Securing Devices at Home and at Work - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month #BeCyberSmart
With many Americans making the transition from working in the office and learning on campus to working and learning from home, the number of connected devices on our home networks have certainly increased. While many have concerns about their network’s ability to support their working and learning needs, a concern that shouldn’t be overlooked are the potential vulnerabilities that may be present with more devices in our homes. Whether it’s a work laptop or a school tablet that is newly connected, one thing we must be able to do is to protect and secure those devices.
When it comes to work and school devices, we must remember that the information and data that we’re dealing with is sensitive and it is imperative that we do our part to make sure we keep it safe. In the wrong hands, this can cause irreparable damage. With many scams and threats out there in the cyber world, being aware of potential threats and having the ability to identify them can immensely help. Below, we provide you with some tips on how you can help keep your work or school information safe and keep it from being compromised.
Connect to your company’s VPN
While you may be able to carry out your work on your network, one thing to remember is that you no longer benefit from the protection you normally receive when in the office. One way to ensure you stay safe is by connecting to your company’s VPN. This will establish an encrypted connection, while letting you access your work’s network safely.
Protection against Phishing
Phishing is a common method used by cybercriminals, often disguised as an authentic email, message, or website, to steal information. Since some phishing attempts are difficult to distinguish, here are some precautions to take:
- If you’re unsure of who an email or message is from, don’t respond or click on links and attachments. If there are any concerns about the legitimacy of the message, contact the company directly.
- If you receive a suspicious email or message that appears to be from a colleague or classmate you know, reach out to that person directly through another form of communication.
Be up to date
Regular software updates are often rolled out to help fix issues and security patches. Keeping your software updated to the latest version will help combat any present vulnerabilities.
Safe web surfing
Make sure the websites you visit are secure. To determine if you’re visiting a safe site, look for a closed padlock in the address bar, or a URL beginning with https:// instead of http://.
Use a Strong Password
A strong password should be at least 12 characters long, with a mix of uppercase & lowercase characters, symbols, and numbers.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
This adds an extra step to your login process but helps prove you are the authorized user. Common methods can include fingerprint or face ID typically found on mobile phones and single-use code or authentication code to name a few.
Avoid free Internet
If you have to work or learn on-the-go, try to stay away from public WiFi. If you must use public WiFi, avoid activities that may contain sensitive information. A safer alternative to free WiFi is a personal mobile hotspot or mobile router.
Do you have any additional tips to share that we may have missed? Tell us in the comments below!