Over the past month, more and more companies around the globe have closed and are now operating remotely as a social distancing strategy that will help slow down the transmission rate.
With the rise in the number of people working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, there will undoubtedly be plenty of cyber-criminals looking to cash in on the trend.
Working from the comfort of your home can expose you to a myriad of online security threats. Here are some security threats you need to be aware of 1. Insecure WIFI networks. Public WIFI networks are prime hot spots for malicious parties to spy on internet traffic and collect confidential information.
2. Using personal devices and networks may also prove to be very tricky since they do not come with tools built-in to business networks such as customized firewalls, automatic online backup tools, and strong antivirus software among others. This increases the risk of malware finding its way onto devices and both personal and work-related information being leaked.
3. Scams targeting remote workers. As companies are increasingly required to have their employees work from home, there will likely be an increase in malicious campaigns targeting remote workers.
Here are some basic internet security tips that go a long way in helping you stay safe online as you work remotely.
1. Use strong passwords. Most people tend to use the same password for different accounts. This is very risky. If one account is hacked you will lose all your data.
2. A strong password often is not enough, set up two-factor authentication so that in case your data is leaked in a data breach, there is an extra layer of protection on your accounts.
3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs are perfect for remote workers who often fall prey to online scammers. A VPN encrypts all your internet traffic making it unreadable to anyone who intercepts it.
4.Set up a firewall. Your device’s operating system will typically have a built-in firewall, all you must do is ensure that yours is enabled. Most routers will also have one.
5. Use antivirus software. In the scenario that threats bypass the firewall, good antivirus software can act as the next line of defense by detecting and blocking known malware.
6. Use the Cloud. Currently, many businesses are using the cloud because data is safer in the cloud and encrypted. Additionally, cloud-based solutions require passwords before access is granted.
7. Lock your device. Password-locking your device usually encrypts its contents until the password is entered.
8. Secure your home router. You must ensure that you take the basic steps to protect your home network as a way of preventing malicious online scams.
9. Install updates regularly. Updates are crucial and the best part is that they are automatic and you can set them to run while you sleep so that there are no interruptions or downtime as you work.
10. Be on the lookout for phishing emails and sites. Phishing emails are commonly used by cybercriminals to “phish” for information. This information is usually used in further schemes such as targeted phishing attacks, credit card fraud, and account takeover fraud.
11. Watch out for work-from-home scams. As well as targeted phishing attacks, we are likely to see an increase in work-from-home scams. Many of these requests for personal information or upfront payments and by the time you realize it is a scam, the fraudster has ceased contact and stolen your money or taken over accounts.
In conclusion, by implementing the tips above, your online experience will be more secure as you continue to work remotely.
Article by Juliet Hinga.
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