Every day we address questions to avoid risking the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones.
- Do I have enough gas to get to work?
- Is my child dressed warm enough for school?
- Did I turn the oven off before leaving the house?
When we arrive to our workplace, we expect our employer has done the same for us to ensure that we feel comfortable and safe in the office environment. However, there are various security risks that business owners must consider on a daily basis. Not only does this include external threats, such as thieves and cyber attacks, but it also includes internal threats, such as understanding who your employees are.
Below we have listed 5 office security tips to help you reduce your business’ risks, while boosting your employee’s morale.
1. Be Prepared for an Emergency
Just as it is important to have both evacuation and ‘shelter in place’ procedures, it is as equally important to conduct periodic drills so new staff are aware of them. The front entrance should be quickly lockable and interior doors should also be lockable from the inside in case workers need to shelter in place.
An important tip to always keep in mind is to not block your emergency exit. A blocked exit can put your life, as well as others, at risk.
2. Don’t Open the Door to Threats
Have an access control policy in place and commit to it.
The types of thieves who target businesses are not usually drug addicts or homeless people. Rather, these individuals blend into office environments and have well rehearsed stories to explain their presence. Trusting your policies is your best bet to prevent them from infiltrating your workplace.
Be aware of people asking ‘probing’ questions, such as open and close times, locations of cameras or critical infrastructure, and information on security schedules. Answering these questions can help them gain knowledge that will aid in their future attempt of breaking into the location.
3. Keep Track of Access Equipment
Keep your keys and access cards on you at all times and have a policy in place for rekeying and auditing cards. Do not issue master keys unless absolutely necessary. Also, don’t forget about your temporary badges - it is important to keep those properly secured at all times.
Change all alarm codes at regular intervals, particularly after an employee has left the organization. Additionally, check your door locks for tampering on a regular basis. Tissue paper stuffed in a door latch is a common tactic for thieves, as it allows them to return later when the site is closed down.
4. Know Your Stuff
Always conduct background checks on new hires, regardless of the position. For sensitive positions, consider using an agency that specializes in these investigations. Social media and Court Services Online are both easy and free ways to learn more about the person you are considering hiring.
Be aware of personal issues that may spill over into the workplace, particularly those that involve a workplace violence dimension. Examples include difficult divorces, unresolved grievances with co-workers and supervisors, or stalking type issues. If you are concerned about a possible escalation to workplace violence, obtain a specialist’s help.
5. Be Cyber Aware
- Use a secure password and change it regularly. Hackers can defeat dictionary-based passwords in less than five seconds. Phrases work great, especially when combined with numerals and symbols.
- Do not leave your device unattended. All devices should auto-lock after 60 seconds of idle. Any data stored on a USB or external hard drive should also be encrypted.
- Do not use public WiFi for business. WiFi is a gateway into your network and is frequently the source of cyber attacks.
- Back up your data off-site, and do not store sensitive client or employee information on the computer’s hard drive.
- Do not click on unknown links in your email. There have been many recent incidents of large organizations falling victim to ransomware schemes, which originated through an employee opening a link that appeared to be legitimate.
Security Guards for Office & Commercial Spaces
Unsafe office environments can result in lowered employee morale, dangerous situations, and loss of revenue. It is a pricey risk that businesses cannot afford to ignore. However, the presence of security guards will improve security by effectively deterring crime during business hours and after closing.
Security guards are professionally trained to handle any incidents of crime that occur, and PalAmerican Security’s highly trained guards are essential to your company’s crime prevention strategy.
Discover more about office safety and crime prevention to keep your business, your clients, and your staff safe:
- Burglary Prevention Tips That Every Business Should Know
- Office Health & Safety Tips
- 9 Ways a Business Can Prevent Robberies
- How to Prevent Shrinkage in Retail