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Money: Four Ways To Protect Your Business From Theft

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Theft is a danger that every business faces on a day to day basis. Even if you’re insured, you might not be able to recover everything you’ve lost and the disruption will cause you problems as well.

You’ll have to stop working for the day which is going to lose you money and your employees will no longer feel safe in the workplace which has a big impact on their productivity.

There are a lot of different types of theft that you need to be aware of so you can take steps to prevent them.

The most obvious thing is people breaking in to steal any cash that you’ve got on the premises but that’s not all they’ll be going for. Criminals could also be after sensitive documents that have customer credit card information on, for example.

As well as break ins, you need to be aware of online theft which is fast becoming the number one concern for companies and organizations across the world. If you’re not protected online, criminals can easily steal information about you and your customers which they’ll then use to start using to clean out your bank account.

As well as theft from outside, you need to consider employee theft as well. It’s less of a problem because you’re not likely to hire somebody that you don’t trust but you can never tell. If you’re not putting measures in place to protect yourself from employee theft, it can continue for a long time without you realizing and you’ll lose a lot of money over the time.

These are the main risks that you need to be aware of, here’s how you can protect yourself.

Customer Verification

When people are trying to steal information, the easiest way to do it is to have you hand it over willingly. While you might think that you wouldn’t be naive enough to do that, you’d be surprised. Criminals will often get in touch posing as a customer and ask for sensitive data.

That’s why it’s important that you verify exactly who customers are before you give them any information. You can use trusted identity as a service to protect yourself online. Using ID scanning or facial recognition, you can be sure that the person is who they say they are before you proceed.

As well as online protection, you need to remember to put measures in place when you’re talking to customers over the phone. Set up a series of security questions that customers answer the first time you speak with them. Any time they call after that, make sure that your employees are going through all of these questions before offering up any information.

Keep Cyber Security Updated Regularly

By now, most companies realize that they need to spend a bit of money on a good online security package, but where a lot of people fall down is keeping it updated. Hackers adapt their methods quickly to get around new security features so when you implement a security strategy, it won’t protect you for that long.

If you’re not keeping it updated regularly, hackers will be able to get through with ease so you might as well not have it at all. If you lose customer data, you’ll lose a lot of business and you might end up having to pay fines as well if you’ve been found to be in breach of data protection laws because you haven’t put enough effort into protecting data.

Don’t Keep Too Much Cash

The best way to avoid break ins is make it less attractive to criminals. If you’ve always got a good amount of cash on site, you’re a prime target for burglary. If your business deals in a lot of cash on a daily basis, you should bank it regularly and only keep enough for a till float on site.

If you do have to keep large amount of cash, make sure that it’s securely locked away in a safe and it isn’t easily visible from the outside of the building.

Keep Good Records

Employee theft is often hard to spot if somebody is taking small amounts over a long period. The best way to protect yourself against it is to keep good records. Obviously, you should be taking note of the till amounts at the end of the day. If there is a small discrepancy that’s not too much of a problem.

It happens sometimes, but if it starts happening regularly, you’ve got a problem. Keeping note of who is working against the till amounts makes it easier to spot any trends that might suggest theft.

Take these steps to protect your business and you’ll massively reduce the risk of theft.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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