05292017

5 Ways to Keep Your Business Secure Whenever You’re Away

Use these simple security tips to ensure your business stays safe even when you’re not there.

From lost luggage to missed connections, business travel comes with plenty of headaches. If you’re a business owner, you can add “worrying about whether your business will be robbed in your absence” to that list. Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, it can be stressful to leave your business behind—especially if you’re the one who’s usually in charge of maintaining its security.

Luckily, a few simple steps can help guard against all but the most determined thieves. Here’s how to make sure your business stays secure even while you’re away.

1. Maintain routines

Burglars don’t typically strike a business without casing it first. When they case a business, they’re looking to identify patterns of behavior such as when employees arrive and leave every day. When those patterns are disrupted, that can signal to thieves that business is not proceeding as usual (and that they might have an opportunity to strike).

Thus, an easy way to throw thieves off the trail is to make sure the activity at your business stays routine even if you’re away. For example, if you’re typically the first one to arrive and the last one to leave, you might ask your second-in-command to follow the same schedule in your absence.

2. Communicate with your team

Before leaving, make sure your whole team is familiar with the company’s security protocols and committed to adhering to them in your absence. Clearly delegate any of your duties that pertain to business security and make sure everyone knows who is responsible for the daily duties of locking up windows and doors, securing electronics and so on. Encourage your team to take an active role in protecting the business by identifying unescorted visitors and monitoring restricted areas to make sure they’re not accessed by anyone without the authority to do so.

3. Ask for help

If you run a solo enterprise or your entire team will be gone for a certain period of time, consider asking the owner of a trusted neighboring business to keep an eye on the premises. Let them know how long you’ll be gone, provide them with emergency contact information and inform them about what you consider to be suspicious activity at your business.

4. Invest in a security system

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many business owners fail to take this very basic step toward greater security. Installing perimeter lighting, CCTV surveillance equipment, an alarm system and other high-tech security options is a simple and effective way to beef up your business’ security both when you’re gone and all year round. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile security apps, you can even take control of monitoring your business from far away. This can provide tremendous peace of mind for business owners on the go.

5. Don’t forget cyber security

Not all thefts occur on the physical premises of a business. If you’re traveling with a laptop, smartphone or tablet, then you might be compromising your business’ security without even realizing it.

Cyber attacks are on the rise, so make sure to keep your digital data safe by password-protecting electronics, using encryption, avoiding unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and equipping electronics with the latest software and antivirus updates before you leave. It’s also helpful to backup all content before heading out on a trip—this will help ensure no data is permanently lost even in the worst-case scenario of your electronics being stolen.

Don’t wait until the day before you leave for a trip to think about how you’ll keep your business safe. Instead, start putting these pieces in place now to reap the benefits of enhanced security every day of the year.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Hazem.m.kamal

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