Whether you’re a remote work veteran or a newbie trying to navigate the new world of working from home, cybersecurity should still be top-of-mind. Criminals are taking advantage of this massive shift in the way we work, so you must continue to remain vigilant and adapt your behavior.

Security is a team effort, so while we’re spread out working from different locations, it’s up to us to help out our IT and security teams. Not everyone will have a corporate laptop or mobile device that has the latest security encryption and apps installed on it. Most companies don’t have the resources to do that, so you may be asked to use your personal computer and phone to work. Your IT team will be stretched thin and won’t be able to monitor all those extra devices connecting to the company network. So it’s up to you to make sure your computer and phone are as secure as possible and that you continue to follow your company’s cybersecurity guidelines.

Let’s take a look at the top cybersecurity mistakes remote workers make and how they can avoid them.

1. Update Your Computer or Smartphone

Most computers and mobile devices are set to download and install updates automatically when they’re available. However, some people turn that option off on their personal machines because it usually happens at an awkward moment and slows everything down.

But when you’re working from home on your personal computer or smartphone, your employer depends on you. Your ability to continue to work is critical right now, so if your computer or devices aren’t updated, you’re leaving yourself exposed to a cyberattack. Also, your device might impact your productivity because it’s not updated, meaning it takes you longer to do your work.

This also applies to your corporate laptop if you’re lucky enough to have one from your employer. Typically, your IT team will have already set it to receive updates regularly, but it’s essential to make sure those updates happen right now.

2. Only Use Approved Apps or Software

This mainly applies to those of you using your personal computer or smartphone to work, but if you’ve got full access to your corporate tech, you might be able to do it too. It may be tempting to download the latest collaboration tool you read on a website somewhere, but you should resist. Every business has different needs, so the software your friend uses might not be appropriate for you (think of the privacy concerns around healthcare information or legal requirements for the financial industry).

IT teams can proactively avoid this mistake by providing a list of approved software employees can download if they are using their personal computers. Include guidelines for how to configure the security settings to protect their work and any other information they need to safeguard their work and use of the app.

3. Enable All Advanced Security Settings

Most cloud and web-based apps have security settings you can enable or turn on to protect your use of the app and any information you send through it. Many have them enabled by default, but not all. For example, Zoom, the video conferencing software, recently turned on passwords for all meetings created on their apps because otherwise, hackers could gain access to them and disrupt them. (Passwords were an optional feature for hosts.)

When working remotely, it’s critical to enable all the security settings on all software and apps you use to protect your employer’s network from hackers and other malicious actors. If you’ve got a corporate laptop or smartphone, these settings are already turned on. If you’re using your own machine, take a look at the settings, and enable them. Ask your IT team for help if you’re not sure what settings to choose or where they are (sometimes they’re buried under a few levels of menus or options).

Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean your usual cybersecurity behaviors should change. You still should look at all links before clicking on them, check the email header from any message you receive, and consider the sender of any email attachment.

Hackers are still out there trying to get you to click or download something so they can take over your machine. Researchers at CheckPoint, a cybersecurity firm, discovered an online theft campaign from Chinese hackers that encouraged users to download a COVID-related document that looked like it was created and sent by a government official. Instead, it was a cyberattack that let hackers steal information from computers through a Microsoft Word exploit.

You should also be aware of any links colleagues share in other communication and collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Workplace by Facebook. These tools may not have the same level of protection when it comes to links, so be careful.

5. Always Secure Your Computer and Apps

One benefit of working remotely is that you don’t have to lock your computer to a desk or secure your desktop whenever you get up, right? Wrong. Family members, roommates, and anyone else in your home could easily access your computer when you’re not using it, so make sure to secure it just like you would at the office.

That means using all security processes like secure logins, physical tokens, and securing your computer when you leave it unattended. If another person must use the computer because it’s the only one in the house, make sure you log out of and disconnect any software apps you use to work.

Working from home can be a good thing and something you can do in the long-term, not just during the coronavirus crisis. But you’ve still got to maintain good cybersecurity habits and keep your computer and data safe from outsiders. Follow the instructions of your IT team and ask questions if you have any doubts.