There's a lot to love about working from home. However, if you aren't taking the necessary precautions, you could be putting both your business and yourself at risk. Here are a few big pitfalls to avoid.
Working from home can be pretty great.
There's no morning commute to worry about, meaning you've got more time to get ready in the morning (and more time to sleep in). Unless you're attending a Zoom meeting, you also don't need to worry about uncomfortable office attire — you can just as easily work in your pajamas. And your home office is yours to do with as you please, meaning you can tweak every inch of it to be as relaxing as possible.
As you well know, however, remote work also comes with some rather significant security risks.
We're not going to talk about those, though. Instead, we're here to focus on you. On how you personally can be more secure at home, specifically by avoiding some of the most frequent home office cybersecurity pitfalls we see.
Failing To Use A Password Manager
Unless you have a photographic memory, it is frankly impossible to use a unique, strong password for every single account. It's just too much information for the human mind to process. As a result, most of us — even experienced sysadmins who should by all rights know better — tend to reuse passwords across multiple services.
Unfortunately, this means that if one account is breached, all of them are.
The solution is so simple, it's surprising more people don't use it. Install a password manager. Let it create a strong password for each account. Create a master password that's easy to remember, and rest easy in the knowledge that you've made both your personal and professional data significantly more resilient from a security standpoint.
Unsecured Smart Devices
We're in the midst of a smart home revolution. From Internet-connected lighting to smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent kitchen appliances, we're bringing everything online. And even the security-conscious among us are doing so without regard for the risks.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are not secure. The IoT is still a relatively new frontier, and concrete security standards have yet to be established and enforced. This means that each connected device on your home network represents another entry point for an attacker.
Granted, it's not terribly likely that someone will hack into your network through your coffee maker. At the same time, it's not a risk you should be taking. Fortunately, there's a relatively simple solution.
Create a separate wireless network for all your smart devices. Make sure it cannot be accessed from your primary network. That way, even if someone does compromise all your smart lights, it's a minor inconvenience rather than a potential data breach.
Antivirus? What Antivirus?
The Internet isn't quite as hostile as it used to be. For the most part, Google and Microsoft together do a pretty good job of keeping things clean. At the same time, it's highly advisable that you use some sort of security software, one which is capable of not only safeguarding your desktop but also any other connected devices on your network.
The greatest mistake you can make is to assume that you're too knowledgeable to fall prey to things like ransomware or malvertising.
Protect Your Privacy. Protect Your Profession.
The cybersecurity risks of working from home apply to more than just your business. There are plenty of mistakes you can make in your personal life, as well. Awareness is the key to avoiding them.