When businesses closed for COVID-19, many were scrambling to get employees set up with computer access. Security issues were not a top concern for all employers. Employees just used their personal computer as a work computer and it was assumed that the employee's Wi-Fi was secure enough. Some found out quickly that was not true, but others continue to ignore the risks. While businesses are starting to reopen, work from home is likely to continue for a significant portion of office workers. That means security is still an issue. It also should be a concern of every person because even if you only use your computer for personal use, it can be hacked allowing someone access to your financial and other confidential information. Despite the publicity about computer viruses, hackers, and online scams, many people still do not properly secure their computers.
How many of these do you have to secure your home computer?
- Up-to-date anti-virus protection
- Automatic security updates for software
- Strong and different passwords for all your devices, accounts, and Wi-Fi networks. The FBI suggests "passphrases" of at least 15 characters when possible
- Corporate or third-party virtual private network (VPN)
- Email encryption
- Secure messaging app
You should also research any technology-related vendors and software providers that you use so you understand what level of security and service they provide and where you may need to supplement security.
If you are a business owner, make sure to educate and train staff on how to protect company data. As I discussed in a previous post, there are many online scams (COVID related and otherwise) that can risk your personal or company information.
For more tips, read Protect Your PC: How to Work From Home Securely from PC Magazine.