Many of us are working from home for the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to figuring out how to create our own schedules, deal with family members and pets and perhaps even wear something other than sweatpants, there are other hurdles to tackle.
When you’re working from home, you likely don’t have the same resources that your company’s IT administrators do—namely, the ability and equipment to protect your and your clients’ sensitive information from being hacked and distributed without you even realizing it. So, what are some ways to protect your info while you’re working from home in Lubbock, TX? Here are some tips to help you out during this unusual time:
- Stay updated: The first thing you should do—and not just for your work tasks—is install all your important software updates, especially for your operating system. You need to stay up to date, especially considering that many programs offer updates that fix vulnerabilities. If you have questions about which updates you should be installing, ask your company’s IT professionals.
- Get antivirus software: You’re already using antivirus software, right? If not, have your company recommend the best type possible, and see if they’ll sponsor a subscription during the work-from-home time. It’s crucial to spot and fix malware before it can steal sensitive information, especially when you’re dealing with clients and not just your own problems.
- Change your wi-fi password: Now is the time to boot freeloaders off your network—especially because default usernames and logins are available online and easily searchable. It might sound dramatic, but yes, there really are people who drive around to leech off your wi-fi.
- Use a VPN: When you use a wi-fi network that doesn’t belong to you, use a VPN to encrypt the information you send back and forth. If you’re borrowing internet from your loved ones or even the local Starbucks, use a VPN to protect your info.
- Lock your devices: Stepping away from your laptop, tablet or phone without locking it is a great opportunity for chaos. Even if it’s “only” your three-year-old accidentally sending documents to opposing counsel, why risk it? Set your devices to immediately lock upon inactivity.
- Let your company take the lead: If your company uses a certain set of messaging, email and cloud storage tools, use them. They’re likely much more secure than anything you could provide for yourself, and it will put the responsibility on them.
- Be skeptical of email scams: COVID-19 has made it easier for scammers to phish for sensitive information. If you don’t recognize a sender, be very wary of who they say they are until you’re assured of their identity.
- Keep a log: Finally, to protect yourself, log both your work as well as any weird situations you encounter. This will help your employer see that you’re doing your job, as well as provide protection for you in case something happens while you’re working from home.
If you need legal assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic or want more tips for how to protect yourself online in Lubbock, TX, the Law Office of Rob Biggers is here to help. Call today for a consultation.
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