More than ever, as humans – and as employees – we are spending increasing amounts of time plugged in and logged on. Day in, day out we visit millions of different webpages, and accept billions of data notifications and cookies; most of the time, without reading the terms and conditions. With working from home becoming the norm for majority of us, you have probably considered at some point: what ways can I stay safe online? If you are finding yourself in this position or want to learn more about the ways to build on existing security systems, look no further! We have an excellent list below of ways to protect yourself and your computer and to work from home securely. Surf the web safely with our helpful guide, read on for more!
Update Computer Systems Regularly
While it can seem tedious setting aside a chunk of your day to update your computer operating systems, it is something which is vital to the health of your device. Ignoring these updates puts your system at an increased risk of damage or malfunction, and I doubt you would want either of these things to happen. If you are not a fan of losing out on precious time in your workday to update your systems – we can understand why, particularly if you are a busy bee – consider using your lunch break or updating the system overnight.
Allowing automatic updates to take place while you are not there, will protect your computer system from any outside infiltrators and won’t affect your ability to do work. The updates are created and downloaded for a reason and can often speed up the abilities of your computer software. Keeping on top of computer and software updates will ensure that you consistently have the tools available to do your job and will minimise the risk of anything bad happening to your computer over time. Most software updates are created to patch an issue that has been noticed by the providers of the software, and it is important that you update your device as soon as you are advised; hackers and other such people will use this ‘gap’ as a window of opportunity to infiltrate devices, so make sure to update sooner rather than later!
Be Vigilant of What You are Clicking On
This is another point which seems obvious, but something which can be forgotten about when we are busy. Making certain that you are careful with the websites and pop ups that you are clicking on while working, will further protect your computer, and further, minimise the risk of your computer developing a virus. If you are working in a role which requires you to explore the depths of the internet and to click on a variety of different websites, it is worth investing in some high-quality anti-virus protection for your computer and other devices. Anti-virus software works in a way, where it is constantly scanning the software, files, data and programs which are being used, and analyses and compares a collection of codes which are stored within a database. If something looks off, the virus software flags it as malware and essentially, and blocks it from gaining access to the main system of your computer. Anti-virus software is available for a range of devices at a variety of budgets.
Update Your IT Systems and Choose the Right Solutions
To further protect your own and employees work devices from malware and hackers, you will want to be certain that you have reliable and secure IT systems working. IT support companies are a great way of ensuring that you have the best system for your business, without all the hassle of monitoring it yourself when you have a handful of other jobs to complete. There are a variety of companies across the country, with several IT support companies in London providing excellent computer care no matter the location of your business. As a client, you can expect end-to-end protection on all workforce devices, and assistance with Microsoft and a handful of other software packages. Totality Services are an example of an exceptional IT support company in London and have support solutions in a variety of price-ranges, great for your business no matter the size. If you are interested in finding more out about their IT support services or want more information about price-ranges and the support provided in each, head to their website for more.
Secure Your Home Network
With more and more people working from home by the day, it is vital to ensure that your workforce is browsing the web safely. Securing your home network is not something that a lot of people know how to do but is something that can increase the safety of your devices and prevent any unwanted visitors from getting onto your network for their own use! Changing the device name and password for your broadband router is an excellent place to start when securing your home network. A little-known fact to many, but the generic name and password that you are given when setting up the device, is actually easily findable for hardened hackers. Yes, this is hard for us to believe too, especially as these are usually a random bunch of letters and numbers! However, changing the name and password to something that only you can access, and keeping these details in a safe location will ensure that only the people you want using the broadband network will be able to access it.
While this is one way of securing your network, a further way to extend the security is by using a VPN, also helpful if you are browsing hundreds of websites but need to monitor the traffic. VPNs are helpful for people who are working from home but still need to access their employers’ network. Generally speaking, employers’ networks are far more secure than the networks that we use at home, so your device will be further protected by using a VPN. A VPN works by routing the device’s internet connection through the chosen private server, rather than the internet service provider. The data and cookies that your device will subsequently be producing are instead produced by the VPN; remember to not go on any dodgy websites while on your work VPN!
Protect Work Documents
This is another point that not many people consider when wanting to work from home securely, we included! Most of the time, work documents are stored on the hard drive of your device, or on nominated cloud software. For some, the preferred storage method is that of a memory stick or external hard drive for masses of storage opportunities. However, if you do not have the means of access to a memory stick or external hard drive, there is also the option to encrypt documents on your device. An encrypted vault storage is one of the most popular ways of encrypting documents on your devices and is available on macOS and Windows. You have the ability to move files in and out of the vault and can also edit files entirely in the vault for extra levels of security. When you exit the encrypted vault, no other person can gain access, suitable for those in professions where discretion is extremely important. If you have security software already installed on your device, you might already have access to this type of vault, so is definitely worth checking out.