7 Tips For Remote Workforce Security

With so many making the quick pivots to remote work, Emerge wants to share some information that you can provide to your staff and end users. We want to help ensure your business remains secure, even while most are working from home.

PC Security Best Practices

1. Use strong passwords, or use a password manager.
  • “Be sure to use a strong password” is advice we all constantly see online. Here’s how to create a strong password—and, more importantly, how to actually remember it.

    • According to the traditional advice—which is still good—a strong password:

      • Has 12 Characters, Minimum: You need to choose a password that’s long enough. There’s no minimum password length everyone agrees on, but you should generally go for passwords that are a minimum of 12 to 14 characters in length. A longer password would be even better.
      • Includes Numbers, Symbols, Capital Letters, and Lower-Case Letters: Use a mix of different types of characters to make the password harder to crack.
      • Try to mix it up—for example, “BigHouse$123” fits many of the requirements here. It’s 12 characters and includes upper-case letters, lower-case letters, a symbol, and some numbers. But it’s fairly obvious—it’s a dictionary phrase where each word is capitalized properly. There’s only a single symbol, all the numbers are at the end, and they’re in an easy order to guess.

      • Isn’t a Dictionary Word or Combination of Dictionary Words: Stay away from obvious dictionary words and combinations of dictionary words. Any word on its own is bad. Any combination of a few words, especially if they’re obvious, is also bad. For example, “house” is a terrible password. “Red house” is also very bad.
      • Doesn’t Rely on Obvious Substitutions: Don’t use common substitutions, either — for example, “H0use” isn’t strong just because you’ve replaced an o with a 0. That’s just obvious.
Some popular password managers:
2. Update your antivirus and anti-malware tools and make sure they are running.
  • If you are using a corporate owned PC this is remotely managed by either Emerge or your company IT department.
  • If you are using a home PC you can usually find your antivirus software in your system tray. Double clicking on the icon will usually open the user interface to you to make sure it is up to date.
3. Remember to Lock or Logout off your machine when you walk away to take a break.
We all know how our kids love to play on our computers, locking them will prevent them from accidentally deleting your work or installing an unwanted program or game.
    • Windows has a shortcut to lock your computer, simply hold down the 'Windows' Key, located at the bottom of your keyboard between the Ctrl and Alt keys, and press the 'L' key.
4. Make sure your computer is up to date and secure by installing Windows Updates
5. Secure your HOME network with DNS protection.  
Most corporate environments secure their networks using DNS protection. Cisco Umbrella is the most popular product on the market and is FREE for home use.  The link below will take you to the FREE version of Cisco Umbrella, we recommend the OpenDNS Home product.
6. Avoid scams related to COVID-19.
7. Lastly, here is a great security training course that your users can take at home for free.
  • The password to enter the course is: homecourse

Please feel free to share these within your company to ensure that everyone is doing their best to remain secure. If you have any questions about the 7 tips listed or any other security questions, Emerge is here to help. Call us at 859-746-1030.