With so many people working remotely, we thought it important to share a home office security checklist, as well as tips and best practices to help you integrate some of the most critical tools to stay safe and secure while you work from home during the crisis. Check back frequently – we will cover a new topic or two on this checklist every few days. Below is the second article in our short series.
HOME OFFICE SECURITY CHECKLIST
- Secure Your Wi-Fi (Covered in Part One)
- Protect Internet Browsing with a DNS Provider (Covered in Part One)
- Update Your Operating System to the Latest Version
- Install and Use the Latest Antivirus/Malware Protection and Other Critical Updates
- Develop Strong Passwords and use a Password Management Tool
- Move Administrator Rights to a Separate Account
- Use Cloud Backup
Use the Latest Operating System, Install Antivirus and Critical Updates
New malware is generated round-the-clock, threatening your computer or device, its operating system (OS), and the software/apps installed on it.
The first step is to run on the latest operating system. New versions of operating systems are released on a regular basis to eliminate bugs, incorporate security improvements and enhance software and hardware compatibility. A few words of caution before updating your OS. Back up all your data and make sure your hardware and other solutions are compatible with any upgrades before installing them.
Second, if your computer alerts you to the availability of system updates, don't ignore them. Upgrading and installing updates is critical to keeping your data secure and your technology running smoothly.
To check for Windows updates, select the Start button > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and then select Check for updates. You can find more information on the Microsoft website.
Apple computers can get critical system updates from Apple Support Downloads. For a chronology of updates, visit Apple Security Updates. To set the frequency of checking for Apple updates, go to Apple main menu > System Preferences > Software Update.
You also need to protect your computer against viruses. There is a free antivirus software from AVG (www.avg.com). If you decide to use AVG, be sure to uninstall any existing antivirus software before installing AVG software. Run a full scan of your machine after installing the software and configure AVG to run full weekly scans of your machine.
HyeTech IT takes care of critical updates automatically, but if you are managing your own IT at home, you may want to prioritize the upgrades and time them so they do not interfere with your work schedule. In addition to your operating system and antivirus software, here is a list of critical updates in order of priority:Internet browser
- Flash player
- Adobe Reader
- Microsoft Office products
While reviewing and managing critical updates, remove any unused or obsolete technology. Obsolete and unused technology is just another potential weak link in your office security; software which is no longer supported creates serious vulnerabilities.