I’m sure most – if not all – of the nearly 28 million U.S. business owners and entrepreneurs today would agree that running a small business isn’t an easy feat. I know how important it is to me to make sure my home and family are protected, so I can imagine how one of small business owners’ biggest responsibilities and concerns might be protecting what they’ve worked so hard to build.
Statistics back me up. A study by the Ponemon Institute found that 70 percent of business owners express concern about the security of their companies. So how should you go about protecting your small business? I’ve put together a few simple business security tips to help:
Disaster can strike at any time, so advance preparation is key. Be sure to keep all important employee files, leases and insurance and tax documents safely stored. Safes offer convenient storage, and there are models available that can offer protection from fire and water damage. Plus, many include removable shelves, digital locking systems and bolt-down protection that can also help keep you well-organized.
Many commercial codes regulate smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) protection. Depending on the size and layout of your business, consider upgrading or adding smoke and CO detectors as an extra safety measure for your employees. By adding extra alarms, you and your staff may be better prepared to be properly alerted in case of an emergency. If your business is home-based, consider that the National Fire Protection Association advocates for a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. As the old adage goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you think cyber security is only important at major corporations, think again. Small businesses can also be vulnerable, so it is important to keep operating systems, web browsers and anti-virus packages up-to-date. It’s easy to put off update reminders that pop up on your screen, but I recommend updating regularly to prevent malicious software from attacking your computer and network.
Surveillance cameras are a popular and cost-effective way to help prevent crime at work. You can even install security cameras with DVR capabilities, which can record and play back video and allow you to monitor for suspicious behavior while you’re away from the office. You can also set up similar systems for a home-based business.
These are just a few simple safety measures you can take to protect your business. Are you a small business owner? If so, share your tips for safety and security below.
Guest blogger Debbie Hanson is director of external affairs for First Alert, a trusted brand in home safety products.
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