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Working from home? Cybersecurity experts have advice to help protect your information

With more and more people working from home these days, security experts are warning everyone they could become a target for hackers and scams.

The number of people working from home continues to go up as the COVID-19 crisis continues across the nation. But with companies moving their operations remotely, security experts are warning everyone they could become a target for hackers and scams.

Unisys Chief Information Security Officer, Mathew Newfield, provided FOX43 with a checklist every worker should do as they move their operations into their homes.

Step one, Newfield said, “you have to be really diligent in everything you do.” Newfield said in the past, around 15% of people were working from home so security systems could be tailor-made to their needs in order to protect the information they are sharing. Now he said, nearly 90-95% of organizations workforces are working from their homes.

“If you think of the infrastructure in your house, how secure is it?” Newfield said.

He reminds everyone to check their passwords and change them, especially if they’re using default factory passwords on anything from their cable boxes to their internet modem.

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“If you’ve had equipment in your house that you may have had for years, do searches online to see what are ways to harden those devices and secure those devices,” he said. “Be very diligent about your password usage.”

He adds, “the adversaries  that are out there know it and they’re targeting the weak infrastructures in people's homes as a hopeful avenue into the corporations they work for."

Newfield reminds everyone who is living in a home with multiple other people to watch who has access to their equipment and who is sharing it.

“A lot of people are in situations right now where there are a lot more people in your home or in your space trying to utilize the same equipment that you may be using for work. Be very careful on sharing that equipment,” he said.

He adds, read up on company security procedures and watch for phishing emails that are intended to steal information. He reminds everyone to hover over links sent in email to make sure the websites are legitimate. Additionally, if anyone receives a strange call don’t give out information. Instead, ask the caller for a number to call them back and verify who is calling.

“In the past you may have been able to walk up a hallway to ask somebody did you really send this? And, that capability is gone,” said Newfield.

As for meetings held online on platforms like Zoom, Newfield suggests that people switch up their meeting ID numbers and passwords.

“Making sure you’re limiting by using passwords and meeting ID’s that aren’t generally available so that people can’t randomly show up to your Zoom meetings,” he said. “Not repeating the use of a particular meeting ID as you’re having different meetings with different audiences that you’re not opening it up to people you may have spoken to before is key.”

He reminds everyone there is no real privacy when using 3rd party products no matter what platform companies may be using, unless that company specifically paid for the product and had it installed.

“We’ve been very, very busy over the past few weeks,” said Newfield as he said Unisys employees are working to help their clients during this time period to transition work securely.

You can find more information about Unisys here: https://www.unisys.com/