If criminals target your business the impact it can have on you could be huge. Pricey equipment could be lost, onsite damage could be an issue, stock could be stolen and the well-being and morale of the staff could be severely affected. Criminals are streetwise and scrutinize your business for swift opportunities to strike, it is therefore important that you don’t overlook any of the details that could prevent potential crime against your business.
So here is a list of five things you can do to protect your small business from crime and criminals:
Assess your business surroundings
The location of your business is extremely important as on-ramp locations could provide an easy getaway route for criminals driving by, which allows thugs to potentially carry out a hit and run operation on your business. Simple ideas like locked gates, security guards, alarm keys and making sure people know where the panic button is, can be used to monitor and stay aware of your surroundings.
Know what makes you vulnerable
It is useful to always check the police crime rates of certain areas before you set up shop. You need to know what makes your business vulnerable to prevent shoplifting i.e.: are there places for criminal to hide like in the shrubberies surrounding a shop, or do your late night shift employees have to use the car park in the dark? It is also useful to consider if there are hiding places criminals have brought in with them like bags, push chairs, or even umbrellas that they can hide shop merchandise in.
Remember not to put expensive items up on show that opportunists can target. Employers could also set up a bell system whereby two bell rings can be used by employees to signal distress.
Start doing a regular business security survey
To know what make you vulnerable business surveys are essential for judging how your business would stand up against crime. You need to make sure you cover both the interior and exterior. So when conducting your survey you must include assessments on how criminals can gain assess from the perimeter such as the backdoors, alleyways, any fences that can be jumped, and you must assess any objects like bins that can assist in helping criminals scale the perimeter fence.
It can also be helpful to note of any potential hiding places or poorly lit areas, and to also assess whether your windows need securing properly to further prevent thugs from attacking your business.
Using CCTV to help you deter and prosecute criminals
To use CCTV within the realm of the law you must adhere to the Data Protection Act. This includes putting up signs to let people know CCTV is in usage and why it is in usage. It also involves being able to provide images of someone for up to 40 days after you’ve filmed them (as you may be fined £10 if you cannot do this). You must also be able to share images with the authorities, i.e. the police if they ask for any CCTV footage. And finally you must be able to keep images for as long as your business needs them.
Protecting your business with cyber security
In order to prevent online hackers from ruining your business there are 5 major things you can do:
- Backup all your data
- Protect your organization from online malware
- Protect all business smartphones and tablet devices from hacker malware
- Use passwords to encrypt and protect your data, especially your sensitive data
- Avoid phishing attacks where scammers send fake emails to you business that contain harmful computer viruses.
Was this list helpful to you and your business? Are there any security tips you know that prevent crime against small businesses? Comment your answers below and please share this article to spread awareness on how to protect a small business from any possible violent and opportunistic criminals and street thugs.