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6 Security tips to keep your business safe

The aim of a business is to make money and that’s what attracts criminals. Which is why you need to protect your business and your staff with adequate security.

It’s important you analyse your office space to check if you have adequate security. Look at your building from a criminal’s perspective. Are there burglar bars, alarm systems, security cameras and other security in place to protect your company?

Shred documents

There are criminals that make a living on identity theft and prowl on vulnerable individuals. You need to shred any documents containing sensitive or private information once you are done with them. If you simply throw them away, the information will be lying in a dustbin for anyone to take. Don’t leave a doorway that’ll leave criminals the opportunity to steal from you.

Criminals can also use the information from the documents they steal to open accounts in your name. If any of your paperwork contains signatures on it, medical details or account numbers, they should be shredded so you’ll be safe. These details can be found on a number of documents, such as bank receipts, CVs, bank statements and medical records. You should also look out for other documents containing personal information, such as your name and identity number.

If you can’t afford to shred the documents because you will need them later, make sure that you store them in filing cabinets that can be locked.

Assess potential employees

When you hire new employees in your business you need to assess them carefully. And this means doing more than just simply interviewing them. You should check their criminal record and history, as well as follow up on their references. If they stole from their previous employers, they might do the same to you. Sometimes crime doesn’t come from the outside but from within the company.

Install security

Make sure that you equip your premises with adequate security systems. Install burglar bars on windows, alarm systems, surveillance cameras and a video wall controller. The more secure your place is, the more criminals will see it as too much of a risk. And if you have security cameras installed, when a criminal comes in and tries to steal from the company, there will be sufficient evidence to give to the police. Many criminals have been caught in the act because companies had video footage of the perpetrator in the building.

Security guards

Security guards are usually positioned around the perimeter of the building so they can easily take stock of who goes in and out.They can also write down the registration number of every car that enters the premises. And perpetrators are always lurking in parking lots. So, if you have no one looking after your parking lot, they can steal your staff and clients’ cars. Or if a car isn’t looked after, they could do a smash and grab and steal any items in the car. Criminals aren’t likely to go out to a car if there is a security guard roaming the area.

And if you have an emergency that requires immediate help, the security will only be a call away to help you. Sometimes, by the time the police come, the perpetrator has already left the scene. Having a security guard nearby will leave you feeling less vulnerable.

If your employees find themselves working extremely late hours, they’ll feel safer knowing there’s security in the area and they don’t have to scurry off to their cars alone. They can even ask the security guard to walk them to the car and wait until they leave.

Lighting around your building

If you’ve got access to perfect lighting around your building, you could be safe from criminals. But if you don’t, criminals may take advantage of this. Criminals like dark, secluded areas where they won’t be easily exposed. They’ll think twice about entering a place with adequate lighting because criminals don’t like smashing windows or climbing walls if they can be clearly seen. Motion-sensor lighting is perfect because, when the lights come on, they will catch the criminals off guard, resulting in them fleeing the scene.

Protect important information on your computer

Makes sure that all your employees have a password on their computers to safeguard against any information theft. It’s important to also ensure that your antivirus and your web browsers are always updated.

It may cost you to keep your business secure but it’s definitely worth it. Analyse your place and decide where you can improve it in terms of security. You need security on your premises, so even when you’re not around you can feel safe knowing that all your assets are protected. The more secure your office is, the more peace of mind you will have. And your employees will also feel protected.

Tips to protect your home from criminals

Criminals are looking for homes that are easy targets. There are specific ingredients that make a perfect crime. And you might be unknowingly contributing to being a victim.

Surprisingly most burglaries happen between 10am and 3pm. Most people are not at home at these times, making their homes vulnerable to opportunistic thieves. And they usually start in the master bedroom first because it has the most valuables.

There are many ways to protect yourself from criminals by making sure you adequately secure your home.

Join the neighbourhood watch.

When you are a part of the neighbourhood watch you will be more secure. You will be able to find out which areas are crime hotspots and which routes to avoid when going to work or coming home. The neighbours will also let each other know of any suspicious-looking people roaming the area and also any recent criminal activity that has occurred in the neighbourhood.

Cover your garage windows

Protect your cars by ensuring that you have blinds or curtains for the windows in your garage. And always lock the gates and close the garage doors. If you don’t lock the doors and your windows are bare, you make yourself vulnerable to criminals. So put curtains on windows. If you leave your cars and motorbikes visible then criminals are likely to target your house.

Install burglar bars in your home

The harder it is for criminals to get into your house, the more secure it will be. Install them all on your windows and get gates for your  sliding doors.

Install an alarm system

An alarm system is one of the best ways to guard your house. It gives you peace of mind during the day when you are at work, knowing that your house is protected. And if you are present in your house, you are comforted knowing that help is only a press of a button away. Intruders are also usually wary of houses that have alarm system signs on their walls, windows or gates.

Check your house for any hiding places

Trees and shrubs are perfect hiding places for criminals. Prune your trees so that criminals will not be able to use them.

Be wary of what you post on social media

You wouldn’t announce to your whole neighbourhood that your house will be vacant because you are going away. So why do it on social media? When you’re going on vacation, don’t post it on Facebook, Twitter or any social platform. There might be a perpetrator reading and they might take the opportunity to raid your house. You should also avoid posting personal information such as your address.

Be careful where you hide your spare key

There are some instance that require you to leave the spare key at home. Maybe your child comes early from school or you will be away for a weekend. Don’t leave your spare house keys under mats, dustbins and pot plants. Criminals know these hiding spots and they’re  the first places they will look. Rather choose to leave your house keys with neighbours that you trust.

Motion sensor lights

Motion sensor lights will alarm thieves because they’ll be caught off guard.

Passive infrared detector – These type of lights detect heat, such as a human body, when it passes under the light and it sounds the alarm.

Active ultrasonic sensors – They detect moving objects. An intruder will be alarmed and then might take off.

Keep away from exposing your assets

Park your expensive cars and motorbikes in the garage. If you have just bought new appliances, computers, laptops and flat screen TVs, shred the boxes of these appliances and put them in black plastic bags.

Don’t leave your mail lying around

When you go away on vacation for a long time, ask a friend or family member to take collect your mail for you. A mailbox that has letters and bills overflowing from it is a dead giveaway that you are away. Criminals usually monitor a neighbourhood beforehand. And if they can see your house is empty, they will target it.

Protect your business

If you have a home-based business, make sure that it’s secured. Criminals are more likely to target homes that are used for businesses. It could be any business, a hair salon, spa etc. Criminals are more likely to target a house that also has a business in it because sales will be made. And they can steal any money made that day. And they can also take assets such as computers, fax machines, printers and cell phones.

Cameras are always a good idea

If you have the budget, you can splurge on security camera’s and video wall controllers that will help you monitor any activity. This will give you actual footage if a crime had to take place in your home and will show you when there’s an intruder.

Protecting the home is a vital tool for your peace of mind. When you are away for long periods, you will not have to stress. The more secure your home, the more criminals will be deterred.

 

Security considerations for small businesses in 2017

Small businesses are not exempt from caring about security. They, too, need to be as invested in what occurs in keeping their data and other aspects of the organisation secure. Though so much of security is often focused on big businesses and major breaches, such as hacking and cyber invasion, there are many aspects to security worth considering. To that end, if you want to be able to protect your businesses from outside interference, in order to actually produce quality work and meet client expectations, it’s important to consider what is happening in terms of security in the future. Businesses must stay ahead of security concerns in order stay ahead of those who would do damage and participate in criminal activities.

Everything is cyber

These days every business understands that being connected is essential. No longer are modern businesses only local, but are branched out into the rest of world. They exist in various forms, communicating through social media, email, website and so on. Even internally, data is stored digitally, people are able to operate and conduct meetings regardless of location. But this internal idea is itself part of the problem. As the American National Cybersecurity Institute noted:

“One of the biggest threats a company has that puts it at risk for an attack or data breach is its internal users. Lack of cybersecurity awareness and training can put organizations at a significantly higher susceptibility to cybercriminals. As Tripwire’s security engineer pointed out, security doesn’t just mean taking measures to prevent the attacks, but providing training and guidance on how to handle incident response in the event that an incident occurs. And this should be done throughout all levels of the organization, especially considering ransomware schemes like spear phishing happen primarily through emailing employees.”

Training is important but so is monitoring. So often when people consider installing, say, CCTV camera or a video wall controller, the assumption that it is to prevent outside interference. But the threats come from inside, too. This can be intentional or negligence. As SC Magazine pointed out:

“[Workers] taking the necessary steps to ensure security in the workplace becomes less of a priority for them as they seek to perform their job functions efficiently. In fact, 40 percent of firms expect a data breach in the next 12 months as a result of employee behavior, and employees indicated a widespread lack of awareness of good cybersecurity practice. The consequence is that over the last year, 78 percent of breaches have originated from within the extended enterprise (including contractors and ex-employees), the report found.”

This is a shocking number. In terms of the future, more businesses must focus on creating policy and training programs to highlight the dangers posed by employees themselves.

Education

Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge is never a bad thing. This is particularly important if, as we noted, employees learn what to do and what not to do in order to minimise any cyber dangers to businesses. Businesses owners must take the necessary steps to help minimise this danger and this means supplying education and courses that can enable their employees to not make any mistakes. Of course, nothing is perfect, but training isn’t about perfection in this case – it’s about reducing the chances of invasion, manipulation and so on from occurring which could threaten the whole company.

For example, you could begin by putting in place policies that minimise or completely restrict mobile devices. As Forsythe notes:  “As smartphones and tablets become constant companions, cyber attackers are using every avenue available to break into them.”

Most of us expect these expensive pieces of tech to be secure. In reality, they are not. With simple equipment, hackers can get in and make use of other, more powerful equipment nearby. For example, says Forsythe, “hackers can gain access to a nearby mobile device in less than 30 seconds and either mirror the device and see everything on it, or install malware that will enable them to siphon data from it at their leisure.”

You can also encourage employers to change their passwords regularly, instituting Two Factor Authentication on all their important accounts. Google, for example, sends a message to your phone when you login to your email from another device or computer. After all, if you suddenly login from somewhere else, that’s a red flag of hacking – since it means someone else is invading your space. But sometimes, of course, it’s just using a new or another device. Sending a quick note to your phone lets you authenticate it. Since hackers don’t have your phone, this is a much more secure method and is recommended by many cybersecurity experts.

Tips to improve your businesses security

There’s been so much conversation recently about the need for online security. Hacks are taking place often and to bigger corporations each time. While protecting yourself from cyber security threats is important, it’s essential that you don’t forget the importance of physical security too. And this isn’t just a concern for big businesses. Even small businesses must pay attention to their physical security needs and ensure they have the proper amount in place. Here are some steps for businesses to take note of.

Find the right security provider

It’s essential that you use a security company which understands and anticipates your needs as well as provides quality service. That’s why it’s important to ask them the right questions:

  • How will they assess your security needs?
  • How thorough will their security assessment be?
  • How much security do you really need?
  • How flexible is your contract?
  • How much experience does the company have?
  • What kind of training does the company’s staff undergo?

Explore security options

Access control is going to be one of the most important physical security avenues for your business. However, depending on your business, budget and building layout you would choose different types of access control. It’s essential that you choose the right access control solution for your business. For example, turnstile gates are ideal for regulating foot traffic, while mantraps are suitable for high security businesses like banks and jewelry stores. Just be sure to take a close look at your business and its security needs.

Have the right security for your business

Different businesses have different security needs. Some businesses have more security needs than others. For instance, these businesses need 24 hour surveillance, security control room and full-time guards. Other businesses, on the other hand, don’t need nearly as much security. These are the businesses which need just a single security guard or access control at entrances and exits. Anything more would be unnecessary and merely an additional cost. It’s Important that you have your needs properly and professionally assessed to ensure your security needs are met.

Implement and uphold security procedures

It’s essential that you have specific security protocols planned and that your staff is aware of what those are. You need to then ensure your security protocols are consistently being upheld. There’s little point having a security system in place if it’s not being adhered to all the time. It only takes one instance of security being seen as sufficient for disaster to hit. It’s essential that this doesn’t happen to your business.

Create access areas for staff

Your different employees will need access to specific and different areas of your building. Their access should be regulated and controlled to those specific areas. You should also enforce rules such as whether your employees have to wear staff identification to all times. Other workers, such as cleaners, security and maintenance staff will also need access to the building on occasion. You also need to ensure these visitors are given access when necessary.

Monitoring

Some form of monitoring will likely be required to keep track of access control. Often this is in the form of security guards or access cars. An option is to use access cards which can monitor access and timekeeping. These can be easily tracked more easily than actual keys and more information about employees. They can also be deactivated when necessary and be programmed to provide access to certain areas or limit access at certain times and days.

High-security areas

Certain areas of your office space will need more security than others. These areas will have to available to some staffers and off limits to others. It’s essential that you establish where those areas are and how much security they need. This will change from business to business and is not a one size fits all approach. your security needs may also differ depending on where your offices are based. For instance, if your business is situated in Nigeria, you may have different security needs for your Lagos office than you would in your Kano space.

Following these points should help you to determine your security needs and implement only the most important. This will help to save you both time and money, two important factors for all business owners.

Ways to protect your children and your family

For many people, the most important thing in their lives is their family. Their spouses and their children’s safety and security is their number one concern and all they work toward. But what specifically should the goals and targets of our incomes be? In what should we invest and participate to ensure a successful future for our families and children?

Be secure ourselves

Primarily, we need to be secure before we can make our children secure. During possible plane accidents, we’re told to first secure our oxygen masks before helping passengers; similarly we must reach a position of stability before creating stability for others. After all, if we can’t regularly feed, clothe, etc., ourselves then what hope do we have of raising safe kids or creating a secure home for them to flourish in.

Education

Many people, organisations and governments consider education to be the most essential aspect of people’s lives, that enables them to achieve their . And for good reason: education isn’t merely textbooks, school, reports or degrees. It’s broader: it’s about learning and testing yourself, discovering more about the world and its people, overcoming your own prejudices and assumptions, and being in a state of perpetual curiosity and admitted ignorance.

As parents, we don’t stop learning – in fact, one of the educations parents get is upon becoming parents. With every person being unique, so will our children, requiring us to learn how to manage and care for them and their needs. This means learning what sort of education is necessary for them: can they operate in ordinary schools, special schools, do they require further instruction, etc.

Add to this securing significant payment for their tertiary education – which we all know costs a great deal – and we’re left recognising the monumental importance and cost education will have on us.

However, by giving our children the best education, we also create a safer future for them that allows them to have more stability.

Keeping track of their movements and behaviour

Yet, education isn’t enough. What about physical security? Many more liberal or progressive parents might balk at the idea of monitoring your child, yet even the most lax of parents does so: for example, when going to a busy mall, you will keep track of your child’s movements. This is no different when setting up cameras, getting itemised or prepaid billing for their bank accounts or phones, etc.

We don’t need to be invasive but we do need to be careful. This is especially so with the rise of cyberbullying: since everyone has some kind of digital existence, with Facebook or other social media accounts, or even blogs and websites, this also comes with new – yet old – dangers. Here, too, we must be vigilant  as we would be if children went out at night with strangers.

Safe home

In order to aid in all of these previous endeavours, a secure home is an absolute necessity: there’s little point in investing all of our money into an education if the child is terrified of being home.

There are all sorts of ways, depending on where we live, how much we earn (remember, our view of being secure first?) , etc., that we can protect ourselves and our children: fences, proper doors and bars, safer neighbourhood, security details and so on.

While these are some of the essential ways to secure yourself and your family, they are not the only or all. Think carefully and remember the importance of what your protecting: but also don’t strangle them because you hold them too close.