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Ten Working From Home Cyber Security Tips

Ten Working From Home Cyber Security Tips: With many of us working from home during the Coronavirus Pandemic, cyber safety is paramount. I asked Colin Tankard from Digital Pathways, the cyber security specialists, to provide Ten Working From Home Cyber Security Tips. His tips all make perfect sense, and you’ll wonder why you’ve never thought of these before. Once I’ve posted this article, I’ll be doing an overhaul of my working from home security! Stay safe, work from home and be secure.

10 Working From Home Cyber Security Tips:

  1. Check your computer security settings
  2. Use stronger passwords
  3. Create varied passwords
  4. Establish two-factor authentication security
  5. Check your router settings
  6. View the router activity log
  7. Change default passwords on devices attached to your network
  8. Keep data and confidential papers private and safe
  9. Do not set your child’s online profile as the administrator
  10. Stop and think before you open an email or attachment

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Make sure you are safe working from home, picture from John Lewis & Partners (Picture Affiliate Link)

Ten Working From Home Cyber Security Tips

1. Check your security settings on your PC or Mac to ensure your system has the latest patches, and you are running a quality anti-virus program, and it is set to auto-check for new updates and also runs a regular scan.

2. Look at the passwords you are using. Passwords should be strong, that is to say, that they should include upper and lower case letters, numerals and special characters. Try to avoid personal information and do not fall into the trap of opting for your birthday or pets name! Default passwords should be changed immediately.

3. Ensure that you regularly review and change your passwords and don’t have one for everything. If you are struggling to remember your passwords never store them in a file on your device, such files can easily be found. Opt for an online password manager such as LastPass; these services can generate strong passwords for you as well as storing them, where only you have access. If you must, write them down on a piece of paper (but do take a copy) and hide the paper (not near your device).

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Be Cyber Smart, picture from John Lewis & Partners (Picture Affiliate Link)

4. Establish two-factor authentication security if you have the option. This process involves you not only entering a strong password but also a unique, one-time used password – which is sent via text or a code taken off your smartphone. This code is then used to establish your identity. These password generators are often free and are available from many companies such as Google and Microsoft.

5. Your devices will connect to your internal network to gain access to your broadband connection, so always check your router settings and ensure you have changed the default passwords and encryption is switched on (you will see terms such as WEP in your settings for the encryption). Also, change the device or router name so it does not identify the manufacturer or ISP. This just makes it harder to identify from the outside. Also never use your surname or address as an identifier, this is just exposing your personal information and every little bit of information you leak could be used against you. And if you have your router on a windowsill, make sure the details on the back of it are covered. Often the router password or encryption key is noted here. Best still don’t have the router on a windowsill!

6. Check your router activity log regularly to see what has or is connected to your network. Most routers have a log of all devices that are connected and so any you see which you do not recognise could be a hacker’s device ‘listening in’ on your network. Also, check to see if any connected device is communicating out to the worldwide web when not expected. This could indicate your device has been compromised and it is sending out your personal data or it could be being used along with thousands of other devices to be used to attack other web sites which were the case with Spotify, Netflix, and PayPal who were temporarily shut down due to such an attack.

7. If you have Internet of Things devices attached to your network such as Alexa, camera-enabled doorbell, CCTV, Wi-Fi kettle or fridge etc., ensure these devices are secure, and that default passwords have been changed. Most of these devices are insecure if not properly configured and as they are on your network if they can be compromised, then they can be used to attack or monitor you. Just imagine a hacker taking over your CCTV camera and listening to your conversations or noting down your password as you type it out!

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Protect Your Data picture from John Lewis & Partners (Picture Affiliate Link)

8. If you have confidential papers or data at home, ensure you put these away after to have finished for the day. Compliance extends to wherever data is handled and so working from home will not exempt you from GDPR, PCI or any such regulatory controls.

9. If you have children and they also have access to a device, never set their profile to be the administrator. The easiest person to hack is a child as they will click on links without considering the security. By stopping their device from installing a program, many trojan’s and viruses will be stopped. It might be a pain them asking you to authorise a download, but it will save you a lot of grief if you have to set up new bank accounts!

10. Before you click on a link in an email or open an attachment, consider if the email looks genuine. Is the spelling correct, or the language used in line with what you would typically expect from the sender? Hover your mouse pointer over any link and see if the destination address matches the sender’s address. If in doubt don’t click anything and contact the sender via a new email or a second channel or copy the link or attachment into a scanner site such as VirusTotal or Trend Micro.

Home Cyber Security Advice

A massive thank you to Colin Tankard from Digital Pathways, the cyber security specialists, for providing these tips. Digital Pathways has more than 20 years of experience in the area of data protection. They are specialists in the design, implementation and management of systems that ensure the security of all data whether at rest within the network, mobile device or storage or indeed data in transit across public or private networks. If you are a business who needs to arrange for your employees to work from home, contact Digital Pathways for more information.

Ten Working From Home Cyber Security Tips Post Credits

Author: Tips from Colin Tankard from Digital Pathways with an introduction from Homegirl London who is self-isolating at home with her laptop! Photographs: The featured image shows the Anton Desk in smoke. The article pictures show the Hairpin Desk in Dark Oak, Ebbe Gehl Mira Desk in Oak and the Cube Storage Desk all from John Lewis & Partners (Affiliate Link). Disclosure: This feature includes the following affiliate partner link – John Lewis & Partners (if you click through from my website and purchase items from the affiliates, I will earn a small commission).