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How to Keep Your Business Secure from the Outside In

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When it comes to keeping your business safe, there's more to being mindful than simply bolting the front door when you leave for the day. When we consider the adaptability and sophistication of modern criminals (and their methods), it's easy to understand why you and your business need to be on alert to avoid becoming an easy target.

More than ever, the threats to your company's security are multifaceted. Despite all the technology at our disposal, there's still the physical threat of burglars jamming a crowbar into your business' window frame to plunder the valuables inside. And, in this technology-driven environment, there's the additional risk of cybercriminals hell-bent on hacking your company's most sensitive information to steal your or your client's even more valuable identities.

To dissuade trespassers, both online and offline, there are various methods a firm can employ to reduce the risk of theft and prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

Install CCTV on your premises

Installing security cameras at your business will help discourage the unscrupulous from setting foot on your property. Put simply, their very presence is a major deterrent. Those that ignore the cameras, though, are likely to become unwitting reality TV stars thanks to CCTV--which, if the worst does happen and your premises are broken into, will help identify the prowlers.

Purchase first-rate security fencing

To secure the perimeter of your premises, it's prudent to invest in high-quality security fencing. Not only will a barrier deter intruders from trying to scramble onto your property, but fencing can also be used in conjunction with high-tech perimeter intruder detection systems and the aforementioned CCTV system to really reduce the risk of undesirables wandering around your grounds.

Invest in a safe for your valuables

It may seem straightforward, but buying a safe to keep your business' valuables secure requires a large degree of selectivity. First, most safes vary in size and in the level of protection they offer against intruders. Additionally, each safe needs to meet the specifications of your insurance company, as how and where the safe is installed will determine whether your insurer will cough up a reimbursement if a claim is made.

Set up an alarm system

We've already established that any business can be a target for the theft of stock and trade secrets, not to mention vandalism. For that reason alone, an alarm system should be a priority. Typically, with the use of motion detectors and other sensors, the system can detect movement in a room, ascertain whether it's a threat, and alert you and the authorities to a break-in.

Recognize the importance of a firewall

Evidently, protecting your premises physically is a challenge in itself--but your online property is just as valuable. Consequently, given the growth of identity theft, it pays to invest in antivirus, antiphishing, antispyware and a firewall to ensure that your network and your employees' personal information are secure.

Employ proper password protocol

To make it easy for everyone, it's prudent to have a procedure in place for staff in regard to choosing a password that is unlikely to be cracked by a persistent cybercriminal. Ask your employees to select a password that is around 8-10 characters in length and includes a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. In addition, ensure passwords are kept personal and not shared, regardless of how much your staff members trust one another.

Considering the complexity of cybercrime, it's crucial to follow the advice above. But it's also worthwhile to keep on top of the latest threats to your business and your employees, lest you end up paying the price that comes with a lack of preparedness.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock'em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.