How to Increase Data Security While Working from Home
The COVID-19 pandemic has given cyber criminals a window to steal sensitive information from unsuspecting users who are working remotely.
12:43 03 December 2020
With a majority of the workforce on alternative work arrangements, people will need to start taking data security seriously.
Cybersecurity should always be a priority regardless of your location. It becomes even more critical as you access office files or logging in to corporate platforms using a personal device. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself and your organization from data theft and sabotage. So, how do you make sure you are well-equipped against cyberattacks while you are working from home?
- Follow your company's security protocols
Prior to your work-from-home setup, your company may have trained you on the protocols and practices you need to follow towards greater data protection. You may not be able to log in to your corporate accounts using devices other than your own, or you may have to back up your data using cloud services provided by your company. Following these standards can help you avoid breaches and data leakages.
- Connect via ethernet
Using your home Wi-Fi connection may seem convenient, but it doesn't provide the same level of security that an ethernet (or cabled) connection does. Your home Wi-Fi is always vulnerable to hacking attacks which could be a big problem if your work PC is connected to it. It's always best practice to use ethernet since it limits the number of people using your network.
- Encrypt your devices
In cases in which you are allowed to use multiple devices to access your work-related accounts and files, it's a good rule of thumb to turn on data encryption. This makes data that's saved on your phone become unreadable to unauthorized users. It's only a simple matter of setting up a lock screen password or turning on the fingerprint or face verification feature of your smartphone or tablet.
- Secure your accounts
If you are using work-related accounts on your personal PC, it's always best to update your password every now and then. Opt for more complex passwords that include numbers and special characters so it will be difficult for hackers to guess their way into your accounts. For added security, consider enabling two-factor authentication. This way, you will be alerted every time someone tries to use your account without your knowledge.
- Install the right VPN
Your best defense against cybercriminals is a virtual private network or VPN. Having one allows you to secure sensitive information from third-party entities or individuals. There are hundreds of VPNs to choose from, but you only need one that’s reliable and cost-effective. Your company may prescribe a VPN you can use; otherwise, you can choose a service with the best features for your work-from-home setup. You can look along the lines of ExpressVPN and Surfshark as a start.
Don’t give cybercriminals the opportunity to steal critical work-related data. In this time of pandemic, it’s important to make sure your home is risk-free, not only from viruses but also from data thieves and saboteurs!