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July
29

 

During the COVID19 crisis, we have discovered that there is a new normal including standing six feet apart in lines and in public, sanitizing items we have purchased before bringing them into our homes, wearing a mask in public, and not touching our faces, to name just a few. Another new normal is the realization that working remotely is likely here to stay.

New to Working From Home?

Stay safe working from home with these handy tips

"If I can't keep up with my own password, how can a hacker figure it out?"

Passwords are one of the more important security items on home devices. Passwords are a pain, but they probably won't go away. Why can't we just have one password, and why do we keep having to change them? A lot of companies are talking about biometric ways to get around them like fingerprint, retina and facial scans – offered on our phones now, but remote systems still require passwords.

If you use the same password everywhere, you are opening a door for a hacker to get in. Services are breached every day. Hackers go in and grab passwords and email addresses from breached websites and, using automated tools, see if they get a hit that works on other services such as your Amazon or Apple account, or anywhere your credit card information is stored. They can find out where your email lives because that is public information. If they break into that, then it is game over.

Use a password manager and have the passwords completely randomized for every new site you sign up with.

Sites like LastPass -  https://www.lastpass.com/  - has a free plan for husband and wife users to share passwords. 

And, LastPass uses a second authentication method, such as sending a text message to your smart phone, so that even if a hacker got your last password, they wouldn't be able to get past the second authentication step.

If you are leery of storing anything in the cloud, there are password managers that you can store on your computer that encrypt your passwords that can be stored in a locker on your computer.

Don't rely on the default password for your devices to keep you secure. Be sure to update your password on your WiFi router, Alexa, home security camera systems, Ring Video Doorbell system – anything that you have on your home internet system.

 

Think before You Click!

Never reset your password by clicking on a link in an email that was sent to you without you asking for it first. In other words, if you receive an unprovoked email from a random site saying "Please reset your password by clicking on this link" don't do it!

Watch out for emails that you are not expecting. If you receive an email with an attachment or links that you were not expecting do not open the attachment, even if it is from a friend, relative or colleague. Call the sender to confirm that they really sent it. That person was probably just hacked and that is how the hacker got your email address. 

 

Have a Backup Strategy

Use the 3-2-1 backup plan:

  • 3 copies of everything
  • Use 2 different spots
  • One offsite away from the computer

In other words, have the first copy on your computer; the second is on a device you can grab if something happens to your computer, such as a thumb drive; and the third copy is somewhere offsite in case of fire or disaster to your home and computer.

 

Follow Simple Rules for Better Security

  • By having an insecure home network or by reusing passwords for your devices, you give an attacker a way to access your device. 
  • You can put these devices on a different WiFi network from your computer, that way they are segregated from your regular network. 
  • Turn on every security device offered on the website, especially the two step authentication system.
  • Try to keep your business and personal work separated. If your company offers you a laptop and a company email to use while working from home, use them whenever doing company work. Don't use your personal computer or email for conducting your company business. Don't share your company laptop with your family members. Think of it as being like letting your teenaged son drive your company vehicle that you bring home.
  • If your company offers IT Security training, take it! They probably have encrypted system that you should know about. 
  • Don't reveal anything too personal about yourself on social media. Limit details you share about going on a trip or what days you might be going into your company's office that would let an attacker know your whereabouts. 
  • Many systems come with an anti virus protection, but it is a good idea to have an added layer of anti virus protection on top of that. An internet security filter can keep out information that is unfit for business as well as help keep your children safe from visiting something inappropriate online.
  • A breach identification vendor who is familiar with and studies how hackers work – actively looking for any hacker footholds on your computer 

 

Hackers Are Doing Business On The Dark Web  

The dark web is a place where information about us is traded. The information that is gathered from a security breach is posted on the dark web, such as user names, and passwords, as well as viruses that are available and how to use them. It's a scary place. You can check to see if you have been involved in a data breach and if your information might be posted out on the dark web at https://haveibeenpwned.com/.  Subscribers will be notified if their information has been put out on the dark web.

You can hire an IT Professional for remote work guidelines and checklists for general home computer safety. The information in this article was supplied by Brad Otto, owner of P3C. Check out his website at https://www.p3ctech.com/category/tips/

 



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