A small business crime survey we ran a few years ago found that 44% of SMEs were at risk of theft due to poor security. The summer months, particularly with the warm weather we’ve been having recently, exacerbate the problem with windows left open and people forgetting to set alarms and lock exit doors.
Part of the issue is that we’re never as stringent about security when it comes to the workplace as we are in comparison to our own homes. We rarely leave home with doors unlocked or windows left open, but when it comes to the office, we’re not always as security conscious. Yet our offices contain a potential treasure trove of petty cash, laptops, computer equipment, audio visual gadgets, office supplies, as well as sensitive customer data; items which are all vulnerable to an opportunistic thief.
But the impact of an office theft can be devastating. Not only could it cost you valuable downtime while you replace missing equipment, but there could be a reputational issue if your customer data also goes missing.
Protect your office
Having appropriate insurance in place can minimise the financial risk, but the disruption that a theft can cause should put prevention high on your list of priorities. Here are some top tips to help make sure your business doesn’t fall foul of a summer theft:
- Make sure you use all your security measures every time the office is left unattended; put your alarms on, lock all exit doors and make sure all windows are closed (even if only leaving the office for a short time)
- Protect your business by changing entry access codes and removing systems access when employees leave
- Plan for what you would do to carry on with business as usual if your office is damaged or you lost some equipment
- Take appropriate steps to protect sensitive business information, including clients’ data.
More tips on preventing your business from falling victim to a burglary can be found from your local police website such as Hampshire Constabulary. Additionally the Home Office has produced a short booklet – ‘Your business, keep crime out of it’ – which provides comprehensive advice on conducting your own security survey and adopting measures to prevent theft.