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Individual Cyber Security

Staying Cyber Safe While Working From Home

Tips to bolster personal cyber security

3 Minute Read

Whether you always worked from home, or started working from home because of the pandemic, it’s important to keep cybersecurity in mind at all times. In the work-from-home environment, we might find ourselves both more relaxed and more distracted than when we work in a standard business office. Cybercriminals know this and are increasingly targeting the remote workforce. Stay alert and remain vigilant.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind while working remotely…

Tip #1 - Personal email

  • Do not send proprietary or confidential data to a personal email address. If your personal email is hacked, you can expose sensitive and confidential data to cybercriminals to use for financial gain or other nefarious purposes.

Tip #2 - Company resources

  • Keep your company username and password confidential (never use them for non-work purposes and never share them with anyone)
  • Use your company email for work-related purposes only
  • Turn off Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and other voice-assistant devices when conducting business discussions. These devices may inadvertently record snippets of conversation throughout the day.

Tip #3 - If you use a company laptop

  • Use your company computer for work-related tasks only, including email and the internet (do not browse shopping sites, for example)
  • Do not share your company devices with others in your household
  • Lock the screen when you walk away from your computer, even with family and/or friends in the household; someone may inadvertently hit the send key on confidential or sensitive information, for example

Tip #4 - Collaboration tools

  • Use only company-approved collaboration tools to communicate with colleagues/conduct business
  • Use audio built into your mobile device and avoid calling the conference line numbers. You can use your device’s microphone/speaker, or use an external headset for more comfort and privacy.

Tip #5 - If you connect to work via a personal device

  • Make sure your computer/personal device is running the latest operating system and keep all your apps up-to-date
  • Use vetted, reputable, and appropriate commercial anti-virus tools on your personal devices

Tip #6 - If you must share a personal computer you use for work

  • If the computer is accessible to all household members, consider creating different accounts for each user so others don’t accidentally use a work account for personal activities
  • Ensure you close your remote sessions down before sharing the computer with other members of the household

Tip #7 - Mobile phones

  • Many of us are using our mobile phones while working from home so it’s important to keep mobile phones secure/with you at all times
  • Use a strong password or a PIN on the phone, plus biometrics if available (thumbprint or facial recognition)

So, while some of us might feel more relaxed at home, we can’t relax too much and let our guard down against cybercriminals. They don’t relax, they are ever present and waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.