Has your living room or kitchen table become your new office space? If so, you’re definitely not alone. COVID-19 has made remote work an easy office alternative that allows for social distancing — and while working remotely definitely has its benefits, there are certain challenges as well.
One of the biggest challenges is that you inadvertently take on cybersecurity risks in various ways. These can include logging in via your personal device etc. In this article, let us first look at the most prevalent cyber attacks that people fall victim to these days.
Most Common Cyber Attacks
When you work remotely, you can easily fall prey to cyber-attacks. Now that remote work is on the rise thanks to COVID-19, cybercrimes are up 300%. It is important that you have full knowledge of such attacks to keep you and your company’s data safe.
Phishing attacks aver very dangerous cyber attacks that can cause you significant damage if you fall prey to them. In such attacks, hackers send you emails and pretend to be a reliable entity, such as the government or a banking firm. They do that to acquire any sensitive information you might have, such as personal data and credit card details. The last thing you need is for such critical information to fall into the wrong hands!
Ransomware is another common cyber-attack in today’s digital age. Here, hackers steal sensitive data from people and then threaten to release this information if they do not pay a sizeable ransom. Although ransomware often targets individuals, businesses might fall victim to such attacks leading to very unpleasant consequences. Some people also try negotiating with hackers to reduce the ransom amount. This strategy, however, does not work most of the time!
Trojan horse attack
In Trojan horse attacks, malicious and harmful software applications pose as genuine and legitimate ones. Once the victim installs this software, the attackers try to gain control of his or her device without the person knowing. Imagine- someone else controlling your laptop without you knowing about it!
If you are working from home on a temporary basis owing to the pandemic, be sure to implement these best cybersecurity tips. This would help you to steer clear from lethal cyber-attacks.
How to Stay Safe Online
Did you know that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error? Here are some steps to take to prevent getting hacked online.
Use Only Company-Issued Devices
It would be unwise to install work software on your personal laptop or go through your official email on your phone. Instead, it is best to be careful and only use technology that the company provides when you are working remotely during Covid. While every employer has its own distinct set of regulations regarding cybersecurity, company tech is usually better equipped to deal with security concerns.
Furthermore, using only company-issued devices prevents members of your family from signing into your system and gaining access to any sensitive data. Most of the time, an organization liability insurance covers breaches only if the incident occurs using a work-issued device.
Regularly Change Your Password
There is no doubt that it can be quite difficult for anyone to keep a regular track of ever-changing and several passwords. However, switching your passwords regularly is a highly effective way to stay fully secure online when you work from home. You should (at the very least!) change them every 3 months, but your organization might ask you to do this more often.
In addition, you should also avoid keeping your passwords in a place that anyone can easily access. Do not share your passwords with anyone as well. You may use a password manager to keep all your login details. In this way, you do not have to write them down on a piece of paper that anyone can see. Instead of adding another exclamation mark or number in your current password, it is better to incorporate more intricate changes in the numbering and/or lettering. That would make your particular code even more difficult to crack.
Avoid Opening any Suspect Emails
Are you familiar with the red flags of an email phishing online attack? Tricksters send you various emails and claim they are your coworker, for example. Some might even claim to be your CEO to try and acquire sensitive details.
People lose millions of dollars every year to such attacks. It is important to be aware of how to identify a phishing email, so you do not fall victim. It might be a phishing scam if the sender of an email asks you to click on a certain link to wire payment or to confirm your personal details. The scammer might even try to offer you a coupon for some free deal, so be highly vigilant! Just think about it- would your supervisor ever send you an email asking you for your debit card details?
Use VPN to Lower Risks of Hacking
If your organization is providing you a VPN (Virtual Private Network), ensure that you sign in via this each time you are logging in. If you do not, there is a strong chance that you may easily fall prey to any cyber attack.
VPN makes use of a private server for the internet connection of your device. That, in turn, keeps you fully anonymous and secure while you work remotely during current times. Any hacker who gets his or her hand on VPN data cannot read it. It is vital that you do your bit in keeping your company VPN secure by regularly updating it with a strong password.
Be Mindful When You Share Your Screen
If you are planning on sharing your screen during a work meeting, keep in mind that a single wrong click may lead to a grave security concern. Do not make the mistake of letting any unauthorized personnel see your personal data or company information. Be sure to close all the software and tabs beforehand that are not pertinent to your meeting.
Want more tips to stay safe online? Check out this infographic from The Zebra below!
Please include attribution to TheZebra.com with this graphic.
Karlyn is a writer who specializes in the technology and insurance spaces. She believes the best ingredients for success are passion and purpose.