In this article, we bring you tips for people using personal IT to work from home. During the Covid pandemic, many users shifted their focus to working from home. We will be broadly speaking on how to secure your personal IT space, and focus on people new to home working.
Tips for People Using Personal IT to Work From Home
Few basic things before you begin, if your organization has a policy in place for personal IT stick to it. It is a good practice to follow the organization’s policy while handling information on your personal devices such as mobile phones, desktop PC, or anything in-between.
Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) is a common policy implemented by many organizations. If you don’t have an organization policy in place, follow the tips mentioned below to keep your organization’s data and your personal devices secure.
Update your Devices
Keep all your devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones updated. Check for the security update notifications that tell you when the software or an app is ready for an update.
Without ignoring the message, install all the latest software, firmware, and application updates as soon as you can. Updating your devices will keep your device protected,
Devices that cannot be updated need to be dumped as they pose a higher risk of attack. If you are running out of options, discuss the issue with your employer.
Use Strong Password
Use a strong and unique password. Password Managers can be helpful to manage your vast and complex passwords. Use of Strong PIN or Password, it should be at least 4 characters or digits and something that is not personal or easily guessed. Setting up two-factor authentication will give an added layer of protection to your online account. Additionally, you can set up a Screen lock on your smartphone and tablets.
Use Authentic Software and Collaboration Tools
Before you download any software or utility tool, check if they are authentic. When you download Apps on your mobile phones or tablets ensure you do it from manufacture approved stores like Google Play, Apple App Store, etc.
The NSGC has issued guidance on using apps for conferencing which can prove to be helpful. Stay clear from using jailbroken devices or ‘rooted’ Android devices for work.
Install a paid antivirus software on your desktop or laptop. Ensure you regularly update it from time to time.
A firewall will help protect your computer when you’re connected to a network. Windows and macOS operations systems these days come with a firewall installed. This needs to be enabled to keep your device protected.
It is important you take a backup of your files and data, in case something happens to your device. If you are backing up your organization’s data on your personal storage space, it is not a secure option. You can either go for an external storage option or the best would be to opt for a cloud storage plan. It is vital you have your backup plan in action, this will save you a lot of pain when you need to restore your backup the most in case of a hack or a system failure.
Create Separate Account
Keep a separate account for work information and family on your personal computer or laptop. This will ensure you do not accidentally access or lose sensitive information by family members.
Enable WiFi password protection on your home Wifi, in case it is not. You can follow the user manual on setting up the password, or your IT department will help you get it sorted.
Phishing emails are a growing threat, you need to be alert in spotting them. You need to avoid clicking unknown emails. Read carefully before you click to open the email. You would be safe in ignoring such emails and avoiding responding to the links by entering your information.
Stay Safe Online Training
You can undergo safe online training, it will build your security knowledge. The training will cover topics such as defending yourself against phishing, use of strong passwords, securing your devices, reporting incidents, and more.
These tips will help keep your organization’s data safe. You can now go ahead and put a tick against your ‘cyber security’ on your to-do list. Last but not the least, you need to regularly run through the list of tips and check if everything is in place.
In case you are working on the BOYD Guidance, keep track of the updated policies, though in this case, the organization is responsible to manage risks to its data.
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