Working from home has become a norm for many business professionals. While working from your home office has many great benefits (hello, no commute), there are also disadvantages (hello, distractions) and the need for greater physical and computer security. According to Databasix, during COVID there was a 630% increase in cloud based cyber-attacks. With such a big and dangerous increase, businesses from large corporations to proprietorships, now consider security a top priority. Even if you don’t store inventory at your home, your computer, client files and credit cards are business valuables that need to be protected.
Here are five tips to protect your business assets while working from home:
1. Protect Your Devices
Viruses and malware are a serious threat to all computers, including cell phones, laptops and tablets. The security threat increases when you are using them as the main hub for your business, causing a higher potential for serious issues. To prevent a physical attack on your devices or cloud-based information, take the necessary steps to keep your devices safe from malicious viruses and malware. An easy way to stop your device from being hacked or information stolen, is to employ a multi-layer anti-virus system. In addition to the standard, antivirus software on your device such as Norton or McAfee, we suggest adding higher levels of security received by companies such as BitDefender, Kaspersky or WatchGuard who offer additional services beyond basic anti-virus.
2. Separate Work from Personal
Your personal devices shouldn’t be the same devices you do business on, at least as much as possible. When you’re first getting started in business or new to a company, it’s likely you will comingle business and personal actions on the same devices. However, this opens up the possibility of business information getting leaked, shared or passed along to the wrong group or person. It might seem funny when little Johnny accidently sends your boss a text full of silly emojis, but when he deletes all of your client files or leaves your screen open to your company’s bank account while at the park, the comingling of devices won’t be hilarious anymore. Therefore, it is best to invest in a separate business device or request your company to provide them as soon as possible.
3. Invest in a Shredder and a Safe
Investing in a shredder and a safe will ensure that any information pertaining to your clients, vendors, employees and your company are kept secure. When information such as social security numbers, credit cards and bank accounts are printed and no longer needed, it is best to shred them. If physical copies are needed, the most secure route is to scan copies to scan disk and file documents in a locked filing cabinet than store both the scan disk and filing cabinet key in a fire proof safe. A small fireproof safe will hold all of your business’s most important assets, including documents, passwords, and memory devices. While you might not use the safe every single day, having one that you can store your most-valuable items in while you’re away (especially for an extended time) can help give you peace of mind and prevent any major headaches. And a great fireproof safe doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. For most small home-based businesses, even a $50 version can be sufficient.
4. Get Insured
The portion of your home you use as your office should be insured as such. Whether you rent your home or own it will make a difference in how your office is insured, but either way it’s necessary. Everything in your home office needs to be insured as business property so that you’re covered in case of theft or accident. No matter how safe your area is, or how unlikely you think an accident is, having the protection of a good insurance plan is irreplaceable.
5. Security Systems
When your home is your office, you need to take the same security measures you would at a traditional commercial property. Adding security devices such as electronic door keypads, security cameras, and burglar alarms (even just for one room) provide your home office a robust security system. Having several layers of physical security devices will protect your business and your clients. This can make the difference between getting broken into (and having your business wiped out) or staying open for the long run.
At CFA Security & Low Voltage, we can help you understand what you need to keep your home-based business or remote employer safe and happy. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you get set up with a security system that makes sense for you and your business’s unique situation. Visit CFA Security at www.cfasecurity.com or call our local office at 770-864-7891.