Almost all businesses are vulnerable to crime of various kinds. Just how vulnerable depends to a degree on the nature of the business – a jeweller’s will obviously be a more tempting target to a gang of robbers than a greengrocer’s. But the risk also depends on how the company does business.
Are they careless about securing their premises? Do they leave tempting valuables within easy reach of opportunistic thieves? Do they fail to keep propert track of goods arriving and leaving? Any company operated in such a way is like a leaking watering can and will will run a much higher risk of crime than companies which have properly organised themselves and tightened their procedures.
So it’s in your interests as a business owner to make sure you’re in the latter group. Here a few tips to consider when securing your business.
Assess the risks
Begin with a full survey of your business. Don’t assume you know what’s what: actually go and look and consider the potential for crime in each part of office, warehouse, factory or wherever it is that you operate. You should be looking to secure valuables, reduce temptations and increase your overall security. Make crime less rewarding for opportunistic criminals! Your local police station may be able to help with this process.
Lock your doors
This may sound obvious, but how confident are you really that your windows and doors could withstand the attentions of a determined burglar? Could the locks in important areas resist tampering? Is your burglar alarm reliable and will anything meaningful happen if it goes off, such as the arrival of the Police?
A CCTV system is an investment but will dramatically increase chances of catching criminals and should also cut the costs of your insurance. Be sure to install prominent signs advertising your alarm and CCTV systems to further dissuade anyone considering criminal acts.
Secure your valuables
Ensure that easily portable valuables (for example, cash), are removed from your premises every night. Heavier but still valuable items, such as computers, equipment or fuel, can be secured in place. Keep a record of items with serial numbers – for example, PCs and phones. A record will make it much easier for you to trace stolen items.
It is also a good idea to assign responsibility for the care of certain items to particular employees.
Keep a regularly updated stock count and watch for discrepancies and oddities such as excessive loss or damages claims.
Protect your data
We’ve taken a good look at the protection of physical assets but in here in the second decade of the 21st Century your digital assets may be just as valuable – if not more so. That’s why it’s so important to:
- Use robust, hard-to-crack passwords – and change them regularly!
- Install reliable and regularly malware and virus detection software.
- Make sure your company network firewalls are switched on.
- Practice good digital hygiene: don’t open email attachment from unknown people or click on links within emails.
- Update your software regularly. This may seem tedious but software patches and updates often contain important security fixes for your software which will make them less vulnerable to malware and hackers.
So there you have it: the top-line security fundamentals for any business owner. Of course, there is more to learn when you’re ready!