Your business is more than your livelihood. It’s a vital part of who you are, and you want to safeguard your time and money.
However, owning property, including a business, makes you an attractive target for thieves. They don’t all wear masks and sneak in during the dead of night, either. Here are five ways to ensure your company is safe and secure regardless of where you base your operations.
1. Secure Your Electronic Communications
You’ve likely begun transitioning to a virtual model if you didn’t already build your company around one. Since the pandemic, businesses that insist on a return to the office struggle to find workers. Some have legitimate concerns about the virus, while others discovered that they enjoy the freedom working from home brings in managing multiple responsibilities.
However, telecommuting does increase your security risk. Your employees’ internet service provider and possibly others can access communications across such channels. You should invest in updated infrastructure, such as secure fax lines, virtual private networks (VPNs) and anti-malware protection.
If you have it in your budget, it’s wise to issue company computers for staff members to complete their work. You can block access to untrustworthy sites to further protect your proprietary trade secrets. If that isn’t possible, you can purchase software licenses to ensure all employees safeguard the devices they use to access your databases.
2. Manage Ingress and Egress
Your business’s entrance presents security risks — but stationing a guard outside at all times can break the bank. What solutions can you implement to manage ingress and egress and ensure random passersby can’t stroll through your side door and make off with a computer or cash register?
One option is keyless entry. For less than $300, you can install a lock that opens with your fingerprint, preventing anyone without your unique digits from gaining admission. You can also use a code system — useful if your enterprise has garage-style doors leading to a warehouse or you have multiple employees and frequent turnover.
Another option is installing security bars over doors and windows. These devices are de rigueur in many urban areas, as they prevent smash-and-grab thefts from occurring after hours. Who wants a 3 a.m. wake-up call from the police saying half their inventory is missing?
3. Let There Be Light
It’s no surprise that thieves love the cover of darkness for perpetrating their misdeeds. You also have to concern yourself with staff safety. You don’t want your workers headed to a shadowy parking lot when they work late, only to face a potential assault.
However, you shouldn’t contribute to the light pollution that’s responsible for disappearing fireflies. You can find shielded lights that comply with dark sky regulations and offer enough illumination to ward off miscreants. These wavelengths minimize glare, creating fewer harsh shadows where would-be criminals can hide.
4. Sound the Alarm
At a minimum, your place of business needs an alarm system complete with video cameras. While such devices might not prevent theft from occurring, they can help capture criminals and bring them to justice.
Such systems also serve as deterrents. While they won’t stave off the most determined, they’ll give would-be passersby pause before trying anything shifty. Even a sign or a dummy camera can serve this purpose — but you’re better off with the genuine article if a break-in occurs.
5. Screen Prospective Employees
A recent HR survey indicates that 96% of businesses perform a criminal background check on their prospective hires. That’s good news — but it doesn’t necessarily tell you the entire story.
If you work in certain sectors, you may have no choice but to eliminate some candidates based on their past criminal records. For example, you can’t hire someone to work in the financial sector if they have a history of white-collar crime. However, other times, you might be able to show leniency. Giving a chance to someone who made a mistake in their youth might net you a more loyal employee than selecting another candidate without such a history.
The best thing you can do is ask questions. If you interview someone who seems perfect, but something sketchy comes up on their background report, inquire about the circumstances before throwing their application in the proverbial circular file. You might not care about one youthful indiscretion — but your new staff member will reward you for giving them a chance when no one else would.
Keep Your Business Safe and Secure
Your enterprise is your baby. Keep it secure with these tips and ensure the safety of your workers, equipment and proprietary information.