Preparing personal computers to work from home

 

Covid-19 is here. Is your home computer secure enough and are you prepared to work from home?

This unprecedented time has presented one of the largest shifts in history, with many individuals now needing to work from home.  This being the case, there will be individuals who choose to use their personal computer when working from home.  While University owned equipment has a number protections in place to minimize cybersecurity threats, not every personal computer has all, or even some, of these protections in place.  If you’re working from home on a personal computer, a set of recommendations have been developed for you to increase the security posture of your home computer.  Following the recommendations in this guide can help reduce the chance of a cybersecurity incident happening to you at home. 

Recommendations to prepare personal systems to work from home.

What to do

Why?

To Do

  1. Update your system to automatically receive critical operating system updates.

Old and outdated systems are much more vulnerable to hacking.

Always keep the system up to date by using the latest versions of the operating system and have the latest updates installed.

Windows 10

Start  button > Settings  > Windows Update , and then select Check online for updates from Microsoft update or just Check for updates if the previous option doesn’t appear on your system.

Instructions for Windows 10, 8.x and 7

MacOS

Instructions for macOS Mojave or later

Note that restarting the system may be needed and it's recommended to ensure new updates are loaded and active.

  1. Ensure Endpoint Protection is up and running properly to ensure antivirus, firewall and other basic protections are in place.

Modern Endpoint Protection offers many features, beyond classic antivirus one, that protect us against modern threats.

Windows 10

Start  button > Settings  > Windows Security , and be sure everything is ok (green). If not, follow the recomendations your system provides.

Follow the same concept for any other security suite you may be using at your system.

  1. Update all 3rd party applications now and on monthly basis.

It is especially important to have all applications updated too. Internet browsers are very important because are the entry point for the most of your internet traffic.

Windows Systems

Download and run this Third Party App updater: Patch My PC

Scan, select the red ones and update applications until most are green. It is recommended to restart the system and rescan it again after that.

  1. Protect your workspace by creating an isolated, password protected profile for working purposes.

Setup a profile specific to your working purposes and don’t allow others to login to it. 

 

Windows 10

Create a local user account

 

  1. Use a wide spectrum blocker that blocks ads and malware sites directly at your browser.

These blockers not only remove security risks that sometimes come with advertising sites, but also speeds up the browsing experience by removing unnecessary traffic and reducing computing resources waste.

Check setup instructions for your browser at: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/#installation

  1. Do secure data transfers using OneDrive or an encrypted media with Bitlocker.

Transferring of data may be a major risk if it is not done properly.
Use OneDrive or an encrypted media.

Use OneDrive to store your work files.

Use Bitlocker to encrypt a flash drive. 

  1. Avoid working with sensitive data if isn’t strictly required. Delete it ASAP when you finish.

Spreading sensitive information to personal computers is a path to a disaster. You must be authorized to do it, and you need to minimize the risk by deleting the files (from recycle bin too) when you finish with them.

Observe the measures. Delete the files containing sensitive information and empty the recycle bin after that to ensure it is properly deleted.

Was this helpful?
0% helpful - 2 reviews

Details

Article ID: 101636
Created
Mon 3/16/20 7:23 PM
Modified
Thu 8/12/21 3:45 PM