Crime is something that every citizen must face and strive to protect oneself from. Business owners are at even greater risk against professional criminals who prey on the potential big payouts that businesses can offer them. Knowing how to prepare your business against all types of crime is one way to ensure you won’t be the next victim of it. Below are some vital tips on how to secure your business from different types of theft.
1. Business Identity Theft.
For Identity thieves, stealing a business’s name, credit line, and bank account access is big business. Crooks know that businesses are prone to larger accounts with potential big halls for professional criminals who know what they are doing. This makes every business small or large vulnerable targets in this age of extensive professional identity theft.
According to the Bureau of Justice, over 16 Million people were victimized by identity theft in 2012, and three years later in 2015, the problem has only continued to grow worse. StatisticBrain.com, lists that the total financial losses from identity theft climbed to a whopping $26,350,000,000 by 2014, as compared to a lower but still staggering 21 Billion in 2012.
How to protect your business from identity theft:
- Be diligent in preventing data breaches: Client and customer personal data must be protected at all times, both in digital and also paper forms. Make sure proper clearance procedures are in place controlling access to sensitive information. Utilize strong password, firewall, and antivirus protections, plus up-to-date browser security patches.
- Initiate employee training and awareness programs: Educate employees about thieves that use “fishing” techniques on emails, phone calls, and other common criminal tactics thieves use to steal valuable sensitive business information.
- Know what to do in cases of Identity fraud:
- Call the fraud departments of all three major credit bureaus.
- Cancel, or put on hold any suspected breached accounts.
- File a police report A.S.A.P with the local authorities.
2. Employee Theft.
2012 also saw an alarming upward trend in employee thefts, accounting for 50 Billion in business losses alone. This amount was mostly taken in small increments of cash during normal customer transactions behind the backs of the employer according to StatisticBrain.com.
The year 2015 once again seems no better than three years ago when compared statistically. A University of Cincinnati Small Business Survey showed that in 2014, sixty-five percent of business owners polled admitted that they were victims of employee thefts that year.
How to help stop employee theft:
- Stop money from being stolen from the registers: Strategically placed cameras with internet capabilities are the best defense a business can take against dishonest employees who are taking money they didn’t earn from the company till. Live stream options make sure that a vigilant watch can still be kept on cash and credit transactions even when outside the confines of the business location.
- Protect digital assets with proper security services: Computer applications and cyber security subscriptions that log network activity on company computers are paramount to protecting digital information from potential thieves – Either from outside the business or from in-house.
3. Property Theft.
The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) states that there are approximately 27 Million shoplifters out there, all waiting to steal something from both corporate and small businesses. This fact makes it imperative that all employee staff from management on down, are appropriately trained and constantly aware of the threat of property theft.
There are many forms of workplace property theft. They include everything from stealing employee purses, laptops, or briefcases. And also company business tools, business electronics, product inventory, or simply everyday office supplies. Regardless of the type of theft involved, they all add up to astronomical losses for the business community.
Below are tips on how to protect against property theft in the workplace:
- Employee awareness: Making sure that employees know how to spot possible theft vulnerabilities within the workplace, will ensure that the whole team is on the lookout for potential threats, and ready to act accordingly when a theft occurs.
- Security tips: Keep clearly marked designated signs between customer or client areas, and secured “Employee Only” work areas – Install or keep maintained professional security cameras in crucial departments and angles – Make sure that all other outer building side doors are properly and safely locked, except for the businesses
- Conduct regular audits: It is highly advised by the Small Business Administration that employers search out what their high risk areas are, and then perform regularly scheduled audits of the departments, especially where cash and electronic transactions are involved, or unattended high end retail merchandise.
An FBI report from 2013 stated that there were an estimated 1,163,146 violent crimes reported to law enforcement officials that year, and an estimated 8,632,512 property crimes were reported. Even though violent and property crimes were slightly down in 2014 from 2013, the war against crime still rages on relentlessly. Be sure to once again follow these simple tips:
- Keep all cash locked up, out of easy reach and from open view at all times.
- Use professional security camera systems at strategic places and post surveillance warning signs in plain view at entryways and high risk areas.
- Keep widows and side entrances locked and secured from unauthorized intruders during all business hours and after closing.
- Have up-to-date security and alarm systems emplaced, preferably with 24/7 wireless internet access.
5. Armed Robbery.
Violent crimes like armed robbery are the worst case scenarios that no business owner wants to face. Unfortunately, crime statistics show that they are a sad fact of life that one should be aware of and prepared for. This is where employee training and clear cut policies as to proper procedure during a robbery, are essential to surviving an armed robber.
Armed robbery survival tips:
- Don’t Panic.
- Always cooperate.
- Follow the robber’s demands exactly.
- Do not make any sudden moves and first announce your intentions before moving.
- Only try to escape when it is absolutely safe and warranted to do so.
- When the robber has left, hit the alarm and contact security and police.
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