Nearly 9 percent of small businesses experienced burglary or theft in 2016. While it’s true that commercial property insurance can cover some of the damage, you may end up losing confidential documents.

If, say, your computers end up in the wrong hands, criminals can easily steal your customers’ data.

No business is immune to employee theft, break-ins, and other crimes. The only way to protect yourself is to implement the best business surveillance practices. Simply installing a surveillance system isn’t enough.

As a business owner, you are responsible for camera selection and placement, security policies, and other key aspects. You also need to be aware of any legal restrictions concerning employee monitoring.

Furthermore, it’s important to protect your security system with a strong password.

Remember, it’s all in the small details. Common mistakes, such as placing cameras in the wrong places, could compromise your safety.

Interested to find out more? Consider using these business surveillance practices to safeguard your business.

Define the Surveillance Purpose

Determine why you need a small business security camera in the first place. Be specific about it.

For example, “overseeing the entire parking lot” is unclear. Instead, choose a surveillance system that will capture shots of the license plates, people’s faces, and more.

Make sure the system shows clearly the time of the day when the shot was taken. If you install it indoors, it should have the ability to capture small details, such as employees’ ID tags.

Having a clear objective for each surveillance camera will reduce the number of cameras needed and decrease your costs. Plus, you will be able to use the system more easily with fewer technical resources.

Ideally, each camera should have a dedicated purpose and field of view. Once these parameters are defined, you can go ahead and choose the right type of camera and lenses.

Proper Camera Placement Is Essential

Decide where you are going to place surveillance cameras. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to consider the following areas:

  • Entrances and exits
  • Work areas
  • Points of payment
  • Break rooms
  • Work areas
  • Storage areas

Beware that not all dangers come from the inside.

Employee theft is particularly common in retail, accounting for 30 percent of inventory shrinkage. Up to 75 percent of workers have stolen from their employers at least once.

Considering these risks, it makes sense to install security cameras in areas where your employees spend most of their time.

First, make sure you check the security laws in your state. Do not place cameras in restrooms, dressing rooms, and other sensitive areas.

Conduct a thorough site assessment to determine cable run lengths, fields of view, and other aspects. Hire a security expert to handle this job.

Choose the Right Type of Security System

Commercial security systems come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from basic to highly advanced.

Generally, IP cameras are a better choice than traditional CCTV cameras, featuring higher resolutions. This allows for single cameras to cover large areas and capture ID badges, facial images, or license plates.

Another reason to invest in IP cameras is that they can stream both audio and video, which allows for more accurate analysis.

However, both types of devices have their roles.

For example, you can place IP cameras at entrances and in work areas and CCTV cameras in the hallway. The latter can get as sophisticated and advanced as you want.

Use megapixel IP cameras as often as you can. This way, you’ll reduce the number of physical devices needed while increasing the field of view. Configure them to the highest possible quality.

Choose Remote Access

Look for a business surveillance system that allows web-based remote access. While it’s true that most surveillance systems will send alerts to security guards, there might also be false alarms.

If you have remote access to the camera, you can check the footage in real-time. In case there’s a false alarm, you can let the security guards know that everything looks fine.

This feature also makes it easier to keep an eye on your office when you’re not there. All you need is a smartphone or computer.

Use a Strong Password

According to a 2014 report, over 73,000 unsecured security camera locations were exposed on one website. Setting a strong camera password may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually one of the most overlooked aspects.

First of all, many users don’t change the default password. Some use the passwords for all cameras, while others choose common words or numbers like 12345, abc123, 11111, and so on.

Consider using a password generator or opt for a combination of letters, digits, and special characters. Choose a password that isn’t related to your business or personal life.

For example, it’s not a good idea to set your date of birth or the company’s name as a password. Anyone could do some digging and gain access to your surveillance system.

Implement a Standard Operating Procedure

In addition to the above steps, decide when and for long your camera will be recording. Ideally, it should be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and save data for at least one month.

Don’t rely on Record-on-Motion functionality. Instead, set optimal recording times for each camera. Also, determine which analytical behaviors should be used.

Another aspect to consider is where the data will be stored.

Depending on the system and your preferences, you can save the data in the cloud, on external drives, and more. If you opt for LTO digital data tape, make sure you use barcodes.

Reach Out to Business Surveillance Professionals

As you see, there’s a lot that goes into business surveillance. From camera placement to hardware and software, there are several key aspects that you must take into account.

Commercial properties are more likely to be burglarized than homes. Don’t take unnecessary risks.

Invest in a quality surveillance system and see our guide on how to prevent burglary at your business. Reach out to us for a free security quote!