Working from home these days is more and more prevalent. Especially if your kids are being homeschooled. Now, more than ever we’re hyper-connected to our devices. Whether desktop, mobile, and everything in between, now more than ever is cybersecurity a necessity. It’s estimated that cybercrime cost citizens and businesses around the globe $600 million in 2018.

COVID-19 Phishing and Malware Scams when Working Remote

We have all seen emails and sites promising to keep us protected from the COVID-19 pandemic. They offer information, data, tracking and security advice. Many are scams: fronts for malware or ransomware and/or phishing to steal passwords and data.

Be cautious of any emails, websites, downloads or links offering help linked to the coronavirus. Do not download anything or enter credentials — usernames, passwords, bank account/credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.. — until and unless you have verified the validity of the source of information. Make certain the links you click come from reputable sources. If you are unsure of a connection sent by someone you know, ask them.

Cases of malicious emails, websites and programs right now:

Links to login displays to get files (OneDrive, Office 365, Google Drive, Dropbox or alternative cloud-hosted record services)
Sites and apps that reveal heat maps and statistics of coronavirus spread around the world
False emails from a college for its students, or from a company to its employees, promising updates regarding closures
Emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Be Vigilant when Working Remote

Many of us are eager to click to the info offered in the cases above right now, either to do our jobs remotely or to keep on top of world events. Not one of these deceptive methods are new — world events have been targets for years. But websites and emails with malicious intent are rampant surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all be prepared and vigilant and aware that cybersecurity is more important than ever.

At precisely the same time, a lot of us are working at home. A lot of the workforce is fresh to distant work. We’re in a new environment, with fresh distractions. Most of us must stay focused on possible threats to maintain our families and our organizations safe from threats.

Steps you can take to prevent getting your computing and computing devices hacked when you are Working Remote.

(Notice that all these are subject to the policies put in place by your company.)

Do not share your work laptop with household members. Don’t allow relatives on your home PC if it is linked to a work PC, and don’t connect any of your home computers for your organization’s VPN.

Try to operate in securable surroundings, a home office, or spare room. If you can’t, maintain your work equipment and newspapers in a secure space.

Keep your operating system current. Your organization probably manages upgrades for your company-owned PC or notebook, but they cannot manage your house PC. If you’ve got a Windows home computer(s), then make sure that you are utilizing the built-in safety upgrade features to keep them up to date. Mac operating systems also have built-in safety updating.

Install and scan your computer with anti-virus applications. When you’ve got a business PC or laptop, you probably already have this. If you’ve got a home computer, then there should be a security center for all your security settings. Try typing”safety” in the local search bar and see whether you have anti-virus applications installed.

Hardware Updates:

Be certain that you have your in-home wireless router current. Locate the installation quick start guides or find the model number and search the web for the aid of your gadget. It is also possible to call your internet provider if they supplied you with wireless access. Odds are it has an upgrade feature.

Make sure your smart home devices are current. If they’ve passwords, be sure they are secured and not exactly the same as any other passwords you’re using.
If you have not already, update your cellular phone’s software. Additionally, place your mobile device(s) to automatically upgrade.

Be cautious about opening your personal email. Do not fall for claims of websites and apps that will inform you about the coronavirus or associated scams.
People working from home are targets. The present scams look real, and it’s easy to be duped. Stay attentive and be suspicious of all emails and websites until you are able to confirm they are secure.

If you have questions or concerns, be sure to reach out to a cybersecurity professional in New York City who can help secure your assets.