Home businesses are vulnerable.
With an average of four million burglaries occurring annually, those that operate their enterprise from a domestic residence are at risk of becoming victims of theft or business asset damage.
The simple matter is that, while a corporate property is likely to be secured with numerous high-tech security features, the typical home will usually only have standard domestic products and safeguards, such as locks, a burglar alarm and, perhaps, a dog. But just because you don’t operate within an office, it does not mean your equipment, tools or data are any less valuable.
All businesses should be sufficiently protected against criminal damage and theft, no matter where they are based. This is your livelihood we are talking about, after all. Yet there is a reason most domestic residences aren’t secured like business properties. A person operating a small business out their home may not have the resources to match a larger enterprise’s security investment.
So what’s the solution?
Home business owners needn’t sacrifice on security; they simply need to find a balance between property protection and cost. If you’re concerned about the safety of your home business assets, this three-step guide will help you boost security, without it costing you the earth.
Step One — Upgrade Your Visually Accessible Property Security
They say you can’t put a price on safety, although, security companies certainly try to. But you don’t need to fill your home with expensive alarm systems, state-of-the-art locks and access controls to improve security; there are more low-key and affordable options available.
Criminals have identified that obvious marks of increased property protection, such as CCTV surveillance, are major deterrence factors. The appearance of a secure property is enough to put most criminals off, as most are opportunistic thieves. 60% simply enter through unlocked doors or windows, while others see easy targets and take a gamble.
Easily noticeable security elements deter opportunists and keep your home business safe. These include:
- CCTV Cameras — CCTV has become an affordable home security product and is easily visible as a deterrent for intruders. However, if CCTV is not an investment you want to make, you can also consider a fake security camera.
- Security Lights — Thieves like to operate in the dark. That way, they can’t be noticed and identified. Motion-sensitive security lights fight against anonymity and make burglars far less inconspicuous.
- Internal Lighting — The majority of burglars are unarmed. As criminals of opportunity, they aren’t interested in confrontation. The use of timed lighting can give the impression that somebody is home when your property is vacant, deterring would-be thieves.
- External Alarm Units — Recognizable alarm brands and blinking lights might seem innocuous enough, but, to criminals, it’s a sign that there is an alarm system present. If you don’t want a full-scale alarm system, you can also buy fake boxes.
Read more on how to protect your home
Step Two — Secure Business Assets with Modern Safe Technology
Internal security is just as important as external security. While deterrence factors are enough to discourage most criminals, they won’t stop all burglars. In the event that a burglar does enter your property and gain access to your home working space, you’ll need to ensure your business valuables are protected.
The simple and affordable answer? Security safes.
Theft is all about access. A burglar entering a property can only take what they can physically pick up and remove from the home. A laptop; hard drives; client documents; tools and equipment; business vehicle keys; uncashed earnings—these are all common examples of what a thief might take, the loss of which can be devastating in terms of business operation.
All of these items, however, can be secured within a safe.
While popular-culture has portrayed safes as easily-cracked dummy options, modern safes are actually high-security units that present near-impenetrable barriers for burglars. With features like electronic locking, advanced anti-theft systems and even biometric access, items locked away behind safes aren’t going anywhere.
Modern safes themselves are also an easily-affordable commercial commodity. A secure and high-security option won’t need to set you back more than a few hundred, and it will often come complete with fire protection and insurance cash ratings for additional coverage.
Step Three — Maintain Security Vigilance
Security features only keep your business assets safe if you maintain them.
Always ensure you continue with good security practices after the initial installation of products. For example, security lights will not deter criminals if the bulbs die, alarms won’t protect you if they aren’t set, and a safe cannot keep your equipment and data out of criminals hands if you forget to put items inside the unit and secure it properly.
It might sound like common sense, but it’s easy to slip up and become complacent when your home business is part of your day-to-day life. Establish security routines, including monthly checks of equipment and end-of-the-day lockups, and you’ll never be caught out.