In this day and age, employees are more connected and more mobile than ever. The hybrid workplace is here to stay, and for employees, this means relying on connected devices from their home office setups. According to recent data, smart home systems are set to rise to a market value of $157 billion by 2023, and the number of connected devices in the home is expected to rise by a staggering 70% by 2025. Any device connected to your network, whether it’s for work or play, is an attack vector. In this new normal, where smart devices and online safety are a must, here are some tips for securing those devices.
Remember smart devices need smart security
Make cyber security a priority when purchasing a connected device. When setting up a new device, be sure to set up privacy and security settings. Remember to limit who you are sharing information with. Once your device is set up, don’t forget to keep tabs on how secure your stored information is and to actively manage location services.
Put cyber security first in your job
Make cyber security a priority when you start a new role. Good online hygiene should be part of all organizations’ onboarding process, but if it’s not, take it upon yourself to exercise best practices to keep your company safe. Some basic precautions include performing regular software updates and enabling MFA. More cyber security bare necessities can be found here.
Make passwords and passphrases long & strong
Generic passwords are easy to hack. Whether or not a website requires it, be sure to combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create the most secure password. You can also use a passphrase. A passphrase is a collection of multiple, sometimes random or abbreviated words and are often easier to remember. Examples include things like ComputerblueButtonbutterfly or abbreviating a sentence like “My toddler likes to get up at 5am every Saturday” into Mtltgu@5ameS”. If you need help remembering and storing your passwords, don’t hesitate to turn to a password manager for assistance.
Never use public computers to log in to any accounts
While working from home, you may be tempted to change scenery and work from a coffee shop or another type of public space. While this is a great way to keep the day from becoming monotonous, caution must be exercised to protect yourself and your company. Make sure that security is always top of mind, especially while working in a public setting, by keeping activities as generic as possible. If you really have to log in to accounts while on a public network, use a VPN to encrypt your activity.
Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when idle
The uncomfortable truth is, when WiFi and Bluetooth are on, they can connect and track your whereabouts. To stay as safe as possible switch ’em off when not in use. It’s a simple, but often overlooked, step that can help alleviate tracking concerns and incidents.
These are just a few basic steps toward online safety. Staying safe online is an active process that requires constant diligence at every stage – from purchasing and setting up a device, to making sure your day-to-day activities are not putting anyone at risk. By following these steps, you’re doing your part to keep yourself and your company safe from malicious hackers.