Five things to know about cybersecurity when working from home

For almost 14 years, the Patrick Law Group team has been working remotely as our normal way of business. An important thing to consider about working from home is safeguarding your sensitive materials by exercising sound cybersecurity practices. As seasoned work-from-home attorneys with a particular focus on technology and data privacy, we wanted to share five things we like to emphasize about working from home from a technological perspective.

Perfect your technology set-up

Take advantage of the digital tools your company makes available to communicate and maintain productivity. Does it have subscriptions to antivirus software, encrypted messaging services, or VPNs? If so, you should be taking full advantage of using these tools when working from home.

Beware of using personal devices.

Avoid using personal computers and devices for work unless your company has authorized BYOD. Your personal computers may have older operating systems that are vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Ensure your home Wi-Fi is secure.

Make sure your Wi-Fi and router have strong passwords (use a password manager to generate a strong password) and enable Wi-Fi network encryption. Install router updates regularly if your Wi-Fi provider does not automatically update firmware. If your modem and router are more than five years old, it’s a good idea to upgrade them.

Use a VPN if necessary.

If you do need to connect to public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure a secure connection. VPNs mask your device’s location from your internet service provider, which means that intruders on the same network (such as lurkers in a coffee shop) cannot gain access to your device.

Set ground rules for other people in your space.

As much as practical, don’t allow other people in your house to use your workspace. This especially applies to kids, who can easily accidentally tamper with your setup. It will also be helpful for everyone to establish “office hours,” so that other people in your house respect that you’re “at work” even if you are physically in your house.

However: “Furkids” are exempt from this rule—we all know rules don’t apply to our four-legged family members.