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Working and Studying from Home

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male student at home, sitting on the floor and working on a laptop

With classes taking place online and many student jobs in flux due to COVID-19, you may find yourself working remotely, studying alone, and worrying about the future. Unfortunately, there are some who would take advantage of this pandemic to steal information and spread malware. To protect you and help you secure your home network and work space, the Church Educational System Security Operations Center (CESSOC) has issued the following guidelines. Read and apply these directions so you can stay safe online during the pandemic.

1—Protect Data and Information

  • Use university provided laptops/workstations if possible and do not allow other family members to use.
  • Do not store sensitive university information on personal devices and home computers. Use the BYU Box online storage service instead ( box.byu.edu ).
  • Protect sensitive documents from the view of others in the home.
  • Use DUO multi-factor authentication service to protect your access to university applications ( duo.byu.edu ).
  • Make a habit of locking your computer when you step away. (For Windows, use the Windows key + L. For Apple Mac, use Command + Shift + Power Button).
  • Set boundaries to make sure family (including children) and friends understand they cannot use your work devices as they can accidentally erase or modify information or accidentally infect the device.

2—Protect Your Home Network

Home networks enable your devices to connect to the internet. Almost all of the home networks use a wireless router or access point, which makes securing your networks an important part of securing your home office.

  • Change the default administer log-in password and user name for your router. An attacker can easily discover the default password and user name that the manufacturer has provided.
  • Configure your home network firewall. Most home or small office routers already contain a built-in firewall. Ask your internet provider, check their website or that of the vendor’s website for steps on how to complete this process.
  • Work from a secured home network and do not access sensitive information or accounts using unsecured public WiFi.

3—Keep Software Updated and Protected

Cyber attackers are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities in the software your devices use. When they discover vulnerabilities, they use programs to exploit them and hack into your devices.

  • Ensure each of your browsers, operating systems, and programs are running the latest version of software. Often you can set-up automatic updates.
  • Install and run antivirus software. Use antivirus software, like Sophos, to automatically scan websites, downloaded files, email attachments, and content.

Remember, technology alone cannot fully protect our data and systems. Each of us has the responsibility to be the first line of defensive for information security threats. Although these guidelines are not all inclusive, implementing them will help secure your work and will help you create a secure home office environment. For additional information, please e-mail cessoc@byu.edu with specific concerns or questions.

LEARN MORE

Learn about the different kinds of malware that exist, and how to prevent, detect and respond to them.
Learn how to change your password, how to create a security question, and how to create passwords that protect your account.
Learn general tips for keeping your physical devices protected from unauthorized access and other physical threats.
Learn why keeping the operating system on your devices up to date is actually a very important security precaution.
Learn how to protect yourself from being scammed, tricked, or hacked while surfing the web.
Learn what steps you can take to ensure that your social media accounts are protected.
Learn how to identify and avoid scam emails, texts, and more. Phishing scams steal personal info on a regular basis.
Learn how 2-Factor Authentication services like DUO protect your account from hackers and accidental access.
Learn the difference between secured and unsecured Wi-Fi networks and how to be safe when connecting to a wireless network.
Learn about different data storage options and consider which options are best for your needs.
Learn about methods criminals might use to obtain your information by building false trust.