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I’ve been worried about the current security state of some of my workers’ PCs and computers.

I’ve been worried about the current security state of some of my workers’ PCs and computers. Many of these workers are using computers that their teenage kids have been using for gaming, and so forth. They’re basically using the “family PC.” What are some of the steps folks are taking to secure these devices?

It’s funny how in this era of social distancing – which is really just physical distancing – we’re seeing people communicate on the Internet with virus-ridden, communal devices. I mean, from a cyber perspective, folks are behaving in exactly the opposite way online as they are in “meat space.” I mean, employees are using the same PC to communicate in various contexts: The kids are using the same PC to learn school at night. Or, the same PC is being used to log in at various times to multiple places of work. This is hardly a good idea, right? Not every company can afford to send each newly-remote worker a new PC. Some of the low-cost solutions I’ve heard about include:

  1. Using separate login profiles: We all know that we’re supposed to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds, right? Well, how does someone “wash their hands” from a cyber hygiene perspective? One of the ways to do that is to create completely separate login profiles. Don’t use the same profile from person to person. Logging out and logging in will take more time, sure. But, doing so can help your PC operate more efficiently, and also help ensure that it remains more secure. Why? Because one profile will help ensure that the correct software appears on the menus, for one thing. From a cybersecurity perspective, it can help keep cached credentials and other information stay private.
     
  2. Use a screen saver: Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean that you no longer need to use a screen saver. I heard recently from one new telecommuter about how he found out his 8-year old kid sent his boss an e-mail one morning. The telecommuter had prepared an e-mail the night before and left it open. Her kid walked up and made a few edits, and hit send. Everyone laughed it all off, but it’s a good idea to keep your cyber hygiene up to snuff.
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