What the Tech? How to Keep Your Computer from Being Hacked When You Work from Home

Leaving the house may increase your chances of contracting COVID-19, but working from home may make you more susceptible to another kind of virus. A computer virus.

The cybersecurity firm RISKIQ predicts the coronavirus outbreak will give hackers one of their best opportunities in recent years to attack computer networks around the world.

There are many reports that hackers are busy targeting people working from home on their work computer and if you don’t have someone from IT a few cubicles away you’re it.

Here are some things you should do the next time you fire up your computer.

One of the most important things is to keep your software updated. On just about any software you can click the help or support tab at the top of the page, and then ‘check for updates’.

You might need to ask your IT person before updating. Most of these updates include security fixes to address any vulnerabilites.

If you seldom turn off your computer but just put it to sleep, get in the habit of turning it off at least once a week. When you turn it back on it’ll automatically search for and install updates on the operating system. This is especially true and important if you use a Windows computer.

Enable 2-factor authentication. If you log out and then back on, you’ll have to allow the program or social media site to send you a text message to make sure you’re you and not some hackers trying to access your accounts. Do this for any online account including Facebook, Google and even Netflix.

It’s a hassle, I know. You can also pick up one of these security keys. This is a Yubikey. Insert it into a flash drive on your computer and anytime you’re logging into certain accounts, you can just tap the key so it sees your fingerprint.

If you’re on your work computer it probably has anti-virus and anti-malware programs. If you’re on yours though, make sure you have something to protect yourself from viruses and malware.

If you’re looking for something good, free and safe, AVG guards against hacks and C-Cleaner scans your computer for problems and eliminates them. Malwarebytes focuses on malware and searches for programs that could cause problems that you’ve accidentally downloaded from the internet.

The best thing you can do, is to be careful about any links you click, whether it’s on a website, social media site or in an e-mail. Don’t click on anything without asking yourself, can I really trust it?

But if you’re working on your company’s laptop or connecting to the company’s network servers check with the IT department before downloading or installing anything.

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