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Security Tips for Working from Home: How to Stay Safe Online

security tips for working from home

Over the last decade, one work arrangement has grown in popularity among employees. That’s remote work. Indeed, a 2018 study revealed that 70% of professionals work from home at least once a week. An impressive number, we have to say. But, what’s so attractive about remote work? Well, according to one survey, employees are head over heels in love with it because it provides the following:

  • Flexible schedule
  • The ability to work from any location
  • More time with family
  • No commuting

Okay, it’s easy to see why employees love remote work so much. In the past, though, not everyone got a taste of this work arrangement. However, the novel coronavirus brought many employees into uncharted territory — remote work. And the majority of them are still out of the office.

Because of this, we decided it was high time to share security tips for working from home with you. You can rely on them regardless of whether you’re a full-time remote worker or you’re out of the office because of the pandemic. Whichever is the case, make sure that your workspace is secure.

Let’s start with these tips!

Remote Work Security Threats

Before we delve deeper into security tips for working from home, it’s important that we understand what the threats are.

According to Buffer, 99% of employees would opt for remote work if they could for at least some of the time. Well, today, most of them don’t have any other choice but to work from home. Because of this, employers are starting to realize what kind of complications this work arrangement has.

Yes, it gets lonely and perhaps less productive that it would in the actual office. However, these aren’t the two major challenges of remote work. Apparently, remote work can put companies at risk. Although some businesses have a strong cyber security system, others don’t realize what kind of security risks exist when an employee connects outside of the office. If you’re unsure, we’ll list three concerns of remote work:

  1. Home Wi-Fi
  2. Phishing Scams
  3. Insecure Passwords

Let’s go over these threats! 

Home Wi-Fi

In the office environment, employees rely on IT managers to ensure security of all Wi-Fi networks. But, they are pretty much left to their own devices at home. Usually, employees’ home networks have weaker protocols (e.g. WEP instead of WPA-2). In turn, hackers have easier access to the network’s traffic.

Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks are certainly the number one cause of data breaches. Hackers can now easily send seemingly legitimate emails with malicious files and links. Once a person clicks on that link, a hacker gets access to their device.

Insecure Passwords

Strong passwords keep you and your accounts safe on the internet. However, it seems that some people don’t understand this. Indeed, 57% of those who have been scammed in phishing attacks are yet to change their passwords. Honestly, what are they waiting for? Another attack, maybe?

Oh, and by the way, 23 million account holders still use the password “123456.” Understandably, simple passwords are easy to crack. In addition to this, if you use the same insecure password across numerous platforms, a hacker will gain access to your different accounts.

Since working from home has become mandatory for most, companies need to ensure the security of every device used by their employees. And our security tips for working from home will help you there.

Signs of a Cyber Breach

You’re diligently typing on the keyboard when a new flashy window pops up. You’re pretty sure you haven’t opened it, but you don’t know how it got there. Well, that window could appear because of a cyber breach. Here are four signs of a cyber breach you should look out for in case you’re working from home:

  • You find new programs on your computer or laptop which you hadn’t installed.
  • The device starts to slow down.
  • You can’t control the mouse or keyboard.
  • Weird pop-up ads emerge on the screen.

If you come across any of these, make sure to notify your IT administrator so they can immediately solve the problem.

Okay, now that we’ve mentioned security threats and signs of a cyber breach, we can go over security tips for working from home.

Security Tips for Working Home: Safety, Safety, Safety

Working from home can be quite charming. You just wake up, prepare a cup of coffee, and your day is ready to start. Working in the office, on the other hand, isn’t as easy. You need to start your day way early to get ready. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll squeeze in some time to drink your morning coffee. And then, off you go. Commuting — the least favorite part of everyone’s daily grind.

But if you want to forget about commuting and rushing to get ready, then it’s time to see how you can keep your remote workspace safe. Here are the security tips for working from home from Brid.TV:

Use Strong Passwords

Now more than ever before, it’s important that all of your accounts are protected with strong passwords. Sadly, many people still use the same password for different accounts. This means that a hacker can take over all of your social media or work accounts in a matter of seconds. So, make sure that you have a unique password for every account. If you want to cause a headache to hackers, add the following to your password:

  • Upper and lower case letters
  • Numbers
  • Special characters

With the above symbols, your accounts should be secure!

Separate Work and Personal Devices

We know, easier said than done. However, most employers provide their staff with work computers or laptops. If this is the case with you, don’t use your personal device for work. There should be a boundary between work life and home life while working remotely.

Yes, it can be tiring to constantly switch back and forth between the two devices, but it’s worth the effort. You can protect your and your company’s sensitive data in this way. After all, the more programs you install, the bigger the vulnerabilities of a device.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks

Okay, moving on with our security tips for working from home. This one is self-explanatory, we believe. You shouldn’t, under any circumstances, use any unsecured Wi-Fi network. Sometimes your home internet might be lagging and you might feel tempted to check the speed of that public network you see. But don’t give in to the temptation. Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks are a haven for malicious parties who spy on your traffic and gather confidential information. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks at all cost while working from home.

Ignore Phishing Emails and Websites

Phishing emails may look like they’re from a brand you love and trust, except that they are not. They are a type of online scam where hackers send emails in order to get your sensitive information. For instance, hackers might request personal data, including your social security number, or credit card numbers.

So, whenever you receive an email, check the email address for spelling errors. While you’re at it, go over the text and look out for spelling errors and poor grammar in the email and subject line. Don’t click the URL unless you completely trust the sender. 

What’s more, if you do click on a link and visit a legitimate-looking site, check how credible it is before entering your information. In case you’re wondering, these are the common signs of a phishing site:

  • Lack of an HTTPS padlock symbol
  • Misspelled domain names
  • Bad spelling and poor grammar
  • Missing contact information

If you come across any of these, don’t give out your personal data!

Security Tips for Working from Home: Be Safe Online!

We hope that our security tips for working from home will help you stay safe on the internet! Just remember to use strong passwords, avoid public Wi-Fi networks, and disregard phishing emails and websites. You can now go back to working remotely and producing great results for your company.

Best of luck!

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