Five step security guide to working from home

Whilst working from home is set to continue, we all need to make sure that we take the necessary steps to keep our information safe and secure as much as possible. With that in mind we want to share some best practises that we go through with our clients on a regular basis.

Operating Systems Updates

We probably all do it, clicking skip on those pesky reminders that pop up on your computer reminding you that your operating system needs updating. Updates are not designed to ruin our lives. In fact, they’re designed to make our computers safer and keep hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities within the outdated system.

  • Check your Operating system for updates now, you may already have one pending.
  • Are you running the most current operating system? So many people are still running Windows 7 which run end life from 14th January 2020, meaning there are no more updates, making your computer a security risk.
  • By updating your operating system, you make it compatible with other programs such as anti-virus.

Security

One of the most common reasons for failures or problems in computers is the lack of antivirus software, or expired antivirus software. It is an issue which is often overlooked and has dire consequences for you and the business, usually attacking files and holding them to ransom or stealing details to defraud you and your business.

There are some many sophisticated ways hackers try and get into our systems, from phishing emails, downloaded files, pop up messages and so on.

  • Make sure you have a paid antivirus on your computer, not a free solution.
  • Make sure your computers Firewall is switched on unless the antivirus has its own
  • Is your antivirus up to date? Your operating system also needs to be on the latest version in order for both to be working efficiently

Internet Browsers

Internet browsers are often overlooked, they also need updating on a regular basis. How often do you save passwords in your bookmark menu? Malicious hackers and Web sites can exploit security flaws in browsers and infect your computer with harmful programs, trojans, and viruses. Regular updates to your browser fix security problems when they are detected and make your computer safer from those types of attacks.

  • Whatever browser you use, check if there are pending updates from your settings menu. Don’t ignore them.

Connecting to the workplace

Remoting back to the office to access files on the server is a one of the biggest questions we’ve been asked to help with during the COVID-19 outbreak.  The most secure and effective way to connect to your office environment would be via VPN rather than the alternative method, RDP (remote desktop protocol). Not only is VPN encryption stronger, VPN doesn’t suffer from as many software vulnerabilities as RDP does, lowering the scope of possible intrusion by remote exploits.

There’s no quick fix with this, but if you are set to continue to work home and now need to access files remotely then feel free to call me to discuss.


Routers

Your home router gets a lot of use in general but has without doubt seen a lot of traffic filtering through it over the last 5 weeks. In most cases you router are normally supplied from your ISP and come with all the security filters enabled, but it’s always worth checking how secure it is.

  • Check if you have the latest hardware with all the security features from your ISP, they should be able to swap this for you without paying for any upgrades. Older routers lack the modern features to prevent attackers getting on your network.
  • Keep you passwords strong and safe, I’ve seen routers sitting on window seals with the WiFi passwords on show. Not only that, routers have admin access which is normally printed on the back next to your WiFi code, this opens your network to all kinds of threats.

The best routers have built-in firewalls that protect your network from potential cyber attacks, not always available with the free solutions but if you are set to continue to work from home this would be a great tool to protect you and you business

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