Leaving home with a mug of coffee, jumping into the car, and commuting for about 40 minutes used to be the daily routine of most people before the pandemic. Home-based positions were a reality only available for the minority of the workforce. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, it corresponded to approximately 7% of US civilian workers.
These numbers have drastically changed after the implementation of policies that recommended social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Studies released by Gallup indicate that 62% of the Americans are working from home and nearly 60% prefer to keep doing so after the pandemic. Seeing this sudden swift in the way we work has raised various questions regarding Cybersecurity – especially after the extraordinary increase of cyberattacks.
At Makaye InfoSec, we aim to create a better and safer world. In this spirit, here are 5 tips to reinforce your safety when working from home:
- Avoid talking about work on social media: You’re chatting on Instagram with a colleague asking how he or she is doing during the pandemic and as the conversation flows, you end up talking about work. It’s understandable as you can’t go to their office or meet during lunch like you used to. But as soon as you cross that boundary, you can end up discussing sensitive information in platforms that are heavily targeted by hackers. Just take a moment to remember the massive Facebook data breach that exposed more than 50 million users’ information. It’s not worth the risk. Instead use programs such as Trello, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc.
- Make sure your system and programs are up to date: Stop delaying software updates. We know it’s inconvenient when you’re working, and you receive a notification saying that you need to restart your computer. And you keep postponing it until BOOM: you get hacked. Next time you see that notification popping up schedule the update at a time that you’re not using the computer or when you’re done with work.
- Never send company data to personal email accounts: It may appear as a convenient solution when in fact, you may be putting your organization in jeopardy. Personal accounts are easier to hack since they usually have weaker passwords and receive heavier amounts of phishing emails. In 2016, for example, a Boeing employee sent a spreadsheet to a personal email. The document had 36,000 personal information details of other employees. This $5.7 million incident could have been avoided by simply not using a personal account.
- Don’t allow your family members to use your work devices: What they say about keeping your personal life out of work also applies to technological devices. Most people think that only if you access sketchy websites you can get in trouble. However, hackers tend to make appealing and tailored ads to lure you into clicking. So, even the most innocent YouTube or Google search for Peppa Pig videos or Minecraft can put your organization at imminent risk.
- Provide employees with basic security knowledge: Switching to home-based work was a last-minute change for most people. Having a designated environment to work and people to put in practice Cybersecurity rules, allowed employees to solely focus on their jobs and pay little to no attention to digital hygiene. This informational gap has become extremely relevant in the recent month with the spike of cyberattacks. In this sense, creating awareness of Cybersecurity and producing material such as basic guides and webinars for employees is the only way to reduce risk.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed most – if not all – of our routines, including the way we work. Remote work passed from being an underdog to being most people’s top choice – and is likely to remain prevalent even after the pandemic. Following basic guidelines to keep our workspace safe and being alert of suspicious changes is the minimum we could do. Are you already following any of the measures above? Comment down below.
To see other recommendations, click here.