Make Your Remote Work Secure, Convenient, and Stress-Free

Written by Cloudfish

April 16, 2020

Ready to Learn More
Check out the details below.
1) Take a picture of your computer setup before
you unplug and take things to your remote
work location—including the cable setup in the
back!
At home, your IT team won’t be with you to
reconnect everything. A quick picture of where
things are plugged and arranged may save you
hours of frustration later. And don’t forget to use
an approved cleaning agent to wipe things down
before you disconnect.
2) Install updates.
Particularly if you’re working from a computer you
already own but don’t typically use for oce work,
please check that all updates and patches to
Microsoft®, Adobe®, and other critical software
applications have been installed. We know,
updates take time, and it’s all-too-convenient to
click ‘Remind Me Later.’ However, many
vulnerabilities exist in out-of-date software and are
the perfect entry-point for a hacker. You must
protect the data that you are entrusted to access.
Keep it safe by ensuring your software is up to
date.
3) Update antivirus and anti-malware tools, too.
As a follow up to number two, this may sound
obvious. These tools are highly valuable and are
designed to reduce risk and keep your computer
safe from threat actors that want access to your
company’s data. However, just like your oce
tools, it’s easy to postpone those time-consuming
updates—ultimately leaving you at risk. If you’re
using a home computer for your work and do not
have a paid-for antivirus and anti-malware
solution, ask your IT team for help installing a
licensed, approved corporate security software to
use while working remotely.
4) Uninstall unnecessary software from your
personal computer.
If you are using a personal computer, please
uninstall software that isn’t being used by your
family. Software that isn’t being used usually isn’t
being updated or patched. Those patches prevent
hackers from entering through known
vulnerabilities. By removing unwanted or unused
programs, you have reduced that risk.
5) Use the virtual private network (VPN) at all
times.
We understand that it’s just one more thing that
you need to do before you can work. Think of it as
your seatbelt when you get in the car to drive. That
extra moment it takes could be the moment that
saved your oce network from an attack. And
don’t forget to re-engage the VPN every time you
log on. It’s easy to put your computer to sleep
when you walk away to grab lunch, forgetting that
you’ ve logged o the VPN.
6) Turn o automatic connections on your Wi-Fi.
One easy way for hackers to gain access to your
computer is Wi-Fi spoong. For example, let’s say
you routinely connect to ‘Joe’s Wi-Fi,’ so much that
to save time, you click the button that says,
‘Connect Automatically.’ A hacker can set up a
portal called ‘Joe’s Wi-Fi,’ and your computer may
unwittingly connect automatically to that portal
because it has been identied as a safe network.
7) Separate your network.
When possible, connect your computer to a
dierent network than the rest of your remote
location. It may be as simple as using the company
VPN to create that secure connection. If you are
more technically capable, then separate your
company computer from the rest of the computers
in your remote work location via a dierent router
or rewall. If your mobile data plan allows for
unlimited data, consider using the hot spot on
your phone instead of a guest network or your
home network.
8) Lock your computer.
When you aren’t using your computer, just like at
the oce, lock the computer to keep family,
friends, and maybe even the kids next door from
accessing your company data. And while you are
thinking about computer use, please remember
that your company computer is for business use
only. While it might be convenient to check the
news or order takeout, please limit personal use
and do not allow friends and family to use your
work computer. Something as simple as a local
restaurant’s takeout menu could end up being a
malicious le that exposes your computer to
malware.
9) Create a dierent user account for family
and/or friends.
If you plan to use your personal computer for
remote work, create a separate user prole for you
that is dierent than your other family members or
friends. This is a major step towards helping the
company meet our cybersecurity objectives.
10) Use a password manager.
If your company oers a password manager, please
don’t forget to use it to create and store
passwords. The goal is to avoid saving passwords
in the browser that can be easily swiped. We know
sometimes it’s easier to save it in the form or use
the same passwords for dierent sites or forego
using multi-factor authentication where it is
oered. However, sacricing the convenience is
well worth it to avoid a security incident and loss of
data. Oh, and remember that using a spreadsheet
to save your passwords isn’t much better than
saving them in the browser forms. Avoid that when
you can.
11) Ask your IT person about securing the DNS
settings on your personal computer.
They likely have the software or a tool you can use
on your home computer that will help keep you
from accidentally going to the wrong places.
12) Update your softphone software.
If set up correctly, softphones, like voice over IP
(VoIP), can be very convenient. However, if they are
not secure, they can be exploited fairly easily by
cybercriminals. If you are using a softphone system
at home, make sure you are taking active
preventative measures to avoid hacking.
13) Ensure secure browser conguration.
Google Chrome extensions can be a hotbed for
computer viruses. It’s best not to use them at all.
However, at the very least, make sure those you are
not using are uninstalled. If you’re not sure how to
do this, ask your IT professional.
14) Use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as
your browser.
Many other browsers can contain vulnerabilities
that can open you up to a variety of cyberattacks,
ultimately leaving company data exposed. Both
Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have the most
up-to-date security.
15) Think twice.
The threat actors, also known as cybercriminals, are
looking to take advantage of you when you least
expect it. Right now, receiving an email that looks
like it came from your boss or CEO with a subject
line that reads, “Company Coronavirus Update”
may seem normal, but it may not actually be from
your company. Take a moment to review who it
came from (the actual email address, not the name
in the display). Also, question whether this person
would typically send you an email like this.
16) Don’t be click happy.
Just because there is a link or an attachment does
not mean that you need to click. Mouse over the
link and see where it wants to take you. Check for
the actual spelling of the domain in the area before
the .com, .net, .edu, .gov, or .org looking for
anything unusual like the characters ‘1’, ‘l,’ or ‘I’
being leveraged as an imposter domain. Another
example would be the letters ‘rn’ instead of ‘m’ or
‘vv’ instead of ‘w.’
17) When in doubt: See something, say
something, ASAP.
You are our rewall, the rst line of defense against
threat actors trying to invade our network. And
while we know you will never click on a fake email,
in the event anything odd seems to have
happened, we’d rather know about it than ignore it
and hope it goes away. If you may have done
something that afterward, seemed suspicious, let
us know as soon as possible. And if you
accidentally did something that later you realized
was bad, disconnect your computer from the VPN
and network and call us right away.
18) Check with your IT team to make sure your
data is being backed up!
ConnectWise | 4110 George Rd., Suite 200 Tampa, FL 33634 | 813.463.4700 | © 2020 All Rights Reserved
18 Things to Make Your Remote Work Secure, Convenient, and Stress-Free
Ready to Learn More
Check out the details below.
1) Take a picture of your computer setup before
you unplug and take things to your remote
work location—including the cable setup in the
back!
At home, your IT team won’t be with you to
reconnect everything. A quick picture of where
things are plugged and arranged may save you
hours of frustration later. And don’t forget to use
an approved cleaning agent to wipe things down
before you disconnect.
2) Install updates.
Particularly if you’re working from a computer you
already own but don’t typically use for oce work,
please check that all updates and patches to
Microsoft®, Adobe®, and other critical software
applications have been installed. We know,
updates take time, and it’s all-too-convenient to
click ‘Remind Me Later.’ However, many
vulnerabilities exist in out-of-date software and are
the perfect entry-point for a hacker. You must
protect the data that you are entrusted to access.
Keep it safe by ensuring your software is up to
date.
3) Update antivirus and anti-malware tools, too.
As a follow up to number two, this may sound
obvious. These tools are highly valuable and are
designed to reduce risk and keep your computer
safe from threat actors that want access to your
company’s data. However, just like your oce
tools, it’s easy to postpone those time-consuming
updates—ultimately leaving you at risk. If you’re
using a home computer for your work and do not
have a paid-for antivirus and anti-malware
solution, ask your IT team for help installing a
licensed, approved corporate security software to
use while working remotely.
4) Uninstall unnecessary software from your
personal computer.
If you are using a personal computer, please
uninstall software that isn’t being used by your
family. Software that isn’t being used usually isn’t
being updated or patched. Those patches prevent
hackers from entering through known
vulnerabilities. By removing unwanted or unused
programs, you have reduced that risk.
5) Use the virtual private network (VPN) at all
times.
We understand that it’s just one more thing that
you need to do before you can work. Think of it as
your seatbelt when you get in the car to drive. That
extra moment it takes could be the moment that
saved your oce network from an attack. And
don’t forget to re-engage the VPN every time you
log on. It’s easy to put your computer to sleep
when you walk away to grab lunch, forgetting that
you’ ve logged o the VPN.
6) Turn o automatic connections on your Wi-Fi.
One easy way for hackers to gain access to your
computer is Wi-Fi spoong. For example, let’s say
you routinely connect to ‘Joe’s Wi-Fi,’ so much that
to save time, you click the button that says,
‘Connect Automatically.’ A hacker can set up a
portal called ‘Joe’s Wi-Fi,’ and your computer may
unwittingly connect automatically to that portal
because it has been identied as a safe network.
7) Separate your network.
When possible, connect your computer to a
dierent network than the rest of your remote
location. It may be as simple as using the company
VPN to create that secure connection. If you are
more technically capable, then separate your
company computer from the rest of the computers
in your remote work location via a dierent router
or rewall. If your mobile data plan allows for
unlimited data, consider using the hot spot on
your phone instead of a guest network or your
home network.
8) Lock your computer.
When you aren’t using your computer, just like at
the oce, lock the computer to keep family,
friends, and maybe even the kids next door from
accessing your company data. And while you are
thinking about computer use, please remember
that your company computer is for business use
only. While it might be convenient to check the
news or order takeout, please limit personal use
and do not allow friends and family to use your
work computer. Something as simple as a local
restaurant’s takeout menu could end up being a
malicious le that exposes your computer to
malware.
9) Create a dierent user account for family
and/or friends.
If you plan to use your personal computer for
remote work, create a separate user prole for you
that is dierent than your other family members or
friends. This is a major step towards helping the
company meet our cybersecurity objectives.
10) Use a password manager.
If your company oers a password manager, please
don’t forget to use it to create and store
passwords. The goal is to avoid saving passwords
in the browser that can be easily swiped. We know
sometimes it’s easier to save it in the form or use
the same passwords for dierent sites or forego
using multi-factor authentication where it is
oered. However, sacricing the convenience is
well worth it to avoid a security incident and loss of
data. Oh, and remember that using a spreadsheet
to save your passwords isn’t much better than
saving them in the browser forms. Avoid that when
you can.
11) Ask your IT person about securing the DNS
settings on your personal computer.
They likely have the software or a tool you can use
on your home computer that will help keep you
from accidentally going to the wrong places.
12) Update your softphone software.
If set up correctly, softphones, like voice over IP
(VoIP), can be very convenient. However, if they are
not secure, they can be exploited fairly easily by
cybercriminals. If you are using a softphone system
at home, make sure you are taking active
preventative measures to avoid hacking.
13) Ensure secure browser conguration.
Google Chrome extensions can be a hotbed for
computer viruses. It’s best not to use them at all.
However, at the very least, make sure those you are
not using are uninstalled. If you’re not sure how to
do this, ask your IT professional.
14) Use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as
your browser.
Many other browsers can contain vulnerabilities
that can open you up to a variety of cyberattacks,
ultimately leaving company data exposed. Both
Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have the most
up-to-date security.
15) Think twice.
The threat actors, also known as cybercriminals, are
looking to take advantage of you when you least
expect it. Right now, receiving an email that looks
like it came from your boss or CEO with a subject
line that reads, “Company Coronavirus Update”
may seem normal, but it may not actually be from
your company. Take a moment to review who it
came from (the actual email address, not the name
in the display). Also, question whether this person
would typically send you an email like this.
16) Don’t be click happy.
Just because there is a link or an attachment does
not mean that you need to click. Mouse over the
link and see where it wants to take you. Check for
the actual spelling of the domain in the area before
the .com, .net, .edu, .gov, or .org looking for
anything unusual like the characters ‘1’, ‘l,’ or ‘I’
being leveraged as an imposter domain. Another
example would be the letters ‘rn’ instead of ‘m’ or
‘vv’ instead of ‘w.’
17) When in doubt: See something, say
something, ASAP.
You are our rewall, the rst line of defense against
threat actors trying to invade our network. And
while we know you will never click on a fake email,
in the event anything odd seems to have
happened, we’d rather know about it than ignore it
and hope it goes away. If you may have done
something that afterward, seemed suspicious, let
us know as soon as possible. And if you
accidentally did something that later you realized
was bad, disconnect your computer from the VPN
and network and call us right away.
18) Check with your IT team to make sure your
data is being backed up!

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