Maintain Online Security While Working From Home
While working from home can boost productivity, doing so also poses some unique online security challenges. You want your professional data to be safe, even if you’re not connected to your company’s secure network, and don’t have the benefit of employer-implemented security protocols. Luckily, there are a few important steps you can take if you want to work from home and keep your information protected.
Use a virtual private network
If you’re accessing work files and systems from your home, you’ll want to ask if your employer can provide a virtual private network (VPN). These services act like a tunnel between your home and work machines so that it’s nearly impossible for an attacker to see your files and information. Although it sounds complex, most VPN services can be installed and configured with just a few clicks.
Keep your software updated
Whether you’re using an Android, iOS, Mac or Windows device, make sure your important applications are always up to date. There’s no such thing as a flawless program, which is why they’re constantly being improved. By keeping your software updated, you’ll be getting the most from these programs.
Use secure passwords
When signing up for websites, use a password that’s at least eight characters long, includes uppercase and lowercase letters and contains at least one number, and create unique passwords for each website. You can also use a password manager to securely store all your passwords in a single database, so you can focus on your work rather than worrying about security.
Avoid pirated software
One of the biggest challenges when working from home is that you might not have the same programs on your home and work computers. Since most office products cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, you might be tempted to use pirated software downloaded off the web. In the past, it used to be relatively easy to use pirated software; you just downloaded the files and entered a serial number or code to unlock the features. Today, however, most programs use product activation — a way to detect if a code is used more than once — to prevent piracy.
Although plenty of sites still claim to offer free copies of expensive software, you can’t tell what’s really inside. Even if the program doesn’t trigger a virus alert, you don’t know what might come up once you run the program for a while.
Beware of social engineering
Not every threat on the web can be detected by anti-virus software and digital scanning. You may encounter emails and calls from people posing as someone else. The best way to protect yourself from these threats is to avoid providing sensitive information via phone and email.
You’ll also want to double check that you’re using the right websites when you’re doing your work. When in doubt, contact your colleagues to make sure you’re using the right resources.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to optimal online security while working from home. Contact Vivint today for more information.