Critical Tips for Keeping Work Devices Secure When You’re Telecommuting from Home

Critical Tips for Keeping Work Devices Secure When You're Telecommuting from Home

Over the weeks since the COVID-19 outbreak, telecommuting has gone from a growing trend to something that’s being experienced by millions of employees across the country.

Businesses in Sturgeon Bay and throughout the world have had to quickly change the way they do business by sending employees home to work remotely. Most companies did not have time to put a device and data security policy in place to extend their network security.

That abrupt change in workflow has put many companies at risk of a data breach due to unprotected devices and employees unsure what they need to do.

If you are using your own personal devices for work, how can you ensure they’re properly protected? If you’ve taken home your office workstation, how do you know it’s secure when connected to your home Wi-Fi?

36% of organizations have had a security incident due to an unsecured telecommuting employee.

One of the most important things you can do to address this once you’ve received the notice to work from home is to put safeguards in place to ensure you’re not responsible for a company data breach.

How Can I Secure My Computer While Working from Home?

Just as it does at the office, cybersecurity has a number of layers. These layers all work together to protect the network, devices, and data.

Device security includes keeping threats, like malware, out of your system and preventing data from being compromised by a hacker.

Here are several critical tips to help you beef up device security while telecommuting.

Put Your Work Device on a Guest Wi-Fi Network

The number of internet of things (IoT) devices has skyrocketed in the last few years with the popularity of voice speakers like Alexa and gadgets like smart doorbell cameras.

But those items are considered “high risk” when it comes to a home network. That means they are more easily hacked.

Keep your work computer on a separate Wi-Fi network, away from those high-risk devices by setting up a guest network on your router. Use a strong password and then only connect your work devices to that network.

Make Sure Your Device & Router are Updated

You should regularly apply updates and security patches to your operating system and software to ensure you’re not leaving open a found vulnerability. Your router also needs its firmware updated regularly.

While you’re setting up a guest network on your router check to make sure you’ve applied any available router firmware updates. Check for all updates on your PC as well.

Use an Advanced Antivirus/Anti-Malware

You don’t want to be using just any antivirus on your computer. The more basic applications are signature based, meaning they check a database for known threats to detect malware. But many phishing emails and other threats are considered “zero-day,” meaning they’re so new, they haven’t been added to a threat database yet.

Use an advanced application that uses behavior monitoring and has the ability to detect and protect against zero-day threats.

Use a VPN to Connect to the Internet

A virtual private network (VPN) acts as a secure tunnel for all your online communications. It redirects your traffic through a VPN server that both encrypts the data and also makes your home IP address anonymous.

VPNs can even secure traffic when you’re on a free public Wi-Fi. They’re an important safeguard against hackers that have broken into a network to sit silently and steal data.

Use a Web Protection Application

Phishing emails have gone up dramatically since the coronavirus outbreak. Most of those emails use links to dangerous sites that are designed to inject malware upon page load.

A web protection application (also known as a DNS filter) checks URLs before directing your browser. If they’re found to be malicious, you’re redirected to a warning page.

Many VPNs also include this option, so be sure to look for it when reviewing VPN applications.

Disconnect Your Device from Wi-Fi When Not in Use

While your device is connected to the internet, hackers have a way in. You can reduce the risk of a breach by limiting that internet connection time.

When you are not using your work computer, such as in the evenings or on weekends, disconnect it completely from the internet and turn it off.

Use a Managed Services Plan

Managed services plans aren’t just for computers in an office. We offer Quantum Care which can be applied to any computer to keep it protected and monitored for any threats.

Plans include things like patch management, managed antivirus, and ongoing monitoring. A Quantum Care plan takes the burden of device security off your shoulders by having it handled for you.

Learn More About Quantum Care PC Security

Quantum Care can help you sleep easier at night and make device security automatic for you.

Contact us today to learn more and get your PC protected. Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.