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Five IT Security tips for working from home during the pandemic

Still working from home? The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted our increasing reliance on technology. From online shopping and cashless transactions to online school, company meetings, and even social gatherings, many of these changes are now becoming more mainstream. Unfortunately, hackers are taking advantage of this increased online traffic to look for users with their guard down. We encourage you to be extra aware of the risks and proactive in further protecting your business and personal data. Here are five IT security tips to help you protect your data while working from home.

1. Enable Multi Factor Authentication to sign in

This is an additional safety step in verifying a user, on top of the usual username and password sign-in that we are all accustomed to when accessing our online accounts and profiles. This added authentication step usually comes in the form of confirming your password or a security code through a text, phone call, email, or by using an authenticator app which generates a constant rotating set of disposable codes with a time limit for verification.

Unfortunately, there are still many people opposed to this valuable security measure due to the hassle and added time it takes to log in. But this added step could mean the difference in protecting your system from getting hacked.

2. Keep your home network secure

If you are working from home, your home network is more vulnerable to cyber attacks as it likely does not have the commercial firewalls present at your office. Enhance your home network security and reduce the chances of an attack by:

  • Switching off SSID broadcast – This prevents the attacker from identifying your network and can only provide the SSID broadcast name to family and close friends you have listed.
  • Filtering unknown MAC addresses – A MAC address is a network name assigned to a specific device. Most modern routers have this feature where you can monitor which devices are connected to your network. If you see a connected device you’re unfamiliar with and nobody at home is using it, block it!
  • Updating your router’s firmware – It’s advised to log into your router at least once a month to check for updates. These updates are designed to patch up security holes, and fix bugs and glitches.

3. Secure the mobile devices you use while working from home

This is probably one of the most overlooked procedures in protecting yourself from cyber attacks at home. According to McAfee Labs, your mobile device is now a target to more than 1.5 million new incidents of mobile malware. Protect your handheld devices from such a data breach by:

  • Installing apps only from Google Play for Android and the App Store for IOS
  • Applying privacy screen protectors on all touchscreen devices. These shield the screen’s contents and only allow the content to be visible to someone directly in front of the screen
  • Enabling Find My iPhone for IOS or Android Device Manager for Android for quick remote wiping or tracking in the case of your business mobile device getting lost or stolen

4. Be on high alert for phishing scams

This may sound cliché as it’s likely mentioned in every cyber security article you read. But the reality is phishing scams are still the number one cause of data breaches today. We have seen that scammers are busier than ever during this pandemic, exploiting people where they are most vulnerable. Things to watch out for are:

  • Spelling and grammar that don’t quite make sense in emails
  • Website URL’s without HTTPS or padlock symbols
  • A suspicious sender name and email address

Do not download or click on anything unless you have fully verified the email is from a legitimate source and not just tagged as being from someone you know. Sender ID names are easy to copy and use, but not so for the true sender’s email address, which follows the user ID in the email header.

5. Ensure no sensitive data is in view of your webcam while working from home

This is basic video conference etiquette, but we’ve seen a rising trend of hilarious video conference fails circulating online. This data leak risk arises as people can record or screenshot your interaction with them. This can be prevented by:

  • Testing what’s in view of your webcam before joining a conference
  • Not leaving sensitive notes and documents open on your desk
  • Clearing your web browser history and closing all other programs when presenting in a video meeting

Bonus Tip: Did you know Microsoft is offering a six month free trial of the premium version of Microsoft Teams to help you collaborate more effectively as your team works remotely? Find all the information on this offer here.

Contact us here if you need more support or have questions about improving your IT security while working from home.


*Did you know you and your system will be much better off if your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central partner has an intimate understanding of Dynamics NAV. Read our previous blog here to learn the three main reasons why your Business Central partner should have prior experience with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.