With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we work, workforces are seeing a shift towards a completely remote work environment. If you are making the shift, we’ve compiled a helpful list of security tips to keep in mind if you are using your laptop at home:

  1. Make sure you limit physical access to your work laptop to just you.
  2. Keep it locked with your password when you are not using it just to keep curious kiddos from using it to play games.
  3. Update your wireless access point to the latest firmware version
  4. Make sure you are using WPA 2 to allow access to your wireless
  5. Consider making separate access for your work laptop to keep it apart from all the other devices such as lights and thermostats.
  6. Increase the complexity of your wireless access WPA password settings use at least 12 characters with letters, numbers, and special characters. Steer clear of kid’s names, last names, address, and pet names. Be sure to make the WPA password random.
  7. Don’t connect to your office without a VPN.
  8. Before you connect to work, make sure you have a VPN connection set up.
  9. Before you connect, make sure your antivirus is up to date and all your operating system updates are installed.
  10. Make sure you complete the updates as they come out. This is usually the second Tuesday of the month for Windows.
  11. Limit email to work only. Email is the number one way to get hacked. Use great caution when opening an email you have any concern about being legitimate.
  12. Checking your email on your phone or iPad as opposed to your laptop is a great way to reduce your risk of phishing attacks with malware. Phones and iPads are not as susceptible to malware as your laptop.
  13. Don’t install software you haven’t been authorized to install by your IT department.
  14. If you suspect you have an issue, disconnect your laptop and contact your IT department. Do not reconnect it to the internet or VPN until your IT folks have given you and all clear.

If you’re struggling with making the transition to a remote work environment and are worried about potential cybersecurity risks, reach out to a CRI advisor for more advice.