Staying safe when working from home

It's safe to say, a lot of employees will now be working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. Whilst this is fantastic and a true example of the British "Keep Calm & Carry On" attitude, it's important to ensure you remain safe online.

When we say "staying safe online" we don't mean talking to strangers you don't know online (although you shouldn't be doing that in work time), we're talking about cybersecurity. It's safe to assume, you probably don't have the same level of IT infrastructure at home as you do in the office. This leaves you open to a number of different risks when working from home, below are a few ways you can ensure you're working safely at home whilst still hustling during the crisis.

Be vigilant

This one's a no-brainer, just use your common sense:

  • Don't open emails or links in emails from contacts you don't recognise.
  • Report any issues to your line manager or your IT department (if you have one).
  • Encourage team members to do the same.

By staying open and transparent with others in your team, you can all avoid security threats that could cost your company a lot of serious issues.

Utilise a VPN

A VPN is a virtual private network and allows you to remain safe when working on insecure WI-FI connections (coffee shops, airports, home etc.) These networks often leave you open to potential threats online. Using a VPN allows you to establish a secure connection with your work files and helps prevent company information from being leaked or stolen.

Change passwords regularly and use two-factor identification

A pretty simple one, but you'd be surprised how many people use the same weak password for everything for a number of years. On top of regularly changing your password and using unique passwords, two-factor authentication helps keep you secure by using a device (like your phone) to authenticate your login. You're the only one with access to your phone, so this adds another layer of security to sensitive files and information.

Stay up-to-date

The last way to keep you safe whilst working from home is ensuring all of your software, browsers, apps and security software are all up to date. Out of date software leaves you very vulnerable to hackers, the reason software is updated so often is to ensure companies are one step ahead of the unscrupulous people trying to steal information.