More people are shunning offices and opting to work from home because of Covid-19. It’s an excellent and invaluable decision, given the situation we find ourselves. However, it can be a challenge for those who’ve never worked remotely. Without further ado, here is my short guide on how you can stay safe working online from home.
Create a strong password
I believe you’ve heard about the importance of creating a strong password to protect your online accounts from hacking. But how do you go about it? First, an ideal password should have not less than 10 digits long. Second, it’s advisable to use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, Thirdly, you must never use the same password for more than one website. Also, you can use a password manager to generate a complicated password that’s not easy to hack.
It would help if you never used your name, initials of your name, or any password that’s easy to guess, such as your spouse or child’s name: even your birthday, pets name, or your car’s plate number.
Protect your Wi-Fi with a password
Use the advice above on creating a strong password to add a password to your wireless internet connection. An unsecured network is just like an open house. Should a hacker get into your account, he can control your computer, send spam, access your bank accounts, and even steal your valuable passwords from sites that you visit. Adding a robust password on your Wi-Fi network is like having a firewall around your data.
Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi Network
My advice is to stay away from the unsecured public networks. However, if you must use them, I strongly advise you to use a VPN. A Virtual Private Network will help you to stay safe working online from home. It will protect all your online activities from hackers and snoops; A VPN will protect you even on public Wi-Fi. However, you need to choose the best VPN that has a proven record of offering the best online security and privacy. It should also be fast and easy to use. A VPN is excellent at preventing man-in-the-middle attacks.
Always lock your screen when you take a break
If you are working at home or you have roommates, you should lock your screen when you break from work to avoid others looking at what you are working on. Locking your screen can also prevent snooping around your files.
Set Two-factor Authentication
It’s an excellent security practice always to set up Second Authentication where available. The use of Two-factor Authentication (2FA), can help protect against brute-force hacking into your account. 2FA helps secure your accounts with an additional one-time password that’s sent to your cellphone number on record. Most online services request a second email where they can send a new password should you lose yours. A wise move would be to set up a dedicated password recovery email. While at it, avoid using your names or initials.
Patch your devices
One proven way of increasing your security is updating your devices. Though it usually takes time, you can use the time to relax and take a break from work.
Separate your work from your personal life online
When working at home, It’s a good practice to separate your work documents from your personal browsing. Having a work computer and a separate device for your personal browsing is the best way. If that’s not possible, you can create several users or accounts to deal with the different correspondence. Some browsers have the option to create browser compartments that you can use to separate your work from personal browsing in the same browser.
Avoid clicking on links from unexpected emails
The best way of avoiding Phishing attacks is to not click on strange links. Never click on links within an email that looks suspicious. Attachments can be malware in disguise, so be extremely careful to avoid downloading malware that can infect your computer. Unless you are 100% sure about the email you receive, it helps to visit the website directly, and even communicate with their support staff.
Here’s how you can stay sane and productive working from home
1. Maintain a regular schedule
Working from home is not easy, especially if it’s the first time you are at it. However, maintaining a routine can be helpful. You should set regular hours and make sure to stick on the schedule. I know it’s tough to transit from working time to non-working time. Ignoring the many distractions at home is not easy. Hence, coming up with a schedule could be helpful in the circumstance.
2. Stay connected socially and emotionally
If you are used to being out there and talking to people, it can be an enormous challenge just being there alone in the house. The best way is to stay connected by speaking to your family and friends over a video call. Making a social call is also important. Emailing is fine, but talking to someone reduces the sense of isolation.
3. Fast Internet
Slow internet is among the most annoying things. It can also cause frustration and damages your morale. When you can’t work due to the slow internet, you become demotivated. Hence, it would help if you endeavored to have a fast internet connection. Sometimes, your web can be slow because of ISP throttling. If that is the case, you can use a VPN to get an unthrottled experience. Another solution would be to switch to an Ethernet connection and connect with a cable or getting close to your router as physically possible.
4. Take mini-breaks
Setting the time to walk around the house or exercise is helpful. You can do push-ups or sit-ups, take a shower, or do dishes. Taking a much-needed break is invaluable if you want to perform at your best. Various research work has shown that the human brain’s attention resources usually drop after a long period of focusing on a single task. Brief mental breaks will help you focus more and be more productive even as you work from home.
Due to the fast-spreading of the Covid-19 virus, many people have been forced to work from home. It is not easy, more so if it’s for the first time you are doing this. I have given you some tips on how to stay safe working online from home. You also get advice on how to stay sane while at it.
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