Securing your work-from-home computers.
Securing your work from home computers.
The pandemic has changed the way we work. And while we are all likely to be working from home for a while longer, some businesses may find great benefit in continuing the option of having employees work remotely.
Working from home does however pose some security risks t. As more people adopt this new normal of remote working, hackers are busier than ever. They know that there is now a treasure trove of information and even more computers that are no longer as secure as they were prior to the stay at home orders. You can bet that they are going to take advantage of this.
So how do we avoid the possibility of our systems becoming compromised and risking a loss of data situation? By implementing the solutions outlined below, you can help keep your business data and computers safe and continue to be productive.
If you are working from home, ensure that the computer you work from is only used by you, for work. Do not use the family home computer for work. If you have a shared computer that is used for browsing the internet, checking emails, and playing games, with multiple members of the family, it may be exceedingly difficult to ensure the security on the computer. Gaming often requires reducing firewall settings and, in some instances, turning off the anti-virus settings. Surfing unknown websites can be risky. Opening unknown emails can cause phishing or ransomware problems.
Most businesses ensure that there are firewalls set up so that they can protect and catch any issues before they reach the end-users computers. This may not be the case at home. To mitigate further risk, ensure that you are using a firewall at home and that it is set up correctly to help protect your company data. The added benefit is that it will also protect your family computers.
Antivirus software is a necessity, and without it, you will have no way of knowing if your computer has been compromised until it is too late. A good antivirus application will have the ability to perform scheduled scans on your computer and will monitor itself for security updates. Make sure that it is both up to date and scheduled to run scans on the computer regularly. Regularly check the antivirus software to make sure it has in fact completed the scheduled scans.
When computers in an office are managed by supporting IT (information technology) staff, that staff ensures that all the computers are kept up to date with the latest security patches for the operating system and applications. Doing this helps to “plug any holes” that have recently been found by the security experts for the operating systems to prevent intrusion into your computers. Check for any critical system updates that need to be installed and keep your computer up to date.
Protecting your computers and data with a password is even more important now that we are working remotely. Having your computer or data compromised during this time would prove even more difficult than during normal business, and nobody wants that.
Spend time going through your passwords and strengthening them. Do not leave passwords written on pieces of paper or stored in your web browser. A hacker can get past this, and then, well, we know what happens next. Make use of a password manager to store your passwords and keep them safe.
While it is certainly possible in many cases to work remotely and may even be advantageous for some, spending time now to ensure that your company data and computer systems are secure when working from home will go a long way to protecting your business from potential threats.
If you would like to find out more information or would like to discuss any of your technology needs further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
As always, I hope that this information gives you a starting point for securing your computers and work data.
Stay Tuned and Stay Safe,