These will be, for instance, the corporate email system. Communicating instead via your personal gmail account or Facebook could expose confidential information. Likewise, storing and sharing corporate documents in your personal Dropbox account or in iCloud may not follow corporate policy.
- Securely Connect to Your Corporate Network: Follow your employer’s guidelines on how to connect securely to your corporate network. This will typically involve connecting via a VPN or another secure Remote Connection solution.
- Hard Copy Documents: Be sure not to throw out confidential documents before shredding them.If you are interested in learning about how you can better protect your organization from cyber attack, please contact us