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How to keep your devices safe from hackers while working from home during COVID-19 crisis

Updating your devices and changing your passwords are just a few ways to secure your information.

AUSTIN, Texas — With more people working from home, there has been an increase in hackers breaking into Zoom and other teleconferencing meetings. 

On April 5, Zoom enabled two features to try to prevent that from happening: 

  1. Zoom enabled passwords on your meetings to make it harder for unwanted to join. 
  2. Zoom turned on "waiting rooms by default," which means the host can see who is trying to get into the meeting and accept them. 

"Make sure no one can screengrab or Zoom share your meeting or presentation unless you want them to," cyber-security expert Chris Carter said. 

Carter said when using any other teleconferencing apps, you want to take these same precautions. 

As far as keeping your computer safe and secure as a whole, Carter said to make sure your device is updated and all of its applications are up to date, as well. 

"These computer companies are making sure the latest and greatest is out there for you to make sure there are no spoofs and holes of vulnerabilities that a hacker can come into," Carter said.

RELATED: UT investigating 'racist Zoom bombing' of meeting, Fenves says

Carter said check your WiFi password and any other passwords to make sure they are at least 11 characters. 

"Passwords should be anywhere between 11 and 15 characters," said Carter. "You should have capital letters, numbers and symbols ... the more you do that the better off you will be. A study has found that if you have a minimum of a 12 character password with multiple character deviations, it takes a hacker 227 years to break that." 

Lastly, Carter said you should avoid clicking on suspicious emails because it may be a scam. To add more protection to your computer, Carter suggested downloading a virtual private network so the hackers can't see your IP address.

WATCH: Coronavirus: Zoom enables new features to keep hackers out of teleconferences


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