As entrepreneurs, bloggers and affiliate marketers, many of us have the opportunity to work from the comfort of our own homes. While the benefits of working from home are vast, there are many securities and precautions that you should always keep in mind as well. Once you have a business and start sharing your information on the internet, everything is readily accessible… not only opening the doors for your business but also to your personal information and maybe even where you live.
With all of that in mind, today we are going to look at five different ways you can protect your online business, personal information and your home office in the process. Each of these methods is unique in their own way, but will still likely apply to your business or home in the same.
The more precautions in you have in place today, the fewer worries and potential disasters you may have down the road.
1 – Choosing Reliable Internet and Hosting Providers
As with every online business, it all starts with your online infrastructure. At it’s most basic form, this comes down to your website, blog, e-commerce site and how you bring audiences to your site and content. All of this comes back to one core element… which is your web hosting. If you don’t have a reliable web host provider, your site, business and customer data can all be up for grabs.
However, just because you need to have a reliable hosting solution, it doesn’t mean that you are going to need to spend a lot of money in the process. Some of the best hosting solutions in the world offer shared hosting plans that start at just a few dollars per month. But again… it’s all about the reliability, history and advanced services that your host should also be providing you with.
In addition to keeping your online business up and running, you also need to be ready for the unexpected. Be sure to have daily server backups in place, WordPress hack monitoring and a customer support team readily accessible at all times. There are many crucial components to running a successful online business, and worry about your web hosting and online presence should be one of them. Also keep in mind that these same practices should take place for all of your personal, business and online data (such as mobile backups, downloads, documents and cloud storage).
2 – Security for Your Home Office or Workplace
Just as important as how your online business runs and operated on the internet, is how you are able to operate and run your business from home. With many entrepreneurs and affiliate marketers getting their start while working from home, a home can quickly become a ‘home-office’ or even your business headquarters.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to realize two things — your home is still your home, but now it’s also a place where you might be conducting business. This means you should have more reason to implement a security and home monitoring system than ever before.
Along with how the internet has changed how business takes place around the world, advancements in technology and wireless have also changed the home security game as well. Once such company that has been making big moves recently is SimpliSafe, which requires no professional installation and is easy enough to install within just a few minutes time.
In comparison to other security systems, SimpliSafe is just as cost-effective, while also offering more advanced features like live monitoring, cellular backup, and power outage backup. You can see a full comparison in the chart below, or in this SimpliSafe review on CNET.
The important takeaway here is that keeping your home office and business is now easier and more affordable than ever before. As we dive further into this article and explore the many ways running a business from your own home can open up new security and privacy issues, you may be wanting to install a new security system sooner than you think.
3 – Registering Your Business as an LLC or INC
When most people get started with an online business or even just a website that eventually goes on to make some money, they usually just operate everything under their personal name. However, as you continue to grow your business and start making some decent money, it’s important to think about making the move to a legitimate LLC or INC business identity. Not only is this the correct move from a business standpoint, it also allows for many business and personal legal issues as well.
A perfect example of this could be if someone ended up trying to sue your company (for whatever reason). If you are still running this business under your name and operating out of your own, they could go after your personal assets and where you live. This is just one of the not-so-exciting and fun things about running a business and making money online, but it is something you may have to deal with. You can see a few comparisons between the two business identities below. (source)
I’m no legal or tax expert, but luckily I know some people who are. If you are still running your business or websites under your own name, I highly recommend you listen to this interview I did with Nellie Akalp and how to start your own business. We discuss the differences between LLC, INC and what type of business identity is best for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and affiliate marketers.
4 – Protecting Your Domain and WHOIS Information
Another potential opening for leaking your personal information and home address is simply having your domain name registration left ‘as is’. Millions of domain names are registered every single day, and without the upgrade or feature of ‘domain privacy’ being added to your purchase, it’s simply left as public data for anyone to view.
This means anyone can look up your home address by simply typing your domain name into a WHOIS search. While this might not seem like a big deal, if left as is, it’s simply another way for anyone to look up your personal information and find out where you live.
By enabling domain whois protection on each of your domains, the following information will be seen when someone looks up a domain name you. Which would you prefer the public has access to?
6 – Use a VPN Network to Protect Your Browsing History
A big story in the news lately has been that passing of a new law that will allow internet service providers to collect, store and sell personal data and browsing history. This means any website you visit, or anything else you do online, can and will then be sold to different marketing and advertising companies around the world. Granted, this information likely won’t be able to zone in on direct individuals and provide advertisers with personal details… but still, it’s being collected.
One way to help keep your personal data and internet browsing safe is through the use of a VPN. The way a virtual private network works is simply, in that it basically provides a funnel between you and the ISP providing you with internet access. Instead of using the same IP address you are assigned, you can then be masked behind a different address each time you access the internet.
Best of all, this is pretty cheap and simple to set up. You can see a list of the top VPN providers here. Since most of these VPNs are set up in a way for anyone to access and use, there is no additional programming, software, or installation that needs to be connected with your existing internet access. Instead, it’s simply a matter of using their platform and making a few setting changes when browsing online.
Protect Your Business and Personal Information
When doing anything on the internet, you always need to think about where and how your information might be found or accessed. Even when purchasing from a well-known brand or business, there is always the chance for their information to get hacked and released to the masses. The best way to keep you, your business and your home office safe is to put in the necessary precautions beforehand. Run through the list again and see which are quick and easy enough for you to get started with today.