Using Your Private Computer for Work: Is it Safe?

Using Your Private Computer for Work: Is it Safe?

In today’s day and age, it is easier than ever to blur the lines between our personal and professional lives, especially when it comes to remote workers and their technology. Unfortunately, while there is an obvious convenience for using your personal and private computer for work, this mix comes with a high-security risk for your company’s network and possibly your future employment.

There are certain advantages and downsides to allowing your employees to use personal devices for work, not to mention that personal devices became standard work tools for remote workers during the pandemic.

Nowadays, many organizations won’t even consider giving employees work devices to use at home or educating them on how to be cyber-safe, which is a recipe for disaster. Some of the main security risks of using a private computer for work are:

  1. Data breaches
  2. Hacking
  3. Malware and Viruses

Generally, if some of the above-mentioned things were to happen, the only person who would be responsible is you. Not the employer, not the company, but you. So what can you do to prevent and avoid something like this from happening?

Using Your Private Computer for Work: Is it Safe? | Le VPN

The answer is a lot of things. First, the internet has never been as dangerous as it is today. With cyber-attacks happening every 40 seconds, educating yourself on cybersecurity has never been more important.

While it is recommended to have a completely separate personal and private computer for work, not all people can afford it. Securing your accounts with strong passwords, downloading antivirus software, updating your systems, and using s VPN from providers like Le VPN are some basic things a user should do to increase their safety.

#1 Use a Password Manager

As you may already know, secure and regularly-changed passwords should be the first line of defense against cybercrime, whether you are a remote worker or not. However, remembering complex passwords with symbols, numbers and letters can be difficult for people to do.

Luckily, there is no reason to remember those complex combinations because a password manager does it for you. So the primary advantage of using a password manager is that you don’t have to have a good memory at all.

A password manager stores login information for all the websites and applications you use and help you log into them automatically from your computer.

Generally, online security experts recommend password managers as the best method for keeping all your passwords safe. However, you will still need to have some faith that the company behind the technology isn’t cutting any corners with the safety of your data.

At the end of the day, eleven with this risk in mind, a password manager is still a smart alternative to juggling dozens of passwords in your head. Some password managers charge a fee, but there are other free options out there as well.

#2 Back Up Critical Data

Today, almost all of our data is in a digital format, which presents huge opportunities. However, keeping the majority of our data online means that we have become more vulnerable to large-scale data loss. Cybercriminals are always on a hunt for our data; once they enter a system, they can take everything quickly and quietly. So what can you do about it? You can back up your data.

To avoid the crippling consequences of data loss, it’s vital to have some form of data backup. The rule of thumb is to have three or more copies of your data, one primary and two backups in two different media types, one of them being entirely offline for disaster recovery.

Once you back up all the important files, make sure to test them. People often forget about this stem. However, you should check the backup for data integrity and see if you can restore files as intended. Additionally, never forget to encrypt the backup drive from unauthorized access.

#3 Be Aware of Phishing Scams

As a remote worker, you should know that cybercriminals are massively capitalizing by flooding remote-workers inboxes with fake emails. These emails are specifically designed to take advantage of people’s curiosity and lure them into the trap.

To avoid becoming a victim of those scams, you need to learn how to detect them in the first place. First, never trust emails sent from a public email domain such as @yahoo.com or @gmail.com. Secondly, check for grammatical and spelling errors both in the text and the domain name.

Typically, phishing emails are almost always poorly written. In case you have received an email from a suspicious source with an attached PDF file, never open the attached file. And finally, don’t fall for the scammers’ psychological trick by clicking on a message that seems like an “urgency.”

#4 Never Snooze an Update

Whether you are a remote worker or not, making sure you know how to run software updates is mandatory for your safety. Software patches or updates include new and enhanced features as well as improve software stability, remove outdated features and add a new layer of security.

Hitting the “snooze button,” a.k.a “remind me later” message on an update for your software, can end with devastating consequences. So while it may be frustrating to pause whatever thing you are doing at the moment for a couple of minutes to update your software, this step is mandatory if you want to increase your safety.

Finally, a VPN from providers like Le VPN is designed to prevent cyber crooks and cyberspies from intercepting sensitive data. With that being said, never turn it off when you are working. Otherwise, you will lose a tool that could block any attempt to steal important data.

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Written by Vuk Mujović @VukMujovic

Vuk Mujović is the founder of MacTíre Consulting, an analyst, data management expert, and a long-term writer on all things business & tech. He authored blogs, articles, and opinion pieces aimed to help both companies and individuals achieve growth without compromising their security. Vuk is a regular guest author to Le VPN Blog since January 2018, where he gives his expert opinion on the topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, online freedom, and personal data protection. He also often shares his tips and best practices in relation to internet security and digital safety of private individuals and small businesses, including some additional applications of using a VPN service.

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