If you’re like many professionals these days, You work from home. You likely love the flexibility that stems from working remotely, with the ability to set your own hours and schedule work around family and other commitments. Home offices are also helpful with regards to avoiding distracting workmates, being able to work in quiet, and escaping meetings, not to mention commuting time.
However, while there are plenty of excellent pros to be enjoyed from remote work, there are some cons to consider, too. One that all businesses and employees have to think about is security. When you create a home office, you don’t have an I.T. team there handling security for you, so it’s up to you to be vigilant. Plus, the very fact that you’re working at home can make your systems more vulnerable to attack.
There are numerous straightforward steps you can follow to give hackers a challenge so they can’t easily access your information or networks. Doing these things will help ensure that valuable company, customer, financial, and other information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Install Security Software and Firewalls:
It’s a simple tip, but one that works: install security software on all the devices you use for your work at home. Choose trusted, comprehensive home network security that will protect you from threats such as viruses, malware, spam, spyware, and ransomware.
When comparing products, place importance on those that maintain user privacy, keep data safe online, block phishing emails, and block potentially-dangerous emails and websites. You also want software that will help prevent your identity from being stolen, and that protects against data-stealing applications.
As for firewalls, if you take a look at the settings on your computer, you’ll likely discover your device has one installed on it already. However, the manufacturer may not have switched this function on, so check to see if you must activate it manually. Firewalls are beneficial as they provide an extra layer of security when you’re online. They are designed, in particular, to filter out credible incoming data from potential threats when using the internet.
Maintain Password Protection:
Another vital element of keeping your home office secure is maintaining password protection. If you’re still using simple codes such as “admin,” “123456,”or “password,” you’re opening yourself up to being compromised. These passwords are the first things hackers try, after all.
Even if you’re using a different code, make sure it has the necessary properties that will make it hard for cybercriminals to hack. For example, effective passwords are made up of a mixture of characters (numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and symbols), and are eight characters or more long.
Your code should not refer to any details in your life that a hacker might be able to find online, either. For example, avoid using passwords based around children’s names, birthdates, addresses, lucky numbers, pet names, or email addresses.
Place sufficient password protection on your home’s Wi-Fi router, too. Never leave your internet unlocked as this makes it easier for hackers to find a way to break into your systems. The same goes for any smart-home devices in your house. Protect these with a proper code so they don’t pose a risk for you, either.
Keep Other People Out of Your Systems:
When you work at home, a risk that may not immediately come to mind is that of other people using your computers and accidentally leaving data vulnerable. Users may be your family (children in particular), and anyone else who has access to your property and who might use one or more of your devices.
To protect your work, consider putting a start-up password on your devices so no one can use your machine without your say so. Also, place child safety-lock protections on your internet programs. Doing this will help ensure children don’t accidentally delete important information or open emails or click on links created by hackers and containing malicious code.
Back Up Your Work Daily:
It’s also wise to back up your work daily to the cloud or some other remote storage system. This course of action will help you if a ransomware attack catches you, or hackers otherwise crash your systems or delete your work.
Follow these tips today, and you’ll soon have a more secure home office that cyber criminals won’t be able to break into easily. Each step won’t take too much time or energy but will make a significant difference to your level of safety.