Fourteen ways to protect your business

Whether your business is big or small, you need to protect it. Business protection should cover physical and online security, and protect you from loss of earnings. With these simple tips, keep your business safe. 

  1. Secure your premises. Make sure doors and windows have secure locks, and fit security lighting to put off would-be thieves. Consider installing CCTV if you think you may be at risk, and fit an alarm to sound during a break-in. Put up signs that warn of the presence of CCTV and alarms, which can help to put off anyone considering attempting to break in. Having well secured premises can also save you money on your insurance premiums. 
  2. Protect your equipment. Remote device management is essential if you’re giving staff devices to take off site. A remote management system allows you to track the device location, push security updates automatically, and remotely wipe them if they’re lost or stolen. Tag any computers and keep a record of any serial numbers. 
  3. Take out business insurance. Proper insurance will protect your business in the event of theft, property or stock damage, or other issues like accusations of poor workmanship. If you rely on particular members of staff, consider Key Man Cover. Key Man cover insures your top performers, giving you a payout in the event of their death or serious illness. 
  4. Be organised about your stock. Keeping up to date records will mean you can spot any discrepancies or issues much faster, so you can react quickly and solve any problems.
  5. Check the references all employees, even for casual staff, to minimize the risk of theft by employees. Make sure you have a clear policy on theft, and that your staff know about it. Be sure to only grant key cards to staff who actually need access to secure areas, and be careful about giving people security codes. Lock away petty cash and sign out any amounts needed accurately, as the cash can be vulnerable to staff theft. 
  6. Protect your data, especially sensitive information like client’s financial details. Restrict entry to data with access controls on any computers. Require employees to lock their computers when they’re away from their desks, regularly review who has access to what data. Keep your firewalls and any anti-virus software up to date to protect against attacks. 
  7. Be sensible about sensitive information on print-outs. Don’t allow sensitive paperwork to be left lying on the printer, and make sure papers are stored securely, and then shredded as soon as they are no longer needed. 
  8. Hire a good attorney. You should have a good lawyer that you know and trust, so you’re not scrambling to find one if you have a legal emergency. Get recommendations to find a lawyer who is well versed in your area of business and any potential legal risks. 
  9. Make sure any terms and conditions for customers are clearly displayed and easy to understand. Avoid jargon, and make sure any important information, like payment information or returns requirements are easy to find on your website or in any customer paperwork. 
  10. Protect yourself from potential lawsuits. Watch your business actions and don’t make any false promises or claims. Don’t do business with anyone with a poor reputation, or who is known for unscrupulous business practices. 
  11. Develop a crisis plan, so your business is braced for a disaster like a fire. Include plans for any technology or vital data that your business would need to survive and communicate any plans to your staff. 
  12. Be sensible with social media. While it can be a great marketing tool, if used irresponsibly, it can really damage your reputation. Be careful not to react badly to negative comments. Use the platforms in a professional way to communicate with your customers and to advertise your products. Make sure to revoke access promptly from any employees who are leaving the company to avoid any unprofessional posts being shared. Consider bringing in a PR professional to draft a crisis communication plan, in case your business has a PR disaster that requires a prompt response online. 
  13. Train your staff well in any security plans. Make sure they’re being responsible with data, changing passwords regularly, and handling documents in the right way. Host regularly training sessions on how to handle sensitive data or embargoed information. Make sure all staff, from the CEO to the interns, understand their responsibilities and any company security policies. 
  14. Don’t allow staff to use their own devices, like phones, for work purposes. You can’t control the security on devices like this, so staff accessing work information from personal devices could pose a security risk.