No matter what season it is, small businesses in New York City must be diligent in making sure that they’re not this year’s victims of crime. Some holidays do stand out more than others when it comes to crime due to either a cold air of financial desperation or social affairs that are alcohol-fueled such as New Year’s Eve. According to new statistics from the NYC Police Commissioners Office, there were over 14 thousand robberies in New York City as of early December of this year; there were also 12 thousand burglaries. Here are five pieces of good advice that many small business owners use to help reduce the chances of being the victim of a crime.
#1. The Invisible Thief
Some thieves are hard to identify, especially when they’re busily trying to steal your identity. Cyber-crooks are also getting more and more sophisticated each year. Criminals know that the big money is stealing small business and customer identity and payment information, such as credit card or purveyor and bank account numbers. 15 billion was stolen from hard working Americans at the end of 2015. 2016 is destined to be no better when it comes to identity theft. A study referenced by the Insurance Information Institute states that over 112 Billion has been stolen by identity thieves over the past six years.
Protecting Your Small Business from Identity Theft:
- Keep client and customer data in a safe secure place, be it in cyberspace, hard-drive, or on paper – Keep it secure by password and key control. Always use up-to-date security software, keep firewalls on and properly set, plus make sure to use properly secured browsers when accessing data online.
- Regularly train your employees on keeping your business data safe. Keep your management staff and workers aware of the latest phishing tactics criminals are using in company e-mails and common phone scams. The APWG anti-cybercrime website received over a million reports of phishing attempts by cyber-criminals.
- Have a pre-drawn out plan made, so that both you and your employees know what to do and who to call if there is/was a security breach. Every minute counts when stopping a cyber-attack or contacting the proper authorities or account agencies in time.
#2. The Thief from Within
2017 is sure to see a large percentage of employee thefts also. It’s an unfortunate truth, but one that has to be recognized and watched out for as a small business owner. Prolonged and blatant employee theft can bankrupt a small business at worst, and can slowly sap well-deserved business profits away at best. Employee thefts cost retailers over 40 billion dollars each year. Here are a few tips to ensure that your employees keep on the up-and-up.
- Keep cameras in strategic areas such as cash registers, back storage rooms, and any outside back entrances where products can be snuck out to awaiting cars through or stashed in dumpsters to be picked up later. Opt for internet capable cameras in order to watch the store from anywhere on a smartphone or mobile online device.
- Make sure to have computer software installed that records company computer access by an employee, and keeps track of daily activity. This way, any suspicions of an employee’s ill intent when it comes to sensitive business or customer data, can be easily proved or disproved by reviewing that day’s or the week’s computer activities.
#3. The Opportunistic Grab & Go Thief
The most common form of business property theft crimes is most likely going to be perpetrated by the opportunistic thief. This means that very few things of value can be left outside of a business – front or back. This even pertains to waiting rooms, lobbies, common areas, and even bathrooms. Here are some tips on stopping thieves from taking your businesses property.
- Keep employees aware of potential risk areas, so that they can keep an extra eye on expensive items in the business that thieves may target. IE: Art pieces, stereos, TV’s and monitors, laptops or computer equipment, etc.
- Keep worker and client/customer areas as separated as possible. Post “Employee Only” signs in clear view so that when someone who does not belong in a certain clearly marked area is found intentionally being there, you will know right away that there is a possible security problem happening. Always keep back and side doors locked where and when it’s legal. Always secure high-risk areas with secure door locks or passcodes.
- Conduct annual property and equipment audits just as you would do for product inventory. This way you will be properly able to keep track of, and document, any missing company property or equipment. This documentation is very handy around this time of the year when declaring the past year’s losses on one’s state and federal business taxes.
#4. The Sneaky Thief in the Night
As we have stated above, NYC was the unfortunate victim of over 12,000 burglaries. The most effective way to keep thieves out is to install security gates, parking gates, and secure garage doors, plus also protecting loading dock areas. The top Brooklyn professionals in the industry are the New York Gate Company. Here are some simple tips to help thwart the plans of midnight thieves.
- Keep all cash and sensitive data locked up in a security safe somewhere a thief will not automatically think to look. Time is the burglar’s enemy. The longer it takes for them to look for valuables, the greater the risk of being caught.
- As also stated above, keep ample and appropriate cameras located inside and outside the building. Opt for the cameras with night-vision capabilities. Keep up regular maintenance on security systems and alarms.
- Designate someone to make frequent security checks during business hours. When closing, also have a checklist that includes securing all windows and possible entryways.
#5. The Dangerous Thief with a Gun
This is one of the worst crimes that a small business owner can face in New York City. It often leads to senseless tragedy. With over 14,000 robberies already this year in NYC, the inherent danger of an armed robbery is a serious one. It must be acknowledged and contended with as a business owner. Knowing a few tips in advance might just save lives in a confrontation with an armed criminal.
- Always cooperate – money and material items can be replaced, your life can’t.
- Follow the criminal’s commands, within reason of course, and don’t make any sudden moves – Announce your intentions if you must move.
- Wait until you’re sure that the robber has left, then immediately secure your safety and call Emergency 911.
These basic tips are simple to follow and easy to remember. The advice given here should also be used as a set safety and security policy for employees. Regardless if you’re a residential homeowner or a commercial business owner, the New York Gate Company can make a thorough security assessment of the property, and also give you some great guarantees on new installations. Properly securing your business from criminals in New York City, means properly working security gates and garage doors. Let NYG supply their trustworthy and convenient services by Contacting Them Online or Calling them directly at 718-614-0616 or for 24/7 emergency repair.