If you’re like many other working Americans, you have probably been telecommuting for several months because of the pandemic. Once seen as a luxury, working from home has now become a necessity for multiple companies, and countless organizations are beginning to employ a hybrid working solution. While telecommuting promotes increased working flexibility and productivity levels, it can also unintentionally come with cybersecurity risks. These risks not only have the possibility of compromising your privacy, but they can also lead to a breach in your company’s security down the road. Fortunately, if you follow a few crucial steps, you can easily mitigate network security threats. Consider these 7 tips to help keep your working environment secure while working from home:

1. Invest in Comprehensive Antivirus Software

Here’s one of the best places to start – ensuring that your antivirus software is robust and up to date. Strong antivirus software coupled with a solid firewall can easily help detect and block malware, spyware, ransomware attacks, and more. Make sure that you stay on top of all patches and updates that come out for your software to get the most protection! However, no firewall can prevent you from falling victim to phishing attacks or other scams – see tip #6 below!

2. Protect Work Devices from Others

At this time, it’s safe to assume that your work devices probably share space with other people in your household. You may even allow your family members, children, or roommates to use your computer for online classes, events, or videoconferencing with others. It’s more important now than ever to ensure that your work devices are secure! Enabling password protection on each device is an excellent place to start. Ideally, each device should be used by a single person, or, if that is not possible, each person should have their own account. Additionally, you’ll want to keep your devices somewhere safe from curious hands or precarious situations (stolen hardware is notoriously hard to deal with!). And of course, you’ll want to avoid storing your work devices in your vehicle (including your trunk!).

3. Ensure Your VPN Is Strong

Now is the time to strengthen your Virtual Private Network connection (VPN). Why? Without one, you connect over the open Internet without even basic encryption. Since you’re using the public Internet, a VPN will help lock down your connection to your workplace. It will also improve your online privacy and encrypt all of your Internet traffic. To get the most out of your VPN, use the strongest authentication and encryption methods possible for access, and limit access to the VPN for work hours and work activities only.

4. Secure Your Home Wireless Network

When was the last time you checked up on your home router? Probably the day it got installed, right? If that’s the case, you’ll want to spend some time bolstering the security of your personal gateway to the Internet. To strengthen your home Wi-Fi network’s security, change your SSID (Service Set Identifier – a.k.a. the name of your Wi-Fi network), create a strong password, enable network encryption, and disable remote access. Turning it off while you’re away from home is also a helpful step in closing any windows of opportunity on would-be hackers!

5. Always Choose Strong, Secure Passwords

We totally get it – using the same password across multiple accounts is just so much easier and convenient than creating different passwords and trying to remember them all. However, consider this: if a hacker cracks the code to that one password, they have access to all of your accounts “protected” by that same password. Take time to create strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts to keep your data safe. That means using a combination of capitalized and lowercased letters, numbers, and symbols. You can also add an extra layer of protection by using a two-factor authentication like an email or text message confirmation or a fingerprint scan.

6. Don’t Go Phishing

You’ve probably been emailing others within your company a lot more these days – and cybercriminals know it. If they’re not busy trying to access your email by cracking your password, they’re creating crafty, fraudulent emails that’ll coax you to click on some nefarious links, which can expose your personal data. Keep your email safe by 1.) updating your password like we mentioned above, 2.) using multifactor authentication to log in, 3.) ensuring your emails can only be accessed securely through your company’s VPN, and 4.) never clicking on anything that looks suspicious.

Sometimes fraudulent email can look so convincing. Don’t let cybercriminals win – read how you can protect yourself from phishing attacks and recognize deceptive emails like a pro!

7. Count on Q-Net Security

No matter your working situation, you should always be able to operate safely and efficiently without worrying about cyberattacks. That’s where Q-Net Security comes in. We offer a unique hard-sec solution that offers you the greatest protection and works seamlessly with any network – the Q-Box. It’s so easy to implement – just plug the Q-Box in to secure an end-point, register it, and boom – you’re done. Totally secure communication between your workplace and your home. Best of all, it never requires any patches, updates, or specialized training! Ask your IT department today about the security of your VPN and remote work situation – they may already be considering Q-Net Security!

Contact us today at [email protected] to learn more about how we can protect your data and infrastructure!