The workplace should be a productive, comfortable environment; however, certain situations can arise that make you feel uneasy at your place of work. Here are some suggestions for what to do if there is a security issue at your business.
Be Prepared & Protect Yourself
A business owner or manager can easily be devastated by theft, vandalism or property damage. If you prepare for the worst, you give yourself a better chance of deterring and catching criminal behavior.
- Ask potential employees to supply a criminal record clearance
- Upgrade all doors to deadbolt locks and ensure that all windows have locks as well
- Install motion sensor lights outside your building to deter potential intruders
- Cover every entrance with at least one night vision camera that records to a concealed DVR
- Legally, you must disclose to your employees that you have surveillance equipment in the building; however, you do not need to specify camera locations
- It is also illegal to place cameras in private areas, such as change rooms and washrooms
- Consider placing a height chart beside main entrances so you can give an accurate description to the authorities in the event of an intrusion
How to Deal with a Suspicious Visitor
When a stranger enters the building, look for signs that show he/she is either a legitimate visitor or a potential threat.
- Give all visitors a badge that clearly identifies them to employees
- If you have a larger business, make a visitors’ entrance and mark it clearly
- If the person merely looks suspicious and you feel safe doing so, ask them if they need any help
- Be persistent. Ask them who they are meeting or what department they are looking for
- Ask someone to verify their appointment
- If they appear violent or run off with inventory, call security (if applicable) and the police
How to Protect Your Privacy
Keep your work and belongings safe by choosing effective passwords and taking steps to physically secure your work area.
- When developing a password, choose a phrase that is at least 5 words long and draw a password from that
- Alter some of it. Replace some lowercase letters with capital letters, numbers or symbols
- Write down a hint for your password that will jog your memory if you forget it. Never write down your actual password
- Change your passwords every few months
- Lock up private papers or take important planners and notebooks home at night
- Set a timer on your computer so that it logs off after a few minutes of inactivity. You will need to enter your password to get back in
- Lock your office door while you are away
- Be aware of the people around you and close confidential documents when someone comes over to your desk
- Guard your access tools. Keep your cell phone, keys, wallet and access cards with you