With the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommending social distancing and limiting gatherings to ten people or less, the workforce is finding themselves working remotely; or as the cool kids would say “WFH” (Working From Home). Hopefully, your company has a business continuity plan in place, making the transition from working in the office to WFH as smooth as possible. Here are some tips to stay sane while working remotely as well as some cybersecurity measures, as this will be a “hay day” for lack of a better term for cybercriminals.
Tips to Stay Sane
At CryptoStopper, we have been doing our part to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus by having all our employees work remotely since last week. While they are seasoned vets by now, the CDC has only implemented the social distancing and limiting gatherings to ten people or less as of Monday afternoon. Additionally, if you have children, they will likely be at home with you. So, without further ado, here are some tips for staying sane while working remotely.
- Maintain a Routine. We all have different work schedules; however, it’s extremely important you stick to your routine. Wake up at the same time, do whatever it is you do to get ready for work and set yourself up for a day of productivity. Furthermore, it’s essential to set up a space where you can work comfortably. This means actually sitting at a desk or table to ensure you have a productive workspace.
- Make a To-Do List. When you are working from home, you have to be your own manager. At the end of all of this, your actual manager will expect you to have been productive. Start by setting your goals for the day and going from there. What can you do each hour of the day to ensure you’re meeting your goals? Review this list at the end of your day – without office distractions, you may find yourself being more productive!
- Stay in Touch. In an age of technology, working remotely does not mean working in isolation. If you typically have weekly team meetings, there are several apps that allow you to keep these meetings (e.g., Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, etc.). If you find yourself with extra time, take that online course you have been putting off that will add value when things are back to normal.
- Accept Distractions. If you have children, chances are they are at home with you. Fast Company published an article that provides 11 quick tips for working from home while your kids are with you. While these are undoubtedly helpful, the most critical takeaway is there will be distractions, and we will need to cope with them. If you need help, refer to tips #1 and #2. Keep a routine with your children so their schedules are as normal as possible. Hopefully your school has a system in place where your children still have assignments to complete. Sit down with them at the beginning of the day and make a to-do list for them. Make sure they still have structure in their lives.
- Get Some Exercise or Fresh Air. This may be more difficult for those who live in densely populated areas as social distancing requires you to stay away from large groups. Take a walk around the block (keeping your distance from others, of course!), take a walk around your house or apartment (get those steps in!), or break out that old piece of exercise equipment you swore you would use. Now is the perfect time to start a home workout routine. There’s an astronomical amount of home workout videos you can do, regardless of fitness levels and equipment. No better time than the present!
Cybersecurity Tips for Working Remotely
While business continuity plans should be an aspect of every business, preparing for an entire workforce to work remotely can be a significant challenge. Now, add in that this was extremely unexpected, and the business continuity team only had a couple of days to prepare, you’re looking at a cybersecurity nightmare.
- Phishing Scams. Nearly everyone is trying to stay updated on where the latest Coronavirus case has been reported, what the President is saying, how the stock market is doing, etc. We have already noticed an increase in coronavirus-related phishing attacks. While working remotely, it’s crucial to take your cybersecurity precautions to the next level, especially when it comes to phishing scams. Get your news directly from the source’s website instead of clicking on the link in the email.
- Verify Email Requests. Perhaps an extension of phishing scams but significant enough to merit its own tip. Now, more than ever, one should be wary of odd email requests from someone who appears to be within your network. For example, if you work within accounts payable and you receive an email from what appears to be a known vendor saying they have changed their routing information, beware. Call that vendor directly, and don’t wire the money until you have discussed it with a trusted source.
- Wi-Fi Connection. Ensure your Wi-Fi connection is secure. Some older installations might not be, which means people in the near vicinity can scoop your traffic.
- Separate Work from Home. Don’t use your work laptop for leisure. While you may be able to enjoy access to websites such as Gmail that you may not be able to access at work, do not use your work laptop to do so. Ransomware or other types of malware can hide in your system and not be deployed until you connect to your work network again, leaving your company at severe risk.
Lastly, here are some free tools and offers from technology companies to assist businesses with remote workers, work-at-home initiatives, cybersecurity, and more. At CryptoStopper, we are offering the Starter package which includes a free 60-day offer for five desktop licenses. By having CryptoStopper on your employees’ desktops or laptops, you can protect and stop the malicious ransomware process from infecting their machine and your network when they return to the office.