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Coronavirus and Work: Avoid Cybersecurity Attacks While Working Remotely

The Coronavirus is impacting every inch of the world it sweeps through. As we adjust to the new world of quarantine work, it’s important to be wary of cybersecurity attacks. By following specific tech recommendations, you can keep your, and your company’s, data safe.

How to Keep Working Safely During the Coronavirus Outbreah

First, grasp an understanding of your network. In 2017, the average American household had 5 connected devices paired to their network. As the virus is driving students and parents to work from home, that number is sure to have risen, which is enough to bog down the network. In addition to the inconvenience, slower network speeds may stunt you from knowing when you’re under attack. Hackers move quickly, so it’s important to move quickly with them.

To prevent this, and to help you connect to your business applications, use 5 and 6 GHz networks. These are more ideal for transferring large files and pushing your network to move as fast as your operating system does. If your computer is prone to lagging, you may not be able to take action when your system is under attack. It’s also a good idea to check on your Internet Service Provider, as well. G

Given the COVID-19 outbreak, ISPs (such as AT&T) have been temporarily halting caps on broadband service – so increasing your internet speed may be out of your hands. In this scenario, switching providers is a good way to go. Furthermore, ask your ISP what kind of security measures they provide. The last thing you want is your company’s data stolen due to your WiFi plan. Of course, being hacked is never the victim’s fault, I want to emphasize that, but there are important measures to take before bringing your office into your home. For the sake of you, your team, and your clients.

Related: Beware: Fake Sites Promote Bogus Corona Antivirus, Install Malware

Distance work has increased by 115% since 2005, and 65% of employees see their jobs growing more digital and global as the years go by. Although the culture of collaboration is the new normal, this opens more opportunities for your information to have gone digital. This is why learning the science of working remotely is important. Being available and staying on top of things while working from home is extremely important. The moment you leave your computer unmonitored could be the instance a hacker makes their way in.

For example, platforms such as Slack and Zoom are helping virtual teams stay in touch while they’re distant from each other. While Slack primarily is text-based, Zoom needs your device’s audio and video permissions. Keeping your microphone and video permissions turned off when not using these applications can help you stray from hackers, as well as keeping a Post-It note covering your laptop or desktop’s WebCam. Many hackers are highly skilled and can turn on your WebCam without it lighting up, preventing you from knowing it’s even on. In these events, you could be watched, and the moment you leave your computer, the hacker could begin taking over.

Now that we’re in the remote age, employees have new needs – 52% are seeking always improving processes and 43% want access to the latest technology. This is a great time to take matters in your own hands by improving your approach to remote work with the latest cybersecurity technology.

Related: 5 Security Threats to Look Out for with Remote Workers

Since we’re under quarantine, it’s best to turn to software rather than going out to purchase new tech (or having it delivered). You can always access your operating system’s latest technology by simply doing routine software updates. Embedded in mostly every update is increased security measures. Furthermore, turn on your operating system’s firewalls and use a strengthy password: a mix of capital and lowercase letters, symbols, spaces, and numbers. Regularly changing these passwords is a great idea, as well. If you have access to implement biometric log-in features or 2-step authentication, do so, as well. Lock your computer down just as the quarantine has locked us down. Now that we’re working from home, not only is our information on our devices, but so is the information of many others.

Furthermore, make sure your Wi-Fi network is private, and use a strengthy password for that, as well. Working on an open, shared network is the last thing you want to do during this time. Another great option is to backup your hard drive. On iOS systems, the Time Machine application will do your backup work for you. You should also dig into your system settings and be sure those on your network do not have access to your folders, screen sharing, or remote device use.

If you don’t have a virus protection application installed, do some research and download one now. Antivirus and anti-software is often free, but spending money on plans that provide more protection and firewall features is never a bad idea. Another great idea is to check who has been logging into your email and social media accounts. You can do so by going into your settings, and simply logging out of every device that has access and just starting over from the devices you’re currently on.

Of course, these aren’t the only ways you can prevent being hacked. Physical data theft exists as well, so it’s a great idea to lock your computer with a numeric padlock system or chain in the event of an in-home burglary.

The challenges of remote work can stunt your performance, but it’s nothing we can’t get through. Remember, the boom in remote work is only temporary as this virus will pass. How are you managing remote work in the coronavirus economy?

About the Author: Demetrius Harrison

Demetrius has been a tech-lover since 2013. Demetrius currently writes tech news for Robotics Business Review & 21stCenTech, and has also conducted hands-on ISEF research from 2013-2016. Recently, Demetrius found an interest in SEO tech and halfway through completing his undergraduate’s degree. In the meantime, he is the Jr. Promotions Specialist at NowSourcing, Inc- an premier, award-winning design agency. Connect with Demetrius @demeharrison on social sites. Follow him @demeharrison

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The opinions expressed in these guest posts are entirely those of the contributing author, and may not reflect those of SensorsTechForum.

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