5 Cybersecurity Tips While Working From Home

According to Forbes, nearly 60% of full-time and part-time workers in the U.S. were doing their jobs remotely within the past year. It’s become a necessity for employees to work from home. With many of the workforce pivoting to working remotely, that raises how to improve cybersecurity to prevent any critical information from being compromised. Here are five ways that IT professionals recommend to protect your precious data.

Create strong passwords – It is recommended to create a robust and lengthy password for every online account you log in to on an employer-issued device. Your password should be at least ten characters, excluding words or personal information. Additionally, combine uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and special symbols to increase your password's difficulty and decrease the chances of someone hacking your data.

Ensure that you are updating software as recommended – Programs and operating systems are updated regularly to prevent criminals from capitalizing on their weaknesses. Make sure your operating system is running the latest version. Enable automatic updates to make sure your systems are protected.

Beware of phishing techniques - Phishers will try to make their requests appear authentic by replicating trusted senders' email addresses. Look for typos, added punctuation that’s not supposed to be there, and email addresses that use the correct username with the wrong domain.

Utilize your corporate VPN – A VPN secures information transmitted between employer and employee through what’s known as data encryption. If you’re using a VPN on one of your devices, don’t turn it off when you’re working. Otherwise, you will lose a tool that could block any attempt to steal proprietary information.

Avoid mixing personal and corporate devices - When you do work tasks on your home laptop, you might be jeopardizing sensitive business data if your personal computer lacks the proper security. Also, family members and friends shouldn’t be allowed to use your employer-issued devices. If your workplace is BYOD-friendly, you should refrain from storing sensitive data on your personal devices.

Your IT department does not exclusively manage cybersecurity. It is everyone's obligation. Organizations must put into practice cybersecurity training for their employees to ensure that they are aware of the threats and have accountability within their role.

By implementing good habits—such as creating strong passwords, updating software, and using the corporate VPN, you can help provide a secure environment. The freedom that comes with working from home is a collective responsibility to maintain security standards that would be provided for you when you are working in the office.

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