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Teleworking during the Coronavirus outbreak? While working from home can help slow the spread of the virus, it brings new challenges: juggling work while kids are home from school; learning new software and conferencing programs; and managing paper files at home. As you’re getting your work-at-home systems set up, here are some tips for protecting your devices and personal information.

  • Start with cybersecurity basics. Keep your security software up to date. Use passwords on all your devices and apps. Make sure the passwords are long, strong and unique: at least 12 characters that are a mix of numbers, symbols and capital and lowercase letters.
  • Secure your home network. Start with your router. Turn on encryption (WPA2 or WPA3). Encryption scrambles information sent over your network so outsiders can’t read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the most up-to-date encryption standards to protect information sent over a wireless network. No WPA3 or WPA2 options on your router? Try updating your router software, then check again to see if WPA2 or WPA3 are available. If not, consider replacing your router. For more guidance, read Securing Your Wireless Network and Secure Remote Access.
  • Keep an eye on your laptop. If you’re using a laptop, make sure it is password-protected, locked and secure. Never leave it unattended – like in a vehicle or at a public charging station.
  • Securely store sensitive files. When there’s a legitimate business need to transfer confidential information from office to home, keep it out of sight and under lock and key. If you don’t have a file cabinet at home, use a locked room. For more tips, read about physical security.
  • Dispose of sensitive data securely. Don’t just throw it in the trash or recycling bin. Shred it. Paperwork you no longer need can be treasure to identity thieves if it includes personal information about customers or employees.
  • Follow your employer’s security practices. Your home is now an extension of your office. So, follow the protocols that your employer has implemented.

Want to learn more? Read our small business cybersecurity materials and online security articles. If you’re able to work from home, thanks for helping slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

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March 18, 2020
I completed all those checks. My problems are social media providers. among others. Fake posting from actors.
Necie Teehankee
April 27, 2020

In reply to by FAEAWW

Thank you for your post on the FTC Consumer Information blog, as you have mentioned, your problems are from providers which are social media sites, and, fake post from actors, and, I would like to let you know that we are on the same page here and have to remind ourselves that actors have the mindsets of stage or movie and TV performers and endorsers and are using advertisement or movie sets which is also staged, and, we, as normal individuals should have the correct prerogative to completely rely on our own judgment or follow what has been posted or done by an actor, if the case is otherwise for us. Hope this helps and stay safe.
March 19, 2020
Hope this works.
March 22, 2020
Thanks. I will surely try all of these tips.
March 24, 2020
Florida Lulu
March 24, 2020
I am registered for Do Not Call. My family lives in South Korea. They cannot connect with my telephone. Is the registration stopping their calls?
FTC Staff
March 24, 2020

In reply to by Florida Lulu

The Do Not Call registry does not block calls from ringing through to your telephone. 

The Registry is a list of telephone numbers. Telemarketers  use the Registry to learn the numbers they should not call. Learn more about the Do Not Call registry.