There’s a special kind of freedom that comes along with working from a home office. There’s no commute, shoes are optional, and lunch break naps are considerably easier to pull off. However, without the support of a traditional tech and security infrastructure, the sensitive information you handle on a daily basis could be at risk of being hacked, stolen, or otherwise compromised.
Knowing these vulnerabilities exist is the first step. The second step? Read through our list of tips for securing business and customer data when working from a home office.
Create A File Storage Policy
Even if you’re a solopreneur toiling away by your lonesome from the breakfast nook, it’s important to document your processes from the beginning. Just because you’re a one-person show now doesn’t mean your future is devoid of employee manuals and team training. Prepare now by deciding where work-related files will be saved, because (believe it or not) they shouldn’t be saved all willy-nilly on your computer’s Desktop or in your Documents folder.
Choose a file structure that keeps you organized, then choose a location that’s not only secure but offers the ability to be backed up. This could be a password-protected external hard drive or a cloud service like Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google Drive, or DropBox.
Physically Secure & Monitor Your Home Office
Your office hardware, supplies, furniture, and data is worth so much more than face value. Combined, these items make up your livelihood. On top of recording serial numbers and descriptions of expensive items for insurance purposes, we recommend investing in additional security solutions.
A fire-proof safe can store insurance documents, cash on hand, and other irreplaceable items. Security monitoring, CloudCam video surveillance, and smart doorbell cameras are not only practical, but they could possibly be tax deductible if used for business purposes. Consult your local tax professional for more details.
YK Communications offers free security consultations – call 361-771-3334 or complete this form to get more information about securing your workspace and making the most of your home office.
Install & Regularly Update Antivirus Software
Your computers and mobile devices are all susceptible to viruses and malware. That said, it’s not enough to install antivirus software on your phone and laptop. Antivirus and anti-malware programs need to run regular scans and receive updates so the programs can identify the latest digital threats before they can compromise your important files and customer data.
So quit swiping that pesky notification and give these crucial programs time to do their best work.
Keep Data-Storing Office Tech Separate
Computers containing customer data, financial information, business tax documents, client communications, and other sensitive or Personally Identifiable Information (PII) should not double as the family computer.
It could be tempting to stretch the household tech budget by letting the kids do homework or play games on the home office PC, but you’re not doing anyone any favors by compromising those sensitive files. Your work tech should be treated as if it were located in a physical, separate office location. If you wouldn’t bring your kids to work so they can watch videos from your company computer, they shouldn’t be allowed to “play” on your home office computer either.
When in Doubt (and Working from a Home Office), Ask an Expert
You excel at your specialty, and so do we. The YK Communications team loves talking tech with business owners – even when that business is run from the garage, dining room, den, or Pinterest-worthy home office. Let’s get started! Share some info with us and we’ll reach out with expert recommendations.