These days, most of us are working from home.
For some, this is an everyday luxury, but for others, this is brand new territory.
Cyber attacks happen often, especially with most of us conducting our business and financial matters online. Taking steps to be safe online will help you in the long run, especially if you are now working from home and dealing with confidential client information.
We’ve assembled some tips on how to work online safely.
1. Two-Factor Authentication
The concept of two-factor authentication is not a new concept by any means, but it is an added level of security protection. It works by confirming a user’s identity by requiring a username and password and either requiring a pin number that was sent to the user’s phone or answering an additional question. This makes it harder for hackers to gain unauthorized access to your accounts.
2. Avoid Suspicious Websites and Links
We receive a lot of emails on a daily basis, some that are legitimate and others that are only trying to do harm. Phishing is a cyber-attack that attempts to trick the recipient into clicking on the link or email, which will, in turn, infect the user’s computer. Often, the insidious link is designed in an attempt to trick the user into thinking it is something the individual would want or need.
An example of this would be a request from the person’s bank asking for their banking information or an email from a coworker or friend with an attachment they are encouraged to download. If you’re an avid online shopper (as many are these days), it could be a link with a promotional discount to your favourite store.
Always make sure you inspect any suspicious links before clicking on them and validate that it is a legitimate source.
3. Install Anti-Virus Protection and Update Frequently
Using a good quality antivirus or antimalware is one of the most obvious methods of protecting yourself, but it is often the most forgotten. Invest in a high-quality anti-virus and firewall for your system, as well as spyware and malware protection. You should also make sure these are up to date on a regular basis. Manufacturers and developers update software if there are any vulnerabilities detected.
4. Be Mindful of Social Media
Social media can be a great tool for keeping in contact with old friends and acquaintances but be careful what you share on there. Sharing too much information, such as compromising company or client information (without even realizing it sometimes) could have negative ramifications. Make sure your privacy settings are up to date on your social media accounts and you limit what permissions you give to third party apps. Ensure you uninstall unused apps from your phone as well. Apps take up storage and also have access to your data.
5. Physical Document Destruction
Protecting yourself extends beyond protecting yourself online and begins with physical data destruction. When you throw out banking statements or prescription receipts, it leaves you vulnerable to dumpster divers who want to steal your information. The best way to protect yourself is to shred all your confidential documents.
If you’re working from home right now, keep your confidential documents in a safe place to bring into the office to shred once your office opens again.