HOW TO WORK FROM HOME SECURELY

PC Magazine|June 2020

HOW TO WORK FROM HOME SECURELY
When you step into your office or cubicle and sit down to work at a company-owned computer, you shouldn’t have to worry much about security.
NEIL J. RUBENKING

That’s what the IT department is for, right? But these days, things are not so simple. If you’re one of the many people who’ve suddenly found themselves working from home, you’re responsible for doing so securely.

Don’t worry, though: There are plenty of things you can do to upgrade your work-from-home security, and many are quite simple to implement. Follow the tips below to make sure you’re not the one who accidentally exposes HR records or leaks company secrets to a competitor.

SECURE YOUR COMPUTER

If you’re new to working from home, chances are good you simply promoted your existing personal computer to be a work computer. For work, though, you need to take security seriously. Maybe you thought, “I’ve got nothing a hacker would want,” and hence skipped antivirus protection? That won’t fly with your boss, so get protection right away. If you already have an antivirus, check that it’s fully enabled and up to date.

Speaking of keeping things up to date, now is a good time to double-check that you’ve got your computer set to receive all security updates automatically, especially Windows updates. Each time Microsoft comes out with a patch, the patched vulnerability becomes public knowledge. Malware coders jump in, hoping to exploit the security hole before the update disables it.

Some folks are lucky enough to have a dedicated home office, but for most, work happens wherever you can clear space. When you leave your computer to fix a snack or take a break, always hit the Windows+L key combination to lock it. Sure, you trust your family, but kids (and their friends) can be curious or mischievous. On a modern Mac, Command+Control+Q does the job. Laptop? Just close the lid!

Speaking of locking the computer, you do lock your account with a password, right? Maybe you thought there’s no need for a strong password when the computer just served to let you check email and watch cat videos, but when it has work stuff on it, that changes. Set up a reasonably strong password now. If your device supports Windows Hello, macOS Touch ID, or some other type of biometric login, use that.

SECURE YOUR NETWORK

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June 2020