The work-from-home atmosphere is the new reality for many Ontario working professionals. The change in the office environment means your computer is vulnerable to threats and security risks — risks you’re less likely to experience when working from a secure professional network. Without the company’s IT department available, you may find yourself unsure how best to protect your equipment and secure your computer.
Here are a few of our top tips to keep your computer safe and effectively secure your personal information.
1. Start with a Secure Password
It sounds simple enough, but oftentimes we forget the importance of a simple password on our electronic devices. When your home computer now has important work documents on its server, it’s best to not leave that information open to anyone. Your password should include a mix of characters, numbers, and punctuation without being too complicated that you can’t remember it daily.
2. Find Your Ideal VPN
For most professionals, the new office dynamics were a last-minute decision — this means you likely don’t have the proper VPN in place. Top VPN services ensure that your internet traffic is sent through a secure channel to a third-party server run by a VPN company.
This privacy tool acts as a barrier between your information and virtual followers tracking your data. While search engines monitor browsing history, the information they collect will come from an IP address that isn’t associated with your home network.
Your browsing habits remain anonymous and the encryption is scrambled, making your data unreadable and allowing you peace of mind as you continue to work on your professional projects. Not only is a technology advanced VPN service good for you, but it can also secure your family’s online privacy.
3. Explore Email Encryptions
Your email server may not be the most secure portal, and there’s little control over that aspect of communications — however, there are steps you can take to protect your information from as many security risks as possible.
Email encryption is an added feature that can easily be added — if you’re operating through your business server, you may need to seek permission from a supervisor. These apps are designed to shield your virtual communications from outside tampering. This service may cost you upfront, but it will protect you in the long-run.
Antivirus software from a trusted provider takes your PC security to an even higher level, actively scanning incoming emails and their attachments to prevent malware attacks. The best antivirus software will actually scan the behaviour of potential threats rather than simply scanning signatures, which means it can identify threats before they have a permanent effect on your computer or network.
4. Secure Video Conferencing Tools
In-person meetings and presentations have been swapped out for their virtual counterparts — which means a heavier and more frequent reliance on secure video conferencing. Whether you’re the organizer or a participant, each person involved must be taking the necessary steps to protect all virtual content. There are alternative video conferencing tools available and with enough research, you should be able to find the avenue that works for your team.
5. Keep Work Documents in the Vault
Sharing reports and professional data from home exposes your computer to harm unless you’re able to take preemptive measures. Your PC or Mac may have malware-protection but you aren’t completely free of potential viruses or hackers. For added protection, keeping your work in an encrypted vault ensures that the shared information is protected when you close the vault — with the ability to move and edit files when they’re inside.
These are 5 easy steps you can take to secure your computer while working from home. With the right precautions and tools, you can stay safe from various online threats and protect your data.