How to stay cyber safe from home

Now that most of us are working from home, it’s more important than ever to keep yourself safe online. After all, hackers now have more people to target. We’ve worked remotely since Word Monster began, so we’ve implemented strict procedures and protocols to keep us and our data safe. Here are a few simple things that you can do to keep yourself cyber safe while working remotely.

Strong passwords

The first thing is to improve your account security and protocols. Ensure your passwords are secure enough (if they’re so complex you could never remember them, they’re probably good enough), and you have additional practices (such as two-factor authentication).

Antivirus software

Ensure you have antivirus software on your computer. Check it’s up-to-date. Scan all files and email attachments before opening them. You can also run links through antivirus software before opening them to be sure that they are safe.

Be cautious about links and attachments in emails, texts and WhatsApp

Never open links in emails, texts or WhatsApp, especially if you’re not expecting a communication from that person. Never open attachments from people you don’t know either. If a link seems to be from a platform which you usually use – bank, social media, work account manager, don’t click on it – go to that website manually instead. Sometimes an email, text or WhatsApp message can look like it’s from someone you know – if you’re not expecting that person to be in touch, check with them first. At the very least, check the email address or phone number that is has been sent from.

Lock your screen

Even if you’re only popping away for a couple of minutes to make a cup of tea, get into the habit of pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE and LOCK your screen. Should you be unlucky enough to have a compromised PC (or an unsecure network), it can only take a few seconds for someone to access your files or install something on your machine.

Avoid public Wi-Fi networks

If you live above, next door or adjacent to a Costa (other coffee shops still widely available). Good for you. But you should really stick to just enjoying the coffee. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks if you can – they are mostly unsafe. If you have no other choice, you can use a secure VPN to encrypt your internet traffic. In fact, it’s good practice to use a VPN at all times, even when you’re accessing the internet at home on your personal network.

Update your programs regularly

Old apps and programs can easily be a backdoor into your computer network if left unchecked. Keep your apps and programs up‑to‑date. Install that update as soon as you get the notification.  

We chose to operate 100% remotely from the off, so we’ve had the time and training to implement safety and security into the way we operate. If you or your company have recently been thrust into working from home with little time or planning, hopefully this article will remind you of how to keep safe online.

Stay home. Protect your network. Save drives.