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Getting Started with Small Business Protection

Safety is paramount to the success of your business, which is why larger companies dedicate entire departments to protective measures. Small business owners don’t always have that luxury, leaving them to handle unique risks without a massive amount of protective resources. That creates a real challenge, one that can often lead to digital, physical, and even legal issues most are unprepared to handle.

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So, what can you do? Before leaving your failsafes and security protocols to the wind, check out these tips to help make protection a top priority at your small business. From simple office rules to management tools, here’s the ultimate safety strategy.

Get Rid of Personal Devices

Step one to your plan of action should be eliminating personal or bring-your-own devices in the workplace. This reduces the risk of weak links in your security plan, helping to keep the lid tight on your operations.

While this isn’t always possible, there are workarounds to achieve the same result. Instead of removing these devices from your place of business, adopt a universal security package for your employees. The usefulness of managing and auditing your entire IT infrastructure’s user access rights with a tool like SolarWinds can’t be understated.

Malware Matters

As tight as security may be on your employee end, the world of the web is a malicious place. Malware protection is a vital safeguard for your business, manning the front lines while data enters and leaves your servers. It’s still important to train employees on security and safety measures, but this set-it-and-forget-it protection is something you can’t do without.

Unique Passwords

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While this 90’s rhetoric shouldn’t need restated in 2018, the number of hacks from even seemingly airtight corporations in the past few years suggests that it hasn’t set in just yet. With a single data breach costing upwards of $1 million on average, this is one area of security you literally can’t afford to overlook.

Ensuring every member of your staff uses a strong password is crucial these days. Have them keep the word used unique, add numbers, and make sure they utilize symbols if possible for the best results. Also, it helps to have your employees change their password every six months to a year.

Physical Security

It isn’t something most business owners want to think about, but individuals within your operation can be just as dangerous as those on the outside. While it is important to trust your employees, it never hurts to utilize cameras and locks when possible. Plus, these tools are an excellent means of theft prevention.

Backup Your Data

From contracts to daily sales, today’s businesses record almost everything online. Technical malfunctions happen at the most inconvenient times, which is why backing up your data is essential. Instead of opting for pricey equipment, consider cloud storage as a frugal yet secure alternative. There are numerous cloud storage services available that can help you create “hard” copies of important information.

Insurance

Even if you’re in the earliest stages of operation, business insurance can save you an enormous headache. Depending on what your business entails, you may need varying types of insurance. Public liability, home business, and indemnity are a few popular examples. Regardless of which kind your business needs, protecting yourself in the event of a worst-case scenario is vital.
Other small business insurance needs include:

  • General liability
  • Professional liability
  • Errors and omissions
  • Owners policy
  • Workers compensation
  • Property
  • Home-based
  • Product liability
  • Vehicle
  • And business interruption

Physical Protection

No, not bodyguards. Physical protection and security come in a wide variety of forms. Each of which is equally as important as the digital ones you’ve set in place. A simple example would be ensuring that your brand is unique to avoid any litigation or legal ramifications.

Another example would be the use of physical documents for contracts and agreements. Aside from creating a professional look, it further protects agreements made between you, your employees, and your clients with a hard copy. Adding arbitration clauses to those contracts is another physical security measure that can prevent legal ramifications down the road.

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Finally, physical protection for a small business can be as simple as creating a safe work environment. Working to prevent accidents and encouraging non-discrimination as well as non-harassment policies might not be the first thing on your mind when the word protection comes to mind, but they are just as important as cyber security measures.

Protecting Your Business

Security isn’t something to take lightly in any business venture, but you don’t have to shell out your earnings on an entire department just to make sure your organization is protected. By following the tips and advice above, you can keep every aspect of your small business from digital to physical secure while keeping things affordable.

Ring Fence: 5 Ways To Prevent Theft On A Construction Site

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Photo courtesy of Matti Mattila via Wikimedia

Construction is booming at the moment as more people realize that manual labor is a suitable career. Of course, you have known that for a long time but are only now reaping the benefits. However, it isn’t all picnics and bouquets of flowers. When you run a site, you have to put up theft. Whether it’s your employees or burglars, it happens on a daily basis, and it costs the firm a lot of money. So, it needs to stop, and it needs to stop as soon as possible.

For those of you that won’t put up with it any longer, you have come to the right place. Below are five tips that will help you prevent of types of theft in the workplace.

1: Install Cameras

The obvious thing to do is to invest in construction cameras and create a high-tech security system. Now, if you think that cameras are reactive, that isn’t the case. Yes, they great tools for looking at incidents and figuring out what went wrong. But, they are also useful in the moment. For one thing, the majority of thieves don’t bother targeting a site which has CCTV. Because they are opportunists, there is too much risk even if the rewards are high. Plus, advanced systems allow you to monitor any incidents and take control in real time. A real time alert, for example, warns you of any suspicious behavior so that you can call the police or inform your people on site.

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

2: Light It Up

Let’s stay on the topic of prevention for a moment. Cameras prevent theft because they add an element of risk, and lights do the same thing. Powerful lights take away a thief’s most treasured tool: darkness. Burglars use it all of the time to creep around in the shadows unnoticed, which gives them more time and a better chance of success. With spotlights, there aren’t many places a person can hide in the grounds. As long as the lights are bright enough, it should illuminate the entire site. And, if they sweep the area randomly, it only makes everything safer. If there is an incident, the light also helps identify the culprits the next day on CCTV.

3: Lock It Up

Construction sites are prime targets because they house lots of valuable materials. It isn’t uncommon to work with everything from copper to steel, and these have a high resale value. So, a common criminal won’t think twice about shifting as many raw materials as possible. Obviously, you need to make this as hard as possible, which is why lockers are essential. All you have to do is place anything of value in the lockers and keep it there until the morning. As long as the lock is strong enough, it should deter any person with light fingers. A safe is also a good idea if you can find one that is affordable. Regarding machines, there aren’t many ways to keep them under lock and key. Instead, stack materials around them to block off the path. Also, fit an immobilizer that cuts the ignition.

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Photo courtesy of Max Pixels

4: Background Checks

The biggest assumption bosses make is that they can trust their workers. That isn’t always true because employees are opportunists, too, especially if they think it’s a sure thing. As a result, the credentials of the people on your site must come into question. No one is saying that you need to grill them like a suspect under questioning, but you should look into their past. By talking to previous employers, it is possible to learn more about their personality and analyze whether they are a perfect fit. Also, a criminal background check should alert you to any major incidents in the past. No one likes to tar a person with a brush, yet you have to be careful. After all, it is your livelihood.

5: Security Team

Technology plays a massive part, but so do the people that walk around and stay on guard all night. The problem with a site is the size. It is too big to install cameras all around the perimeter, which leaves you vulnerable. Thankfully, boots on the ground can cover the places that technology misses. It is tempting to think that tech is infallible, particularly with recent advancements. The truth is that it is far from perfect, and that makes retro features like a security guard even more important.

The site is much safer when you put the new age and old school methods together.