David Papp Blog

Top 8 Cybersecurity Tips For COVID-19

With more and more people working remotely across the world, breaches are still on the rise at an unprecedented rate. The World Economic Forum stated that this pandemic presents many risks of increased cyberattacks and it makes sense. We have a higher dependence and usage of tech these days and not many people will be as secure. Furthermore on a security level, you may have a better setup at the office than at home.

To ensure people can work safer, here are some measures that you can take.

Ensure A Secure Connection

Make sure that people can’t easily get access to your router or WiFi. If people can hijack it, at the very least, your internet usage bill could go up by a good bit. At worst, a hacker could infiltrate your home and cause more pain.

On that note, you also want to make sure you have firewalls in place to protect devices and your router too.

Check For Updates

From computer updates to anti-virus software and apps, make sure those are all updated. As I say time and again, updates usually come with some tweaks to the app but also a lot of other security measures as well to protect the app. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities so it’s important that creators of any kind of tech routinely tweak and cover exploits.

You’re only leaving yourself open to attacks by not updating.

Use A VPN If At All Possible

A Virtual Private Network – or VPN – is a powerful resource to help you browse the internet in a secure fashion. These are especially helpful if you are out in public as public WiFi’s are vulnerable since anyone can access them with little to no effort.

You won’t need one so much while at home, but it could be helpful as a way to section off your personal computer usage and work computer usage. On top of that, having two-factor authentication on access to your VPN can tighten security further too.

Have Better Passwords

There are several measures you can take with passwords. Some are common rules while others have emerged due to these circumstances. As a general rule passwords should:

  • Be complicated. Use an assortment of letters, numbers, and symbols. You can even use passphrases if need be.
  • Be swapped frequently and never reuse them. Get new passwords/passphrases once every three to four months and make sure they are unique every time.
  • Be kept in secure spaces if they have to be placed somewhere. Avoid writing them in a book or a piece of paper. Use services like LastPass or 1Password if you need to keep track of passwords.

Only Open Emails You Know

Digital viruses spread rapidly and at alarming paces. All you need to look at is the various worms over the years to see how much damage it can do. To avoid being like those people:

  • Don’t open emails sent to your work account that you don’t know about.
  • Don’t click on any attachments.
  • Do confirm with the individual if you get unusual emails sent from their address.
  • Do flag emails if you find them suspicious or unusual. Also notify the IT department of these emails.

Lock Your Screen

Since we’re working from home, we may have family members around us while working. If that’s the case, be sure to let everyone know about the potential threats and how to best handle them. Take a bit of time to educate your family about cybersecurity and some of the dangers of poor cybersecurity can do.

On top of that, be sure to lock your screen in those situations. Here is a simple way to lock your screen on PC. Here is the shortcut for Macs.

Track All IT Assets That Are Taken Home

Depending on your organization, you may need resources from work to do your job. Some IT departments may already have considered requiring employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the data they’ll have access to outside of the office. That’s a good first step. However it also helps to monitor employee data as well.

Funny enough, this is a great opportunity to tighten the reins on those who often bring their own devices to work.

Have Education And Training Provided

Not just cybersecurity in general but about how to better manage equipment and other data around the house. Create the expectations now and moving forward.

Keep all of these in mind as the longer all of us are working remotely for businesses the more vulnerable we can become. As a result, we need to be diligent about our use of work equipment and devices. The last thing that a business should face at the moment is having to fend off cyber attacks or phishing.