Working from home has become the new norm in lots of industries, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. While the advantages of remote work are undeniable, working outside of a regular office does create some unique cybersecurity challenges. Think about it this way: is your home environment as controlled, well-prepared, and regularly scanned as your office? For most people, the answer is probably “no”…and that’s exactly what we want to help you fix.
It doesn’t take much to make your home office more secure – and the little things go a long way. Here are a few things you can start doing today:
1. Secure your home network
The foundation of your remote work cybersecurity is your home network. Start by changing the default username and password on your router to something strong and unique. Enable WPA3 encryption for Wi-Fi, and regularly update your router’s firmware to patch known vulnerabilities. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for work-related tasks, as these networks are often less secure.
2. Use strong, unique passwords
Passwords are your first line of defence against cyberattacks. Create strong, complex passwords that include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or names. Consider using a reputable password manager, like 1Password, to make this task easy and seamless.
3. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to provide two or more forms of verification before granting access to your accounts. Enable MFA wherever possible, especially for your email, cloud storage, and work-related applications. This significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access, even if your password is compromised.
4. Stay updated and patched
Cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities in software and operating systems. Ensure that your operating system, applications, and antivirus software are regularly updated. Enable automatic updates whenever possible to stay protected against the latest threats. Additionally, be cautious when downloading files or clicking on links, as malicious software often disguises itself as legitimate content.
5. Use company-provided machines as much as possible
While using your own devices might be more comfortable, those provided by your company come with added layers of security, which makes it one less thing you have to worry about. It’s always better to be able to focus on your job and have peace of mind that a pro is keeping an eye on the security aspects. Use computers, phones, and any other devices that your company provides. And, make sure to follow their best practices and acceptable use policies.
Working from home is here to stay, for so many reasons. It allows all of us to spend more time with our families, do the things we love, and provides us with flexibility and extra time in our day. Our focus should always be to make remote work as safe as possible. Security is a shared responsibility, so remember to keep these tips in mind when working from home!