In the age of the internet, more and more people find that they can work from home. While this can be a great way to save time and money on commuting, it also comes with some risks that are well worth mentioning.
Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to ensure that you work from home securely. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and secure when working from home.
A VPN Protects Your Data And Allows Safe Access To Company Networks And Systems
Many businesses use a VPN to securely access organisational systems and data, and there are several reasons why this is a good idea. First of all, VPNs provide an extra layer of security by encrypting your traffic. This means that even if someone were to intercept your traffic, they wouldn’t be able to read it.
Additionally, VPNs can help to prevent DNS leaks, which could expose your DNS request data and potentially allow someone to track your online activity. DNS leaks can still occur even with VPN use, but they are infinitely easier to detect when you can use your VPN to run a DNS leak test.
Finally, VPNs can help improve your privacy by hiding your real IP address and making it harder for digital advertisers and malicious third parties to track you online. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to use a VPN whenever you access the internet, particularly when you use a personal device to access organisational networks.
More and more people are choosing to use VPNs to secure their data, with around 30 per cent of Australians now using this technology to safeguard themselves. This number is likely to rise as more people work from home, with around two-thirds of all workers choosing to work remotely at least one day a week.
Use A VLAN To Protect And Segregate Your Data
VLANs are virtual LANs. In other words, they are logical separations of a network into smaller sub-networks. Each VLAN has its own broadcast domain. Devices in the same VLAN can communicate without going through a router.
This means that traffic between devices in different VLANs must be routed, introducing latency. Essentially, VLANs improve security by isolating traffic and making it more difficult for malicious parties to exploit vulnerabilities in your network connection. They also improve scalability by allowing administrators to break up a large network into smaller, more manageable pieces.
A VLAN allows you to segment your network into separate “virtual” networks. This can be useful if you have multiple devices that you want to keep isolated from each other. For example, you may want to create a VLAN for your work computers, and another for your personal devices.
To set up a VLAN, you will need a router compatible with this particular network configuration. Once you have configured your router, you can add devices to each VLAN by assigning them a unique IP address. By segregating your devices into different VLANs, you can help to ensure that your business data remains secure and confidential, even when you access it from a personal device and from your home Wi-Fi.
Make Sure That Your Computer Is Equipped With the Latest Security Software
The importance of security software was known even prior to the pandemic and the rise of the hybrid work model. Unfortunately, whilst it’s common for device users to purchase internet security packages alongside purchasing new devices like laptops and tablets, many home users don’t take the time to update their security software regularly, leaving them rather vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Hackers are always looking for new ways to exploit security vulnerabilities, and if your software is out of date, you could be an easy target. Luckily, it’s easy to stay safe by keeping your security software up to date, as software updates will always consider evolutions in cybercrime and malware development, ensuring that your devices stay in the loop with regards to what malicious content may look like as time goes on. Most programs will automatically check for updates on a regular basis, so you can be sure that you’re always protected against the latest threats.
In addition, it’s a good idea to run a full system scan on a weekly basis to ensure that your computer is free of malware. Encourage yourself to schedule a full system scan into your weekly work routine to ensure this security measure is conducted at regular intervals.
Avoid Sharing Sensitive Information Through Email or Social Media
One of the biggest dangers of working from home is the possibility of sharing sensitive organisational information through email or social media. Whilst this phenomenon is more often than not, caused by personal oversight rather than the activities of malicious observers, it’s still capable of doing great damage both to your personal device and the security of your wider organisation as it can lead to additional data breaches.
Hackers are always looking for ways to access private data, and they often target home users who are less likely to have strong security measures in place. It is crucial to be careful about what you share online. If you must share sensitive information, use a secure service that encrypts your data like a VPN.
Use Strong Passwords
While using the same password for all of your accounts may be tempting, this is a risky strategy. In fact, over 80 per cent of all data breaches stem from weak passwords that create security vulnerabilities, highlighting just how important this is.
If one of your accounts is compromised due to its password falling into the wrong hands, all other personal accounts that also use that password are at risk as well. Taking the time to create unique, complex passwords for each of your accounts will ensure that one security breach won’t have the power to ripple outwards as much.
A password manager can help you keep track of your passwords, and many also offer additional features like two-factor authentication and fraud monitoring.
In today’s digital world, there’s no denying that protecting your online information is more important, now more than ever before. You can do so by following the methods we’ve outlined above and by ensuring that you yourself stay in the loop with regards to developments in cybersecurity. Study up on the subject, build your digital literacy skills, and stay vigilant when surfing the web. Both you and your wider workplace will be significantly less likely to fall victim to malicious activities online.