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Everyone seems to be concerned about cyber security these days. Recent polling data from The Pearson Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that about 90% of people are concerned about protecting themselves online. Many people still do not know about all the secret ways that cyber criminals can collect information. This leaves them vulnerable to attack.
Employees who work remotely in particular seem to lack cyber security awareness. Why? They feel comfortable and safe in their personal environment. Typically, they password-protect devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Cyber thieves do not tend to think about all the other ways that they can use to steal everything from IDs to bank account numbers. As a result, they open the door to a cybersecurity nightmare.
Wondering how you can make your castle more secure? When working from home, consider the following ways to protect yourself and your company:
Related: Top 5 Security Strategies for Home-Based Entrepreneurs from IoT Cyber Threats
1. Update and protect your entertainment devices
Do you enjoy smart digital entertainment? Research from Plume, a SaaS experience platform for communications service providers, shows that the maximum increase in home cyber threats doesn’t come from where you can guess. It comes from advanced entertainment devices like streaming devices and smart TVs. Indeed, the Smart TV cyber threat increased 433% from the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2021.
In other words, when you are gaming with family or watching your favorite shows, a cyber attacker can work hard. To keep yourself out of that unwanted position, install updates immediately, upgrade your devices to next generation models, and invest in a smart network security system.
2. Keep personal information separate from company information
Three-quarters of executives told McKinsey researchers in 2021 that they wanted employees to return to the office at least a few days a week. However, the rest of the time they were generally good with working elsewhere. While this opens up a lot of opportunities for professionals whose work can be done virtually anywhere, it also presents workers with risk opportunities at home.
Consider this scenario: You are working on your personal computer at home You log in to your company’s network. At this point, you may have published everything on your computer – such as tax documents and healthcare statements from the previous year – in a cyber attack that started from your company’s location. Instead of putting yourself in such a situation, talk to your employer about ways to protect your personal information. One answer might be to work from a laptop bought and owned by the company so that you do not have to use your own device.
Related: 3 Reasons Your company’s data-privacy compliance and security issues should be a priority
3. Install home security measures carefully
You’re feeling great because you’ve finally bought a home security system to monitor access points. Have you given criminals another way to find out information about you and your family? Probably. If you have your security system installed and handled by a third party, your device may be vulnerable to hacking. Of course, some hackers can be even more terrifying and just watch your family come and go. To them it is entertainment. It’s also scary and annoying.
Avoid this problem by working with reputable technicians from your home security provider. Or, if you buy a home security system and keep it to yourself, stay up to date with all the updates to the device. The video will then be properly encrypted and less vulnerable to hacking. Then, report any problems immediately to the appropriate customer support team. They should be able to help you maintain strict control.
4. Monitor and protect your kids’ devices
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey shows that more than nine out of 10 children were involved in cyber-schooling during the epidemic. Although that number has dropped as children return to physical classrooms, some institutions still offer distance learning. Every time your child logs into any kind of online learning platform, your home becomes a major target of cyber crime.
You cannot rely on schools for strict cyber security. Many are still wondering how to keep information out of the hands of cyber attackers. Even children and adolescents do not always make the best decisions when it comes to sharing sensitive data. They may involuntarily give passwords or disclose family information online. You need to be on your toes and monitor your child’s distant schooling habits from an online perspective.
Related: How to help employees work from home with children
Our world is constantly moving closer and closer to a true “metavers” as people become more and more interconnected through digital every day. However, you are not obligated to give everyone on the planet full access to your home and personal data. This year, create a strong home cyber security among your family’s joint decisions.