Officially, it became spring early last week, although people in the snowbound Northeast are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the actual spring weather that brings flowers, green grass, and baseball season.
So wherever you live, if you run and manage a home office, now’s a good a time to do some spring cleaning so your devices are less vulnerable to malware and potential threats. While this may seem to affect only a small percentage of workers, it’s really not the case anymore. A Gallup survey from last year found that 43% of employed Americans work from home at least some of the time.
T. Frank Downs, director of SME cybersecurity practices at ISACA, says home workers have to conduct themselves just as they would in the office.
"People have to be aware of their surroundings and operate the same way, being sure not to open up suspicious emails, weird attachments or install thumb drives that might come in the mail," Downs says.
Russell Schrader, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, adds that cleaning your machine is one thing - keeping it clean is yet another task.
"Once you get your machine clean you'll want to keep it clean," Schrader says. "It's really important to keep on it, always asking if you really want to share that document or download the latest cool application you saw. The idea is to be mindful of security and build habits that will make it easier for you to keep it clean. It's like your house, once you clean it well one time it's easier to keep it clean moving forward."
The eight tips in the slideshow are based on interviews with ISACA's Downs and NCSA's Schrader. They offer some practical advice on how to keep applications up-to-date, how to handle public hotspots and keep your home router up-to-date.
Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio