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A Remote View of the Home, the Home Office, Your Life

Home Office Security
April 1st, 2012 No Comments »

“ZyXEL’s new cloud-enabled, HD IP cameras for home office and small business surveillance deliver instant video access to PCs and mobile devices.” The statement in the press release came to my home office a week too late. We had just dropped $2000 on a four-camera video surveillance apparatus in a relative’s home – where four of these Zyxel badboys (from about $100-$200 each) would have done the same thing.

ZyXEL Communications’ secure broadband networking, Internet connectivity and routing products feature CloudEnabled web cameras. The company calls them “consumer-friendly” for the home and small office.

With these cameras, users get accessibility to video feeds via any PC, iPhone or Android device, anywhere an Internet connection is available – the Fourbucks, the beach, the soccer field, wherever work may take you.

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Name Your Home Office Peril: Fire, Flood Threaten Small Business

Home Office Security
December 11th, 2011 No Comments »

Extreme weather, from flooding to wildfires to other natural disasters, has become an issue on the minds of many — especially small business owners. Even accidental fire and flood can cause permanent damage. Many every day events put every business at risk of loss of files, documents or precious, irreplaceable data.

Sentry Safe Guardian Storage Box

In this guest column, Bill Buchko, a product manager at SentrySafe for the Fire-Resistant Safe and File business, highlights the vulnerabilities home officers and small business owners face — and how to try to prevent them.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage and freezing pipes have contributed to more than 20% of all insurance claims in past years. Small water pipe leaks inside walls can go undetected for months, but a 1/8 inch crack could release up to 250 gallons of water a day, making it a real threat to small businesses.

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A Home Office Shredder That Really Shreds (Sorry, Tom)

Home Office Security, News & Reviews
April 7th, 2011 No Comments »

This is the story of the little shredder that kicked butt. Actually, my Fellowes PS-77c is a freakin’ workhorse. It chomps through docs stacked 12 thick, and large piles of detritus and no-longer-needed stuff. But in a cage match between it and a nickel, the shredder finally met its match. Kind of…

The image is a little fuzzy, but so is the nickel after its cage match against the Fellowes

The image is a little fuzzy, but so is the nickel after its cage match against the Fellowes

A little intro, though… Tax season is no time to be shredding documents. Generally speaking, home-business owners should be seeking out and shoving into their shoebox every possible receipt they can scrounge (to our tax advisor friends out there, surely I jest about the shoebox. I prefer a manila envelope)…

But it’s spring, a key element in the phrase “spring cleaning.” So, for those receipts we cannot (reasonably) deduct, for those invoices or bills that we don’t want – but don’t want falling into the wrong hands, or for those returns and documentation older than seven years (the generally accepted lifespan of tax-related document [still confer with your tax advisor before]), how do we safely ditch?

And what tool do you use? For shredders, you want one that cross shreds and is powerful enough to go through multiple docs at once — as well as staples overlooked.

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Battery Back-Ups Protect Home Office, Small Business Data and Equipment

Home Office Security, Technology
March 6th, 2011 No Comments »

It’s long been said that there are two types of computer users: Those who have lost data, and those who will. HOW you lose that data is irrelevant. Whether to a corrupted file, a hard drive failure, or a power outage before saving, lost data is lost data.

This goes for home office workers, teleworkers or small business owners. More than just losing unsaved data, power outages can damage computers, peripherals, even home electronics. In this guest column, Patrick Donovan, a senior product manager with APC, discusses the merits of using a battery back-up in the home office and small business.

As Donovan writes, when I first started out at APC taking customer service calls over 15 years ago, I had basically no clue about power protection. I knew what a surge protector was and had at least heard of a “battery backup”, but I had very little knowledge of the bad things power can do to electronics, computer systems and, indeed, to business itself.

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Working Remotely During Holidays? Make Home Office Anywhere, Part II

Home Office Security, Technology, Telework & Virtual Officing
November 26th, 2010 No Comments »

Working remotely is part art, part science. And during the holidays, it’s almost mandatory for the home office, remote or virtual worker and road warrior. What hardware, software and application tools can help you work smarter and more secure when mobile? Building on our last installment, Geek Squad has some more tips…

What should you load on your trusted USB drive?

Portable Firefox. Mozilla offers the popular and expandable Web browser Firefox in a fully portable and functional version that takes up around 50MB on a USB drive. The application also notifies you when updates are available. Portable Firefox gives you access to the Internet without using the browser that is installed on the guest computer, which is where most viruses and data theft is installed.

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Home Office Data Security: Protect Customer Info – And Your Small Business

Guest Column, Home Office Security, The Responsible Home Office
August 8th, 2010 No Comments »

Working from home offers freedom and flexibility, but it also opens the door to data breaches that can jeopardize your client relationships—and your bottom line. Identity Theft 911 CEO Matthew Cullina discusses how to enjoy the benefits of home-based work while protecting data integrity and safety.

Whether telecommuting for your corporate job, selling homemade crafts online, or practicing law from a spare room, you are responsible for protecting the personal information — such as names, addresses, birthdates, and Social Security and credit card numbers — of anyone you do business with.

No matter how small your operation, or even if you only occasionally work from home, your clients trust you to protect this data—and legislation in 46 states requires that you do so.

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7 Must-Have Free Software To Protect Your Home Office, Road Warrior Laptop

Home Office Security, Technology
December 12th, 2009 1 Comment »

Traditional computer security measures often are not enough to protect your laptop and netbook.

Laptop security risks include insecure public wireless networks, laptop theft, laptop search, about which you don’t worry with your desktop computer. Whether your laptop is stolen, your privacy can still be at risk by simply traveling with your laptop.

However, good laptop security does not have to cost money. The following are seven easy-to-use, useful and free applications that can help protect your laptop, your sensitive data and your privacy. Read More »

New Home Office PC? Thwart ID Thieves by Wiping the Old Box Clean

Home Office Security
December 5th, 2009 No Comments »

So you bought your home office or home-based business a spanky new laptop or desktop running on Window 7, huh?

What about your old device? Gonna throw it away, recycle it, give it to a charity and take some unreasonably mammoth tax deduction?

Think again (both about that deduction – and giving the box away). Identity thieves and malcontents are out there just hoping to mine your old PC for the treasure trove of personal or proprietary data that you’ve left behind.

Oh, sure. You think you wiped it clean. You erased everything you could find in MyDocuments. You might even have taken a hammer to the harddrive (assuming you know what it looks like).

Can you still donate, sell or give the device away – confident that no one will find your precious info?

Why not wipe it clean. I mean, really wipe it clean. Products like Laplink SafeErase ( www.laplink.com; $29.95) eliminates data completely making it safe to recycle or dispose of used hard drives. Read More »


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