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Enter the America's Safest Home Office Contest How safe is your home office? Don't tell us--put it on paper for your chance at a suite of security products.

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How safe is it to work in one of today's 30 million homeoffices? Americans are about to find out. Goin' SOHO!, the homeoffice consultancy of Jeff Zbar, announces America's SafestHome Office Contest. Debuting on January 13, 2002, the annualcontest will highlight the importance of small or home office(SOHO) safety and security. Whether it's door and window locks,computer antivirus and backup measures, use of safes, ergonomicsand childproofing, carrying the right insurance, or any combinationof the above, what makes you a savvy home security officer?

To enter, self-employed or teleworking home office workers 21 orolder must submit an essay of 250 words or less on what makes theirhome office a safe and secure place to work. Submit entries onlineat www.goinsoho.com/contest.html; by mail toAmerica's Safest Home Office Contest, P.O. Box 8263, CoralSprings, FL 33075-8263; or by e-mail to contest@goinsoho.com. Entriesmust be postmarked or e-mailed by March 1, 2002. There's nopurchase necessary--limit one entry per U.S. household. See thecomplete rules at www.goinsoho.com/rules.html.

Three winners will receive a safe from Sentry Safes, a computerlock from Kryptonite Corp., a battery back-up unit from AmericanPower Conversion, Norton Internet Security software, a copy of JeffZbar's Safe@Home: Seven Keys to Home OfficeSecurity, and other home and office safety products.(Prizes are subject to change.) Winners will be named in March2002.

Why is home office safety and security important? Two-thirds ofnew U.S. businesses start in the home. More than 10 millionAmericans are self-employed from home. Almost 27 million peopletelecommute, or work from home for a boss somewhere else. Millionsmore heads of household handle important family finances from home.By 2004, the U.S. should have some 46.3 million home offices.

But how safe is today's home office? Burglaries, naturaldisasters, invasions by a computer virus or hacker, and even theshenanigans of an inquisitive child make the home office avulnerable workplace. With no security guard standing sentry at thefront door, home officers may not even realize the target theyrepresent. "Home office safety has been--but shouldn'tbe--an overlooked element of today's work environment,"says Zbar, a 13-year work-at-home veteran. "Home officers mustlearn how to be chief security officers."

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