Over the past few months, many people have shifted to working at home. If you’re one of them, have you thought about working from home safety?
In addition to offering safety from the ongoing pandemic, people have found that working from home offers a whole host of unexpected benefits – from increased productivity to no time spent on the road commuting.
But, working from home can also create issues in terms of hackers eager to take advantage of new and unsecured workspaces.
While creating a home office eliminates some COVID-19 concerns, it’s important to make sure you’re not leaving yourself exposed to online criminals.
Here are our top working from home safety tips.
Top 3 Working From Home Safety Tips
1. Secure Your Wireless Router
Among the host of risks introduced by teleworking is the fact that most employees working from home don’t know how to properly secure networks and devices the way their experienced IT expert at the office would do. This makes a home office environment a prime target for hackers.
One of the first places to start in securing your work-from-home space is with your wireless router. This is important to prevent hackers from targeting your computer and important work data, and securing your router will also offer protection from home automation hackers bent on gaining access to your home security system or automated devices.
To make sure you’re working from home safely, turn on your wireless router’s encryption setting. You’ll note that there are several encryption settings available; WPA2 is the most secure choice. Note that it’s only available with hardware manufactured since 2006, but as long as your computer and devices are up-to-date, you should be safe, secure, and ready to work.
2. Change All Default Passwords
Most devices come with a default password (and at times, it’s something that’s as easy to guess as “password”). Hackers are savvy and keep track of common passwords for devices, so make sure you log in and change the default passwords for your service set identifier (SSID), IP, and router. In addition, take the time to go around and change any default passwords for your smart home devices, as well. A happy smart home is a secure smart home, and you don’t want to be fielding hacking attempts into your security system or door locks while you’re working from home.
When you change your passwords, don’t switch them to something that’s easy to guess. Make sure each is highly unique and difficult to crack. Experts recommend using a complicated strand of numbers, letters (both uppercase and lowercase), and characters.
3. Utilize Protective Software and Carefully Monitor Email
The next layer of protection comes on your work computer itself. Make sure to install the latest antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall software for additional protection … and always keep the software up-to-date. That way, it’ll be ready for the ever-evolving world of hacking strategies.
As you work from day to day, don’t be quick to click on links or download files from unknown sources. Even if an email seems it’s from a valid source, be careful. In addition to emails that appear to be from banks and popular retailers, there are also reports of hackers taking advantage of the COVID crisis by sending fake phishing emails that appear to come from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If an email asks you to click a link to log in or offer information, close the email and go directly to that organization’s website to log in. That way, you’ll avoid unwittingly giving information to a hacker.
When you think of working from home safely, you probably think of staying away from large groups of people and keeping your space clean and sanitized. Combine that with proper router and device security and you’ll be able to stay safe online, as well as offline, as you telecommute in the weeks and months to come.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.