With more people working remotely than ever, a new concern the public should be aware of is cyber security.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re protecting your personal information while protecting yourself.

Right now, because of the work turmoil over the COVID-19 effects, cyber hackers are attacking like never before, such as; small businesses and homes. They know millions of people are now working from home and MOST have sloppy unsecured home networks to hack into.

Hardening your home network is very simple, and can save you from even further financial loss, identity theft and more grief if you are attacked.

What most people don’t know is that: Your home routers are scanned and pinged almost hundreds of times a week, sometimes in a day. It is automated and driven by AI software. If a potential weakness is found, someone will try to take advantage for sure.

#1 rule, make sure you are using a VPN. Here is a FREE one that works great world-wide.

1. Don’t Rely on Yourself to Find Links for Remote-In Software.

If you work for a company that has provided a software that allows you to work remotely, follow the links they give you instead of searching for the software yourself.

For example, if they say you’re using Hypothetical Browser, and you search Google for “Hypothetical Browser” scammers may have set something up to look like that software, but isn’t. 

So you might wind up on hypotheticalbrowser1.com, and all their download links will do is put software on your computer that could risk your personal information. 


2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Chances are, your IT departments are overworked right now, but that doesn’t mean they want you trying to figure things out on your own to your own detriment. If you come to a road block, or keep getting security notifications, you should absolutely ask them about it. 

Bothering them now can prevent them, or you, from having to clean up an even bigger mess later.


3. Use a Secure WiFi Network

The chances that you’re going to be sitting in a McDonalds while working over the next few weeks are slim. But, if you’re working in a place where there are multiple networks to choose from and yours won’t work for some reason, don’t just log in to one that’s not password protected. Scammers can set up networks that appear to allow you to access the internet, but also record your data which can put secure information, such as your financial records, at risk. 

For example, if you’re on a scammer’s network and log into your bank, they might actually be able to access that password, even if it’s memorized on your browser. 

Simple Steps to secure your home WiFi (Wireless) Network:

  • Change the default admin username and password for your router administration interface
  • Create a complicated WiFi network password (the Pre-shared Key).
  • Change your network name (SSID) to something unassuming and never use the default name or router name.
  • Turn OFF the WPS (Wireless Protected Set Up) option in the router.
  • Make sure your router’s firewall is on, the Ping from Wan option is off, and remote log in to router from WAN is also off, even if over port 443 or HTTPS.
  • Block unknown MAC addresses if this is a static network.
  • Use a hardened Firefox browser for sensitive financial log ins.
  • Create a designated VLAN segmented wired network for logging into your financial and banking accounts. This is paramount!


4. What to Do if You Think You May Have Already Put Your Information at Risk

If you’ve already done anything on this list, immediately contact your IT department.

Then, after you’ve verified that you’re on a secure network (like your home wifi), you need to change all of your passwords..to complex ones.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Article by Dana Onyshko / Digital consultant