Securely Working from Home

Securely Working from Home

As more of us are now working from home I thought it may be useful to look at how a few simple steps can reduce homeworker’s exposure to cyber threats. Some of these items are especially relevant if using personal devices. Please feel free to share this resource, an acknowledgement/ link to back to this page would be appreciated. Thank you. Please note that normal service from Forensic Control will be continuing during this period.


How to do this

Why it's important

Change the default password on your router

Find out the make & model of your router, and Google “how to change the default password on X”

Some routers ship with known, default passwords. This makes it easy for an adversary to access your network

Ensure you backup any data you save to your computer

You could copy items to folders on your organisation’s cloud service, e.g., Sharepoint/ Google Drive

Items saved to the Desktop or Documents folders aren’t automatically backed up

Don’t use an Administrator account when you’re using the internet or email

Create a new ‘standard’ user and use that instead. How to do this on a Mac. How to do this on Windows

Malware can do a lot more damage when it’s running under an ‘Admin’ account

If using your own computer, use a separate log in for work

Create a new user for example called ‘Jonathan -work’ on a Mac. On Windows

Keeping work data separate from home data prevents potential cross contamination

Review the apps on your computer – if you don’t need it for work then remove it

Remove software on Windows. Remove app on Mac

Lots of apps are difficult to manage regarding updates & can also increase your attack surface area

Make sure you have anti-malware software running. This is important for Macs, too

Avast is a decent, free, option for Macs. By default, Windows 10 has Windows Defender, see how to check its status

Helps prevent malicious software running on your computer

Replace any easily guessable passwords with complex passwords – a unique password for each application

Give serious consideration to the use of a password manager such as 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane

If any of the websites you use suffers a breach, the attackers won’t be able to use your credentials on other sites

Don’t let your guard down when checking email, opening attachments

Ask yourself if you were expecting that communication; check the language of the email – is it unusually urgent?

Cyber criminals take advantage of the better side of human nature – be vigilant, check it’s legitimate

Perfect security isn’t possible, though by implementing the steps above you’ll greatly reduce your exposure to most attacks.


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