Global pandemics are affecting our work and other aspects of life. Many companies have begun to adopt policies that allow employees to work from home. This can be a great thing: more flexibility in the work schedule, less commuting, and better health.
Working remotely is challenging. Cybercriminals know it’s difficult to maintain the same level of digital protection while you’re out of the office.
The chaos caused by COVID-19 is being used to target businesses dealing with the crisis’s consequences. The FBI reports that cyberattacks have increased by 400% in the last year since the virus outbreak. Given the increased cyber threats and lower security levels at home, how can you protect your data when working remotely? Here are five security tips that you can use.
Passwords Are Essential
It’s not surprising that complex passwords and unique ones are essential to keeping your data safe. In 2019, Verizon discovered that weak passwords were responsible for 80% of all data breaches. How can you ensure that your passwords are secure?
- Make sure your passwords have at least eight characters. When possible, aim for 12 characters.
- Use alphanumeric codes for your passwords. Create your passwords using uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters.
- Never reuse a password. Make sure a different password protects each account. If you reuse passwords, your other credentials are also at risk if compromised.
- Use a password manager. A password manager is the best solution for keeping track of all your credentials. You don’t need to worry about changing your password again because it keeps all your logins in one place. WordPress, for example, includes a password generator that generates random, complex, and unique passwords. You can find more about that here.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Check your accounts, and turn on multi-factor verification whenever possible. This would be your last line of defense if criminals cracked your password.
Watch out for Phishing Emails
The crisis is a time when phishing emails are in high demand. Since the outbreak, phishing emails with pandemic themes have made their way to our inboxes. Do not act on an email that looks suspicious or demands immediate action. For example, if it urges you to reset your passwords. Please hover your mouse over the link to ensure it takes you to the site it claims to.
Update Your Software
Whenever we receive an update, we’re tempted to click “Remind me Later.” Cybercriminals can use this to target your device. Updates do more than enhance your machine’s performance. They also include fantastic new features. Most of these updates contain critical vulnerability patches that prevent hackers from exploiting the device. Your sensitive data is more vulnerable if your software is older.
A safe data backup will save you from a lot of stress. If you don’t back up your data, it could be lost forever due to an unexpected power failure, a roommate spilling coffee on the computer, or even a ransomware virus.
Ransomware, like phishing attacks, has increased during this pandemic. This type of malware encrypts files on a victim’s computer and demands a ransom to decrypt them. You can protect your data by keeping a copy of essential documents.