Zoom in on safety: Top PC security considerations when working from home

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With many still struggling to balance work and personal responsibilities at home, the last thing you want to add to your troubles is a security breach. Yet, many Singaporean professionals are still a long way from incorporating good cybersecurity practices in their daily lives with 38% of them admitting to connecting to public Wi-Fi networks without using their corporate VPN.

With remote working becoming a necessity for modern organisations, people face a unique challenge in terms of ensuring information and computer security because remote work environments don’t typically have the same level of security that office infrastructures provide.

When you work in an office, you are safe behind several layers of preventive security controls. However, when work systems and devices leave the secure perimeter of the office, new risks arise and additional security considerations become essential. Here are a few key security considerations that you should bear in mind while working from home.

1. Password Managers

Password management can be daunting, especially with the sheer number of online accounts many juggle. Password managers provide crucial support by helping you to track, create, and record passwords in a secure and encrypted vault.

Let’s look at three common types of password managers.

  • Locally installed or offline password managers

Offline password managers, also known as locally-installed password managers, are tools that record your data on your local device. These tools store the passwords in an encrypted vault.

  • Web-based or online password manager services

Web-based password managers secure your passwords on the service provider's server. These tools use zero-knowledge technology where they encrypt your passwords on your local device and then send it to the server.

  • Stateless or token-based password managers

Stateless or token-based password managers use a piece of local hardware, such as a flash drive, to store the master password. The password managers of these tools do not have a password vault.

If you are reusing similar versions of the same password, consider using a password manager instead. ESET Password Manager, part of ESET Smart Security Premium, helps you log in to all your accounts easily, whether you’re using your smartphone or computer. You can add new accounts and even mark them as favourites in order to access them quickly. With just one master password, you can securely access all your accounts through ESET's password manager solution. 

To dive deeper into the pros and cons of a password manager, read this article here.

 

2. Webcam Protection

In the age of working-from-home, webcams have become a window into your home for malicious actors, who use it to breach home network security. Due to the rising number of reports on webcam hacks in Singapore, it’s best to protect your family from prying eyes by following these tips:

  • Whenever you set up a new webcam, toggle the settings to employ the most protection you can since the default settings will not be secure enough.
  • Update the software and firmware of the webcam as soon as updates are available.
  • Use a VPN to secure your device since they hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic to keep hackers at bay.

3. Antivirus

The reason why company-issued devices are so secure is because they are configured by your company's IT department and have a functional pc security software. Home computers, however, may not enjoy such protection and are therefore vulnerable to breaches. The best way to protect your personal devices from security breaches is by using an antivirus software.

To ensure the best pc security, a good antivirus software acts as the first line of defence by detecting and blocking known malware. Even if malware does manage to find its way onto your device, an antivirus can detect and remove it. It is also essential that you configure your antivirus' firewall component or the firewall built into your computer's OS to reject all incoming connections.

4. Zoom Settings

Video conferencing software remains popular, with Zoom enjoying the most attention of all.

However, is it safe to use Zoom? It certainly is, provided you set it up properly for maximum internet security.

While this led to significant backlash, people have started to realise the need to safeguard their meetings. Below are a few ways to keep your meetings secure:

  • Use a unique password and meeting ID because Zoom adds default passwords to accounts. These passwords are embedded in the links to personal rooms and sharing the link can give people access to your meeting. This is why it is a good idea to not use your usual meeting ID and to generate a new password instead.
  • Use the virtual waiting room as it lets you see everyone before they can be allowed to the meeting. With the "See waiting room" option, you can see everyone waiting for the meeting and then admit the right people accordingly.
  • Choose the "Lock Meeting" option to limit the number of users. If you see that everyone who belongs in a meeting is present, you can lock the meeting to others even if they have the meeting ID and password.

 

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