Most work-from-home setups focus on the practical aspects of creating a physical workspace on the home front. When technology comes up, it’s usually in relation to things like remote-friendly communication and collaboration tools.
But what about cybersecurity? When an employee isn’t on-site, it can be difficult for them to maintain the same level of digital safety that they might have in a physical office.
If you’re concerned about the safety of your home office or those of your employees, here are a few tips to help you boost your home cybersecurity.
1. Start With a Secure Network
Your network is your first line of defense against cybercriminals. Each device has its own protective systems, but these will vary from one item to the next.
For instance, you might have a fully cyberarmored work laptop in your home office, but your smart TV could be at risk. Plume, an AI-enabled Wi-Fi and security solution provider, reports that there was a 433 percent increase in blocked cyberthreats against smart TVs in U.S. households in May 2021 alone.
It’s important to protect every device in your home, and your network is the gateway to them all. It’s the bottleneck where you can prioritize your cybersecurity efforts. Make sure you have a Wi-Fi solution that comes with strong security and a provider that maintains updates on the regular.
2. Maintain Work-Life Tech Boundaries
Another key way to keep your home cybersecure is to maintain clear boundaries between work and personal devices.
Don’t use your work computer to surf social media threads or engage in Reddit debates. At the same time, resist the urge to download work apps on your personal computers or other devices.
Maintaining clear lines between personal and professional online activity reduces the potential damage if a device is hacked. The last thing you want to do is have a hacker get in through a work email only to gain access to things like medical documentation or banking passwords because they’re on a shared computer.
3. Study Good Cyberhygiene
Cyberhygiene refers to the effort to maintain best practices when using tech. It includes a variety of habitual activities that can maximize your cybersecurity efforts and reduce the number of threats that you might otherwise expose yourself to.
The cybersecurity veterans at Norton suggest several good cyberhygiene habits that can be particularly useful when working at home. Along with a network firewall and secure router, which were covered in the first tip, these also include:
Installing reputable malware and antivirus software.
Using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication when available.
Making sure your devices are encrypting your data.
Backing up sensitive information often.
Regularly brushing up on your cyberhygiene habits is an excellent way to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of a cybercrime.
4. Update Everything Often
One way to stay safe online is to only use up-to-date software. Often individuals will hesitate to install the latest version of a program. This can be for multiple reasons. For instance, they may not want to change the user interface that they’re used to or deal with bugs that often accompany new iterations of a piece of software.
However, the one thing that comes with the latest version of a program is security updates. Whether it’s a quick patch or an entire upgrade to a new operating system, if an update becomes available, you can bet it will include some form of security and protection. If you want to be safe while you’re online, make sure you’re installing every update as soon as it becomes available.
Working from home is an awesome perk for many employees. However, the risks of cybercrime aren’t reduced because you change your geographic location.
It’s important for work-from-home employees to take steps to improve their home cybersecurity. That way, you can work with the peace of mind that you aren’t putting your employer’s or your own data at risk.