4 Ways to Avoid Getting Hacked While Working From Home
While an unprecedented number of people have shifted to remote work or work-from-home companies in response to COVID-19, it was already on the rise before physical or social distancing took over. In 2017, more than 8 million people in the U.S. reported that they worked from home. It’s easy to see why—working from home offers flexibility in where you work (home, your parent’s house, etc.), removes your commute, and decreases distractions. With the right working from home tips, it can even be a delight.
As with any online activity, though, online safety precautions need to be taken while working from home now more than ever. Cyber attackers are latching onto the fear and panic caused by COVID-19: According to Heinan Landa, CEO and founder of Optimal Networks and author of The Modern Law Firm: How to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Technological Change, corona-themed phishing scams have jumped by 600 percent since February.
Don’t let online threats ruin your working from home experience: Follow our four steps to stay secure online.
1 – Verify the authenticity of suspicious emails
Received an urgent email from someone at WHO (World Health Organization)? Think twice before clicking on the link to donate in their email. Landa recommends verifying the authenticity of any suspicious persons or emails, which can be done with a quick Google search.
Look for spelling errors and bad grammar. Scammers often use bad grammar on purpose to find out who the most gullible people are, because they will be a good future target. Beware of anything that asks you to download content or provide sensitive information to access tips on how to protect yourself from the coronavirus. Any email that solicits private information in exchange for something is one to be wary of.
2 – Gain access to a VPN
If your work deals with any type of sensitive information, a VPN is essential. A VPN is a virtual private network and can be a useful tool for keeping your work secure. VPNs afford a secure, encrypted connection when you use your home internet. This is important because your home internet won’t be as secure as your company’s.