Theft is a major issue for both online and brick-and-mortar businesses. Some types of theft have been around for ages, while new attacks are always popping up, especially due to the Internet. It’s important to protect your business, yourself and your employees from any type of theft. Shoplifting, employee fraud and online threats are the most common types of theft in businesses. Continue reading to learn what to look for and how to prevent these types of theft.
Shoplifting is the most common type of theft brick-and-mortar shops face. While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate shoplifting there are ways you can decrease it. Keeping an organized store is a great tool because you can easy to notice when something is missing. It’s also critical to train your employees to be on the lookout for shoplifters. These are some common places shoplifters hide merchandise:
- Shopping bags from another store
- Bags or purses
- Clothing, especially large coats
Security measures like installing cameras can help you spot shoplifters and stop them before you lose anything. For more inexpensive ideas on preventing shoplifting check out this article.
When you bring employees into your business you’d like to believe they would have you and your business’ best interests at heart, but that isn’t always the case. The best way to stop employee theft is to have a thorough hiring process that not only gives you an idea of someone’s skills but shows their level of integrity. No matter how well you interview your potential employees, those who are going to commit fraud are usually skilled liars and may trick you into thinking they are trustworthy.
A 2014 study on fraud and abuse by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) warned employers to look for certain red-flag behaviors. The first tip was to listen for employees who are boasting about living above his or her means because they may be taking home more than what you’re paying them. On the flip side, employees who are constantly talking about their financial hardship may be looking for a way to bring in more money, even if they have to do it through theft.
Businesses in any sector are liable to online threats. In fact, in 2015 43 percent of all cyber attacks targeted small businesses. Most hackers send an email asking for the user to enter information, click on a link or download a file. When the user does any of these things it gives hackers access to the server and allows them to steal money or even personal information. Data breaches also affect your employees and customers, so it is crucial to keep your information safe.
The best way to combat online attacks is, again, through training. Teaching your employees what to look for and that they shouldn’t open, click through or download any type of suspicious email is the first step. Most hackers will target the employee over finances for the company. Make sure whoever is in that position has special training and is especially careful about what emails they open. You should also create an action plan on how your company deals with any attacks.
There are different laws and regulations on what to do if your business has a data breach. Learn more about what you are required to do and the best practices if you are hacked here.
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Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.