Keep Yourself Safe Online while working from home

Schneider electric elucidates ways in which online hygiene can be maintained while the majority are working remotely due to the global pandemic

Many of us are working from home, and we’re online all the time. And it’s not just us who are online; it’s our kids as well. Given we’re all on our work and personal devices on our home internet, we’ve got to be even more vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity.

There’s already been a host of reports circulating about hackers looking to use the Coronavirus and resulting regulations to take advantage of people and gain access to their accounts. While a good internet security solution can help protect you from potential dangers like spyware, malware and ransomware, you’ve also got to be vigilant. There are some threats that not even the best anti-virus software can protect you from.

Here are some of the things you can do to work safely online from home, courtesy of Schneider Electric.

• Don’t Open Emails From Strangers – You’re going to see emails with scary headlines, which project a sense of urgency. Scare tactics are frequently used by cybercriminals to make us act immediately and hand over information about a bank account or another online account. This sense of dread leads us to make decisions in the heat of the moment and based on poor impulse control. Cybercriminals can steal information through drive-by downloads, effectively by making you click on a link, which will install malware without you even knowing it. If you receive emails from people you don’t know, don’t open them.

• Use Strong Passwords. Change Passwords Frequently – How many of us are still using simple, easy-to-guess passwords like “password” or “12345678”? There’s never been a better time to stop using simple passwords, be it your partner’s birthday, your kid’s name, or where you were born. The best password is one that you can remember, but which is complex enough for others not to be able to guess right. Make your password long, use a mix of characters, avoid common substitutions (for example, writing DOORBELL as D00R8377), and don’t use memorable keyboard paths. Use a password app to autogenerate and store passwords for you.

• Don’t Click on Strange-Looking Links – Viruses and malware spread because you click on a link from someone you know. It may be an emergency request for money or a news story. Ask yourself, why are you being sent this. Better yet, email the person back or call them to check if the email was sent by them. It’s better to be sure that the email and link is genuine than fall prey to this type of hack.

• Back up Your Data Regularly – All of us should be backing up our data regularly, either to an external hard drive or to the cloud. If you are the victim of a malware attack, you may not be able to get your data back. By backing up your data regularly, say every week, you’ll be able to restore everything or nearly all of what you’ve lost. Which is much better than losing your whole hard drive.

• Educate Your Family – There’s going to be more than one person in the house right now, and given schools are also closed and children are being schooled from home, you owe it to yourself to educate your family on security threats. Ensure everyone who has access to the internet is protected by anti-virus software. If your children are online, activate child-safety controls. Make keeping your home safe a family priority.