How to stay safe online and at home – Kris Cowling , Dale Power Solutions

Its a strange world we are living in now; lock downs have been put into place around the globe and people are being urged to work from home where possible. But Covid-19 isn’t the only Virus that has to be looked out for and avoided. Online fraudsters/hackers are relishing at the opportunity to capitalise on the vulnerable people who are isolating at home!

So how can you stay safe online and keep your information safe while working from home? I will go through a few quick tips on how you can keep yourself threat free and your information safe.

VPN Software

If you are working from home with kit provided by your companies IT team you will likely have some software called a VPN installed (Virtual Private Network) essentially this allows you to tunnel into your companies network from the comfort of your home, not only does this allow you to gain access to network but it also allows you to take advantage of all the security goodies like Firewall’s that your company has in place.

Up to date Anti-Virus Software

Making sure that you are running the most up to date version on your Anti-Virus is crucial, as once this becomes out-dated it opens your machine to be compromised via exploits that up to date software would probable address. If you are using company supplied kit this will be managed by your IT Team and isn’t something you need worry about.

Emails

Not everything we can do to protect ourselves has to be a piece of software or hardware. One of the most common ways people’s information becomes compromised is through phishing emails. This is when a fraudulent party tries to disguise themselves as a trustworthy entity, either a company or someone you may know that is in your contacts.

You need to be diligent when dealing with emails, avoid opening links from email addresses you do not recognise and still be careful when they come from people you know, as they could have been compromised themselves. Never send sensitive information to an email address claiming to be someone. If you are unsure, go to the company website, or if it is someone you know, contact them directly. I would heavily recommend to not enter any log in details into a website you have accessed via an emailed link.

Passwords

Not only will having a strong password keep you protected, but so will having multiple passwords for different things also. Having a single password for everything is bad practice, because if it ever becomes compromised, the attackers will have access to everything that password is used for.

Never share your password with anyone.

Stay safe. Always be cautious of what you are doing online, what sites you visit and the emails that you are opening, and making sure software is up to date. By taking these steps now you can save yourself a lot of heart ache and headache in the future.