Cyber security at home: 10 tips to be safe when remote working

A woman works from home on the couch. She is smiling because she is remote working safely after prioritising cyber security at home.

Let’s talk about working from home in today’s digital world. It’s pretty awesome, right? No more long commutes, and you can work in your pajamas if you want to!

But hold up, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Remote working means that you need to be extra careful about cyber security at home and in public. We’ve got some tips to help you improve your cyber security when remote working and protect your business from cyber threats.

1. Lock down your home Wi-Fi

First things first, make sure your home Wi-Fi is secure. You can start by changing that default password. It’ll look something like this: 3478£”$%348FN?fgFKG. (Yes we just face-rolled the keyboard.)

Change it to something strong, but memorable, and update your router’s firmware regularly. You might even want to set up a separate network just for work stuff to keep it extra safe.

Staying on top of your home Wi-Fi security will also safeguard your personal affairs online. A surefire way to improve your cyber security at home, on the whole!

2. Stay safe online with a VPN

When you’re doing work online, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your data encrypted and away from prying eyes. A VPN allows you to forward all your Internet usage on your PC, smartphone or tablet to a secure network of servers, in turn encrypting your connection, changing the origin of your request, and protecting your data. Find out more about what a VPN is in our other fab blog post, here.

And always check for that little padlock icon in your browser. It means that the websites you visit are secure.

3. Double up on authentication

Passwords are so last season. Two-factor authentication is the ‘new black’!

By enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever you can, you will add another layer of security to your logins. 2FA means that you’ll have to confirm your login after entering your password by getting a text message or an email containing a code that you enter in the login process. Or you can use an ‘authenticator’ application on your phone to get a code.

And hey, why not try out a password manager to keep all those logins in check? You’ll only have to remember one password to gain access to your accounts – but your password manager will make sure all your logins are strong and unique. Just like you! (We’re smooth, we know.)

4. Keep your devices secure

There are a few things that you can do to improve your cyber security at home by keeping your devices in good nick.

  • Keep your software updated. Stop postponing those security updates. Yes, they are actually important!
  • Lock your devices when you’re not using them. Anyone could come and have a good snoop if they can access your device.
  • Consider encrypting sensitive data, just in case your laptop takes an unexpected vacation.

5. Watch out for phishy stuff

Do you know how to recognise a phishing email? Phishing is one of the most common cyber attacks and we see them happen all the time here at Kyte. Most of the time, phishing emails ask you to visit a malicious website. It could download malware straight onto your PC, or very-convincingly ask you to enter login details.

So be careful when opening emails from unknown senders. And don’t click on suspicious links. If something seems fishy (or phishy!), it probably is. Don’t be afraid to double-check with the sender by calling them if you’re not sure.

Need a hand?

Here at Kyte, we specialise in helping businesses to improve their cyber security. We can offer cyber security training for you and your teams. And we can help you achieve Cyber Essentials and ISO 9001 and 27001 accreditations.

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6. Collaborate and file-share securely

We all need to share documents in our teams. But there are various ways of sharing documents; some more secure than others.

Use the approved file-sharing methods your company provides such as OneDrive or encrypted email messages. There are also secure messaging apps you can take a look into. But make sure it’s company-approved before taking the plunge.

7. Keep your workspace secure

So you already know to lock your devices, keep them up to date and encrypt sensitive data. But you can take your physical security up a level by locking up your devices and keeping sensitive info out of sight when you’re not using it. Using a locked drawer or room is a good way of improving your cyber security at home, adding an extra layer of physical security to your work and business.

And remember: if you’re sharing a workspace with others, set some ground rules to keep everyone on the same page.

8. Stay informed on cyber security at home

This one is a short n’ sweet tip for how to improve your cyber security when remote working. Keep yourself up to date with the latest cybersecurity news and tips.

9. Back up your data

It’s a Kyte IT favourite for a reason! Please (PLEASE!) don’t forget to back up your important files regularly. You never know when disaster might strike!

A good way to do this is to invest in a cloud backup. Which means that your data is held securely on the cloud, safe from spilled coffees or even lost devices.

As an extra (but integral) fail-safe, make sure your company server is fighting-fit (if you have one, that is). Unfortunately, backups do fail from time to time. But this can be mitigated by ensuring your backup devices are in sound working condition.

10. Stay sharp on cyber security at home!

And lastly, simply remain vigilant. Keep an eye out for any weird stuff happening on your devices and report anything suspicious as soon as you see it. Dodgy emails, unsolicited downloads or software, strange device behaviour. You name it!

So there you have it – some simple steps to keep your digital life safe and sound while you’re working from home. Stay safe out there!

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