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By Gerald Beuchelt

As concerns of the challenging pandemic continue to rise, millions of people are transitioning into the largest remote workforce the world has ever seen. Now that we’re all spending more time online, whether it’s working remotely or connecting with family and friends, we have seen an industry-wide spike in malware and hacking incidents – including malware from unvetted software downloads and an increasing number of phishing attempts. It is more important now that we all remain extra diligent and do our part in protecting the integrity of our systems and personal and business data.

While some people are getting accustomed to their new way of working and social distancing, we’ve put together a list of security tips and steps you can take today to securely work from home and connect online.

Make sure to keep all home devices such as computers, mobile devices, or routers updated with the latest software. This, and changing default passwords, helps prevent others from being able to tap into your home wireless network and monitor your traffic. Give your home Wi-Fi network and routers a strong and unique password (using LastPass) and always remember to change the default password if you haven’t already

  • Need help creating a strong password? Use LastPass to help generate and securely store one for you – get started here.
  • Not sure how to change your Wi-Fi password? Check out this how-to guide here.
  • Need help installing router updates? Learn more here.

Always watch out for phishing emails. Unfortunately, this increase in remote work is causing a sharp spike in phishing attacks attempting to capitalize on COVID-19. Be sure to ask yourself if you were expecting the email? Do you know the sender? Is there a sense of urgency for your attention? Are there links and attachments in the email? If so, don’t click or open them until you can verify the email is legitimate. LastPass reduces the risk of phishing schemes by never auto-filling passwords on suspicious websites, with complete flexibility to enable or disable auto-fill at any time.

Turn on Multifactor Authentication whenever possible. To reduce the potential impact of phishing attacks which can steal your user credentials, many of your most sensitive accounts like email and banking will allow you to turn on MFA – making it harder for hackers to get access

LastPass offers a variety of vendors that you can choose from to set up Multifactor Authentication, including our own free authenticator app, LastPass Authenticator.

Ensure any software downloads to your laptop or corporate device are vetted through the appropriate security channels. It’s important to always remain cautious of downloading random applications or software (i.e. gaming cheat engines, personal application downloads, etc.) to your computer to avoid malware, viruses or insecure protocols. Many times, your company may already have a license for an application that can perform a similar function.

Do not share your laptop or account with other household members. Accidently deleting important information or downloading a virus can happen with the click of a mouse. Be mindful to not access personal data on your company device, and vice versa.

Only share passwords through an encrypted service. The reality is that we often need to share passwords with family, friends, coworkers, business partners, caretakers, and others. You can easily do so securely, without jeopardizing your privacy or personal assets, through a password manager like LastPass, where they’re encrypted.

Remember, we’re all in this together. Considering and implementing these security measures to account for working from home and the increased time spent online benefits us all.

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