Have you started working from home recently? You aren’t alone. With the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, millions of people have begun working from home. It’s a form of a social distancing that slows the spread of this otherwise highly transmissible disease. As a remote worker, however, you may encounter several cyber threats that, if ignored, could result in the theft or destruction of your data.
#1) Using an Unprotected Wi-Fi
You can use your home’s Wi-Fi to send or receive data — but only if it’s protected. If your Wi-Fi isn’t protected, a hacker could eavesdrop on your connection while subsequently capturing your data. To stay safe when working from home, make sure your Wi-Fi is protected and secured with encryption technology, such as WPA2.
#2) Phishing Emails
Another common cyber threat you may encounter when working from home is phishing emails. Research shows that phishing is responsible for nine in 10 data breaches. Phishing emails, of course, are emails that look legitimate but are designed to trick or manipulate you into providing the hacker with your sensitive information.
Here are a few telltale signs of phishing emails:
Unknown or suspicious-looking from address
Text displayed as an image
Addressed to “sir” or “madam” rather than your actual name
Sense of urgency
Asks you to log in to your account
Asks for your sensitive or personal information
#3) Cloud Storage
You might be surprised to learn that cloud storage is a cyber threat for remote workers. Uploading data to the cloud is typically preferable to storing data locally. The problem, however, is that cloud storage allows anyone to access your data, assuming they know your username and password. You can still use cloud storage when working from home; just remember to create a strong and unique password to safeguard it from intrusion.
#4) Personal Devices
What’s wrong with using personal devices when telecommuting? Well, most employer-provided devices are equipped with cybersecurity solutions, such as antivirus software and a firewall. If you use a personal device for business-related purposes, a hacker may exploit a weakness in your device to steal your sensitive data.
#5) File Downloads
You’ll probably download files when working from home. Whenever you download a file, though, you should verify that it’s legitimate. Hackers disguise malware as legitimate files to entice victims into downloading them. Therefore, you need to use caution when downloading files. Along with maintaining antivirus software, you should verify the website or person from which you are downloading the file.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports are found on countless computers and electronic devices. Whether you own a desktop, a laptop or both, you’ll probably discover that it has several USB ports. Using these ports, you can connect a variety of peripherals to your computer, including a mouse, keyboard, printer or even an external storage drive.
There are different generations of USB technology, however, the latest of which is USB 3.2. To the naked eye, USB 3.2 ports may look the same as earlier generations of USB technology. With that said, USB 3.2 offers several key advantages over its predecessors.
USB 3.2 Explained
Originally released in 2017, USB 3.2 is the latest generation of USB technology. Also known as USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, it offers the fastest data-transfer speeds of all USB technologies, including USB 3.0 and USB 3.1. The new specification still uses ports and connectors in the same size, as well as shape, as older generations of USB technology. Nonetheless, it’s able to deliver faster downloading and uploading speeds.
Benefits of USB 3.2
The greatest benefit of USB 3.2 is its blazing-fast downloading and uploading speeds. The new specifications supports a maximum data-transfer rate of 20Gbps. To put that number into perspective, USB 3.0 — also known as SuperSpeed USB — has a maximum data-transfer rate of just 5Gbps. Based on those numbers, USB 3.2 is about four times faster than its USB 3.0 counterpart.
It’s also worth mentioning that USB 3.2 is cross-compatible with all other USB technologies. In other words, if your computer has a USB 3.2 port, you can connect USB 3.1, USB 3.0 and earlier generations of USB peripherals to it. Thanks to its cross-compatible technology, USB 3.2 devices and peripherals are interchangeable.
Furthermore, USB 3.2 supports a new feature known as Power Delivery 2.0. Basically, this feature allows USB 3.2 ports to transmit up to 100 watts of power to connected peripherals. Why does this matter? With Power Delivery 2.0, USB 3.2 is able to charge connected peripherals. If you have a battery-powered peripheral, for instance, you can recharge it by connecting it to a USB 3.2 port — something that isn’t possible with earlier generations of USB technology.
To recap, USB 3.2 is the latest generation of USB technology. It’s faster and more versatile than previous generations, with a maximum data-transfer speed of 20Gbps. Of course, not everyone needs such fast speeds. USB 3.0 is still capable of achieving data-transfer speeds in excess of 5Gbps. But if you’re looking to maximize your productivity, you may want to invest in a computer with USB 3.2 ports. It’s four times faster as USB 3.0, and it also supports Power Delivery 2.0.
Is your business’s website susceptible to hacking? Research shows over 30,000 websites are hacked each year. As a business owner, having your website hacked isn’t just a nuisance; it’s a liability. Maybe a hacker steals your customers’ personal information, or perhaps a hacker uses your website to send malware to visitors. Regardless, there are several steps you can take to protect your business’s website from hacking.
#1) Host on a Secure Server
The first step to protect your business’s website from hacking is to host it on a secure server. If the server has vulnerabilities, such as an outdated operating system (OS), it could be hacked. Therefore, you need to host your business’s website on a secure and well-maintained server.
#2) Use HTTPS
Using the HTTPS protocol — the latest and most secure iteration — can protect your business’s website from hacking as well. HTTPS works by using a cryptography certificate to scramble data in transit. Any data sent from visitors to your business’s website or received by visitors from your business’s website will be encrypted, thereby preventing hackers from conducting man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.
#3) Create a Strong Password
If your business’s website uses WordPress or a similar back-end building platform, you should create a strong password to protect it from hacking. WordPress and other building platforms operate through a web browser. You’ll log in to your site in a web browser, after which you can create and manage content. When setting up your business’s website, though, it’s important to use a strong password. Otherwise, a hacker could breach it using a brute force attack.
#4) Restrict or Limit File Uploads
Consider restricting or limiting file uploads on your business’s website. If visitors are allowed to upload files, a hacker could exploit this feature to deploy malware. Rather than uploading a legitimate file to your business’s website, the hacker could upload malware.
#5) Hide Admin Login Page
Another way to protect your business’s website from hacking is to hide the admin login page. If the admin page is public — meaning anyone can see it — a hacker may attempt to log in. Of course, he or she will still need the password, but it’s best to hide the admin login page to lower the risk of a breach.
#6) Install a Firewall
You can install a firewall to protect your business’s website from hacking. There are both software- and hardware-based firewalls. Software-based firewalls consist of software, whereas hardware-based firewalls consist of hardware. Nonetheless, both types work by passing traffic through a filter where potentially malicious files are removed.