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Digital Safety and The Rise of the Home Office

Digital Safety and The Rise of the Home Office

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe more and more people moved their work, study, and social activities online. Many of these individuals were making the move to remote work for the first time leaving them vulnerable to a number of digital risks such as unsecure home networks, phishing attacks, and the use of personal devices.

Beginning in March 2020, SalamaTech saw a significant increase in requests for support to safely move Syrian organizations, education programs, and training workshops, online. From April-June 2020 SalamaTech directly supported 142 individuals impacted by COVID-19 with developing safe remote work and study practices.

Guided by a clear interest and need in the Syrian community, SalamaTech ran a digital safety awareness campaign from 2-7 April 2020 to promote safe remote working and studying practices. The campaign received 53,000 total engagements and provided guides on web conferencing software, VPNs, and communication apps.

The Top Ten Campaign Tips are:

  1. Secure your Internet connection
  2. Use a VPN
  3. Activate the firewall on your devices
  4. Use an antivirus program
  5. Regularly download updates
  6. Use encrypted messaging
  7. Use strong passwords and a password manager
  8. Activate 2 factor authentication on your accounts
  9. Lock your device and secure sensitive data

In addition to supporting organizations SalamaTech First Responders (SFRs) also supported large groups of students, teachers, and professors to transition from in-classroom learning to safe remote education. Both students and teachers expressed concerns about malicious links and scams claiming to be class related content and asked about the risks of using video conferencing sites for lectures and workshops. SalamaTech developed and shared tailored Arabic-Language digital safety guidance packages to address these concerns. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the way many international and local programs are being delivered requiring greater flexibility and room for adaptation. SalamaTech continues to monitor the situation in Syria and remains ready to adapt as required. For further information in Arabic on digital safety in the time of COVID-19 please visit www.salamatech.org