Criminals are everywhere – frightening but true. And your business is under threat from them. We are talking about cyber criminals looking to hack into your financial accounts. We are talking about staff members who may be tempted to steal from petty cash. And we are talking about your customers, who may be trying to deceive you, in any number of ways. Disaster can befall your business at any moment thanks to these nefarious miscreants, so it’s important you strike back to protect your business. Here are five ways in which you can do it.
Protection Tip #1: Carry out a risk assessment
Your first course of action needs to be finding out where there are vulnerabilities. Check your premises. Are there locks and security cameras fitted? Check your computer. Are firewalls and antivirus programs in place? A thorough search needs to take place, and where there is no defence, do something about the problem.
Protection Tip #2: Be mindful of employees
You would hope your employees are trustworthy, but that isn’t always the case. You need to keep an eye on them, and have policies in place with a course of action should any criminal activity take place on your property. Security cameras will help identify any crooks within your team, and you should have an open door policy to let employee witnesses come to you with any reports of something they have noticed. Verify references and check the employment history of applicants too, as you can reduce the risk of criminal harm by hiring those with a clean record.
Protection Tip #3: Guard yourself against fraudulent customers
Customers are the lifeblood of your business, but you can’t always trust them. This is especially true online, where people think they are anonymous. However, you can thwart fraud with identity verification, authenticating the identity of customers, ensuring they aren’t using somebody else’s payment card details. There may be red flags alerting you to potential fraud as well. If your customer has a suspicious sounding email address, or has inconsistent shipping information, you may be dealing with somebody you can’t trust. If in doubt, don’t let any transactions go through.
Protection Tip #4: Shred/ lock away sensitive information
From customer data to financial records, don’t let anybody have access to sensitive information. This means shredding paper documents, or locking them away in filing cabinets to which only you have a key. For information stored on your computer, ensure private files are passworded, preferably with a two-step verification process for added protection. Be mindful of documents stored on the cloud as well, and use an encryption service to protect your sensitive files.
Protection Tip #5: Hold staff training sessions
While you need to be aware of the risks to your business, it is your job to ensure your staff are aware of these risks as well. Ask for a crime prevention officer or a cyber crime expert to speak to your staff during training sessions, to ensure everybody is aware of best practice when it comes to fighting crime.
Don’t assume you will never be the victim of a crime. Precaution is your best option, so follow our advice, and seek the help of police and IT professionals to protect your business from harm. Disaster may strike if you don’t.