The month of October is considered National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and REDCOM believes it is vitally important to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, now more than ever.
The ease of being able to connect to work at any time day or night from home, and have everything you need in your living room office poses the question, is my network safe? As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here are some top tips to make sure you and your network are staying protected.
1. Does your home network have a firewall, anti-virus, and password protection? Make sure to turn it on, and change your password to something no one will guess. Get in the habit of running an anti-virus program weekly for your PC and mobile device.
2. Are you using a VPN to connect in to work? Surfing the web is most safe when you are behind a VPN. Think of it as a safety bubble for your Internet traffic. This should be done at the very least if you are accessing any documents or websites related to work.
3. Where are those important documents going? If you are using a home network to print or save documents to, be sure you are keeping them in a safe place. (Under your cup of coffee is not preferred, but better than near your child’s homework!)
4. Can you separate your duties? Using a mobile device is convenient for many reasons. Using your personal computer to access the corporate network too is easy, but try not to mix personal and business data. Use a VPN when you can, but it’s even better to use a remote desktop. If you are using personal devices for company work, make sure you have a password set up, that you have separate folders for the two types of data, and if you need to send documents through email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo, try sending them encrypted so only the people you want to receive them will.
5. What’s going on with the network? We all take for granted the security and protection of our corporate network. There are many great articles and videos online, that can walk you through simple tasks for making your home network secure as well. Three easy tips are to check your router for a password and the latest updates, do the same for your Wi-Fi, change the name of both and hide them from onlookers.
6. If it doesn’t feel safe it probably isn’t. Remember, YOU are the most important asset to the company. You have the power to prevent cybercrimes. If you feel that a link looks suspicious, a website is NSFW, or you have never seen a download like what you are going to install; use your best judgment, it is usually right!
For many of us, remote work is completely new. Just know, there are many resources out there that can help you with questions to staying safe and secure while working from home. There is an entire workforce within your reach who are quite familiar with teleworking, so if you are unsure just ask someone! Work information isn’t the only reason why quick techniques in security is important. The same rules apply to submitting banking information, entering personal data, and protecting items you feel are valuable such as your personal photos and mobile device data. With these easy tips to remember, you can stay safe no matter what you do on the network.