Working for Yourself? Protect Your Small Business

Millions of Americans work from home or have a small business. If you’re one of the 9.2 million Americans who get some income working on your own, you want to do everything in your power to protect your livelihood, don’t you? Here are a few things you can do to reinforce where you work.

Security Cameras

Full surveillance systems can be expensive. But you can get a basic system and install it yourself. Security camera systems, like those made by Lorex Technology, are easy to install and don’t come with a monthly fee or contract.

Before you buy a security camera, think about how often you will be away from home. If your work frequently takes you away from your home or office, you may want to purchase an IP (Internet Protocol) camera that lets you view your home through camera software on your smartphone or tablet. The FTC strongly urges people thinking about purchasing an IP camera to make sure they buy one that encrypts information.

The Tech Talker for the website recommends looking for motion detection or “smart recording” capabilities. Motion detection cameras turn on only when there is motion in front of the frame, and they’ll notify you via email, text or push notification.

Security and surveillance systems discourage break-ins. In 2013, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, released a study on crime deterrence based on interviews with 400 convicted criminals. Eighty-three percent said they check the premises for security and 60 percent said they would leave if they saw evidence of them.

While women were found most likely to burglarize private homes and men focused on businesses, both cited alarms and surveillance equipment — cameras specifically — as the top reason to abandon a target.

Reevaluate Insurance Coverage

If you haven’t looked at the gaps in your insurance coverage recently, take some time to review your policy. What would you be left with in the event of a break in or natural disaster? Set yourself up for success and make sure you have the coverage to keep your livelihood in tact.

Be a Part of the Community

Communities who support each other also look out for each other. Whether a neighborhood watch program in your neck of the woods, or other vendors in your area keeping an eye on your storefront, participate in your community by hosting an open house, attending events and fundraisers and supporting the businesses that work around or with you.

Communities are creating databases of surveillance footage now. Several police departments are asking citizens and businesses to register their surveillance videos with them. “We cannot put a police officer on every street corner,” San Jose, California Mayor Sam Liccardo told NBC News, “but we have a community of people who want to step up and make the streets safer.” Handing over the footage is voluntary and there are no live feeds, the mayor said.

NBC also interviewed a local resident whose camera footage caught a serial arsonist in action at his own home. He turned over the footage to police, which led to the arsonist’s arrest.

Communities can work together to combat crime and protect small businesses.


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