Being More Secure When Working From Home
The coronavirus pandemic has entirely disrupted the way we live and work. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2018 study found more than 70 percent of global employees work remotely at least once per week. However, many stay-at-home initiatives beginning in 2020 have forced not just the occasional remote work but rather full-time working from home. This change means that millions of people have brought home more sensitive data into their living rooms this past year without resources that help address the cybersecurity risk introduced by remote work.
From securing your home network to keeping your software up to date, these tips will help you become more secure while working from home.
Secure Your Home Router
Did you know that admin is the default username and password for many routers, making it super easy for cybercriminals to exploit your home network? Changing your router password and username to something unique and personal is a simple first step in securing your home network from criminals wanting to access your devices.
You should also install all firmware updates to make sure you are running on the most recent software. Software is constantly updated and improved in response to newly discovered vulnerabilities. If you are using an outdated version of an app or operating system, your device is not as secure against known threats.
Be sure to enable encryption, ideally using WPA2, since this usually is turned off by default. You can enable encryption via your router settings by using your IP address.
Turn Off Your Network Name Broadcasting
You may have spent hours coming up with the perfect wifi pun for your network (Drop it Like It's Hotspot - I see you), or perhaps you enjoy browsing through the names of other networks in your area, but these network names (also called SSIDs) can all be seen and compromised. If you know your wifi network name, you do not need to share it constantly since many computers will automatically save any previously joined networks.
Video Conference Safely
Now that work Zoom meetings have become business up top and sweats below, there are a few other details to consider. Be sure there aren't any sensitive documents displayed in the background and do not leave notes or personal tabs open when sharing your screen.
This security consultant shows just how much information is unintentionally shared on many video calls.
Zoombombing or intentionally intruding upon an unprotected Zoom call to broadcast unwanted material is the newest form of online trolling. Make sure all your conference calls are password protected and don't share any screenshots of your Zoom calls with your room ID clearly displayed.
Lock Up and Protect Your Home Office
Now that entire families are working from home, double the number of laptops are scattered around the house. It's important to remember that these computers can still be stolen and can be a gateway into your company or school's systems. Having a security system in place can help protect you from theft and harm.
Lock up any work devices in a secure home office and invest in a home security system or camera to monitor the office doors and windows.
Now that many of us are stuck at home, it's important to remember to take care of ourselves! Don’t hesitate to congratulate yourself on a job well done while navigating these unprecedented times. This is by no means a complete list of how to secure your home, but if you incorporate these tips into your daily routines, you can fall asleep knowing your work and personal information is that much more secure!