Are you, like millions of others across the globe, currently working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you set up a home office and continued business as usual? Have you considered the unique security concerns related to working outside a formal office location?
If you have shifted your regular work routine to a home office, it is important to recognize that you are now at higher risk of hacking and other criminal activity. There are several steps that you can take to ensure that your devices (i.e. laptops, phones, tablets) and data are secure beyond the office environment.
1) Establish a secure home office. Take simple steps such as securing your home network and ensuring all safety features are enabled and working. Avoid using corporate devices for personal reasons and avoid installing unapproved company software or apps.
2) Avoid unsecured public networks and free Wi-Fi. Open-access networks that don’t require the use of a password are considerably more dangerous than a secure network in your workplace or in your home. Unfortunately this means avoiding working at your local coffee shop, but the repercussions far outweigh the benefits. If these security precautions are forgotten, hackers can snoop on open-access connections and spy on your online activities, including seeing your passwords, credit card information, or even give your system viruses. This can be particularly troublesome if you are using company information and data, which you should keep secure within your home Wi-Fi connection.
3) Use a VPN when possible. Whenever you can, use a corporate VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your online work activities. VPNs create secure connections that allow your data to be safely transferred over the internet. If you don’t have this option, limit your online activities and do not transfer sensitive data.
4) Store sensitive information safely. Do not store sensitive information on a portable device that can be lost or stolen. Confidential information such as trade secrets or company financials should remain in the office or accessed remotely via a VPN or other secure company server.
5) Keep corporate devices locked down at home. Don’t let friends or family use your work devices for personal reasons (i.e. checking email, playing games, etc.). While they likely mean no harm, you are responsible for the security of your corporate devices and the data they hold, therefore ,you shouldn’t take any chances.
If you are looking for more tips and tricks to keep your online work activity safe, contact a private investigator for further insights that will allow you to work at home with peace of mind.