Presented by ADT
If you are still in the process of getting your new
business off the ground, don’t forget to include a good security plan to protect
against theft. It’s a lot easier to set things up correctly from the start.
There are a number of common-sense factors you will
need to consider to protect your small business from threats.
As new employees come in, and you educate them in the
ways of your business, be sure to include detailed information about the
security for your computer systems. There are many ways an untrained employee
can cause trouble. They might:
- Create very weak
passwords that are easily guessed. Many people are afraid they will forget
their passcode, so they pick something they can remember. Anything that relates
to their personal life can be easily researched. And of course, if they pick
something generic, like PASSWORD, as
their code your system is wide open.
- Write down their
secure passwords and put it in their desk drawer. This nullifies any security
system. It’s important that they take the time to memorize a random string of
letters and numbers, the hallmark of a good password.
- Visit sites,
open attachments, or click on links in emails from unauthorized senders. Even
one stray click can result in the download of harmful viruses, which can
demolish all the information on your hard drives or allow a hacker access to
It’s also a good policy to insist that your employees
never access your company network through their personal phones, tablets, and
laptops. Privately owned devices are outside of your control, so you don’t want
your company data stored on them. Also, these types of devices are less secure
and if one gets stolen, all your company data is now available to the thieves.
When you’re just starting out, it can be a little
hard to imagine a day when you’ll have a disgruntled employee. After all, you’re
probably still in the process of hiring people! However, in the spirit of
expecting the best and planning for the worst, it’s a good idea to set up
policies ahead of time.
Cortney Thompson, CTO of Green House Data, states, “Internal
attacks are one of the biggest threats facing your data and systems.” It’s not
just large corporations that face this problem; small companies also have to be
When you are first setting up employee computer
accounts, do so with security in mind. Have a way to cancel any account for any
employees on an immediate basis. If you have the resources, it isn’t a bad idea
to set up a system where you can track all online activity for every employee.
Avoid giving employees access to your wifi network
password. It will help mitigate problems later. If you’re careless on this, a
disgruntled employee could pull up in your parking lot at night, log in and
maliciously wipe all your hard drives clean. Minimally, it’s a good idea to
change the password on a regular basis, but be sure to do so whenever you let
an employee go as well.
If you have a retail store, you’ll need to set up
your space to deter shoplifting. There are quite a few common sense strategies
that you can employ, which don’t require a budget.
For instance, you can set up your merchandise so that
your salesperson can see most of it from their perch at the register. Shorter
displays should be closer to the register, while taller ones should be along
the walls. Also, train your employees to move around the store from time to
It’s also a good idea to learn the observable traits
of most shoplifters. There are telltale signs you can learn to spot likely
candidates. For instance, shoplifters often:
- Avoid looking
people in the eye.
- Conceal their
faces with hoods or sunglasses.
- Act nervously.
- Wear bulky
clothes, or carry large bags or backpacks so they can hide things.
If you suspect someone of shoplifting, try engaging
them in conversation. A polite, “May I help you?” can be enough to throw off a
thief, who is trying to avoid detection. Also, it gives you a chance to get a
better look at their face.
If you have a bit of money, consider investing in
security cameras. Thieves are secretive by nature, so they avoid shops equipped
with state-of-the-art cameras. Some retailers use fake cameras just to deter
If you sell valuable merchandise, invest in a
lockable case. Don’t allow customers access to those items without an
After hour burglaries
You’ll need to protect your business against
after-hour burglaries. Once you and your employees leave for the day, your
business is a sitting duck unless you have the proper systems in place. To do
so, you’ll first need to anticipate a thief’s modus operandi. If your front
door can be opened with a credit card, it doesn’t have adequate protection.
Invest in a strong dead bolt with a double-cylinder lock, which locks from both
sides. That way it will trap crooks if they’ve hidden inside, waiting for you
to leave at night.
It goes without saying that locks only work if the
thief doesn’t find a way to get a key. As the business owner, you must control
the number of keys distributed and always be aware of who has one. If you’re
concerned with employees making copies behind your back, invest in a lock
mechanism where the keys can only be authorized by you. Some business owners
don’t like this system, because if one person loses a key, the whole building
must be rekeyed, which can be expensive.
It’s a good idea to also purchase an alarm with a
motion detector and a loud siren to scare thieves away quickly. If you’d prefer
to trap and catch them, invest in a silent alarm. Both have their advantages
and disadvantages, but either is far superior to no alarm system at all.
Criminals like to skulk in the dark, so it’s a good
strategy to install security lights. Illuminate all entry points (don’t forget
air vents) with strong lighting, as well as any loading bays and parking lots.
Set up your business from the start with good
security. Think like a criminal to avoid being caught off guard by one.