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Encompass® Agency Insights

Crime Prevention Tips for Small Business

Building your own business is a considerable investment. But if burglars or other criminals set out to target your property, you could be looking at significant damages and losses. Here are some crime prevention tips that can help you protect your small business:

Security shield.

  • Run background checks on new hires. One of the most important aspects of protecting your company is ensuring that your employees are all trustworthy. Before hiring a new employee, run a criminal background check on the person and make sure to check references.
  • Set up a robust security system. A security system with surveillance cameras will help deter burglars from breaking in. You can install a system that sends alerts to your smartphone, or you can work with a company that sends security guards to check your property if it receives an alert.
  • Restrict access to sensitive data. Social security numbers and financial data of employees and clients need to be protected from unauthorized parties, so they don't end up in the wrong hands. Make sure that all hard copy and digital files that contain sensitive (or confidential) information can only be accessed by authorized employees.
  • Restrict access to money and valuable equipment. Make sure that cash and valuables are locked away when you're not on the premises. You can use a fireproof safe for smaller items but if you have a large quantity, consider a room or wall safe as well as putting security bars on the windows.
  • Establish a system of checks and balances. According to Inc., for small businesses, the average amount of money lost to fraud is $200,000 per incident. To minimize the chances of your business falling prey to fraud, make sure that two employees have to sign off on all deposits, transfers and bill payments.
  • Practice good cyber hygiene. Cybercrime is another threat to small businesses. Install a firewall on your computer network, keep all of your software up to date and instruct your employees to use complex passwords that they change every three months. Additionally, educate your employees about the dangers of clicking on links in emails or downloading attachments from the internet.

When you're looking to protect your business from being targeted by criminals, a little common sense and effort go a long way. Stay alert at all times — and do your best to minimize any opportunities criminals could seize to steal valuables or sensitive data.

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ECC Monitor: OK