The need to observe social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives. One of these changes is our increased reliance on technology. People are working from home, and students are taking virtual classes. Meetings and events are also being conducted online. In short, virtual communication has increased manifold in the last couple of months and subsequently makes users wanting cybersecurity tips for COVID-19.
Cybercriminals are also aware of what’s going on. While many of us are struggling in the ongoing situation, it has provided cybercriminals more opportunities to carry out their shenanigans. Statistics suggest that they are trying to make the most of the situation. One report indicates that the number of cyber attacks has increased by almost 400% in the last couple of months compared to pre-COVID times.
Cyber attacks are detrimental for many reasons. They can deprive you of your crucial data. The attacks centered on identity theft can exploit your identity for unlawful activities. A successful cyber attack can also tarnish the reputation of the targeted organization. Ransomware attacks can also leave you in a situation where you may not have any other option but to pay a hefty ransom to recover your data.
All these unwanted consequences can be avoided if you get more proactive about your device and network security. This post will share five cybersecurity tips for COVID-19 that can help individuals and companies stay safe digitally during this unprecedented situation.
Cybersecurity Tips for COVID-19
Let’s look at five crucial cybersecurity tips for COVID-19:
#1 Cybersecurity Tip for COVID-19: Beef Up the Security of Home Wireless Networks
Work-from-home was once considered a lifestyle of freelancers and self-employed individuals. Now, it has become a mainstream norm in the wake of the pandemic. Organizations all around the world have entirely or partially shifted to remote working during COVID-19. Tech giant Google has extended its work-from-home policy to July 2021. Microsoft will also have its most of the workforce working from home until January 2021.
This sudden shift to remote working has exponentially increased the use of home Wi-Fi networks. Pre-COVID-19, people would seldom use home wireless networks to access company servers and share critical files. Therefore, no one would pay attention to their security either.
But now, home wireless networks are being used for all crucial organizational communication and transactions. Hence, people should strive to beef up their home network security. Organizations should also ask their employees to take extra measures in this regard.
Steps to Improve Wireless Network Security
These are some measures that users can take to make their home networks more secure.
- If you are using passwords like “1234”, “abcd,” or “password,” then it is time to replace them with something complex. Go to your router’s settings page. If you don’t have the link, ask your ISP. Access the page, go to settings, and change the password. The new password should be long and a mix of upper and lower-case letters with numbers and symbols.
- Also, change the Service Set Identifier (SSID) of your router. SSID is the name of the network/router that appears on “available Wi-Fi networks” on the nearby devices. Instead of using your name, home address as your SSID, use something that isn’t linked to your identity. SSID is also changed from the router setting page.
- Modern router devices have built-in network encryption. Nonetheless, make sure that the network security of your device is “WPA2”. If it is “WPA” or “WEP,” we would suggest you change the router. Check the back of the router or its setting page to find out what encryption it uses. You can even search on the internet with its model name and number to get this information.
- You can also improve home network security by enabling MAC address access. Every device has a unique MAC address recognized by routers. You can control the number of devices connected to your network by only allowing the MAC addresses you want to connect. This configuration will rule out the possibility of any unauthenticated device stealthy connected to your network.
#2 Cybersecurity Tip for COVID-19: Invest in a Robust VPN Service
Among all the latest cybersecurity tips for COVID-19, many businesses are following this one. A good VPN network can mask all the traffic between users and servers to protect it from cyber eavesdropping and exploitation. Therefore, organizations should invest in a full VPN service to get this security layer for all its internet traffic. Individual users can also find a number of affordable VPN subscriptions to make sure they don’t leave an online trail for cybercriminals to follow.
#3 Cybersecurity Tip for COVID-19: Improve Your Password Management
As a user, you need to revise your password management during this pandemic. Many people use a single password for all their online accounts. You need to get out of that convenience because it makes you more vulnerable to cyber threats. A password manager can let you tackle multiple complex passwords without memorizing each one of them. Password managers can also generate a long and complex string of new passwords for you that will remain hard to crack through brute-force attacks.
#4 Cybersecurity Tip for COVID-19: Make Multi-Step Authentication the Default Setting
We have seen cases where cybercriminals overcome the strongest of passwords. You can resolve this issue by implementing multi-step/two-factor authentication. Your email account, cloud storage, corporate portals should be configured for two-step verification to thwart hacking attempts. Both organizations and employees should act in their respective capacities to create an online environment boasted by multi-step authenticated access.
#5 Cybersecurity Tip for COVID-19: Antivirus
Last but not least, make use of reliable and updated antivirus software to protect your digital environments. Instead of using freeware options, organizations should work with IT professionals. In light of their suggestions, they must invest in comprehensive antivirus software programs that can stop all sorts of cyberattacks. Today, you can find antivirus programs that can detect and neutralize worms, Trojans, spyware, ransomware, and all other malicious codes infiltrated in your network or device.
When all network users use a good antivirus program, the given network becomes more foolproof to DDoS attacks, zero-day attacks, phishing attempts, and cryptovirological (ransomware) shenanigans.
We hope that the above cybersecurity tips for COVID-19 help you protect your network and device.
If you want to improve your cybersecurity as an individual or organization, get in touch with Microsys. The company is committed to providing superior network, computer, and business application support services. We deliver technical support to our customers through quick response time and timely problem resolution. If you have unfortunately become a victim of a cyber attack, our cybersecurity engineers will ensure that your system is back and running with the least downtime.