Thousands of people have opened home-based businesses all over the country, and while this is an excellent way to support your family from the comfort of home, it also makes your business susceptible to cyber crime. Since very few home-based businesses operate without a computer and online presence, just about everyone is vulnerable. So how do you protect your new enterprise from cyber crime?
Identify Points of Weakness
The first step to protecting your home-based business from cyber crime is to determine potential points of weakness. For example, if the majority of your payments are conducted through PayPal, it is a good idea to focus on that aspect of business with security measures. Change your PayPal password once a month, and immediately report any activity you do not recognize. If people order products through your website, focus on keeping that system secure.
Back Up Data
It is a good idea for every home-based business to come up with a data storage system to protect themselves against cyber crime. For example, I transfer all of the articles I have written and my client files to a flash drive once a week just in case my hard drive crashes. More complex businesses may need to have a more complicated system, but it is all about making sure you can recover pertinent information in an emergency.
Screen Employees Closely
Even home-based businesses need help every once in a while, which might require that you hire a full-time employee or a contractor. If they are handling anything concerning the computer or the Internet, make sure you check into their background carefully. It is also a good idea to have everyone sign a security agreement that requires them to practice certain precautions on the Internet. This should keep cyber crime to a little threat.
Find a Consultant
Technical and security experts are always great people to know, and although their fees might be prohibitive, their expertise is worth it. You do not have to hire technical or security employees, but make sure you know of a consultant who can answer your call in a crisis. Just having someone available should a security breach can help minimize the damage of cyber crime should it ever happen to your home-based business.
Store Hard Copies When Possible
It is never a good idea to keep sensitive information online, so keep paper whenever it is possible. Your client information, payment information, bills and other necessary data can be maintained in files in your office and pulled whenever you need to see them. This keeps less information accessible to those who commit cybercrime and will allow you to advertise as much. People are much more comfortable doing business with safety-conscious professionals.