Our top tips for staying safe online while you work from home

20 May 2020

We are fortunate to have technology at our fingertips, and the opportunities it gives us, especially when life is disrupted.

Unfortunately, there are some individuals or groups that will take advantage of this which means being savvier and more vigilant with how we use technology in our everyday lives.

We sat down with our Director of IT, Phil Baker, for some top tips to keep you and your business secure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

1. Be Wary

Unfortunately, cyber criminals aren’t taking any down time and are working harder than ever! The types of exploits they use often follow major events, and the Covid-19 pandemic is no exception. It has given them lots of new ways to try and extract valuable information and/or money.

Common methods can be tied to the remote working tools that have become commonplace, with e-mails such as “Register for XYZ’s new cloud SharePoint site, please use your e-mail address and password to upgrade”.

Another phishing scam has been to imitate public authorities such as The World Health Organisation (WHO), sending alerts with links and prompting you to click and see the infection hotspots in your area. If in doubt, do not click any links or enter any information. Always look to verify through official channels (such as their website).

2Protect Yourself

As working habits have changed rapidly, so has the technology we use. There are some great collaboration technologies out there, like Teams and Zoom, which are quick and easy to get started on but make sure you take the time to setup the security first. For example, password protect all Zoom meetings, so you don’t fall foul of “Zoom bombing” (when someone uninvited crashes your meeting).

3Encryption is Key

As the lockdown loosens, there will be an increase in people travelling with laptops on public transport as they return to work for the first time. With the best will in the world, people can still accidentally forget things, so make sure your devices are encrypted.

That way if they do fall into the wrong hands, they can’t get to your personal or business data. This is typically a built-in feature of modern systems – for instance BitLocker in Windows 10.

4Keep Tech Updated

Similarly, if you are turning on a desktop computer at your office for the first time in weeks after the period of working from home, then you need to let it install all of the updates. This helps to protect against new threats that have emerged in the interim before you start using it.

5Follow Good Security Practice

Visit the National Cyder Security Centre, as it has some great up to date guidance for more information. More than anything, stay vigilant and follow the good security practice you are advised to do in more normal circumstances.