Nearly 50% of the UK worked from home at the height of lockdown the Office for National Statistics reported.
That is why it is more important than ever to protect yourself from the work of cybercriminals.
As it is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we thought we would share with you our top tips for protecting yourself from those pesky cyberattacks.
In this article, we will briefly cover:
- Setting strong passwords.
- Malware Protection.
- Backing up your data.
- Two-step verification.
- Encrypt your data.
- Secure your VPN.
- Home security measures.
1.Setting up strong passwords
If you have a separate account when working from home, then you need to set up a strong password.
The best kind of password is a mixture of letters (lowercase and uppercase), numbers, and symbols that will make it harder for cybercriminals to guess. It should be ideally no shorter than 15 characters, and you should consider using a reputable password manger that will create random strong passwords and securely store them.
To protect your device from malicious emails and malware, you need to install Antivirus software as this is your first line of defense against threats such as computer viruses, worms and ransomware. As soon as they become available, install the latest operating system and updates.
3.Backup your data
Worst case scenario: the work you spent hours on that is due in just two hours suddenly disappears. What do you do? Create a backup using external hard drives, USBs, or the Cloud so that you never have to worry if it happens again. To make your data extra secure, consider encrypting the backup so it cannot be accessed if the device is lost or stolen.
Adding that extra layer of security can make sure your data is even more secure. There are several ways to do this, but here are just a few:
- Add a security question – This should be something only you know about yourself and be personal to you.
- Limit access to work devices only so only you have access to your data.
- Use a trusted app. Instead of simply logging in from a web browser, have an app that you know is secure that can be another layer of protection that will need to sign into first before signing into your official account.
5.Encrypt your data
A vital form of protection just in case your device is stolen or misplaced. If your data is already encrypted, check the software is working. There are two types of encryption: individual file and folder encryption, and full-disk or whole disk encryption. The former “encrypts only the specific items that you tell it to,” and “is acceptable if relatively few business documents are stored on a computer”.
Whereas, the latter ensures “all files, folders and volumes are encrypted”. The GDPR “makes organisations responsible for protecting the personal data it holds on individuals,” so it is better to be encrypted as your data will be more secure.
6.Secure your VPN
Securing your VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be simple by:
- Use the strongest authentication method possible.
- Use the strongest encryption method possible.
- Restrict VPN access to those who require it.
- Only allow access to what the users requires.
- Implement and enforce strong password polices.
7.Home security measures
Finally, here are some simple ways you can protect your data every day:
- Do not respond to phishing emails, but learn how to recognise them by being wary of emails that ask you to download attachments or click on links.
- Follow your company security practices as your home is now an extension of your office.
- Be aware of Covid 19 scams.
- Secure your router by changing the default name and password and turn off remote management.
- Use at least WPA2 Encryption when connecting via Wi-fi.
- If possible, only use a device supplied by work to access work related tasks.
- Let your manager know if you believe your data could be at risk.
- Log off or shut down each day and secure your device in a safe place.
We hope you keep cybersafe this winter and if you found this post helpful please feel free to share.