IT Security Goals while Working from Home

Many employees at Kent State University are working from home due to the coronavirus. As we stay home to protect against further spread of the virus, you should make it a goal to stay as safe and secure online while working from home. Technology alone cannot fully protect you. We have put together a few steps for you to keep in mind during this time. Not only will these five steps increase your security posture, but they will also help you create a cybersecure home for you and your family.

  1. YOU are the best defense - Attackers have learned that the easiest way to get what they want is to target YOU! They want your passwords and any personal information they can get. Attackers will try to do this via phishing emails, text messages, phone calls, etc. you name it. Remember your security best practices and look for the red flags (Grammatical errors, typos, urgency, sender's address etc.).
  2. Home Network - Securing your wireless network is a key part of protecting your home. We recommend the following steps to secure your network:
    • Change your default network password
    • Make your password strong and different from any other password you have
    • Only allow people that you trust on your home network
  3. Passwords - Create strong passwords:
    • The more characters it has, the stronger it is
    • Use a passphrase - This is a combination of words that you’ll likely remember Example: IL0veW0rkingFr0mH0m3Y@Y!
    • Use unique passwords - this means a different password for every site/device
    • Use a password manager to store your passwords encrypted and help remembering them
  4. Updates - Attackers are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities in the software you're using. Make sure your computer, mobile devices, programs and apps are running the latest version of its software. Companies that create the software release updates to fix these vulnerabilities. Make sure you are using the latest version of software and enable automatic updates.
  5. Family - While sharing is caring, don’t share your work related devices with children, family or friends. They can accidentally erase or modify information, or, perhaps even worse, infect your devices. It's NOT a good security best practice to use your work devices for personal use.