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Cyber security: working from home

By DTA | 3rd April 2020 | News

Cyber security: working from home

If you're working from home, it's important to protect your devices to ensure all personal information is secure. Read DTA article How cyber aware is your business? which highlights security measures to reduce the risk of a cyber attack and tips on how to secure your devices and

data from malware and phishing attacks.

The Federal Trade Commission offer these tips for protecting your devices and personal information, click read more.

Start with cybersecurity basics . Keep your security software up to date. Use passwords on all your devices and apps. Make sure the passwords are long, strong and unique: at least 12 characters that are a mix of numbers, symbols and capital and lowercase letters.

Secure your home network. Start with your router. Turn on encryption (WPA2 or WPA3). Encryption scrambles information sent over your network so outsiders can't read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the most up-to-date encryption standards to protect information sent over a wireless network. No WPA3 or WPA2 options on your router? Try updating your router software, then check again to see if WPA2 or WPA3 are available. If not, consider replacing your router. For more guidance, read Securing Your Wireless Network  and Secure Remote Access .

Keep an eye on your laptop. If you're using a laptop, make sure it is password-protected, locked and secure. Never leave it unattended - like in a vehicle or at a public charging station.

Securely store sensitive files. When there's a legitimate business need to transfer confidential information from office to home, keep it out of sight and under lock and key. If you don't have a file cabinet at home, use a locked room. For more tips, read about physical security .

Dispose of sensitive data securely. Don't just throw it in the trash or recycling bin. Shred it. Paperwork you no longer need can be treasure to identity thieves if it includes personal information about customers or employees.

Follow your employer's security practices. Your home is now an extension of your office. So, follow the protocols that your employer has implemented.

Read our small business cybersecurity  materials and online security  articles.

by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle

Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education

Published March 18, 2020 

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