Buying home insurance is a great idea for many reasons, not least of all the fact that you will be covered in the event of any theft or accidents. Shopping around and finding the best policy for you is always going to be one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good price and a good value policy, but there are things that you can do in and around your home which will also help to bring your insurance premiums down, especially if you live in area which is identified as a higher risk. Here are five things that you can do to keep your premiums down:Continue reading “Ways to Reduce Your Home Insurance Premium”
It’s only natural that, as a homeowner, you’ll worry about break-ins. As covid restrictions look set to end entirely, more and more time is spent away from home, and an empty home can invite intruders when not properly secured.
Whilst crime statistics show that burglaries have steadily gone down over the years, a break-in is a traumatic event. There is a lot that can be done around the home to help disrupt and dissuade any potential opportunists.Continue reading “How to Secure Your Home”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of us have spent more time at home than ever before and for many people, this has turned their thoughts to safety and security. During a recent survey, 70% of respondents admitted to implementing smart technology to bolster their homes’ security capabilities, which proves that we’re all looking for ways to feel safer. Here are five tips for increasing your home security:
Doors and Windows
If you have older doors and windows, they may not be providing you with the best security available. Changing your units for high security doors and windows can give your home an added layer of protection which will allow you to sleep safely in the knowledge that you’re locked in tight.
If you’re looking to make an investment then installing an alarm system could be a great idea. The downsides are the cost, however, and if your budget doesn’t stretch this far then research shows that even a dummy alarm could be an effective deterrent! In one survey, 82 offenders were canvassed in Southern England. They found that 84 per cent rated the presence of an alarm outside a property as a deterrent.
Installing security lights around your property is a cheaper alternative to alarms, but can still be a really effective deterrent. While some types of lighting could increase your risk of being burgled (lights which are on 24 hours a day will actually help criminals to see their way and avoid noisy obstacles), motion sensor lighting which only comes on if a human walks past are a really effective way to put potential burglars off.
A CCTV system is an extremely effective way to deter burglars. It doesn’t matter how many lights are left on, how many people are home, or how close your neighbours are. You’ll capture everything with a CCTV system – and the thieves knows that too. Modern security cameras are easy to install and will often store footage in the cloud. Some can even alert you on your mobile if sensors are tripped!
Get a Dog!
Having a dog can be a great early detection system for people coming too near your home. When Sausage was very small, Husband worked shifts which included overnights and Chuck was the best, most reassuring security system I could have had. Someone only had to burp too loudly near the house and he’d be up at the windows letting me know. It gave me a tremendous sense of security, knowing that he was keeping his eyes and ears open for us and it got us all through that time knowing he was there.
Working from home has many advantages, but it can be difficult to separate home from business. If you have an office in your home, you might worry about security, especially if you keep documents containing sensitive information, cash or payment details. With new GDPR rules in place, it’s even more important to protect your client’s information, or you could land yourself a hefty fine. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about some ways to make your home office feel more secure:
Having barriers from Barriers Direct across your driveway might not stop people from coming onto your property, but they’ll give a clear sign that security is on your mind and that you want to keep a line between yourself and the outside world. They also stop people using your driveway as a turning circle, which can be very annoying if you live on a busy main road.
Exterior lights are proven to be a deterrent to people coming onto your property for nefarious reasons late at night, but they also give you an extra feeling of safety if you come and go when it’s dark. Use a selection of carefully placed lights to give you illumination in all of the areas you’re likely to use, once the sun goes down, for the ultimate feeling of safety, but be mindful of lights which might shine into your bedroom if a cat wanders past!
Get a Dog
While I’m not suggesting you have a team of German Shepherds patrolling your perimeter, dogs can really help to make you feel secure in your home office. When Sausage was a baby, Husband worked nights and having Chuck there made me feel so much safer as he’d let me know if someone so much as breathed in the direction of our home!
You’ve probably seen headlines about burglars being foiled by security camera footage. This is one home office security solution that works as both a deterrent and a means to get justice. You can get security cameras that are part of a complete home office security system, or you can use cameras that work on their own. Whichever way you go, we recommend using a security camera with a mobile app, so you can see footage in real time and store it if you ever need to go to the police.
Get a Safe
If you’ve got things in your house which are of serious worth, installing a safe might be a good way to feel more secure about your belongings. Safes can be good for keeping company records and payment information safe, too. If anyone does manage to break into your home office, it will be a lot more difficult for them to steal anything of value, and in a lot of cases, having a safe can make your contents insurance premiums go down. Make sure they’re installed by a reputable company and think about going for a safe which has two separate locking mechanisms for an added layer of security.
What do you do to ensure you feel safe and secure in your home office? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
43% of all cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses; 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of an attack and only 14% of small companies to rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks and attacks as “highly effective.”
When was the last time you reviewed your security policies and looked at your protection against online threats? What sort of systems does your company have in place and are they carefully enforced? Did you know that weak passwords cause more than half of all data breaches, but only 24% of SMEs have strict password policies in place, and of those that do, 65% of companies say they don’t actively enforce it. Your security policies need to be reviewed every few months to make sure they’re comprehensive and enforceable. You should also be on the lookout for new strategies and technologies that you can put in place to shore up vulnerable areas of the business. Several highly advanced techniques can now help to keep your business secure and help to make sure that no one is abusing your systems, meaning that your customers are protected too. According to 2018 Identity Fraud, ‘Fraud Enters a New Era of Complexity’ from Javelin Strategy & Research’, in 2017, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud, a record high that followed a previous record the year before and criminals are engaging in complex identity fraud schemes that are leaving record numbers of victims in their wake. The amount stolen hit $16.8 billion in 2017 as 30% of U.S. consumers were notified of a data breach, an increase of 12% from 2016.
Just as people regularly practise fire drills, you should do the same in case of a cybersecurity attack. During a cybersecurity drill, you should look at response timing on multiple levels, see how quickly individuals and teams respond and either thwart or mitigate a cyber attack and also how fast are you able to inform customers of the most current and accurate information.
Cyber liability insurance helps to mitigate the costs of an attack and is usually available both as a standalone policy, as well as an add-on to a business owner’s system. You can have first-party and third-party insurance, first-party coverage helps you to cover expenses when your network is hacked, or your data is stolen, and third-party coverage offers protection when a customer or partner sues you for allowing a data breach to happen.
If you are victim to an attack, you need to take everything offline as soon as possible as if someone has managed to access your data; you need to limit the amount of information they can get.
It is essential that you can quickly assess and block the entry point as you might be able to act quick enough to stop any data from being taken. But, you still need to check everything to ensure that nothing is lost.
Whether you have a large company or a small business, stealing or attempting to take someone’s data is a severe offence, so the authorities need to be informed immediately to commence an investigation. You will have to make all your systems and data available to the authorities, so they can see where any entry has occurred and hopefully trace it back to the perpetrator.
Informing your customers is essential, and you will need to prepare a statement that outlines what has happened and any potential data that has been lost. If you are not sure what data has been lost, or what details they may contain, your customers need to be aware so that they can monitor their bank accounts to see if anything suspicious has taken place. Your customers and clients will likely have a lot of questions that they want to ask. So you should also have a dedicated email or telephone line established to field such queries.
Your company will need to establish how and when your security was breached. It is also essential to ascertain whether the breach was external or internal to your company.
Some companies offer computer evidence recovery services that can help you and the authorities discover any potential evidence. They can then provide that to you so that you can see if there are any apparent suspects.
Before you put your services back online, it is essential to conduct a thorough audit of all your procedures and safeguards and even get an expert to come in and check your systems and advise on how they can be improved.