In response to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), organizations and employees around the world have been tasked with implementing alternative workplace options, often with employees working from home. These arrangements — however inadvertently — present several opportunities for fraudsters to leverage this pandemic for their own gain. It’s very important to ensure your work-at-home systems and procedures are safe and secure. Here’s how:
- Keep your security software up to date. Use strong passwords on all your devices and apps. Strong passwords are at least 12 characters that are a mix of numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters.
- Secure your home network. Start with your router by turning on encryption (WPA2 or WPA3). Encryption scrambles information sent over your network, so outsiders can’t read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the most up-to-date encryption standards to protect information sent over a wireless network.
- Password-protect your PC. If you’re using a laptop, make sure it is password-protected, locked, and secure. Never leave it unattended, such as in your vehicle or at a public charging station.
- Securely store sensitive files. When there’s a legitimate business need to transfer confidential information from office to home, keep it out of sight and under lock and key. If you don’t have a file cabinet at home, use a locked room.
- Dispose of sensitive data securely. Don’t just throw it in the trash or recycling bin — instead, take the extra step and shred it.
- Follow your employer’s security practices. Your home is now an extension of your office, so reach out to your IT or operations team to make sure your setup is up to par.
Working from home may be a new frontier for you or your business, but with an eye on security and help from your company’s IT team, your home office can be a safe alternative while practicing recommended social distancing measures.
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