As a small business owner, you’ve invested all of your time and money into making your dreams come true. Owning a small business is an exciting opportunity for you to work for yourself and sell products or services you’re truly passionate about. This means you need to protect your precious gem at all costs. As you may know, businesses are big targets for a variety of crimes, whether small thefts or large security breaches. To help you protect your company, we’ve created this guide on how to keep your small business safe. Take a look!
Hire the right employees
The employees you hire are the backbone of your business. They’re the ones on the floor selling your products or services and interacting with customers. Unfortunately, not every employee is a good apple. In a recent Hiscox study, it was found that employee theft cost U.S. businesses $1.13 million in losses. Sadly, small and medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees were targeted at a much higher rate, making up 68 percent of embezzlement cases.
To prevent your employees from going behind your back and stealing money, products, or equipment, you want to make sure you hire responsible and trustworthy candidates in the first place. Running a background check is a great first line of defense to ensuring the candidate you hire is who they say they are. Background checks will provide you with pertinent information, such as criminal history and work history. Background check prices vary but average anywhere between $30 and $60 per screening.
On top of background checks, make sure to host multiple rounds of interviews and have employees participate in the interview process as well. Gut instincts may not be proven, but if something seems fishy about a candidate, you’re probably right. It’s best to err on the side of caution than hiring an unlawful employee who might cost your business money.
Invest in a security system
A security system is another must when it comes to keeping your small business safe. With a security system, you’ll be able to monitor activity in your store, warehouse, or office with the help of security cameras that connect directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
A security system will allow you to keep a watchful eye on your business and look for things like employee theft and customer theft. A security system will also install alarms and sensors throughout your company, which will give you peace of mind when your office is closed should someone try and break in. Glass break sensors, motion sensors, environmental sensors, and panic buttons are all standard security measures you should look for in your business security system.
Use strong passwords
Physical property isn’t the only thing you need to protect. Many small businesses use the internet in some capacity and store confidential information on their servers or cloud-based servers. To protect online data, make sure you use strong passwords and to change them regularly. This way, your chances of someone hacking into your files and folders will decrease. There are plenty of password tracking services you can use to store passwords and keep your files protected.
Encrypt your data
One reason small businesses fail is because they don’t take the right security measures. One crucial online protection measure you should take is encrypting your data. Encryption is the act of securing data with a series of codes that can only be unlocked by a key, which you will have. Encryption is essential when it comes to running a business because you most likely will use an online system to make payments, send emails, and perform other daily duties. For businesses that do accept credit card information, you are required to follow PCI compliance requirements, which ask you to encrypt all credit card information.
To prevent prying eyes from stealing information like credit card numbers and customer addresses, you can hire an online security expert to encrypt your data or install encryption software on all company devices. Other online safety protocols you should follow include installing firewalls, using antivirus software, and training staff on keeping online information safe.
Your small business if your life. No matter what type of business you own, whether it’s a specialty bakery or an accounting firm, you build it from the ground up with determination and hard work. Keeping your small business safe should be a top priority. Hiring the right employees, installing a security system, generating strong passwords, and encrypting data are all measures you should take to protect your company.