Following Boris Johnson's announcements relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, working from home has now become a reality for millions of people throughout the UK. It’s important to be aware of how we can adapt to this new way of working effectively but it’s even more important to make sure that we are working in a secure manner. There has already been an increase in coronavirus cyber-attacks and spam emails being sent to both personal and work email addresses so we’ve put together some tips on how to make sure your business and employees are prepared to work securely.
Tips to work securely from home
Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the current situation and are sending more scam emails in relation to the pandemic. Please be extra vigilant when opening an email if you have any concerns that it might be a scam.
When working from home you are most likely to be connected to your home Wi-Fi. If you are using a router supplier by one of the major providers (BT, Virgin, Sky, etc.) you are most likely to be automatically using an encrypted Wi-Fi connection, which is a good secure option. Public Wi-Fi networks can be dangerous because of their open nature which allows for snooping.
As you are likely to be working from home now, with other family members in the house, you need to be mindful of that fact that you may be working with confidential information and that this should not be shared with others. Make your family members aware that they shouldn’t share what they see with other people.
If your employer allows you to use your home laptop, make sure that you have antivirus software installed and avoid downloading or storing confidential information on the device. If you need to, make sure you follow any guidance that your employer gives you around security and deletion of these documents.
VPN’s allow you to create a secure connection between your device (such as a laptop or tablet device) and a “safe” point on the internet (which might be your company’s office network or a server hosted by a provider in a major data centre). This can allow you to reduce the risks of your confidential data being viewed by third parties such as cyber criminals. You should seek advice from your employer about whether or not they want you to us a VPN and which service to use.