Working From Home? Don’t Forget About Cybersecurity
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading all over the world and infecting people at an alarmingly quick rate, many have been forced to stay at home and turn their living space into an office. Thousands of people working from home has created cyber criminals new opportunities to wreck havoc. And seeing how they’re using the fears over coronavirus to their own advantage, they’re bound to use this opportunity as well.
While most larger businesses will likely have certain security measures in place to ensure their employees can safely work from home, it may not be the case for smaller companies. So if you have just relocated your office to your home, here’s what you can do to secure your office while you’re working from home.
5 cybersecurity tips for your home office
- Change default home router settings
This is one of the most important steps in securing your home office. By using default settings on your home router, you’re making it incredibly easy for cyber crooks to gain access to your network, and you really do not want that to happen. So to protect your home network, you will need to check your router settings and make a few changes, if necessary.
To access your router’s settings, you will need to type in your router’s IP address into your browser. Many routers use the IP address 192.168.1.1 but that is not always the case. If you do not know your router’s IP, open Command Prompt, type ipconfig and press Enter. Find the Default Gateway line, and that’s your router’s IP address. Once you put in the IP address in your browser, you will be asked to login. If you have not made any changes, you need to use the default login credentials that came with your router. If you have changed them, use those credentials to login.
Once you can access your router’s settings, you need to change your username and password. Default router usernames and passwords can easily be found on the Internet, which is why you need to change them. Remember that your password cannot be “password”, “qwerty”, “123456” or any other easy-to-guess passwords. If you struggle with creating a strong password, use a password manager. We recommend also changing your SSID (your home network’s name) so that it does not reveal what kind of router you are using.
- Update your router’s firmware
Updating your router’s firmware is essential for improving performance and adding new features. Most importantly, it’s vital for fixing vulnerabilities that attackers can use to gain access to your network.
To find out whether your router’s firmware needs an update, you will need to go to your router’s settings, as explained above. Somewhere in those settings (it differs depending on what router you are using) you will find Firmware or Router Upgrade. You should be able to see your current version and the date of its release there. You will next need to check whether there is an update available. You can do that by going to your router manufacturer’s official website. Browse through the website until you find the update section and check if any new version is available. If there is, download the update. Navigate back to your Router Upgrade section in router settings and upload the downloaded update file. Start the update process and wait until it’s fully finished. Your router’s firmware should now be up-to-date.
- Check your network for unknown devices
We recommend checking your network for unknown devices to make sure no one is using your Wi-Fi without you knowing. There are certain tools that can scan for devices that are on the network but you can also do this manually. Navigate to your router’s settings as explained above. In Network Settings, you should be able to see what devices are currently connected. Look through them and identify ones you do not recognise. If you are not sure what a certain device is, you can check its MAC address and compare it to all devices you use. If you cannot identify what it is, you may want to consider removing the device from your network.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you work with sensitive information or need to access your company’s intranet, you will need to make sure your connection is secure, and you can do that by using a VPN. A Virtual Private Network will encrypt your connection and prevent prying eyes from taking a peek. There are a lot of different VPNs available so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.
- Use anti-virus software
While this is an obvious one, it’s a tip many people overlook. Having security software installed is always recommended, and especially when you’re dealing with company matters and sensitive information. Make sure your computer is protected with a reliable anti-virus program that will monitor for real-time threats, and keep it enabled at all times. When choosing which anti-virus program to entrust your computer with, do some research
WiperSoft.com is not sponsored, affiliated, linked to or owned by malware developers or distributors that are referred to in this article. The article does NOT endorse or promote malicious programs. The intention behind it is to present useful information that will help users to detect and eliminate malware from their computer by using WiperSoft and/or the manual removal guide.
The article should only be used for educational purposes. If you follow the instructions provided in the article, you agree to be bound by this disclaimer. We do not guarantee that the article will aid you in completely removing the malware from your PC. Malicious programs are constantly developing, which is why it is not always easy or possible to clean the computer by using only the manual removal guide.