Securing your home computer to work from home part 6: (Securing Your Computer)
In a corporate environment, there is often a central system where all security policies are created and each workstation downloads these rules, and the end-user never needs to make any changes on their end. At home, there is no central system in place to configure your computer to be secure so here are a few tips to increase the security of your computer.
Setup a unique login for everyone who uses the computer. Just like an office or school computer, every user should be given their own username and password. Keeping everyone’s data separated helps ensure that files are not accidentally deleted, or moved to a new location. It even can reduce the chances of contracting a virus, if your other users are not given administrative access.
Encrypt your data. Even though each user of your computer cannot easily see each other’s data, it is still readily available if someone has the inclination to look. Within Windows, you can use a tool like BitLocker to secure your personal folder to your login exclusively, even if your computer is stolen and the hard drive analyzed, the data remains encrypted and protected by your password. Additional solutions do exist, and almost all of them rely on passwords, so it is CRITICAL that you have a secure and memorable password.
Enable sleep mode. Having your computer automatically go to sleep after a defined period has two major benefits: While sleeping your computer is using about 5% of the power it uses when running (PCWorld.com), When your computer is woken from its slumber, you will be prompted for login credentials, helping ensure that your files remain safe, even if you forgot to logout.
Reconsider your browsing habits. There is a tonne of questionable websites on the internet trying to serve up malware to any user who comes across them. I’m sure you have some websites in mind that you should probably not visit, but also consider the ads that are hosted on these sites, as they are the most likely source of infection. Some web browsers are better than others, recently Firefox was recognized as the most secure browser with default configuration (ZDnet.com). Limiting the number of add-ons and extensions within your web-browser will also increase your security position. Lastly, stop clicking on obvious click-bait type messages, at the very best you are providing your information to questionable advertisers, at worst you are exposing yourself to a potentially malicious website.
Use a password manager. It is very common for a person to need to login to well over 100 websites, and each one of them needs a strong and unique password. Asking anyone to memorize this amount of information is unrealistic. Outsource that effort to a well-respected password management tool and let it generate strong random credentials and store them for easy use. And just to be clear, NEVER REUSE A PASSWORD (Auth0.com).
I strongly recommend that you seriously consider at least a few of these suggestions, and start working more securely today.