Covid-19 Lockdown: How to Keep Your Data Secure When Working From Home

COVID-19 that initially started as a small outbreak in China has quickly spread across the world. The moment World Health Organization (WHO) announced Covid-19 a pandemic, the countries all around the globe decided to declare nation-wide lockdowns. And as a result, companies were forced to ask their employees to work from home to maintain social distancing.

Due to this pandemic, even the employees of the top organizations like Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Facebook, Amazon, and Google are operating remotely. In this scenario, when most people are working from home, ensuring data security has become a big pain-point for the businesses, as well as employees. For cybercriminals, remote working people is a huge opportunity because home networks often lack the same level of security that exists in the workplace.

The remote working employees are accessing and browsing the sensitive files and documents from the internet connection and devices may compromise company data. The home devices are vulnerable to damaged and may suffer data loss due to user error or device failure. Moreover, people are also finding it difficult to work without the support of a designated IT department. So, to avoid data loss in this scenario, organizations need to upgrade their security infrastructure for remote workers, and employees are encouraged to practice cyber hygiene. If you’re also working remotely, here are some tips to work safely from home without compromising company data.

Secure Your Home Network
Unlike enterprise networks, the home network is more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. To protect your sensitive data, use VPN (a virtual private network). This will secure your web browsing and remote network access by connecting your portable devices to a work network. With the VPN, you can connect your PC or smartphone virtually to a remote server and gain access to that server’s network.

Keep Software and Operating Systems Updated
When working from home, it’s curial to protect your device from viruses and other malware attacks. To protect your work data, make sure to frequently update your devices and systems like your computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Installing updates and patches in a timely manner helps in protecting data because these software updates are developed to address security issues and also include the latest security features. Also, install and update virus protection software to avoid data loss.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
It is highly recommended to use two-factor authentication because it provides an extra layer of security to keep hackers from accessing accounts. It helps in preventing unauthorized access to computers, applications, and online services. When you implement multiple layers of authentication, it becomes harder for cybercriminals to access your systems. Moreover, use a strong password and avoid using the same password for everything.

Browse Carefully
Whether you’re browsing the internet or checking your emails, never click on suspicious links. You need to avoid websites that do not have basic security protocols such as HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) in place. Also, make sure to read domain names very carefully to ensure they actually exist.

Back-Up Your Data
Last but not the least, always back up your data. When working from home, data loss can be a serious issue. To avoid this problematic situation, frequently make digital copies of your files on multiple devices. Ideally, you should keep two copies on local devices and one copy offsite on a cloud-based service.