When you’re working from home, you have to think strategically about the best ways to address cybersecurity threats online. Here are some of the most effective ways to counter potential data breaches and malware problems that affect both individuals and large companies. 

Purchase a Good Security Software

Depending on how you use cloud-based platforms and access sensitive data at home, a bare bones antivirus program may not be enough to protect you against the full scope of threats that you have to watch out for. An enhanced antivirus program that can safeguard all of your activity and help ensure identity security across multiple platforms is a good way to cover all of your bases.  

Separate Work and Personal Devices

Merging your work tasks with your personal web browsing activity can be problematic. A breach on one front can compromise data and account or networking information on another. For example, if a company sustains a phishing attack, personal email accounts that workers have saved in browsers or email management platforms might be in jeopardy. Likewise, an identity theft issue stemming from an online purchase a business’ principal made in the course of personal shopping could result in fraud against that person’s business.

Keep Your Software Up to Date

When software publishers release new versions or add-ons, closing off gaps in security is one of the most common reasons for updates. Procrastinating about notifications that you need to update a workstation or a specific program could mean that you aren’t fully protected against the latest threats. 

You may find it helpful to set your computer to automatically update. To keep updates from disrupting your work, schedule them for times of the day when you usually do not need access to your computer for work. 

Secure Your WiFi

If your wifi is unsecured, your network activity could be visible to anyone and it will be easy for a cyber criminal to intercept your communications. In fact, someone could log into your computer or other devices and change settings, gain access to work or personal email accounts, and bring your ability to get work done to a screeching halt. 

Secure your wifi with an encrypted connection, and use a strong password to log into your network. Be aware that having specific devices on your network that are not secured could give cyber criminals an alternate route to infiltrate your network.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network dramatically reduces the risk of online threats that come in the form of intrusive cookies or malware from taking control of your data. With this tool, your IP address is not visible or storable. This anonymity makes it harder for hackers to target and track you. 

Keep in mind that a VPN can slow down connectivity speeds because it has to relay your web activity through a secure channel rather than running it directly through a standard IP connection. However, If you use a well-reviewed VPN provider and opt for a high-connection speed with your internet carrier, this security enhancement won’t slow you down too much.

Use a Strong Password

Excellent password security is crucial for all of your work-related accounts and personal accounts. Hackers can use code-breaking applications that can quickly break simple passwords. 

Use complex passwords that integrate upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use the same password on multiple accounts. Avoid any type of formulaic password creation that would enable a cyber criminal who hacks one account to hack all of your accounts. Store passwords safely. Don’t generate an unsecured document that lists passwords or keep them all in a notes application. Use a security program’s password management tool instead.

Enjoying the convenience and enhanced productivity that working at home can offer shouldn’t have to come at the expense of your online security. Stay vigilant against the most pernicious and prevalent threats as they evolve to fortify your home office against cyber criminals.