Security is important in any retail business. Over the years, in our work with local small business retailers and in our own shops we have collected advice on shop security. Here are some built point tips you may find helpful from the basic and simple to the more tech. oriented:
- Know how many keys there are to your premises and who has them.
- Keep a spare key is a safe place away from the business.
- Change the most powerful / valuable password for your computer software monthly and share it sparingly. Passwords should be complex. Check the strength of your password here: https://howsecureismypassword.net
- Keep a current data backup off site, in the cloud preferably. Regularly check that you can restore the data from your backup and that the data is current.
- Regularly check the use of your business software for the deletion or alteration of sales as this could indicate employee fraud.
- Have current reputable virus protection on all your computers.
- Have current reputable firewall installed on your network.
- Never open a zip file sent by email.
- Never open an email from a bank, the ATO or the police.
- Be discrete when talking about the business and its performance.
- Do not do the banking at the same time every day or every few days. Do not follow the same route. Do not carry the same bag.
- Have a camera system installed to get a good shot of the faces of everyone entering and leaving the business.
- Consider registering your CCTV with the local police – this is an option in some jurisdictions.
- Ensure customers can see they are being filmed.
- Train employees to make eye contact with customers.
- Train employees on emergency procedures for handling: theft, aggressive people, shoplifters.
- Use the full stock control facilities of your software to understand the financial cost of shoplifting.
- When doing magazine returns, check discrepancies weekly to understand magazine theft.
- Ensure your windows are not cluttered. The police advise cluttered windows are a security risk because of what they can hide.
- Ensure there is good lighting outside if the store is locked up when it is dark.
- Ensure you have the best possible sight lines of the shop from the counter.
- Have a no personal items at the counter policy.
- If you catch someone in the act of shoplifting ask them to wait in the store, and call the Police. Also (advice from NSW govt. Crime prevention):
- Tell them who you are.
- Tell them why they have been asked to stay in the store. o Advise them that Police have been called
- Ask the person to surrender any property that doesn’t belong to them. Remember, retailers and other citizens have no legal right to search a person.
- Most importantly, do not put yourself at risk.
- Have a clear refund processing policy and ensure all employees are trained on this.
- Track all sales by employee code.
- When hiring: ask if applicants agree to a police check, check their references, do not hire friends of employees, explain your commitment to zero tolerance re employee theft.
- Have an employee theft policy in full view.
Some of this may read like common sense. We continue to be surprised when hearing of a business that has experienced a security breach that has not considered most of what is on this list.
Develop your own list. Check it regularly. Follow your own advice.
We are a POS software company, making and supporting POS software for specialty retailers in Australia and New Zealand.