If you have a home office in a common area of your home or if you have a designated office in your home, keeping your clients’ files protected should be paramount on your to-do list. You need to take extra precaution to help protect your clients’ private information. They trust you to keep their information private and expect no less. To help you setup a safer office, here are my favorite ways to make your home office safer and improve security in your home.
Tips on Making A Home Office Safer
- Use locks. You can buy a few locks that you can add to your home office. They are cheap, and you can buy padlocks that have several locks with one key. Lock up any cabinet that has client files, checkbooks, even pre-printed deposit slips or thumb drives.
- Use a sturdy metal / fireproof safe for your client’s files. Using a fireproof safe for your business files will give you an added protection just in case something happens.
- Keep your antivirus and spyware software up to date. Use a high-quality software that you pay to keep updated yearly. Keep your setting on more secure just to make sure you are taking the best precaution. Make sure all your apps are updated on a regular basis. Here’s a post I wrote on the topic which includes a free checklist: Update Apps with Patches to Protect Your Small Business Tips
- Log out every time you are in a client’s file or website at the end of the session. When you are finished with your clients material, log out and close it down. It not only keeps it safe but it also keeps you focused on the next project.
- Get a security system with 24-hour monitoring in your home and use it when you are out of your home. You can deduct a portion of it on your business taxes.
- Have a backup process established and backed up in a few different areas. To be safe, have a back-up in at least three different areas. The original file on your computer, the second on an external drive, and the third given to the client. If you wish to put backup paperwork and files in the cloud, that is fine. However, make sure there is another place you can access it.
- Encrypt client files with important information on it. If you have files that you work on or reference on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, having them encrypted will protect them a bit more. I don’t recommend keeping client’s private files on cloud servers.
- Use a laptop lock that will keep your computer secure just in case others come over and you are not there. This may sound silly but if people come in and out of your home often this will give you the piece of mind. You can even store the laptop in a locked drawer to keep it out of prying eyes.
- Keep the computer strictly for business use. Don’t allow others to use the computer. Have a cheap computer for the kids and other people to use. What’s great about doing this is when your business is closed you can just log out and shut down the computer. It will make you feel like you actually left work. Try it and see.
- Making sure your wifi is secure. Is your wifi visible by others? Check out your particular wifi and determine how to make it invisible to others.
Well, there you have it. By showing your clients that you have taken steps to protect their privacy, they will trust you and be more willing to work with you. What other safety steps do you take to make your home office safer? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Looking for even more information on this topic. Here are posts I found.
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