Working remotely has become the new normal with COVID-19 and it does not look like it’s going to change in the near future, so we need to ensure that we stay safe now more than ever.

From employees and business owners working from home to students doing online classes, we are all at a higher risk and need to follow the basics of online safety

  • Keep Devices secure and up to date. I know that Microsoft has caused some issues recently with their updates, but it is important to keep your OS up-to-date along with your Anti Virus and your firewall. Use Malwarebytes paid edition in addition to your anti virus. Remember to also keep your routers up to date as well and ensure that you do not have the default device password –  It’s a good idea to change your routers wireless password from time to time and make it more complex
  • Use strong passwords for all your online activity and enable MFA – Multi Factor Authentication whenever available
  • Keep your guard up on online conferences – check meeting settings to see if the meeting is being recorded – check to see if chats are preserved and shared – see who can join and has access to the meeting – especially if there is any confidential information being discusses
  • Use background blur or images to obscure your location. One of the more popular features on video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams is the ability to blur or change your background.
  • Use the right file-sharing service for the right task – To ensure that business data does not mixed with personal data consider using secure business sharing  services like those provided by Egnyte
  • Enable Encryption – If you want to secure you laptop in the case of theft then consider enabling Bitlocker which comes with Windows 10 Pro – remember that when you do this it is extremely important to keep a note of the security password as you will lose access to your own data if this gets lost.
  • Be aware of phishing and identity scams – These have really been on the increase – try not to click on links and attachments  – be wary about emails that ask you to verify information – even if you think its from someone that you know. If there is any type of financial transaction then be doubly careful
  • Don’t fall victim to tech support scams – Remember companies like Microsoft will NEVER contact you regarding technical issues. If they say they are from Microsoft support you should hang up immediately and report the number. Report the scam
  • Stay Connected to Your IT Support Team – When you’re working in the office, you have direct access to the IT department which is a good thing. In case there are any issues, you can get their support almost immediately. But when you are at home, issues will still arise and your team is much further away. It makes sense that you might try to solve any IT issues by yourself, but this is not at all advisable. Not only could you make the issue worse, you could put all of the company data on your devices at risk. Therefore, you should always make sure you know how to get connected to your organization’s IT support team in case you need any technical support.

2020 has been a crazy year so far… let’s all follow secure online practices and ensure that we all stay safe