Until recently, most of us dreaded a daily commute to the office. As easy as it is to say that we would rather not be at work, office environments provide a space where people come together and collaborate on ideas. But there is something that workers often don’t think about having at their place of work that is vital… security. Behind the scenes, your IT department isn’t just fixing your slow computer or helping you log into your work account for the 800th time, they are putting up shields to prevent attackers from getting into your company’s system to steal or wreak havoc. So, what happens when you work from home? Sure your company’s IT team is still hard at work protecting your computer and online presence, but dealing with hundreds or even thousands of workers remotely brings a whole new vulnerability to you and the company. It’s vital that you participate in ensuring security for yourself and your business, so here are five ways to do just that.


Don’t ignore software updates

Have you possibly been skipping your software update every time it pops up? If so, you are creating more security holes than you know. Software updates make things run smoothly, but they also patch the holes that hackers can get into. Take your software updates seriously and you will be providing better protection from outside invaders.


Are you sure you want to use that password… again?

Passwords are usually one of the easiest things to fix and also what people are the worst at doing correctly. Make them unique, don’t repeat them on any other login, and make them lengthy. Still too lazy or just not good at it? Get a password manager like LastPass #sponsor, or another service that will create passwords for you. They’ll be kept in a vault so that you don’t have to remember them. These services usually give you the option to use multifactor authentication as well so you have double and sometimes triple the security.


Stop lookie-loos

We often surf the web with complete and utter abandon, like a toddler walking through a park surrounded by wolves. If you aren’t worried about who’s watching you, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Consider getting a VPN to continue that virtual stroll completely fear-free. A Virtual Private Network allows you to connect to another network over the internet, unseen. Whether you’re at a coffee shop or at home, anyone who’s interested won’t be able to gather data about you or what you are working on. You can get an app or a router for your home so that all devices can be protected when you go online.


Educate yourself

Some attackers will directly target you through email using tactics such as phishing. Phishing scams usually involve e-mails where a victim thinks a link is trustworthy. Once they click on that link, malware or ransomware can infiltrate the system allowing attackers access to financial, and other vital information. Identity theft is horrendous to deal with on top of lost funds. As we speak the World Health Organization is currently having an issue with hackers trying to hack their email. Learn what to look for, and don’t click on links you think seem strange. You are the first line of defense against this type of activity.


Talk to IT

Your company has an IT department for a reason. If you are still worried you aren’t doing enough to protect your privacy and security while working from home, they can give you suggestions and even run a diagnostic check on your computer to see what needs updating or installing. They are the experts and can help you be as safe as possible. If you happen to be self-employed, there are many different companies that you can reach out to for help and IT support.


Thankfully we don’t all have to be IT experts. Working from home does make us more vulnerable, but if we pay attention, take the proper precautions, and educate ourselves, we have the best defense against would-be attackers.


Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash