Behind the walls of a 50-story building complete with armed guards and a complement of security operations staff, it's easy to feel safe. You can go about your day and feel pretty confident that your data, equipment and personal security are in good hands. But what about when you have to play security guy without all that extra help?
Operating a home business doesn't mean you get a raincheck on security. You might have a lower profile, but the threat of criminal activity is still genuine. Here's how you can keep thieves and hackers in check.
Don't Advertise Your Location
Your clients need to be able to contact you, and that might mean sharing your address or telephone number. However, if you can avoid making it known to strangers that you're running a home business, it will help keep you out of trouble.
Supply trucks with big logos pulling up to your door or frequent visits from guests in fancy cars might blow your cover and encourage the local perpetrators to check you out. So have a back entrance for business or conduct high-profile meetings elsewhere.
Use a Security System
Modern systems are more than just cameras. They use a combination of devices, and you can manage them directly from your smartphone. See some movement at the door? Your phone can alert you and you can communicate with your visitor using integrated speakers. You can even control lighting, locks and, in many cases, your garage door from your phone.
Theft is most often a crime of opportunity. We might be living in a high-tech era where everyone's top concern is cybercrime, but physical theft is still a threat. Most criminals will cut and run as soon as they see a security system is in place.
Secure Your Home Network
Far too many homeowners make the mistake of erecting a home wireless network and never changing the out-of-the-box settings on their wireless router. If you were to compare this to the physical security for your home, it would be the equivalent of leaving your door wide open.
Cybercriminals can and will spot an easy opportunity to get into your things, steal your data and even potentially take money from your home business. Hackers can execute any number of nefarious ploys once they gain access to your network, and some are easier to spot than others. To stay protected, make sure you implement robust security policies for your home network.
Use Antivirus Software
Understanding best practices is critical. All the security in the world won't help you if you invite trouble in through the front door. However, you should always have some form of active network security in place to monitor and eliminate threats that might passively probe your devices, looking for an opening.
There are many great options out there. Consult your tech-savvy friend or ask a local technician about how to make your environment more secure against threats.
Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
Sometimes bad things happen. It's best to have a plan in case they do, because even the best-laid security system can have its vulnerabilities.
Consider taking out an insurance policy on your equipment, so if it gets stolen or damaged, you can avoid the costs of replacing it all. Have a plan to consistently back up your data, and implement an encryption solution, so if someone steals your physical device at a coffee shop or airport, they won't have access to any customer information.
Think about what you'd need to get up and running again after a complete fallout, and make sure you can implement it quickly.
Security requires careful thinking and thorough planning. Ultimately, you hope you'll never have to use it. However, part of the benefit doesn't only come from being protected if an attack takes place. Part of it is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're secure. That alone makes doing the challenging work worth your time and effort.