The FBI estimated there were 2,188,005 burglaries in 2011 — up 0.9 percent from 2010. These burglaries amounted to a total loss of $4.8 billion, averaging about $2,185 per burglary offense. Most burglaries target residential locations as opposed to commercial businesses, but this statistic can be especially troubling for home-based workers. If you want to protect your expensive equipment and valuable business-related assets, make sure to take the following important precautions.
Keep it in One Locked Room
The freedom of working from home lends to a lot of wandering from room to room, complete with the disorganization that follows. Before you know it, your laptop’s in the living room, your printer’s on the kitchen counter, and an important file is stowed away in an unused dining room cabinet. The best way to keep track of all your things is to keep them in one designated area — preferably your own at-home office. This not only keeps you more organized, but also makes it easier to tell if something goes missing. Install heavy duty bolt locks on your office door for added protection.
No matter how much you prepare, something can always go wrong. But having insurance makes it easier to restore your business if and when disaster strikes. Many insurance plans offer coverage specifically for at-home business places, which is a bit more involved than the average residential plan. Many facets of a commercial insurance plan will likely apply to your home-based business, such as liability, worker’s compensation, and compensation for lost working hours.
Install a Home Security System
Security systems today are much more advanced than the burglar alarms of yesteryear. You need the best home security system possible when you’re protecting both your personal and professional assets. Look for special features like security cameras and accessibility through multiple digital devices. This enables you to play a more active role in your home’s safety, while also preventing false alarms like your kid forgetting the key.
Office Wall Safe
Installation might be a little pricey, but it probably doesn’t come near the cost of replacing your valuable business investments. Every office needs a built-in, fire-proof wall safe that keeps your most important assets intact in case of any disaster. Store it behind a picture frame, bookshelf or another inconspicuous place in the office to make it difficult to find in the event of an unauthorized person making their way into the room. Avoid stand-alone safes; these are easy targets for burglars to snatch up your most valuable possessions in one portable container.
Update your Software
The NSA recommends frequently updating your software applications to limit security vulnerabilities. To make it easier, sign up for automatic updates so your new and improved systems can be installed without taking time out of your busy work day. A third party product, like those from Secunia or eEye Digital Security, would also be a practical option for monitoring your installed software regularly.