If you are working from home, you likely have a vested interest in protecting your employer and their data, and taking a proactive approach to device security is vital. Here, experienced investor Daniel Calugar takes a look at ten steps you can take to secure your devices and your future as a telecommuter.
1.) Unique Passwords
It is hard to overemphasize the importance of unique passwords, and yet it is one of the most frequently broken cybersecurity rules. Given the many recent data hacks, it’s likely that your favorite password has been compromised at some point. If you only use it in one place, then only one place is vulnerable. If you use it over and over, each place you use it is vulnerable.
2.) Anti-virus Software
Every computer should run a current version of reliable anti-virus software. That is your first line of defense against a cyberattack.
Not only your software but also your operating systems must be kept updated. Hackers are continually finding new vulnerabilities. Software vendors quickly create patches, but if your system is outdated, you’re not protected.
Take some time to educate yourself about cybersecurity best practices. Your employer may pay for online classes, but if they don’t, there are many free courses available. Learn how to protect your data and identity.
Always use an encrypted network connection. Without encryption, anyone with the proper tools can access your network and poke around in your devices and storage locations.
6.) IoT Devices
You may have more Internet of Things (IoT) devices in your home than you are aware of. Everything from your security system to your refrigerator may have a network connection. IoT devices often come with a default password; if you haven’t changed your passwords, you are vulnerable to an attack on your network.
7.) Public Networks
Working from home provides some flexibility in where you work. Maybe it is convenient for you to connect to the office from a local coffee shop while you wait for your kids to get out of school. However, you must be very careful about using public networks. Many are not encrypted, and hackers and cybercriminals often prey on public network users. If you have a VPN, use that when you’re using a public network.
8.) Secure Cloud
Working from home may have changed where you store business information. You may now be using a cloud provider. Be sure your company is aware and approves of any computing resources you employ, especially a cloud provider.
9.) Device Access
Set your devices to lock when you are away from them. Even in your home, where you trust everyone, there are risks associated with unauthorized access. Your teenager may feel compelled to change some security settings on your device so they can chat with their friends. Always know who is using your devices and what they are doing.
The coronavirus related surge in working from home has brought with it a pandemic of phishing attacks. Learn how to recognize a phishing email and contact your employer if you have any questions at all about the legitimacy of any communication you receive. Criminals are exploiting the fact that we are now more isolated.
About Daniel Calugar
Daniel Calugar is a data-driven investor with an academic and professional background in computer science, business, and law. He developed a passion for investing due to frequent interaction with investment professionals who serviced his legal clients’ investment needs. As a tax partner at the Atlanta law firm of Hansell & Post and the global law firm of Jones Day, he incorporated his partnership interest to set up and serve as trustee for his tax-qualified profit-sharing plan. Calugar utilized his technical skill set to design computer programs that would help him make more effective investment decisions. When Dan is not working, he enjoys spending time working out and being with friends and family. As a pilot with over 2000 hours of single-pilot experience flying business jets, he enjoys flying volunteer flights for Angel Flight.