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While WFH, keep your connections secure

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The novel coronavirus is changing the daily habits of millions of people globally, including where they work. Many employers are telling their...

The novel coronavirus is changing the daily habits of millions of people globally, including where they work. Many employers are telling their employees — or offering them the option — to work from home.

Companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft have announced they are allowing staff to work remote to help protect against the coronavirus, or COVID-19, the name of the respiratory disease it causes. The idea: Protect health and help control the spread of the disease.

If you decide to work remote, it's a good idea to keep cybersecurity in mind. That means protecting your devices and data, just like you would in the workplace.

Here are some tips to help keep your connections secure.

. Keep close contact with your employer: It's smart to stay on top of company communications. Your inbox might contain emails about policy changes ranging from work hours to travel. Your employer might consolidate coronavirus-related information on the company intranet. If you have questions, ask.

. Use what's in your company's tech toolbox: Companies often have tech tools that can help keep you cybersafe when you work from home. That might mean you do your work on company-supplied laptops and mobile devices. They likely include firewall and antivirus protection, along with security features like VPN and 2-factor authentication.

. Control the impulse to improvise: Employees often work in teams, and that can mean using collaboration tools like instant-messaging platforms and video-meeting rooms. If a tool isn't working right, you might be tempted to download a substitute. Don't do it. You could inadvertently introduce a software program with a security flaw — and that means someone unauthorized may be able to access company data, or any personal data you have on that device.

. Stay current on software updates and patches: You might get reminders that software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Don't wait. Update. Also, keep in mind you can configure your devices to update automatically. Updates help patch security flaws and help protect your data.

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