AdobeStock 201198183 372x451 - TSTC pays homage to Home Office Safety and Security Week

(WACO, Texas) –  People working from home often have the comfort of their pets and favorite snacks to help get them through their workdays. But with the convenience comes technology risks. 

As part of Home Office Safety and Security Week during the second full week of January, Texas State Technical College’s Computer Networking and Systems Administration program and Cybersecurity program are offering ways for people to work at home with assurance.

Jim Hogue, an instructor in the Computer Networking and Systems Administration program, said it is good for people to call an information technology professional when establishing a home office.

“They will have the expertise to make sure you have as safe an environment as possible,” he said. “When setting up your home network, it is always best to isolate your network from your internet service provider using a firewall. The firewall may need to be more robust than a department store version.”

Agustin Lara, a Cybersecurity instructor, said people who get technology to use for work often have a default account that comes with it. He said anything done in it is at an administrator-access level. 

“What I recommend people do is create a secondary account and work off that account,” he said. “Anytime you need administrative access, you use that password.”

Lara said people should log in to their router occasionally to make sure that someone they do not know is not on it. If they are on it, he said to remove and block them and change the password.

Hogue said passwords need to be complex, with a minimum of 10 characters, and changed periodically. 

“Do not reuse credentials with multiple systems,” he said.

Lara recommends that people use multifactor authentication to access important programs, but sometimes it can work against them.

“Scammers can use it to hack you,” Lara said. “They are trying to get into your account, and they send it to verify your identity. They can get the security code you receive.”

People need to keep their technology updated against malware and viruses. Not doing this poses a risk to work accounts, Lara said.

Hogue said people can educate themselves on security and technology by subscribing to reliable, well-known blogs or digests covering trends in risks. 

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