I have always been a very trusting person. Trusting people, in general, has worked out to my benefit way more often than to my detriment.
The late U.S. President Ronald Reagan often quoted an old Russian proverb, “Trust but verify” (sorry, I don’t know the Russian). This, I believe, is a great policy. Trust people to do the right thing, but take the steps to verify, or ensure, that they do.
Growing up, I often thought it was strange that hardware stores would have all kinds of landscaping and other materials just sitting outside the store. Things were so crazy busy on a Saturday that nobody would be able to notice if someone walked off with a couple bags of mulch, or perhaps something even more valuable. How do you keep track?
Many security organizations have grappled with how to help companies fix it. But what do you fix?
First, you have to determine if you are vulnerable. Remember, we can trust people, but we still have to verify that we are protected. Here are some things that would indicate you are an easy target for theft:
Parking lot is not well lit
A dark parking lot makes it very easy to get in and out. Whether the crime is occurring in the lot or the store.
No physical presence near the entrance and exits
Crime decreases when cash registers and customer service desks are near the entrances and exits because it places store employees in the path of would-be thieves.
Storefronts and businesses that have an appearance of being disorganized or run down on the outside are often considered easy targets. It conveys the message that we don’t really care about our business, so thieves know they have less chance of being caught.
No Visible Security
If you don’t have visible security equipment and/or personnel, then you are opening yourself up to theft. Many organizations take the “under cover” approach. This has its place, but it dismisses the fact that visible security is a deterrent. I would rather have someone choose not to even try because they see that i’m actively monitoring and securing my business.
The great thing about these tips is that they can apply them to your home and personal property as well. Visible security, well lit property, organized and tidy, and physical presence near entrances (think dogs and more) would help home security immensely.
Address these issues and you are well on your way to a strong “Trust but Verify” strategy and a greatly reduced risk of theft.