Safe at Home:
Cybersecurity Safety Tips for Those Working From Home
By Candice Y. Farha
of the Penner Lowe Law Group, LLC
Many Americans have transitioned their everyday work lives
from the office to the living room amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers
have adapted to the new pace of the workday, the rhythm of Zoom meetings, the
pains of working while homeschooling young ones, and the joys of the sporadic
Tiger King break. While working from home is a great way to keep yourself and
the community safe, it also gives cyber threat actors new avenues they can
exploit in their never-ending quest to steal your data. In this article, we
explore useful and practical tips for staying safe online, while staying safe
Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
Most of the people working from home will be using secured
networks. However, there will be some individuals using unsecured
networks to access work documents and send work e-mails. Unsecured
networks are prime real estate for cyber criminals. They allow nearby
malicious actors to spy on the connection and steal sensitive data. Avoid
unsecured network and use VPNs whenever possible.
Scams Targeting Stay-At-Home Workers
Scammers are adept at taking advantage of current events to
exploit others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in
scams targeting people looking for work-from-home opportunities.
Additionally, there has been an increase in phishing e-mails targeting
employees currently working from home that may be less attentive in identifying
scam e-mails during the confusion of this transition. For these reasons,
it is of the utmost importance that workers stay vigilant about e-mail security
and always verify that a correspondence is legitimate before engaging the
sender or accessing a link.
Using Personal Devices
While the use of a personal device alone does not cause a
security threat, there are some risks associated with allowing the use of such
devices. Mainly, an organization stays on top of security and software
updates with its own devices. An employee, however, may fall behind with
regard to their software updates, causing vulnerabilities in their systems.
Video Conferencing Security
We have seen many video conferences interrupted by an
uninvited guest recently. While these uninvited guests can be pests and
interrupt the flow of meetings, they can also be dangerous. Intruders can
lurk in your conference and collect information, causing many security
headaches. If you plan on using a video conferencing platform, it is
incredibly important that you configure the security setting of that platform
before the meeting.
Here are a few things to do with regard to video conferences
that can help keep you safe:
- Use the waiting room feature
(this allows you to “admit” people to the meeting that are appropriate);
- Make sure password protection
is enabled (and make sure your password is random);
- Don’t share the conference
link on social media or somewhere similarly public (send the link directly to
the participants); and,
- Lock your meeting once all
the participants have joined.
What Else Can You Do To Stay Safe?
Below are some additional tips to keep safe while working
- Make sure your passwords are
secure, random, and strong.
- Use a VPN.
- Back up your data regularly.
- Use two-factor
- Install updates regularly.
- Secure your home network
- Look out for phishing e-mails
- Use encrypted communications.
- Lock your devices when not in