Working from home: is your computer secure?
16th March 2021
Fake emails, requests to reset your password or update banking details, malware from downloads and data theft: just some of the issues you may face working from home, particularly on your own laptop, tablet or mobile.
Sharing work laptops with partners or children, or using unknown wi-fi connections when working remotely, can bring a whole range of other dangers which could compromise your online security and data, even your company’s network.
For advice, we turned to cyber security expert Eric Sheehan at Black Dog Cyber, a member of the Masterlord business community at Epsilon House. He recommends five key methods of ensuring your security online, particularly when working from home:
- Don’t open emails if you do not recognise the sender or company, or you’re suspicious about the subject line or source email address. Email can be compromised, so if something looks odd, even if you know the sender, double check before you open it. Never open an attachment until you’ve verified the sender. It’s OK to be a little paranoid!
- Be very wary of login or password change requests, unless you have specifically requested them. They’re invariably fake. Never click a link to login to a system. Use trusted bookmarks or go directly to the website you know to be safe. If in doubt, check with the company sending the email or your IT department if you have one – using publicly available contact information, not the details in the email.
- Don’t use the same password for all your logins. Once a login is compromised, a cyber thief could gain access to multiple accounts. Use a password manager to keep all your accounts secure with different passwords. Don’t share your passwords with others, even work colleagues. This is particularly important if others in your household use your laptop. Check to see if your account information may be known by using www.haveibeenpwned.com
- Use two-factor verification. It’s a double-check on your identity that is used by many companies and banks. That extra-step security is often an available option, so take it!
- Use trusted wireless connections or hotspots, don’t piggy-back on someone else’s. Use encryption on your laptop, especially when working at home.
“Get expert advice and make sure that working from home or the office is safe. It’s so easy to put it off, until a problem crops up and your data is compromised or you’re locked out of your laptop. Cyber security should not be a chore, it should be seamless.”
Eric Sheehan, Black Dog Cyber Ltd
Contact him on 07912 758906
See more about cyber security
The government’s National Cyber Security Centre has practical information on how to protect yourself and what to look out for. Click above.
Criminals use email, phone calls and text messages to convince you to share private information, often imitating well-known organisations or government departments. A text from HMRC should ring alarm bells, as should a phone call asking for bank details – they’re bogus!
Let us know what you think of working from home or returning to the office, share your advice or recommend useful information we can share with the Masterlord business community. We’d love to hear your feedback on these newsletters or suggestions for other subjects we can cover.
Contact the Masterlord team: firstname.lastname@example.org.