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Working from home has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Though there are many perks to working remotely, there are also some risks. When it comes to setting up a secure internet connection and protecting your data, here are a few things you should know.

Risks of Telecommuting
Working from home can create security challenges. Employees in an office use computers that are provided by a company and that have antivirus software installed and updated by an IT department. Workers can easily communicate with each other about security threats and take measures to keep data safe. 

That’s harder to do when people are spread out and working on different Wi-Fi networks in different locations and using a variety of devices. Employees who work from home should take some important security precautions.

How to Keep Data Safe
Only use a secure Wi-Fi network. Your home network should be secure, but if you’re tempted to work from a coffee shop just to get out of the house, realize that the Wi-Fi there could put your data at risk. On a public network, other people could monitor your activity and attack your computer to attempt to gain access to your data. If you want to work outside your home, use a personal hotspot or virtual private network (VPN) to protect your files.

If you store information in the cloud, use a product with robust security features. Be careful if you use a USB drive to store files. It’s easy to install malware on a USB device. If you insert it into your laptop, hackers may be able to access your data.

If your company provided you with a computer, only use it for business activities. Using your personal computer to check work-related emails could put your company’s files and network at risk because your personal computer is probably less secure than the one issued by your employer.

Use complex passwords. Don’t use the same password for work and personal accounts. If someone hacked a personal account, your work data could be compromised, and vice versa.

Beware of phishing emails that appear to come from a trusted source, such as a co-worker, a client or a financial institution. Cyber criminals use phishing emails to trick people into clicking on links or opening attachments that install malware so hackers can access work and personal files. Phishing emails are often easy to spot because the email address is incorrect or because the email contains spelling or grammatical errors. An email that asks for sensitive personal or financial information should also be a red flag. 

Take Precautions While Working From Home
If you are required to work from home, or choose to do so, you may have the time or training to do everything necessary to secure your data. If you have not already taken these steps, prioritize security moving forward.

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