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Live and Work Securely at Home

Live and Work Securely at Home

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Important Remote Life Tips for Today’s World

Almost a full year has passed since The World Health Organization warned us about the Global Pandemic and introduced an array of special precautions that should be taken to remain healthy and safe. Since the virus was named, Toronto has changed face from a dynamic community full of innovation, culture and success to a city full of frustrations. As we await what the future has in store, iconic retailers have been forced to shut their doors indefinitely as small businesses do their best to pivot in trying times. “Remote-life” has become a hybrid term used for adults working and their children learning from home. For some, the lifestyle adjustment allows more time to allocate to their family; for others, it limits their regular productivity but it’s important to refocus and modify your routines as needed to get the most out of remote life.

The global job market has experienced a drastic shift by embracing the work from home culture and lifestyle that comes along with it. We will continue to see this trend well into 2021 where the number of work from home employees will double. Prior to COVID-19, working from home was considered a job perk for most, however, it’s estimated that 70% of the global workforce could continue to work from home regularly. Some companies will continue to have employees work from home indefinitely, even after herd immunity is achieved and mass vaccination becomes readily available, but many will require in-person meetings and activities to commence for business to thrive.

With so many people adopting the work from home lifestyle in our society we must remember to take preventive measures, both digital and physical. As an employee, you may have special considerations to protect your electronic devices, laptops and files and as a parent, you have rules in place to keep the kids out of trouble and safe. Here are some of the best practices to make sure your work from home experience is as secure as it can be.

Cybersecurity Solutions for Remote Work

1) Use Strong Passwords

A strong password uses a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. Make your password difficult and too tedious for someone else to guess. Each password should be different to avoid hackers accessing all of your accounts. Your passwords should not contain unorganized numbers, special characters, a mix of both upper and lower-case letters, etc. It’s also recommended to use two-factor authentication where possible.

1) Use Strong Passwords

A strong password uses a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. Make your password difficult and too tedious for someone else to guess. Each password should be different to avoid hackers accessing all of your accounts. Your passwords should not contain unorganized numbers, special characters, a mix of both upper and lower-case letters, etc. It’s also recommended to use two-factor authentication where possible.

2) Use a webcam cover

Working from home has introduced new challenges regarding communication with coworkers and clients. Applications like Zoom have made video calls a great substitute for physical meetings but it’s easy to forget that using the camera on your smartphone or computer can give savvy hackers easy access. Always use a filter or blur the background, so that details of where you are located can’t be determined.

3) Use Antivirus Software

The most effective way to protect yourself from a breech is through the use of antivirus software. Global damages to businesses are estimated to be over $1.5 billion as a result of cybercrime. As more people work from home this figure is likely to increase.

Good antivirus software is able to defend against up to 100% of presentable online threats while discretely running in the background of your computer.

Antivirus software protects against these types of threats by performing key tasks:

  • Pinpointing specific files for the detection of malicious software
  • Scheduling automatic scans
  • Scanning either one file or your entire computer at your discretion
  • Deleting malicious codes and software
  • Confirming the safety of your computer and other devices

3) Use Antivirus Software

The most effective way to protect yourself from a breech is through the use of antivirus software. Global damages to businesses are estimated to be over $1.5 billion as a result of cybercrime. As more people work from home this figure is likely to increase.

Good antivirus software is able to defend against up to 100% of presentable online threats while discretely running in the background of your computer.

Antivirus software protects against these types of threats by performing key tasks:

  • Pinpointing specific files for the detection of malicious software
  • Scheduling automatic scans
  • Scanning either one file or your entire computer at your discretion
  • Deleting malicious codes and software
  • Confirming the safety of your computer and other devices

4) Keep Family Members Away from Your Work Devices

It may sound easier said than done but don’t allow anyone to use your work devices. It may seem harmless to let your toddler watch their favourite Baby Shark video, but that action could set a dangerous precedent.

Mistakes happen in a matter of seconds. Company files should not be accessible to anyone. Since your phone is full of applications to access your emails and other confidential data, you must keep it locked at all times. Keeping your work devices separate from your home devices will prevent any security or data breaches from happening. Ensuring your files are password protected is also a great habit to implement.

5) Prioritize Email Security Protocols

When working from home, emails are most likely the primary means of communication for employees. However, emails can be one of the easiest means for hackers to exploit and compromise communication. There are some things you should be aware of and avoid when using your email:

  • Beware of phishing email scams from unknown senders
  • Do not click on any links or emails that look suspicious
  • Only reply to emails from senders you know

5) Prioritize Email Security Protocols

When working from home, emails are most likely the primary means of communication for employees. However, emails can be one of the easiest means for hackers to exploit and compromise communication. There are some things you should be aware of and avoid when using your email:

  • Beware of phishing email scams from unknown senders
  • Do not click on any links or emails that look suspicious
  • Only reply to emails from senders you know

Digital solutions are necessary for ensuring your work from home environment is safe, however physical security solutions cannot be ignored. Here are some physical security solutions to implement to maximize security when working from home:

1)  Maintain Your Yard

Maintaining your yard plays a vital role in deterring home burglaries. Keep the grass at an appropriate level and keep trees, shrubs, and other bushes trimmed to avoid creating hiding spots for trespassers or blind spots for your surveillance cameras. If you are away for a long duration or decide to stay at your cottage all-season, consider our Vacation Watch Service (included with Executive Services).

2) Upgrade & Check Your Locks

Although it seems obvious, a good lock is crucial to ensure your home is safe. High-end security locks have a strong reputation for deterring serious crime. It is crucial to ensure all of your doors and windows are locked at all times.

3) Implement Security Cameras

Doorbell cameras are trendy but a true surveillance system with multiple cameras is required to deter burglaries. Professionally installed surveillance cameras are more difficult to physically access vs. popular DIY brands and they are monitored by security staff that can dispatch a mobile Operative immediately. Multiple security cameras give burglars a sense that someone is watching wherever they attempt to break-in.

4) Never Leave Your Devices in Your Car

It can be easy to forget your cell phone in the centre console of your vehicle as you run errands but you should always take it with you—no matter how short the duration.  Petty theft often occurs once electronics and cash are visible. Locking your laptop and cell phone in your trunk may seem like less of a risk, but car theft itself has gotten much easier with advances in technology, so it’s best to leave your work devices at home.

5) Install Glass-Break Film

Glass-Break or Security Film works to protect your windows and doors. The special material comes in a variety of shades to appease athletics but it’s main purpose is to stop glass from shattering upon impact. It also makes the glass more difficult to breach, which could result in a delayed entry of up to 3 minutes.

As more time passes and restrictions come and go, we’ll continue to see groups of people purposely defy government mandates; refuse to self-isolate, protests in Downtown Toronto, travel across boarders without quarantining upon return, but by taking the right precautions, their actions will never impact you. As we continue to live through the pandemic and proceed with the work from home lifestyle, we at Avante Security want to ensure all of our clients are safe during these trying times. We can’t predict the future, but we can anticipate a stronger sense of community once the virus officially becomes a thing of the past.

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