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Steps to securely work from home

Brock Ellis
May 18, 2020 · 4 min read

Now that we’ve grown familiar with the idea of working away from our traditional workspace, the need to work securely while at home remains as important as ever.

Whether that may be from the corner of your home office to the edge of your most comfortable seat, the idea of working remotely is remarkably similar — wherever you choose to sit.

Much like our closest comforts, there’s a subtle sense of calm that comes with browsing and staying connected, all while having peace of mind that your personal data is as safe as it could possibly be.

Getting a VPN — and why it matters

The reasons behind getting a VPN may vary, but ultimately, it serves as an extra layer of protection while online, creating the most secure possible connection between your devices and the online world.

A VPN creates an encrypted link between your devices and the gateway used to access the internet. Having a VPN stops any suspicious activity from taking place, including someone snooping over you virtually while browsing.

Without a VPN, your location is permanently fixed every time you access the internet — it masks your digital address and keeps your information protected. An example of this would be for online shopping, where a variety of websites could access your private information.

In a digital environment where many people are working from home, employers may choose to have a VPN in place to protect employees working remotely.

Computer & phone devices send signals to VPN/ your location. Signals move from VPN to the Internet.
Computer & phone devices send signals to VPN/ your location. Signals move from VPN to the Internet.

Avoid email scams

It might sound like a never-ending story, but the risk is ever-present, especially during these uncertain times, hackers are working repeatedly behind-the-scenes to manipulate users into disclosing their personal data.

Although these threats are presented in a variety of ways, the vast majority are distributed through phishing scams via email, misleading unaware users by offering housekeeping services in disguise as your bank, health care provider, or even the government.

Stay informed by keeping in the loop — starting with our blog to help spot COVID-19 scams as they arise.

The ‘No’ sign appears in red over the following email symbols: Attachment, Suspicious Email and a Chain link.
The ‘No’ sign appears in red over the following email symbols: Attachment, Suspicious Email and a Chain link.

Anti-virus software

A suggested starting point for any internet user would be anti-virus software, which in many cases is overlooked.

Having this software installed on all of your devices comes with many benefits, starting with regular security patches, all the way through to peace of mind. These tools will make it harder for hackers to access or intercept your personal information.

Having said that, there’s no way sure-fire way to guarantee that your home office or internet connection is entirely bulletproof. Safe browsing is a lifestyle, and these habits will have you well placed to stay ahead of the curve — and out of trouble.

Cybersecurity 101 — and everything in between

An update a day could keep the hackers away. Yes, we went there.

When setting up your security software, ensure that your passwords are different from your email and social media accounts.

Two-factor authentication is another efficient way to add an extra layer of security wherever it’s offered — it involves using two different criteria to gain access to an account, and what might seem like an unnecessary step in the short-term, could save you a lot of time (and sleep) in the immediate future.

The credentials provided to you when setting up your home internet cover the basics of cybersecurity. However, many users are choosing to strengthen their security by changing their login credentials — making their passwords stronger and near impossible to guess.

Belong customers can update their existing Wi-Fi password and network name by following the steps listed here.

A laptop password links up to a mobile with a key on the screen. Green ticks appear on both devices & unlock the center lock.
A laptop password links up to a mobile with a key on the screen. Green ticks appear on both devices & unlock the center lock.

Seek regular updates from your employer and IT department

With deadlines pressing and updates coming thick and fast, it’s sometimes easy to archive the frequent communication that comes from your employee.

Irrespective of employer or field, those email updates from your IT team are always for a specific reason or purpose. Given the current climate, it’s important to stay in the loop and utilise the tools in your tech toolbox.

If you find it hard to keep up with all updates and communication, enable the auto-update function to keep your devices up-to-date and protected.

Although this may seem like common sense — it’s important to not share your work device with anyone, regardless of circumstance. There a slew of reasons for this, including protecting the existing data on your device, as well as avoiding any potential security breaches.

An arm emerges towards your work device with a red cross. Your arm, comes towards the laptop with a green tick.
An arm emerges towards your work device with a red cross. Your arm, comes towards the laptop with a green tick.
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