Office spaces are generally considered safe places. However, there are a variety of security risks that must be considered on a day-to-day basis. These include both external and internal threats, IT-related threats, and fire and life safety threats. Companies often work with providers like GMSC to provide some combination of security systems. These may include alarm and access control systems, video surveillance, guard services, emergency protocols and more. However, security is most effective when it’s a team effort. This is why employees play an important role in these efforts.
Following are a few tips for employees to enhance their personal security, the security of their property, and the security of the company’s assets.
Theft & burglary
- Tailgating: Do not let unfamiliar persons follow you into private or locked entrances into office space. Our natural inclination is to be polite and hold open the door for the person behind us. Not doing so can be awkward. However, tailgating is one of the most common methods professionally-dressed thieves use to gain access.
- Understand office security protocol: Ensure you have a basic understanding of office security protocol. Pay attention to ensure systems are running correctly. Be aware of doors that are propped open or unlocked. Notice if security staff are not where they are supposed to be. Notice if security systems do not appear to be working properly. Notify your security staff immediately if you see anything unusual.
- Buddy system: Walk with another person when entering or leaving the office, building or garage during low traffic times. If your building has security guards, take advantage of their presence and let them know when you are coming or going.
- See something, say something: Always be aware of your surroundings. If you see anything suspicious, notify building or office security. This could include suspicious or unattended packages, persons loitering where they should not be, persons trying to enter a restricted area, persons possessing a weapon, and more. Never base suspicions on race, ethnicity, national origin or other personal traits or characteristic.
Personal property protection
A surprising amount of office theft is actually internal. Keep your purse, wallet, phone and other valuables out of site, preferably locked in a drawer.
- What is it? According to OSHA, “workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors.”
- Know the policy: Your company should have a workplace violence policy. Know the policy. Understand what constitutes violence. Be aware of the investigations and remediation process.
- Password management: Ensure all portable equipment such as phones have security passwords. Ensure your passwords follow proper safety guidelines. Make sure you don’t store them in easy-to-find locations. Don’t use the same passwords across multiple locations. Contact your IT department for tips on proper password protocol.
- Protecting sensitive information: Never send sensitive information to others through email. Use a secure file transfer system that encrypts the information and allows access by only an authorized recipient. Ask your IT department what system to use if you are unsure.
- Lock your computer and devices when you step out of the office.
- Report any lost or stolen equipment to your IT department immediately.
Avoid phishing and other scams
- Email scams: If you receive an email that looks unusual, even if it appears to be an internal email sent by another employee, check with the sender before opening attachments. If you are unsure, go to the company website instead of clicking a link in email.
- Phone scams: Scams may also be perpetrated via phone. Never give out personal or company confidential information over the phone to an unknown caller.
Fire and life safety
- Know your emergency evacuation & preparedness procedures.
- Know the points of emergency egress.
- Become familiar with where fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers are located within your space.
Fire avoidance precautions
- Avoid overloading power outlets or strips. Unplug non-essential equipment at the end of the day.
- Keep your work space free of debris and clutter.
There is no “silver bullet” to ensure your facility is safe and secure. Therefore, security should be viewed as everyone’s responsibility. Your best bet at reducing risks is by having a well communicated plan that involves all stakeholders, including company management, security staff, IT staff and your employees.
Contact us today to schedule a threat assessment of your facility.