Starting a home-based business is a great way to make some extra money, but it can also be risky if you’re not careful. There are many threats to your home-based business, from data breaches and hacking to physical theft and even natural disasters. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan in place to protect your business.
Here are some of the best practices to secure your home-based business.
1. Keep your business and personal finances separate.
This is one of the most important things you can do to protect your home-based business. If your business finances are mixed up with your personal finances, it can be difficult to track expenses and income, and you may be at risk for identity theft. Many home-based businesses are sole proprietorships, meaning your business and personal finances are legally intertwined.
To help protect your business, open a separate business bank account and use a credit card in your business’s name. It would help if you also kept all of your business receipts and records in a separate place from your personal finances. Keep good financial records to track your business’s income and expenses.
2. Invest in home security.
Security is essential for any business, but it’s especially crucial for a home-based business. Because your business is located in your home, you’re at a higher risk for theft and other crimes. Make sure your home is well-lit and install a security system with alarms. Consider adding security cameras, primarily if you work with high-value items or keep sensitive customer information on-site.
You should also secure every point of entry to your home. For example, you want to ensure no one can enter your home through your garage by getting reliable residential garage doors installed. You should lock all doors and windows and keep valuables out of sight. Don’t forget to secure your home office by password-protecting your computer and backing up important data.
3. Get insurance.
Many home-based businesses are at risk because they don’t have the right insurance coverage. Business insurance can help protect your business from various risks, such as property damage, liability, and even data breaches. You can get many different types of insurance for your home-based business, so research and get the coverage suitable for you.
For example, if you keep inventory at your home, you may want to get product liability insurance if someone is injured by one of your products. If you have customers or clients come to your home, you may want to get business interruption insurance if your business is disrupted due to a covered event, such as a fire.
4. Back up your data.
Data breaches are a significant threat to businesses of all sizes, and home-based businesses are no exception. If your business stores sensitive customer data, such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, you could be at risk of a data breach. You can also be at risk if you store other important data types, such as client lists or financial records.
To help protect your business, encrypt all sensitive data and back up your data regularly. You can back up your data to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage service. If you do this, you can quickly restore your data from the backup if a data breach occurs. You should also have a data security policy to protect your business from cyberattacks.
5. Have a plan for natural disasters.
Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, can seriously threaten home-based businesses. If a natural disaster damages your home or business, you may not be able to continue operating your business. To help protect your business, create a disaster preparedness plan.
This plan should include steps for how you will keep your business running during a natural disaster. For example, you may want to create a backup of your data and store it off-site. You may also want to plan how you will communicate with employees and customers during a disaster.
6. Use a Virtual Private Network.
If you work from home, you probably use a Wi-Fi connection to connect to the internet. However, this isn’t always the most secure option. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can encrypt your internet connection and help protect your business from cyberattacks.
A VPN can also help you stay productive when you work from home. For example, if your internet connection is slow, a VPN can help you stay connected to work by encrypting your data and making it easier to connect to the internet.
Following these best practices can help protect your home-based business from various risks. By taking steps to secure your business, you can help ensure your business is prepared for anything. Just remember to research the best options for your business and always back up your data.