Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have started allowing – if not require – employees to work from home.
Not only does this help protect employees and their families, but it’s also an important step in curbing the spread of the highly-infectious novel coronavirus.
While there are numerous advantages to working from home, telecommuting can be a bit of an adjustment for people who are unaccustomed to remote work.
For example, when working at an office, many of us are able to leave cybersecurity concerns in the hands of our employers.
When working from home, however, the job of protecting the data contained on our computers and work devices falls squarely on us.
Newly remote workers on the hunt for effective cybersecurity pointers can benefit from taking the following measures.
Utilize Effective Security Software
In this day and age, no work device should be without dependable security software. While it’s true that many operating systems are equipped with antivirus protection, firewalls and other security features, these are no substitute for dedicated cyber security software.
When shopping around for the right software for your work devices, look for programs that provide consistent updates, user-friendly interfaces, and easily-accessible support.
Additionally, keep an eye out for programs that provide email protection, especially if you send and receive a fair number of business-related emails throughout the workday. For convenient, cutting-edge email protection, take care to check out https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/business/products/user-protection/sps/email-and-collaboration/email-security.html.
Keep Apps & OS up to Date
However, this small inconvenience is well worth the additional protection your devices will receive.
Since many of these updates are created as defenses against new and emerging threats, it’s in your best interest to install them as soon as they become available.
Even if you’re on a roll with an important project and don’t want to break your concentration, you’d do well to take a breather to install any newly available updates.
Updates for operating systems and security programs are particularly important, so make sure to prioritize them. If you don’t trust yourself to manually install new updates as they become available, set your O.S. and any security programs to install updates automatically.
Although large-scale operating system updates generally require reboots, many security programs are able to comfortably install updates in the background without interfering with any other tasks you’re performing.
Stay off Public Wi-Fi Networks
In many communities, public Wi-Fi networks serve an important purpose. For some people, public Wi-Fi represents their only form of internet access. However, public networks are best used to casual browsing instead of work-related matters.
As convenient as they are, public networks simply lack many of the security features found in most private networks. As a result, public Wi-Fi networks are generally viewed as long-hanging fruit for cybercriminals, and accessing these networks with work devices is practically asking for trouble.
People who live in the vicinity of easily-accessible public networks sometimes opt to use these networks rather than pay for home internet. While the desire to save money is understandable – particularly during these troubled times – frugality in this area stands to compromise your overall security.
If you’re unable to comfortably afford home internet, consider talking to your employer about a possible internet allowance. Any employer that expects workers to telecommute should keep an open mind regarding this idea.
If you absolutely insist on using public Wi-Fi for work purposes – and again, you shouldn’t – make a point of using a good virtual private network (VPN). A VPN essentially serves to extend a private network across a public network, which can make connecting to public networks a much safer prospect. As an added bonus, many VPNs can be used across multiple devices.
If you’ve grown accustomed to reporting to an office every day, working from home can be a bit of an adjustment. While telecommuting has a number of benefits, it also comes with its share of challenges – taking responsibility for one’s own cybersecurity, for example.
Although this may strike new remote workers as daunting, maintaining solid cybersecurity from the comfort of the home should be well within your abilities.