There are many risks that businesses will inevitably encounter. If the risks aren’t properly managed, they can result in loss of earnings, physical damage to property or employees, and worse off, having to close your business.
Here are some SMART tips for you and your employees to implement that can help reduce the likelihood of problems arising and potentially even preventing them even occurring!
Businesses handle a lot of confidential information all day long, and you need to make sure that whether it’s relating to your business employees or your clients, that information is handled sensitively. If you don’t ensure that your data is protected properly, then you could open yourself up to lawsuits and fines down the line.
The best thing that you can do is protect the reputation of your business and prevent any losses on the customer’s behalf. In this digital age, many businesses have their confidential information stored digitally. Here are a few aspects of online security to take into consideration.
You have to be able to control the information that people see and that means placing passwords and firewalls across your business information that is stored. You cannot be responsible for losing people’s personal information. This means that you need to password control data and only allow the right people access only. Passwords need to be strong, with plenty of upper and lower case letters and symbols to be able to control the risk of being hacked.
All confidential information should be shredded before you get rid of it. It’s so important that you dispose properly of sensitive information and you should shred to prevent theft from the waste bins. Confidential information should never be easy to access!
Lock Your Post
If you want to ensure that confidential documents and boxes arrive securely, you need to invest in tamper tape. You can get your business documents couriered anywhere when you have the right security for the boxes and the packaging. Secure delivery is so important and you need to make sure that you trust the person delivering as much as you ensure that the packaging is secure, too.
Storage Cabinets With Locks
If you have to keep documents to hand in your business, you need to make sure that they are kept in locked cabinets at all times. These cabinets should also be kept in a locked room so that no one can get in there to tamper with the storage!
Training, Training, Training
The better educated your staff, the better they can handle confidential information. Employees can be your biggest risk as much as they are your biggest asset. Ensuring that they are well-trained on how to handle confidential information is important!
Without the right training, mistakes are more likely to occur. Explain why it’s essential that they handle data sensitively, and explain the consequences of their actions if they don’t! You can train in-house or externally off the premises, but you should always have experts on hand to help here.
If you use a computer system in your offices, operate a website or upload any kind of data onto the cloud, you must seek out some kind of support or protection in order to reduce the risks that an internet connection brings.
A professional company like Networking Solutions is a perfect example, as they work to protect your information and services, and fix any problem you encounter that relates to any aspect of your computer system. Attacks can range from crippling viruses to massive loss of data, and it’s so easy to fall victim accidentally or simply become a target.
Having the right features in place to prevent hackers from breaking into your system will provide you with peace of mind, that you can then pass onto your customers who must trust you with their personal information.
Strategies you can use to effectively protect your business against fire, include creating a fire-safe zone around your premises. An action that is particularly important if you are set in a rural location close to foliage and trees.
In fact, by cutting down trees, bushes and old foliage you can help slow and sometimes even stop the spread of fire from the outside to your property and vice versa. Something that can provide additional time for customers and employees to leave safely, and even help the emergency services to arrive before things are too late.
Of course, another essential tactic when it comes to fire prevention is to have an effective and sophisticated warning system. This means alarms that detect both smoke and heat, as well as automatic sprinkler systems, and dampening procedures.
In fact, such systems can reduce the speed at which fire can spread in your premises, limit its impact, and improve safety for those working there as well.
Many places in the world are vulnerable to flooding. If your business is located in such an area, it is imperative that you acknowledge this risk, and do all you can to minimize it. Obviously, you cannot control the amount of rainfall you can expect, but there are other tactics you can use.
The first is to choose to build your premises on raised ground, where ever possible. Something that means even if the area is flooding your buildings will avoid the worst of it. However, if this is not possible, you can use other strategies that can be effective as well.
One of these is to create a drainage system both around your buildings and within them as well. Something that will carry any excess water away and therefore stop it collecting and becoming a risk to staff, and stock. While another is to identify any bodies of water close to your site that are at risk of breaking their banks. Then adding in reinforcements such as dams to stop this from happening.
Earthquakes are genuinely a demonstration of mother nature’s most raw power. Sadly, even a relatively small earthquake can be very damaging to a business’s premises, not to mention a considerable risk to the lives of those working there.
The good news is that there are actions you can take to improve the safety of any building your business uses against this threat. In fact, there are two ways of approaching this problem. The first applies to when you are building your shop, restaurant, office or warehouse from scratch and it is to include in the design anti-earthquake measures.
Unfortunately, many businesses purchase buildings second hand, which means they do not have the opportunity to include such safety features. Luckily, this needn’t be a problem any longer. The reason being that it is possible to install safety features after a building has been erected.
In fact, this process is known as earthquake retrofitting of non-ductile concrete buildings and is something you can find out more about by clicking on the link. There is even a range of options available such as Adding braces, shear walls, and base isolators or stiffening existing elements such as column wrapping or jacketing. Something that means you will likely find an option that will suit your business premises and make it a much safer place.
Break-in & Burglary
Another significant risk that many business premises are vulnerable to is break-in and burglary. In fact, even a simple break-in where the criminal was disturbed and nothing was taken can still cost you a great deal in terms of hassle, repairs and raised insurance.
Of course, if items are stolen, and significant damage is done, the situation only becomes worse. With some incidents resulting in work stopping altogether while repairs are made and evidence collected. This is a situation that can significantly impact your business economically.
Especially if your profits are dependent on sales targets with very slim margins. The reason being even a day or two without being able to operate in a typical fashion can be enough to disrupt these.
With that in mind, taking the time to install technology that can help to deter break-ins is the best option. To do this, you will first need to fit sturdy locks along with an alarm system that is remotely monitored. Especially if your building is located somewhere like a business park where no passers-by would be able to report a break-in.
Additionally, the increase in digital tech for protection means many businesses are using devices like CCTV to help them improve the security of their buildings. Although for this to be as effective as possible, you must place the cameras in the right position. Outside this includes angled to face any entranceways. Also, make sure such cameras are as noticeable as possible because it is the risk of being caught by CCTV that is most likely to put burglars off.
However, when it comes to inside cameras, directed them towards particularly vulnerable spots such as walkthroughs, and by your most expensive stock and experiment is the most effective option. The reason being those inside cameras are used less as a deterrent, and more as a way to quickly identify and track down thieves and aid the Police in their capture.
In fact, having cameras in the right place can not just help you protect your business, but even help you keep your insurance premiums as low as possible too. Something that means they are one of the most important ways of keeping a disaster from the door of your company.
Risk Of Injury Or Illness
Though this applies more to certain workplaces (such as construction sites), every environment poses some kind of risk that may cause injury or illness to you or your employees.
The first step you must take is to secure your workplace: do you have clear routes for your staff to move safely? Can any objects fall from a height? Are machines operating properly, and can your employees use them correctly?
You should never allow a member of your staff to complete any job that they are not qualified to do, as by doing this they endanger not only themselves but everybody around them too. Having the right insurance is also vital, as if the worst were to happen you must be covered by the law and be able to provide the victim with the right kind of support.
Although it may still be tough to avoid some risks in certain environments, you still must make the utmost effort to increase safety in every way you can. Simply follow the steps above to begin your journey to more stable and secure working practice.
Alarm systems have become very sophisticated and are the first line of defense. You can access and monitor the system through any mobile device. You can get a good business security system within any budget and still be able to customize it to your needs. Alarms can notify you and the authorities of any unauthorized intruders 24/7. You should plan on spending up to $500 for equipment and a monthly fee from $50 to $250, depending on the level of service.
Good lighting is important to discourage potential criminal activity and also increase a sense of safety. Attackers are more likely to strike when it is dark since it decreases the chances of being caught and recognized. A professional who has experience with landmark lighting can minimize hiding spots, allow for physical detection and facial recognition, and see which types of security lights work best for your home. Effective lighting also is a relatively inexpensive way to protect your business.
It is important to educate and encourage everyone in the company to take proactive physical measures. You should create a standard operating procedure and include it in the employee handbook to limit exposure to any attacks. You can limit the amount of cash on the office premises, implement a strict system for locking doors and turning on security systems. You can even create employee IDs or badges to allow access to only certain personnel to secure areas. These proactive measures can help protect the business and avoid costly mistakes.
One of the most common ways hackers break into and steal valuable information is by guessing passwords. Do you know the most common password people use? It is the word “password”! Another common one is “123456.” Many people use these easy passwords so they can remember it easily. You want to choose complex passwords that others cannot predict and make sure to change them regularly.
Many online sites require you to use a combination of numbers, letters, CAPs, and special characters. There are apps and programs like LastPass that can help you create, keep track, and securely store your complex passwords. In the event that their is a password data breach, you can use companies like SecureForensics.com to help you fix the breach, investigate your case, and find the cybercriminals.
Avoid Strange Links
When cybercriminals strike, they often come in the form of strange links and attachments. For online safety reasons, avoid clicking on links, opening suspicious emails, and downloading attachments you aren’t familiar with. Downloading malicious malware to your computer gives hackers access to your computer and sensitive data.
Common strategy hackers use is phishing. Phishing is a cybercrime in which targets are contacted by email, telephone or text by someone posing as a legitimate institution. Their goals are to lure you into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. Then the hackers take this information to go to the real sites with your data.
Cybercriminals are much more sophisticated, so make sure the email is addressed to the right recipient by email and name, check for grammatical errors, verify that the link goes to the actual site (or use your own link to the site), and activate web tools that can help you identify malicious phishing sites.
Monitor Your Accounts
If you notice any unfamiliar activities like strange emails being sent from your account or attempted logins from other countries, don’t ignore it. To be on the safe side, check to make sure your accounts aren’t compromised and install a good firewall. Hackers will often create a random email with a name that you may recognize. Don’t send any sensitive information over email unless you have verified the recipient. Make sure all employees know the different types of scams and educate them on how to recognize and prevent any online security attacks.
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