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Working From Home: the Data Privacy Risks You Are Not Thinking About

April 30, 2020

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions across the world have switched to working from home. It can be a blessing for some people as now they can spend more time with family and less in commuting. But they may be putting the security and privacy of themselves, their families and their employers at risk.

While working from home, professionals could face an attack that could lead to data breaches. It’s vital that professionals take proper precautions to limit this risk. Here are a few best practices for keeping data and information secure.

For cybercriminals, COVID-19 pandemic comes along with an opportunity. In the past few months, there has been a marked increase in cybercrime or attempted cybercrime. To protect your computer and your company’s data, there are some basics to remember:

If you receive a suspicious e-mail, be sure to examine it closely. Just because you are working from home does not mean you should forget to adhere to basic protection techniques.

Be careful about downloading and installing software onto your work computer (if you are even able to do so). Many cyberattack starts because someone downloaded something to their personal or work laptop and then logged into their work e-mail or network. If you don’t know what a file is, don’t download it, and definitely don’t install executable/program files that you are unfamiliar with. If in doubt, call your IT department.

While taking work related calls from home always close the Door or put in ear phones. If you live in an apartment with thin walls? Or Live with houseguests? It turns out, when you are on the phone or on videoconference, they can probably hear what you are saying. If you are on a client call—or even on an internal work call—shut the door, lower your voice, and if possible, use earphones when you are in a space where others might hear you.

Be careful what you post publicly. Check that there is no potentially sensitive information in it. Once it’s published online, it’s there, forever.

Check recent security and privacy reports about online collaboration tools before using them, and if in doubt, consult your employer. These tools can have access to details about your devices, your data and your video and audio conversations.

Protect your devices. Install anti-virus software, update systems and apps, implement multi-factor authentication (so that multiple pieces of evidence are needed for someone to use your login, such as username and password and a text message), and be on the lookout for phishing scams.

Use encrypted messaging apps for having secure conversations with coworkers or staff members. Though, there are many encrypted communication apps available on app stores but when it comes to safety of user’s personal data and data privacy no one can beat Signal Private Messenger.

The first thing that sets Signal apart from other messaging apps is that it is open source. The app’s code is freely available for experts to inspect for flaws or back doors in its security. Another thing that makes Signal unique is its business model. Messaging apps owned by Facebook and Google make their money by selling ads whereas Signal is entirely supported by grants and donations. With no advertising to target, the app intentionally stores as little user data as possible.

All messages sent over Signal are end-to-end encrypted, and even Open Whisper Systems does not have the keys to decrypt them. Signal’s privacy policy is short and concise. Unlike WhatsApp, Signal doesn’t store any message metadata. Cryptographer and Open Whisper Systems founder Moxie Marlinspike has said that the closest piece of information to metadata that the Signal server stores is the last time each user connected to the server.

Signal also does not directly send a contact list to the server. Instead, it uses what’s known as a cryptographic hash function to obfuscate phone numbers before sending them to the server. The server responds with the contacts that a user has in common and then immediately discards the query.

Signal is completely open source, free, secure, and private instant messaging platform and is available for Android, iOS, and desktop.

Get the Signal App NOW!

#StaySafeWithSignal #StayHomeStaySafe

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