Yeah, I’ll admit sometimes my head gets stuck in the sand of technology and I think a bit too one dimensional sometimes. Mobile computing, blogs, RSS feeds, routers and more.
However, it recently hit me – small businesses are targets of criminals. Not just hackers, hacker your network, but criminals hitting your retail store as well. Maybe even those who trust who work in your home office.
I interviewed Guy Pithie, senior vice president of the U.S. division of Swann Communications and got insight from him on crime, how you can prevent it, and how you can implement technology to reduce crime.
What are some common crimes happening in smaller businesses?
Unlike large corporations, small businesses have to worry about the quick crimes that can take place within seconds. Everything from inventory theft and stolen cash to hurtful crimes against staff and customers affect small businesses each day. Similar to larger businesses, though, smaller companies also have to worry about inside crime, such as employee theft.
How do these crimes differ from what a larger company might experience?.
When crimes take place at a larger company, it usually happens over a longer period of time. Here we are talking about financial fraud, misuse of company property or funds, etc. These kinds of crimes and fraudulent activity can take place over months and years.
What are some common sense things a small business could do to deter crime?
There are several common sense activities small businesses can do to deter crime. Develop and advise all employees of inventory control procedures. All merchandise entering and exiting your premises should be accounted for. Train employees on proper cash handling and security measures. Set policy regarding cash on hand and stick to it. Have exterior and interior lighting that allows proper visibility into the store from the street. Have a buddy system signal with a neighboring store in case suspicious persons enter. Keep seldom used doors and windows locked at all times.
What role can technology play?
The good news for small businesses is that technology continues to advance while the price points continue to decrease. Moreover, technology can be your eyes and ears when you have to turn your attention elsewhere. Specifically, cameras and DVR leverage cutting-edge technologies that can be tied into other technology, such as computer networks. Small business owners can monitor their security systems from anywhere in the world via the Internet. This is truly amazing technology that gives owners peace of mind, anywhere, anytime.
Any specific technologies if you have not mentioned them?
Swann now has a do-it-yourself surveillance camera called the Digital Private Eye, which automatically records images onto an SD Memory Card upon detecting motion. If fitted with a 1GB SD Memory Card, the Swann Digital Private Eye can record up to 30,000 images, which can be viewed by simply connecting the unit via a USB cable or by plugging the SD Memory Card into a PC or other viewing device. The ability to capture and record images is paramount for when the authorities or insurance company arrives. After all, you can’t catch what you didn’t see.
Talk about financial crime and other crime
Financial crime continues to plague companies both large and small. Gone are the days when you interviewed a candidate and put your trust in them over a handshake. And even background checks are unreliable because of the ability to mask your true identity. Therefore, you have to put measures in place to safeguard and monitor any employee having access to financial records, securities or liquid assets.
Protecting against villainous customers is also a factor for any business, especially for smaller companies. We currently live in extremely litigious times, and as a business owner you have to be able to protect yourself against customers who may fraudulently try to bilk insurance money away from you.
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