These are the work from home security recommendations we learned after a year of working remotely outside of the workplace.
Last year, the globe went online on a never-before-seen scale. According to ShopifyPlus’s Future of Ecommerce 2021 Annual Report, “at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ten years of e-commerce growth occurred in just 90 days.”
Meanwhile, the covert assault on cybersecurity has accelerated rapidly. Cyberattacks targeted more companies and people than in any previous year—at a rate of one every ten seconds.
One of the most unpleasant truths about cybersecurity threats is that the majority of them may be prevented by adhering to a few basic security best practices.
The majority of cybercriminals are not supervillains equipped with supercomputers and game-changing technologies. They often use easy techniques and tools to break passwords or send you malicious links.
To assist you in remaining safe when working remotely, we’ve compiled a list of five work from home security recommendations we discovered after a year of doing business from our personal spaces.
1. Have separate devices for personal and professional use
It’s simple to reconcile work and personal life. In 2020, many individuals found themselves working weekends and longer hours simply because their commute no longer distinguished their personal and professional lives.
Disentangling your work and personal lives is one method to increase the security of your device. In a nutshell, you can use a variety of gadgets for personal and business purposes.
Numerous companies provide computers and, in certain cases, smartphones to their workers. If you have the option of bringing a work device home, you may increase your overall security by storing personal and professional data separately on their assigned devices. Alternatively, and for want of a better term, avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.
2. Change your passwords often (and keep them strong!)
Similarly to segregating business and personal computers, it is prudent to use different passwords and to change them often. According to research, “passwords with fewer than ten characters can frequently be hacked in less than an hour.” Unsurprisingly, a compromised password is one of the most popular entry points for cyberattacks.
The length of the password is not the only problem. To adhere to password best practices, avoid using the same password for several accounts, such as Facebook, your bank, or your dashboard login.
Rather, create several randomized (i.e., unrelated to particular words or phrases) passwords and change them often. When you’re ready to generate a new and safe password, use the NordPass Password Generator.
3. Use multifactor authentication for your most important accounts
Even a strong password may be hacked on occasion. Multifactor authentication is one of the strongest defenses against this kind of attack. This is technical jargon for establishing your identification through a backup security procedure.
We’ve all seen this while logging onto our bank’s website using a new computer or phone. Oftentimes, your bank may text or email you a unique code that you must enter to sign in. By using multifactor authentication, you add another layer of protection between hackers and your most sensitive data.
However, if you want to increase the protection of sensitive personal and professional information, you may enable multifactor authentication for the majority of accounts, including dashboards and email inboxes.
4. Avoid clicking links from people and brands you don’t know
Many individuals are aware of phishing. These attacks often take the form of emails sent by cybercriminals attempting to get us to click on a malicious link that gives them access to our credentials or personal information.
However, are you familiar with phishing cousins, smishing, and vishing? These two strategies expanded significantly during the 2020 and 2021 shutdowns.
- Smishing occurs when a hacker sends you an SMS (text message). As with phishing emails, smishing SMS messages often include hazardous links that compromise your information. BBVA described a popular smishing strategy as follows:
“The customer receives a text message ostensibly from their bank informing them that an unauthorized purchase was made with their credit card. The text message instructs the recipient to call their bank using a fictitious phone number. When the client answers the call, the cybercriminal poses as the bank and demands personal information in order to cancel the purchase.”
- Vishing is the telephone equivalent of phishing: voice phishing. Hackers may contact you on your personal phone, posing as a company or a loved one, and requesting sensitive information from you. This may include inquiries for financial information such as a credit card number or for your password.
As a general guideline, never provide personal information to a stranger over the phone unless you start the discussion, and avoid clicking links from unknown sources.
5. Use a VPN on Wi-Fi
While at work, your business may assist in ensuring that individual members of the organization remain secure from network hackers and viruses. However, what if you work from home or at a coffee shop?
A VPN is one of the most cost-effective methods to enhance your remote security. This enables you to surf the web anonymously and protect your personal information. VPNs protect your data by encrypting it and providing you with an anonymous IP address. This is critical if you want to work from coffee shops or other public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Stay secure while working from home
Unfortunately, cybersecurity dangers are not going away anytime soon. Over the last year and a half, the work-from-home trend has raised some of the dangers to people and businesses.
However, the good news is that the majority of cyberattacks are preventable by following a few simple home security guidelines, some of which we discussed above.
Cybersecurity, like in many other areas of life, is often the little detail that counts the most.