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How to stay cybersafe when working from home amid coronavirus pandemic

by Staff writer
08 Sep 2020 at 17:55hrs | Views
With so many people working from home and kids doing schoolwork on the same internet connection, chances are your WiFi is getting a workout. And hackers see an opportunity. They're looking for ways to access and steal your personal information or data from your company. Consumer Reports offers some tips on how to stay cybersafe while working and learning from home.

Start with your router. One of the most important things you can do is keep its firmware up to date. When a manufacturer rolls out an update, it often includes a security fix specifically designed to keep hackers out. Instructions on how to update routers vary by brand, but most are done through a website or an app.

All over the world, more and more people are starting to think more seriously about online security, investing in tools, software, and systems that can help them stay safe online. VPNs, for example, vpn for South Africa, are among the best possible options you can choose when you want to enjoy online privacy, security, and anonymity, offering a range of great advantages to every user.

People choose to install VPNs for different reasons. Some people get a VPN because they want to enjoy total online security, especially when connecting to the internet over unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Others choose a VPN to enjoy anonymity, letting them browse, download, and stream without the fear of prying eyes. Other people use VPNs to access geoblocked sites or content.

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to get a VPN, and it's vital to bear those reasons in mind and find a VPN that actually meets your needs. The best VPN for security might not be the best VPN for Netflix, for example, so if you're looking for a VPN for streaming purposes or torrenting, you might find that one provider is better-suited to your needs than another.

Another thing you can do is change the default password on your router, and don't share it with neighbours. Consumer Reports says to use a long, random string of letters or words with numbers and symbols.

Consider using a password manager if you need help keeping track of them. Recently, Consumer Reports tested several and said 1Password was the best option.

One last tip: CR recommends enabling two-factor authentication on accounts whenever it's available. It's one more layer of added security just when you need it most.

To protect yourself from phishing email attacks or tech support scams, CR recommends that you think before you click. If an email looks shady, delete it. And don't open attachments or click on links from people you don't know.

According to Paul Wesslund, a team of cybersecurity experts suggest thinking of cybersecurity as "cyber hygiene."

Practicing it should become a habit, with some simple tips to protect yourself online:

1 Create a strong password.

If it seems hard to keep up with all the passwords for the different software and applications you use, at least focus on the main password that allows the primary internet access, like the ones that open your computer, phone and wireless router.

2 Keep software updated.

Notices of app updates often add security patches to protect against new threats. Updates usually come automatically from the software company. But be suspicious of update notices that arrive by email, especially if they claim to require urgent action. Visit the application's website to make sure the update is legitimate.

3 Be cautious when clicking on emailed links or attached files.

An email can even be disguised to look like it's coming from a friend or family member. Take a moment and move your cursor over a link to reveal the full address before clicking it. If the link doesn't include the name of the legitimate source, find another way to verify the link.

4 Install and use virus protection.

Buy your anti-virus software from one of the major recognized companies, and make it a subscription-type service that regularly sends automatic updates.

5 Don't use flash drives.

Those little thumb drives or jump drives you insert into your USB port may be handy ways to share lots of photos or other large documents, but as your mother might say, you don't know where they've been. Instead, learn to use Dropbox or other software solutions for transferring large files.

6 Back up your devices.

Make sure you have a current copy of everything on your computer or mobile device. Every few weeks, transfer your contents to an external storage system that you then unplug from your computer. You can buy an external hardware drive or online storage designed just for this purpose.

7 Secure all your internet-connected devices.

Hackers have started invading connected devices with weak, preset passwords like wireless printers and baby monitors. Read the instructions carefully, set good passwords, keep the devices updated and make sure any wireless routers in your home are secure as well.

8 Protect the kids.

Don't forget that children also need to be aware of and practice good cyber hygiene. They should know not to send out information such as birthdates and other ID numbers, as well as details like how long the family will be away on vacation. Learn to use parental control options on your hardware and software.

Source - Byo24News