Have you started working from home recently? You aren’t alone. With the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, millions of people have begun working from home. It’s a form of a social distancing that slows the spread of this otherwise highly transmissible disease. As a remote worker, however, you may encounter several cyber threats that, if ignored, could result in the theft or destruction of your data.
#1) Using an Unprotected Wi-Fi
You can use your home’s Wi-Fi to send or receive data — but only if it’s protected. If your Wi-Fi isn’t protected, a hacker could eavesdrop on your connection while subsequently capturing your data. To stay safe when working from home, make sure your Wi-Fi is protected and secured with encryption technology, such as WPA2.
#2) Phishing Emails
Another common cyber threat you may encounter when working from home is phishing emails. Research shows that phishing is responsible for nine in 10 data breaches. Phishing emails, of course, are emails that look legitimate but are designed to trick or manipulate you into providing the hacker with your sensitive information.
Here are a few telltale signs of phishing emails:
- Unknown or suspicious-looking from address
- Text displayed as an image
- Addressed to “sir” or “madam” rather than your actual name
- Sense of urgency
- Asks you to log in to your account
- Asks for your sensitive or personal information
#3) Cloud Storage
You might be surprised to learn that cloud storage is a cyber threat for remote workers. Uploading data to the cloud is typically preferable to storing data locally. The problem, however, is that cloud storage allows anyone to access your data, assuming they know your username and password. You can still use cloud storage when working from home; just remember to create a strong and unique password to safeguard it from intrusion.
#4) Personal Devices
What’s wrong with using personal devices when telecommuting? Well, most employer-provided devices are equipped with cybersecurity solutions, such as antivirus software and a firewall. If you use a personal device for business-related purposes, a hacker may exploit a weakness in your device to steal your sensitive data.
#5) File Downloads
You’ll probably download files when working from home. Whenever you download a file, though, you should verify that it’s legitimate. Hackers disguise malware as legitimate files to entice victims into downloading them. Therefore, you need to use caution when downloading files. Along with maintaining antivirus software, you should verify the website or person from which you are downloading the file.