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Surprising Risks – Working from Home

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For some freelancers and small business owners working from home is the perfect setup.

Working in your track pants, and from your sofa appeals to many of us and it offers benefits for the business too, with content workers and cost savings.

However there are risks to the business and worker via cyber security flaws and breaches including: merchandise, and data theft.

Wherever your business resides most western countries are doing all they can to ensure businesses are in the know and comply with data protection laws including the recent GDPR which is far reaching insofar as if your business does business in Europe you need to comply with the EU GDPR. For merchandise theft it can be done via your mail tracking the items is essential. Let’s look at these risks in more detail:

Merchandise Protection

Mail theft is said to be one of the easiest ways to steal merchandise. If you have an online retail business, for example, and have lots of packages being sent to and from your home the risk of mail theft increases even further, as thieves scope out locations where there is ample opportunity to get their hands on valuables.

Also, government data shows that homes and businesses located in rural areas are more susceptible to theft so be sure to take extra precautions if this applies to your situation.

According to Keller Law Offices, when it comes to mail theft, prevention is the action to take.

Advice on keeping your merchandise packages safe and out of malicious hands include:

  • use surveillance cameras
  • get signature confirmation upon delivery
  • use online package tracking

Additionally, using a P.O. box instead of your home address is a smart move.

Data Protection

Whether you are a freelancer, employee working remotely at home regularly, or operating a home business, make sure you’ve got comprehensive cyber security plan to keep your business, data and assets as safe as possible.

The basic requirements include:

  • password security
  • use of virus protection
  • applying software updates
  • using a firewall on your network

A breach in security can be highly costly and result in serious losses of data and your intellectual capital therefore ignorance is not bliss – preventing an attack as best as you can is the best option for your business.

With data theft comes the potential of loss of identity known as identity theft. Savvy thieves know just what to do – they steal your mail from unlocked mailboxes, postal trucks, drop boxes, or mailbox panels – to obtain either your social security numbers, telephone numbers, email addresses, credit card and bank account information, or similar sensitive information about your business. This threat is escalated if you work from home because less safety measures are in place compared to that of a corporate office.

Thieves use your information to commit all types of fraud that can negatively affect all aspects of both your personal and professional life. Clearing your name or that of your business can be a substantial, time consuming, stressful, expensive and complicated process.

When traveling, it is wise to put a hold on your mail or request that your mail be held at a secure post office until you return. Other recommendations to keep your mail secure and information private include going paperless whenever possible to limit the opportunity for thieves to get their hands on your physical mail and then you focus on data protection and use the tips aforementioned.