The global COVID-19 pandemic has most of us crawling back within our homes. All the while, confining work, schooling, and socialization to our cellphones and laptops screens. With all of the businesses and enterprises, including the giants such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, limiting employers to working online, there are specific security measures to consider.
Admittedly working from home seems exceedingly ideal. There are no traffic jams to rush through, and no hassles of waking up early to dress up! We can quite quickly get done with tasks while sitting on our beds, in our favorite pajamas while munching on our favorite snacks!
However, the question remains, is it this ideal when it comes to security.? Come to think of it, within offices, most of the work is secure as there is a proper IT team managing cybersecurity. At work, we have:
- A legitimate VPN connection in every employee’s respective laptops
- All of the internet traffic is encrypted
- Employees get training to deal with plausible phishing attacks
- Real-time malware and virus protection from a legitimate antimalware/antivirus software
However, within homes, people barely have such protection. After all, who would think of protecting homes while all we do at home is binge watch Netflix or stream YouTube! Therefore, here are some of the top security measures to consider while working from home
Work from home security tips.
There are various ways one can ensure cybersecurity while working from home. However, we are all not sure which safety measure is the most effective. I, therefore, have come up with some of the best methods of maintaining security while working from home.
1. Use A VPN
A VPN or a virtual private network, which serves the primary purpose of providing:
- Online anonymity
- Secure web connection
A VPN works by providing security and anonymity by hiding your IP address and masking your original location. Additionally, it protects and hides your internet traffic through secure military-grade encryption.
With a VPN connection, all of your information goes on as encrypted data packets while it travels within an encrypted tunnel. Therefore a VPN protects you from anyone trying to snoop into your data let it be:
- Data snoopers
Therefore, having a legitimate VPN connection while working from home ensures your work is under no danger from any data snooper or cyber-criminal. VPNs ensure your sensitive data remains secure and does not stray from yours or your employee’s hands.
Even those who don’t have an office provided VPN connection, should consider getting a legitimate VPN. After all, what if someone snoops and the sensitive data your boss shared with you ends up in the wrong hands? You surely don’t want to explain how a slight overlook from your part led him to a business loss!
Additionally, VPN connections also provide a secure WiFi connection with getting router integration. This encrypts the whole of WiFi connection. Moreover, VPNs are not only there to provide security and privacy. A legitimate VPN connection comes with a variety of benefits such as:
- Allows users to bypass ISP throttling
- Unlimited US Netflix and Hulu streaming
- Secure P2P communication and downloading
Now, most people tend to get a free VPN connection, which seemingly gets the job done. However, as these VPNs don’t have a legitimate earning frame, they can earn with selling your data.
Therefore, it is better to invest in a legitimate VPN connection that promises to keep no logs and serves its real purpose of providing privacy and security.
2. Use antimalware/antivirus software
Malware, viruses, trojans, and every kind of malicious attacks are unfortunately on the rise. Cybercriminals carry out malware attack campaigns to target large groups of people and enterprises. The purpose stands with:
- Gaining information and selling it for money
- To carry out data theft
- Crippling rival companies
In such dire situations, it is better to arm up with legitimate antimalware/ antivirus protection. A malware infection can cause significant financial crises. With that, if you end up with an infection from some of the deadliest ones such as the emotet virus, you can get into deep trouble.
An antimalware/antivirus software, therefore, ensures safety and security from such threats. This software runs in the background while scanning every file that enters the system to remove any malicious ones.
They also perform timely deep scans to remove any threat that might have made its way into the system discreetly. However, with such a large number of antimalware/antivirus software flooding the market, it is better to choose a legitimate one.
3. Backup all data securely
Backing up user data is one of the most crucial things to do. Data loss is a common occurrence, and it can happen due to various reasons such as:
- Ransomware or malware can infect your system
- Hardware issues within laptops and PCs can wipe off data
- You can accidentally delete some important files
Nevertheless, the situation, having a backup of every important document and file, is a smart move and can come in handy during dire situations. However, even with backups, there are certain security risks you have to consider.
From an employer’s perspective, having local storage backups at your employee’s home is a danger potential. While managing things at home, people can easily misplace things for them to stumble in the wrong hands.
Even if we overlook this matter, local storage backups are within itself a security problem. It is, therefore, better to have cloud backups. You can easily set up automated backups and secure cloud accounts through strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
However, even with cloud backups, it is crucial to choose a cloud company that values privacy. As cloud leaks are a standard method for criminals to steal data, it is better to use encrypted cloud storage.
Encrypted cloud storage is better at ensuring privacy and security as they protect your information within an encrypted vault. Even with that, it is essential to notch up cloud security to maintain privacy.
4. Beware of phishing attacks
Phishing and social engineering attacks have long been around as a means of infecting people with malware or stealing their information. Phishing campaigns go on at large scale and tend to target enterprises and business to:
- Carry out data theft of sensitive information
- Steal account credentials to gain money
- Get access to passwords and usernames
Within normal circumstances, phishing attempts at an organization are easy to circumvent as the IT security team detects them. However, with employees all working remotely, getting phishing targets is somewhat easy.
Precisely so, with a phishing campaign going around posing as a COVID-19 scare. By using such seemingly legitimate messages, cybercriminals can easily target particular employees and exploit them.
It is, therefore, crucial for employees to get proper training on how to recognize a phishing attack. Moreover, they should remain in the loop and only open legitimate work-related documents. Additionally, with attachments, they should only open or download documents that they are aware of receiving.
5. Be vigilant of zoom app privacy
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, zoom app downloading has skyrocketed. Most companies use it to carry out joint meeting sessions. Meanwhile, various educational institutions and schools use it for online classes.
However, amidst this, we tend to forget several privacy risks the app comes along with. Since last year, this app has managed to gain the attention of various cybersecurity professionals.
Likely, they may even sell your personal information to third parties. Apart from that, security consultant Johnathan Leitschush discovered the app hacking into cameras of various user’s Mac devices.
However, as circumstances demand the use of this app, the following things can help you remain secure such as:
- Do not login with Facebook as it may give in more information
- Use the app with a VPN
- It is better to use the app in an entirely different device that has no personal information.
Although these measures are not ideal, they can help ward off some security risks associated with the app.
Maintaining online security is crucial; let it be for work or home. As cyber-attacks increase at an alarming pace, it is better to remain cautious and try to maintain security.