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COVID-19 impact: Here are some cyber safety tips for professionals working from home

While working remotely, it is important to be extra-cautious about phishing attacks and other forms of cyberthreat.

July 28, 2020 / 10:14 PM IST

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we perceive and go about work-life for the foreseeable future. Despite several unlocks, the concept of remote working has been a much-favoured option for both employees and employers. However, an increase in online traffic comes with an increase in cyber-security threats including identity theft, data breaches, and online frauds.

According to the 2019 NortonLifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report, 39 percent of respondents in India have witnessed identity theft in the past year and this is bound to accelerate in 2020. While working remotely, it is important to be extra-cautious about phishing attacks and other forms of cyberthreat. Working professionals need to prepare well for this change in the working environment and here are things cyber safety experts recommend for those working remotely:

Keep close contact with your employer and use their tech toolbox

Your employer might consolidate coronavirus-related information on the company intranet. It is important to know new policies to help keep you, your coworkers, and the business safe. Companies often have tech tools that can help keep you Cyber Safe when you work from home. They likely include firewall and antivirus protection, along with security features like VPN and 2-factor authentication.

If a tool is not working, don’t download substitutes

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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If your collaboration tools like instant-messaging platforms and video-meeting rooms are not working right, do not look at downloading unverified substitutes. You could inadvertently introduce a software program with a security flaw which means someone unauthorized may be able to access company data, or any personal data you have on that device.

Keep your VPN turned on

A VPN or virtual private network can provide a secure link between employees and businesses by encrypting data. A VPN helps keep information secure from cybercriminals and competitors.

Beware of coronavirus-themed phishing emails

Cybercriminals have been exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to send fake emails and COVID related solutions with links to users. These may be compromised, which means by clicking on an unknown link, you are likely to download malware onto your device. A good practice is to immediately report the phishing attempt to your employer.

Constant software updates should be part of your routine

You might get reminders that software updates are available for all your devices, when alerted, do update your software. This will help patch your security flaws and protect your data.

Source: CNBC-TV18
CNBC-TV18
first published: Jul 28, 2020 10:14 pm

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