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Tips to minimize cybersecurity risks when working from home

APR. 30, 2020

Working from home and alternative office environments during the quarantine can open the door to cyber vulnerabilities like phishing attacks that leverage the fear and doubt of these uncertain times. Knowing the cybersecurity basics, and putting them into practice, will help you protect your information and reduce the risk of a cyber-attack.

When the coronavirus crisis hit, Nationwide acted swiftly to move almost 99% of its workforce to work from home (WFH) status. Nationwide takes all dimensions of protection seriously, as demonstrated by the extraordinary care taken to protect data and customer information while our associates work from home. We’d like to pass along some great information from our experts to help you do the same.

Here are 4 tips from Nationwide’s Threat Intelligence Advisory team to help you protect yourself, your clients and your business.

1. Practice good habits

Unfortunately, we tend to let our guard down at home – and scammers are counting on it.  The best defense is to continue to practice the same good security habits enforced on your office network – like being on alert for social engineering scams and phishing attacks, not writing down passwords, leaving sensitive information lying around or leaving devices unlocked.

2. Secure your home network

Since home networks are not as secure as your corporate network, it’s important to take extra measures to ensure information is protected. We recommend avoiding unsecured public Wi-Fi networks and securing your home Wi-Fi network by changing its default settings and passwords.1 It’s also important to be aware of all devices connected to your home network. This could include everything from smart devices like thermostats and appliances to gaming consoles and TVs. Scammers may look to ramp up attacks under the cover of increased remote traffic. Make sure the devices on your home network are protected with a strong password and all system updates have been applied.

3. Keep devices up to date

Ensuring your devices remain up to date is critical. Updates help patch security flaws, protect your data and improve functionality by fixing outdated features. If automatic updates are an option, we recommend that you enable them.

4. Ensure accounts have separate, unique passwords

Another way to keep your information secure is by using long and complex passwords – at least 12 characters, with a mix of numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters – and by changing these passwords regularly.2 Also, instead of writing down passwords and leaving this information out in the open, consider using a password manager to securely store your passwords.

Some of us will start transitioning back to the office over the next couple weeks, and for others, WFH arrangements may be here to stay. No matter where you’re working, consider making these best practices your regular practice even after the pandemic.

We’re here for you

Nationwide is committed to providing you with the support and resources you need as we navigate today’s challenging environment together. We appreciate your partnership and the opportunity to work with you.

Sources

NFM-19501AO