Business owners and leaders typically struggle to get through even a fraction of their daily workload, with so many tasks to tick off the to-do list. For instance, as a CEO or other type of manager, you likely have to take charge of factors such as employee training, marketing, sales, customer service, administration, and much more.
However, it’s worth reminding yourself that it’s worth also devoting enough time to ensuring your organization is kept as safe as possible, both physically and digitally. Thieves may try to steal materials, inventory, cash, or other valuables from your business premises, or they might use online strategies to steal and hold to ransom or publicly release company data or customer information, among other things.
If you’re not doing enough to secure your business from these types of threats, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and be proactive to keep hackers and other criminals at bay. Read on for ways you can do this to protect your venture.
Secure Physical Premises
Start by securing the physical premises of your organization. Have some alarms secured on external doors and windows and install security cameras in multiple areas. Having plenty of lights around so that there aren’t lots of shadows for criminals to hide in at night is also wise. All these things will help deter criminals from breaking in, shoplifting, vandalizing areas, etc.
The same goes for hiring security guard services. If you have people on-site, whether on patrol once per day or for multiple hours daily, this can go a long way to convincing anyone with nefarious aims that they should think twice about their plans and target somewhere else instead.
Another way to make theft less likely from your place of work is to do what you can to schedule deliveries so they don’t arrive when no one is available to take them inside, away from prying eyes. If goods get left at your business door before or after hours, this is more likely to tempt people to want to steal the parcels.
Limit Access to Data and Valuables
Next, limit who within your business or externally has access to valuable goods and sensitive data. Only give a small number of employees (as few as possible) the codes to open safes or warehouses, access to financial and customer records, and the like.
If you have to give external contractors, such as cleaners, delivery drivers, or IT personnel access to anything, be sure to give them a separate password or keycode, etc., to what others in the business use and then change this once they’re done with their work, so they don’t continue to have access later.
It also pays to do what you can not to store customer information on file, especially payment, email, and phone number details. The less data you have for people to potentially access, the less chance there is for theft of any kind, whether online or offline.
Hire Staff Members and Contractors Carefully
You must also be wise about who you hire in the first place, both when it comes to employees and contractors.
Take your time finding out what you need to know about potential candidates. Interview them, and be sure to run thorough background checks so you can try to pick up on any red flags before you choose to bring someone on board. Speak to past employers and colleagues of potential employees where possible or current or past contractors’ customers. Online reviews are worth perusing too, where relevant.
Use Security Software and Firewalls
With hackers so rife these days and continually coming up with newer and more sophisticated techniques to break into networks, crash systems, steal information, and more, you must be vigilant about online security. One way to do this is to utilize comprehensive security software on all your firm’s tech devices. Choose programs that send real-time alerts and protect you and your team’s privacy when browsing and buying online.
Quality software covers against numerous threat types, too, such as viruses, spam, spyware, ransomware, and other malware. For best results, pick out a product that does all of this and has a well-regarded name in the industry, too.
Plus, use the firewalls likely already installed on your computers. These may not be activated, so check the settings on your devices to find out. Firewalls are handy because they help to prevent hackers from breaking into your business systems via the internet.
Other top ways to help protect your business from theft are:
• Keep tech tools and systems updated and password protected.
• Use locked Wi-Fi rather than public internet wherever possible.
• Train your staff members to engage with shoppers regularly and pay close attention to help deter shoplifting.
• Take care with what information gets shared publicly, so you don’t give hackers or other thieves information that they could use to break in digitally or physically.
Following all the tips above may sound daunting, but they can be taken care of bit by bit over time. The sooner you get proactive about these steps, though, the sooner you can breathe more easily, knowing that your business is better covered.