Camera Systems Can Be Used Legally and Effectively

Many home and business owners shy away from using camera systems because of how challenging they can be at times. In addition to that, there are certain privacy laws that have to be abide by. The fact of the matter is that video surveillance systems are very easy to operate provided you choose a security company that knows what they’re doing. It’s easy to reap the advantages of camera systems and also appease all legal requirements. 
When installing camera systems in the home, the laws are common sense. It’s completely fine placing cameras where privacy is not an expectation. If someone in your home has an expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom, it is most likely off limits. 
Business owners use camera systems for 3 primary reasons:
  1. To provide safety to their customers 
  2. To provide safety to their employees
  3. To provide safety to their products 
But, CCTV systems in business have other uses too, such as accident verification, etc.
Camera legalities in the workplace come down to this- When someone is in a public place, there is no expectation of privacy. It is perfectly fine to use video surveillance in any public area. However, in the state of Oregon, the business has to post a sign in a conspicuous area notifying people that they are being monitored if the video recording is to be used in a court of law. 
Here are some of the places that businesses should not place cameras:
  1. Entrances and exits to bathrooms
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Dressing rooms
  4. Locker Rooms
Medical offices and schools are a different story and have an entirely different set of governing laws. Most medical facilities have to comply with HIPPA regulations and adhere to patient privacy. 
I am often asked about audio when I am in a security audit these days. Camera systems that record audio in public places are very touchy and may be in violation with certain federal privacy laws. I have heard of instances where businesses owners have obtained written consent from persons who will be subject to being recorded, but that is rare. The best way to obtain a properly installed security camera system is to call a knowledgeable security camera integrator. We are always available with any questions you may have.

How to Improve the Security at Your Business this Spring   

Winter has been brutal and, as a result, there is no question you are eagerly waiting for warmer weather to arrive. As temperatures go up, more people are getting out and about, and industries such as food processing, agriculture and construction are seeing an uptick in business. However, warmer weather also results in a less pleasant trend – an increase in crimes of opportunity.

Perhaps there is landscaping or construction equipment that has been left unattended or a building that appears to be easily accessed after business hours because a window was left cracked. Crimes of opportunity, such as vandalism or theft can not only have a serious financial impact, but also affect the security that visitors and employees to the location feel.

The good news is, there are some simple changes that can be made to help and prevent these crimes of opportunity.

Exterior lighting. Be sure that all the lights on a building are in proper working order and that they are strategically placed to light up areas such as doors, windows, and other access points.
Comm_Lot
Parking lots. Be sure all parking areas are well-lit and encourage your visitors and employees not to leave any type of valuable item or any item that may look expensive, inside their vehicles. 

Windows and doors. It is important for all locks to be in proper working area and employees need to be fully aware of proper lock-up procedures and who is responsible for closing all the windows at the end of the day.

Security systems. Be sure to review and maintain video surveillance systems or alarms, and who should be monitoring and setting them, especially if new employees have been hired.

While these security procedures can make a huge difference in overall business security, it is essential that you stay on top of what is going on and ensure that everyone knows their role in keeping the business safe and free from crime.

How Employees May be Compromising Your Network Security 

For many businesses – big and small – the most concerning issue they face today is securing their commercial networks and sensitive data. The fact is, today’s risks don’t just come from the outside; instead, some of the biggest threats a business faces is from those who are entrusted to protect it – the employees.

While this does not mean all workers are intentionally trying to compromise the business’s data and networks, what it does mean is that they may not have received adequate security training, or that the security policies in place are not being enforced properly.

Some of the ways employees may be putting an entire commercial network at risk – without even realizing it – include: Weak PW

Creating weak passwords: A single employee using an over simple password, such as “password” or “123456” can allow a hacker to access sensitive company information. In fact, it takes the average hacker less than 10 minutes to crack a password of six characters. With a few capitalized letters it will only take 10 hours. This is why it is essential the company creates a policy that requires strong passwords with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, number and symbols that are changed regularly.

Using social media at work: Social media links often carry malware. If this is downloaded to a single office computer, it can quickly spread, compromising the entire network. It is important that employees do not engage on social media from the office or during work hours and this is a policy that needs to be strongly enforced.

Losing devices: From time to time everyone loses an electronic device, this is simply a fact of life. However, to ensure that no sensitive data is leaked when this occurs, it is important to ensure each device is encrypted. This means the data is protected regardless of who finds it.

There is no question that having physical means of protection in place is important, such as security cameras and alarms; however, educating employees about how thieves may try to steal information is also crucial.

By |January 21st, 2016|Categories: Commercial Security, Portland|Tags: |0 Comments

3 Ways to Keep Your Business Secure during the Holiday Season

 The holidays are just around the corner and chances are you are already dreaming of higher sales and the profits rolling in, as well as fun and festivities at the office holiday party. However, you may not have given much thought to potential theft that often occurs during the holidays. Regardless if you run an office building or a high-end retail store, taking steps to secure the premises is essential.

During the holidays, criminals target all types of businesses, mainly because they know on certain days, they will be empty. They key to minimizing your losses and ensure your business is not a target is to implement the three security measures here.

1.    Install high security locks: These locks will make it much more difficult for a burglar to gain access to the inside of the building. Modern locks are only able to be opened with codes, special keys or keycards, making your building much more difficult to get into. Business Cameras

2.    Alarm systems: Monitored alarm services means that there will always be someone watching over your business, even when you’re not there.

3.    Cameras: Regardless of if you put cameras in an easy to see location or hide them, they will help to prevent and stop would-be criminals.

The tips that are highlighted here will help you keep your business and commercial property safe during the holidays and throughout the year.

By |December 21st, 2015|Categories: Commercial Security|Tags: |0 Comments

Top Retail Security Tips for Your Business

With the holiday season right around the corner, many retail businesses are already making preparations for the expected increase in crowds and profits. While this includes stocking up on the latest toys and products for the season, another area you should not forget about is security.

Keeping your store safe should be paramount and with the security tips here, any retail business will be ready for the holiday bonanza up ahead.

Invest in a Safekeypad safe
If a burglar or thief were to break into the retail store, you need to ensure they cannot access your cash box. This is why it is a good idea to invest in a high-security safe and post information on the door regarding the presence of this safety feature. Also, make it clear that employees do not have access to the safe. This will help to deter would-be burglars who may be looking for an easy target.

Install Security Systems
Modern security systems feature all the bells and whistles you could possibly need. From high tech cameras to two-way mirrors and constant monitoring – these systems are designed to monitor every second of activity. When crowds increase, it is virtually impossible for your workers to be everywhere, which means you need to invest in a security system that can monitor what is going on for you. This should also be ‘posted’ in the store so consumers are deterred from trying to steal.

Motion Lights and CamerasInstall Outside Motion Lights
The burglar’s worst enemy is motion lights. Having these installed on the exterior of your business will help to deter anyone from breaking in. They are also ideal for providing peace of mind for employees who are working extended hours during the holiday season.

Don’t let the holiday season result in theft and losses. With the tips here you can minimize the potential for losses and be confident that your store will be protected throughout this exciting time of year.

Is Your Business Disaster Ready?

Do you think your business could survive a flood, hurricane, fire or other type of natural disaster? The fact is that up to 25 percent of businesses that are forced into closure will never reopen after a weather-related disaster.

While there is no way to reduce the potential for a natural disaster, there are a number of steps that can be taken to help protect your business. Creating and sharing a disaster recovery plan with your business’s employees will help ensure everyone knows what to do when disaster strikes. Some of the best things to do to prepare for a disaster are:
Disaster
Identify Potential Problems
Do you live near water? Are you in an area that is prone to wild fires? It’s important to consider each possible disaster and how likely it is to happen. This will help you figure out what you need to be prepared for.

Get to Know Your Insurance Policy
It’s important to figure out what coverage you have for certain disasters and what your deductibles are. There are some policies that don’t cover things such as floods or earthquakes. If you are in an area where this is a possibility, it’s essential to take note of this and purchase additional insurance.

Create Your Plan
Be sure that the plan you create for dealing with a disaster is understood by every employee within your business. It’s essential to have everyone on board when making this type of plan.

Test the Plan
Once you have created your emergency response plan, it’s essential to test it on a regular basis. Be sure that the issues you have identified are still relevant and that everyone knows what to do, especially new workers or employees.
Taking the time to plan for a disaster before it happens will give you the best chance possible of recovering successfully. Don’t take for granted that it has been years since an earthquake, hurricane or other disaster has struck – protect your investment by planning now.

Benefits of Installing a Keypad Lock for Your Business

When you install a lock for your business, your goal is to keep the property secure while you are away. As a result of business owners demanding new, more effective methods of securing their businesses, the security industry offers a number of different types of locks. Some of the most common include:

•    Cam locks
•    Padlocks
•    Combination locks
•    Deadbolt locks
•    Traditional key locks

Another option, which can enhance the security of a business further than the traditional locks is a keypad lock. Commerical Keypad Lock

Keypad locks work without a key. In order to gain access to a building, the person has to enter the proper numerical combination. The keypad on these locks is similar to what is found on a telephone or calculator. When the correct pin is entered, the door unlocks. There are quite a few benefits offered by keypad locks over other options, which are found here.

•   Higher level of security: There are no cylinders, so they are unable to be bumped or picked like conventional locks. There are also no keys to be lost

•   A smarter security option: There are some keypad locks that can be scheduled to only open during certain times. This will limit access even to those who have the pin.

•   Easy to install: There are no major adjustments needed to install this type of lock. They are a standalone unit which means there is no need to wire in the door to make them work.

If you are looking for a better way to secure your property, then you should consider the benefits offered by a keypad lock. They can provide peace of mind for any property.

Benefits of Investing in Panic Bars for Your Office Building

If you have ever been in a shopping center, school or large office building, there is a good chance you have either entered or exited the facility through a door that has a panic bar installed. Panic bars can be a huge asset in emergency situations.

They consist of a spring loaded, metal bar and attached horizontally across the interior of the door. When pushed, the door is unlatched instantly, allowing fast and easy access out of the building with the door opening outward, rather than inward.

These are essential because in larger facilities or buildings if an emergency occurs, people tend to panic, running and crowding the exits. If the wrong type of doors are installed, it can actually do more harm in emergency situations, since a large group will be stopped from exiting, having to turn a knob or pull a door open. Panic Bar

This will reduce the speed of the evacuation and increase the chances of injuries due to falls, leading to a total, disorganized mess.

Some of the specific benefits offered by panic bars in your commercial space include the following:

  • A safer option
  • There are a large number of panic bar sizes and styles to choose from
  • They are an affordable option
  • Potential to reduce your insurance costs since building safety is enhanced

If your commercial facility does not currently have a panic bar installed at exits, it is a good idea to look into the benefits they offer now. This will make a building safer and easier to exit in an emergency situation.

How to Evaluate Your Business’s Security System Provider

As a business owner, you likely know the importance of evaluating what is and is not working for your company on a regular basis. However, a critical and often overlooked area for evaluation is your security system. You have to consider a number of things. For example, is the service you have in place offering adequate protection at a reasonable price? If not, it may be time to find a new security provider.

Some questions you should ask when trying to evaluate your current security provider are highlighted here.

What will you do next?    
“Good enough” never lasts long. You need to ensure the provider you use fully understands the current security market and has plans to upgrade and enhance their systems as technology progresses. If they have no plans to upgrade your services, you are likely with the wrong provider.

Are you ready for mobile integration?
Most employees currently bring their phones to work. You may even use a number of apps to help enhance your business, such as document scanning and mobile credit card readers. The alarm and security company you use should not be any different. If they do not have a mobile app readily available, be sure you ask “why?” If they don’t have one being developed, you may want to seek services elsewhere. There are quite a few security providers that now offer apps that give you on-demand text alerts and live-streaming video monitoring.
Evaluate Your Security Service
Do you offer value-enhancement services?
An alarm system is only a single element of a bigger security package. When looking for a security system it is a good idea to find one that offers extra services to help ensure your business remains safe. Ask about pairing video cameras, access control and alarm systems.

Taking some time to consider the quality of your security provider will ensure you achieve the results you want from your system.

Against Access Control? Consider the Information Here

If you are on the fence regarding whether or not you should install an access control system for your business, there are a few things that you may want to consider. Prior to deciding if access control installation is right for you, take some time to mull over the information below.

Access Control can Boost Your Image
Issuing the credential for authorized users that require them to swipe a card or badge at a door or other entryway is not showing “disrespect” for your other visitors or clients. In fact, it is actually showing them that you care a great deal about their safety, as well as the safety of your employees. This can help give you a positive boost to your image that will impress your more important visitors. Commercial Card Reader

Access Control can Lead to an Increase in Productivity
Chances are you have found your employees gathered at the water cooler or in someone else’s workstation from time to time. You may have also discovered that a family member or friend stopped by to “chat.” What this means is that your employees work has completely stopped – costing you in productivity. However, when you install an access control system, it can help to ensure your staff remains productive while they are on the time clock.

The installation of an access control system is an extremely important decision for modern business owners. These systems are not right for all business types; however, there are a number of business owners who are doing themselves a great disservice by not considering the benefits that access control systems offer.