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Home Office Security in 6 Easy Steps

by Lloyd Burrell

Whether you work in an office building or work out of a home office, security is of great importance to you and your clients, be it threat of hardware or information theft. To counter these dangers, which are all too real, home office security should be as tight as any big building, sans the security guard making regular sweeps of the premise (though this could be accomplished with a trained watch dog, and not a bad idea). The following are six ideas to help towards basic but essential home office security.

1. Be Prepared Against Family Interference

man scolding child Without meaning to, those others living within the home can pose a huge threat to your security.

Think about it: Junior simply must download the newest hit release off Limelight, and acquires a virus that proceeds to lock up the work system, or little Betty starts pressing each and every shiny button she can find on your black tower casing.

Without proper shutdown, huge volumes of important information could be lost and either require hours to re-enter, or vanish forever. There are several ways to approach this threat, such as ensuring the home office has its own room with locking door, or enabling the password protect feature on the computer, so only those with knowledge of the special password can access your station.

Alternatively, you could install a site-lock option, to make certain specific websites are not allowed navigation.

Of course, there is the ability to lock away the computer tower in a storage cabinet, which some nicer desks provide, or simply place the tower out of reach of children.

2. Physical Security of Client Information

Despite the fact that computers were supposed to end the need for a paper trail, very few keep both hard and soft copies of their information.

To protect the hard copies such as files and important papers, keep a fireproof safe on premises at all times, and use it. It would be wise, too, to install a security alarm able to warn against break-in, fires, water damage, and the like.

Your home, as well as your office, deserves this protection.

3. Cyber Security of Client Information

Worms, trojans, and other per viruses are a real threat to your computer and any information stored there. These man-made beasts can wreak havoc on the system if not caught immediately and seriously compromise the integrity of your work station. Some can lock up a system, others can pick it apart until very important kernels and .dll files are too corrupted to work.

There are some excellent free virus protection programs available for home and small office, but you may wish to upgrade for a small fee and take advantage of award-winning malware, spyware, and adware protection, too, that usually does not come with a standard free package. These little spiders are known for grabbing sensitive information off a computer connected to the internet.

man holding head

Also always have a firewall in place, and hint, the one that comes with your system is probably not enough. There are fantastic free firewalls available for download, or a paid -for security suite should provide an excellent one, as well. Most will automatically scan email attachments for viruses, but never open an attachment from an address or name you don’t recognize, and if you do, never ever download an executable (.exe) file.

4. Data Backup

Very important, make sure you back up your data regularly using either an integrated back up feature in your own operating system, or back it up to disc or DVD, or use an external hard drive. Even the thumb drives or flash drives today can be bought large enough to hold this data.

If you have RAID capability with your computer, it is suggested to enable it, meaning you will have a dual (or more) hard drive system where the slave drive can automatically mirror the master drive and protect against single drive failure. It also speeds up processes, protects against initial data loss, and offers real-time data recovery with uninterrupted access when the primary hard drive fails. Data is very safe when RAID devices are enabled.

5. WiFi Network Security

Next to the invention of pockets; Wifi may well be mankind’s greatest boon, allowing for computer placement anywhere and convenience of movement. However, the network system, if left open and unprotected, can allow for leeches to use your network for free and does not offer encrypted protection, so the canny infringer can simply and literally steal information out of the air.

All WiFi systems come with the ability to enable password protection and need to be WPA encrypted immediately, which can be done by the consumer or an ISP technician.

6. Home Premises Protection

Aside from the possible guard dog and intruder alarms, it is important to make your home premises look uninviting to the curious trespasser.

Automatic motion sensor lights are an excellent method, as are ‘security cameras’, the kind bought for under ten dollars each whereupon the buyer installs them at a corner of the house. These ingenuous devices are not connected to any real monitors, but they sweep side to side as though genuinely recording and provide an economical option for the appearance of ultra-tight security.

office setting A home office is a curious hybrid of creature comforts, familiar surroundings, and genuine client and security risk.

Taking the time and effort to fortify your home and office will pay off largely with peace of mind for you and your business.

In this day and age, you simply cannot afford to be without all the protection you can get.

Lloyd Burrell publishes a website which specialises in office desk furniture. He reviews a wide variety of home office desks for sale, including traditional wooden office desks and contemporary glass office desks. Lloyd enjoys travelling with his wife and two children and practicing guitar. Lloyd was born in the UK but now lives in the Charente Maritime, on the beautiful Atlantic coast of France.


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