Online Safety Reminders: Preventing Breaches While Working Remotely

Elizabeth working remote
August 9th, 2020
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Bad things happen in the online world, all the time. It’s not just a “because we are working remotely” kind of thing. The difference is, right now, mid-pandemic, there’s a sense of unease and feeling of urgency. We are trying to stay efficient and effective in unfamiliar territory.

In an uncertain business climate, there’s additional pressure to deliver quickly. We aren’t always as thoughtful or careful about what we do online. We let our guard down. The hackers and bad actors are counting on that.

Take a moment and remind your staff about these lurking online dangers.

Be Mindful of Email Impersonations
These emails look a lot like a legitimate communication from a client, vendor, or even co-worker, but are in fact, a spoof. Is there an “urgent” directive to open an included attachment? Is the subject line strange? The formatting off? The request out of nowhere? Does it involve sensitive or confidential information or money/funds/account numbers? Is it somehow out of character for the sender? Before you open, respond, share, or go forward with the request, double-check. Pick up the phone. Ask a colleague for their take on it. Trust your gut and consider carefully.

Prevent Zoom Vandalism, a.k.a. “Zoom bombing”
Make sure your meetings remain private by using passwords and safety settings.

  • Require a meeting password to enter.
  • Enable a Waiting Room, then Review attendees before admitting them to the meeting.
  • Do not share or publish the meeting ID/password on any public-facing web pages.
  • Set the meeting to “only admit authenticated users” who sign into Zoom. This eliminates the ability to join a meeting anonymously.
  • UseLock Meeting once underway to prevent additional participants from joining. You also can Remove Unwanted Participants if they show up.
  • From the chat pane: Restrict chat to host-only, no-one, or everyone
  • If recording, protect the recorded meeting with a password

Use Password Management Tools
Password management software enables you to centrally manage your passwords by saving them to an easy-to-use vault and does all of the “remembering” for you. Once installed in a browser, the software helps you log into sites by prompting you to save logins. Later, it fills them in for you. When you sign up for new online accounts, it helps generate long, strong passwords.

Tip: Many of us have home wireless accounts with IDs & passwords that are easy for the family to remember. As we continue to work from home with sensitive customer information, it’s a good idea to change the ID & password to something stronger.

Share Content Securely
Use cloud-based storage tools to access, store, and share content securely. Rather than passing via email and saving from hard drive to hard drive, store everything safely in the cloud. It can still be shared anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Update Your Computer at Least Weekly
We all do it. We put our computers/laptops in “sleep” or “hibernate” mode so we can start up faster the next time. If you don’t do a full restart regularly, you’re losing out on updates. Without updates, bad hackers can use security vulnerabilities to break into your system.

If your employees have concerns about maintaining security while working from home, encourage them to speak up. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me for help keeping your financial and computer systems secure.

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