The holidays are upon us, and this time of year should be a time of happiness and celebration. Perhaps you are among the workplaces that will close for an extended period to allow your employees time to celebrate with their loved ones.
Unfortunately, this time of year is the most opportunistic time for criminals, when commercial crime peaks. To ensure that your office remains safe, you might want to consider beefing up your security for the holidays. In this article, we’ll provide you with 12 tips to increase your business security over the holidays.
Review System Security Plan/Policies with Employees
The very first step in ensuring that your business remains safe during the holidays is to take the time to review your policies with all of your employees. You want to ensure that everyone is on the same page. All of your employees need to be aware of the following business security tips:
- Before leaving, lock up all valuables
- Cybersecurity policies, especially those who are traveling
- Rules about bringing guests into the office
- Action plan, in case there is an emergency
Test Security Equipment
This is a great time to test your security equipment and make sure it’s working correctly, including:
- Access control systems
- Fire alarms
- Panic buttons
- Security cameras/surveillance systems
- Cybersecurity software
This testing should be done before the holiday season so that you’ve got time to make any necessary adjustments. This will allow you to enjoy your holiday season instead of worrying about the security of your business the whole time. Additionally, if you decorate your building, make sure that the decorations don’t interfere with the security equipment.
Don’t Publicize Holiday Hours
Instead of posting your holiday hours on windows/doors, post signs that say something such as “Contact us to find out about holiday hours.” Then, you can have an automated message for when people call or email you giving them further details on your hours.
While it might be true that posting your holiday hours is helpful for your customers, it’s also helpful for criminals because it lets them know when you’re not going to be there.
Lock up your Building
When it comes to ensuring the safety and security of your business over the holidays, the best thing you can do is ensure that everything is locked uptight. You’ll also want to ensure that your security system is armed correctly. Ensure that your access control system is updated regularly to avoid the building being left unattended.
Be Vigilant when Disposing of Trash
It’s quite common for deliveries to increase during the holiday season. However, after you empty these shipping boxes, don’t throw them away immediately.
When you dispose of them, shred the original contents/shipping labels and put them in trash bags before putting them in the dumpster. After all, you don’t want outsiders to know what valuables you have in the building.
Conduct thorough background checks on all seasonal employees
If your business remains open during the holidays, you’ll want to take additional precautions when hiring seasonal employees. First of all, you’ll want to make sure that you conduct a thorough background check. Then, once they pass the background check and are officially hired, you’ll want to ensure that you give them enough training to do the job properly. Finally, you’ll want to avoid providing them with access that gives them the temptation and opportunity to steal from you.
Make sure that you follow best practices regarding the management of your alarm panel passcodes. Once these employees are no longer on your payroll, be sure to disable their codes.
Switch on Lights
Before you leave for the holidays (or for the evening), be sure to turn on the lights. This will make it harder for any intruders to conceal themselves, and this will also discourage them from hacking into your security systems. You can have lights set on timers to randomly turn on/off instead of regular intervals, and this will make it look like someone is in the building even when it’s empty.
Make sure that you know what can be seen from the outside. Avoid placing high-value merchandise, equipment, etc., near windows. When these high-value items can be seen, it tempts criminals and makes it easier for them to smash the windows, grab the items, and run.
The most crucial step in keeping your business safe during the holidays is to remain vigilant. Pay attention to people coming in and out of your business, and take note of people who appear suspicious.
Additionally, be sure to have employees who answer the phones let you know about any callers asking about sensitive information. This way, you can be aware of potential threats.
Unplug Any Devices that are not Necessary
Before leaving the building, look around and unplug anything that is not needed while you are closed. Computers, coffee makers, heaters, and copiers should be unplugged. If left unattended, these devices can cause damage to your building.
Don’t leave cash in the building
This seems obvious, but you want to make sure that you remove all cash before you leave the building. A loose safe is an easy target for thieves.
Be Careful When Using Public Wi-Fi
While it might seem harmless to use public Wi-Fi to check your office email while you’re out for the holidays, it’s not. Hackers can easily access your personal, confidential information this way. Instead, use a Virtual Protected Network, or VPN, to ensure that your company’s data is protected.
This allows your employees to access the company’s resources without physically connecting to them.
Take Appropriate Precautions
There’s a risk of pipes freezing and then bursting when the weather is cold, and this can result in thousands of dollars in damage to your facility. You can avoid this by setting your thermostat to at least 55°F. Additionally, make sure you have a low-temperature sensor that will notify you if there’s an emergency so you can make the necessary adjustments.
These security tips can help you increase your business security over the holidays so that you can enjoy all of the festivities instead of worrying about what is going on with your business and building. The security experts at Securiteam can help you with practical security solutions. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to meet your business security needs.