Homes are more vulnerable to burglaries than many people realize. The Washington Post reported that 65.8 percent of all reported burglaries are residential and average losses from a typical home burglary total $1,725.
Being the victim of such a crime is traumatic enough. It becomes even more devastating if your home office is the target of the burglary. The loss of important personal data can make you a target of identity theft. It can open the door for a thief to do anything from destroying your personal credit or stealing sensitive financial information related to a home-based business.
This is a problem that isn’t going away any time soon. SecurityCompanies.com notes that the FBI has investigated more than 2 million burglary cases every year since 1992. What can you do to make your home office more secure from burglaries and other potential dangers?
A good starting point is to utilize these items in your home office:
External Hard Drive
Electronic equipment is one of the first things burglars will steal after breaking into your home. If your home computer contains personal and business financial data, having it stolen can be devastating. One way to prevent the loss of valuable data is to invest in an external hard drive. You can transfer all of your important documents onto the hard drive and then store it in a locked drawer in your desk or file cabinet. It will offer peace of mind in case your computer is lost, stolen or broken and you lose access to the original files.
Nothing excites an identity thief more than finding an old credit card bill or bank account statement that contains all of your personal financial information. For that thief, it feels like winning the lottery. You can prevent documents you no longer need from falling into the wrong hands by putting a shredder in your office. More.com suggests investing in a shredder that is strong enough to chew up old credit cards. A shredder should be used to destroy any paper documents with Social Security numbers, bank or credit card account numbers, driver’s license numbers and health insurance information.
Desk Organizer / File Cabinet
Keep all of your CDs, flash drives, important papers and office supplies in one central location. A desk organizer or file cabinet can help keep track of everything. If you need to store a birth certificate or a will, for example, a locked file cabinet is a perfect solution for protecting hard copies of those documents. On a practical level, having a simple desk organizer can help you keep track of bills, invoices and messages so they don’t get lost in a mound of clutter.
If you want to go the extra step in protecting your home office, install a security camera in the office. Installing a security camera is easy because the feed can be monitored remotely from a smartphone or tablet. As a homeowner, you can monitor your office for suspicious activity no matter where you are. Law enforcement officials can use security camera footage to capture and prosecute suspected burglars.
While making over your home office into a secure room, it pays to install a wall or floor safe. It is the perfect place to store jewelry, coins and other valuable items a burglar might target when they first break into your house. A safe is also a good option for storing all of your important documents if you choose to use a desk organizer over a locked file cabinet.