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    How To Secure Your Home Office During The Coronavirus Crisis

    The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. As lockdown orders remain in place in the US, several businesses are facing the heat. Figures released on April 16th showed that 5.2 million people have submitted new unemployment claims, putting a total of 22 million Americans out of work at this time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Though work-at-home orders have helped flatten the curve, there’s still no evidence of a recovery in the economy.

    Meanwhile, as remote work picks up pace, the number of cyber threats has also increased alarmingly. Employees and organizations are facing another major problem keeping their valuable data secure.

    Why You Need To Keep On The Ball

    Ask any cybersecurity expert, and they’ll tell you that new technology opens newer gateways for hackers.

    Hence, it’s no surprise that the remote work trend has ushered many threats for employees and organizations alike. 

    Unlike offices, when you start working from home, there are lesser chances that you’ve hardened your network connection or your personal computer security.

    This leads to problems like:

    • Opportunities for hackers to steal credentials and data
    • Ransomware attacks on the network and devices
    • Identity frauds and keylogger attacks

    The Steps

    To safeguard your device and data, there are multiple things that you can do. In addition to using a dedicated antivirus solution, you should also keep yourself informed about the latest threats and relevant defensive measures.

    Listed below are some things that you can do to keep yourself protected.

    Secure Your Home Router

    In general, WiFi routers for home use contain multiple security flaws. Most consumer-grade routers fail to alert users of the availability of firmware updates, even though such updates are necessary to fix security problems.

    Here are some things you can do to fix this problem:

    • Use a complex WPA2 security protocol that requires every new device to enter the password
    • Change the passwords on a regular basis
    • Keep the router’s firmware updated
    • Check and disable UPnP, WPS, and remote access of your router

    Backup Your Data

    One of the most common cyber threats is ransomware. Hackers can insert malicious codes that take over your device and data, forcing you to pay before they grant you back the access. This is a recurring problem, especially when you’re new to the work from home culture. Accordingly, backing up your data regularly is always a good idea.

    You can do it by:

    • Manually copying the important files and folders on an external drive
    • Uploading copies of your data on secured cloud servers
    • Use backup features provided by premium antivirus suites

    Software Updates And Patches

    It’s important to keep your device updated with the latest operating system (OS) releases and security patches. These help combat newer threats and ensure better security.

    If you don’t update the OS and other software regularly, they won’t be able to detect and neutralize threats, thus leading to many different problems.

    Fix it by:

    • Turning on automatic updates
    • Alternatively, you can customize and choose manual updates for better control over the features
    • Run diagnostic tools to check for updates and download them one at a time

    Use A VPN

    A VPN allows you to build a secured and encrypted connection while hiding your IP from hackers. Without a VPN, any data that you share online can be easily located and infected by malware. Moreover, a VPN also helps access websites that are blocked in certain geographies.

    To use a VPN, you can:

    • Use a free version (remember, it comes with limited bandwidth and data)
    • Use a Premium version that has no capping on the usage

    Educate Yourself

    The biggest leverage that hackers have over their victims is a lack of awareness. It’s important to stay updated on the ins and outs of cybersecurity. Keep track of the latest threats, understand how malware works, and how to keep these intruders at bay.

    Keeping your home office secure isn’t tough. It’s all about awareness. The more you know, the easier it becomes to keep out the hackers and other malicious elements.

    Bottom Line

    To protect sensitive data when you’re working from home, the first thing you should do is invest in an antivirus solution.

    Additional security measures like frequent backups, strong passwords, a VPN, and cloud-based solutions also help to keep the hackers at bay.

    Above all, stay updated and aware of the threats lurking on the internet. Awareness is always the key to protecting your device and data from the newest cyber threats.