You’ve definitely considered locks, alarms, and perhaps an overnight security guard for your valuable office equipment. But do you have a strategy in place to safeguard yourself? Learn how to analyze, address, and mitigate personal safety concerns.
Security experts recoiled when members of an activist group smacked Microsoft founder Bill Gates in the face with a pie a few years ago. It was possible that the pie was a knife or a pistol. This episode shows the dangers that businesses face. You don’t need Bill Gates’ fortune to be in jeopardy. However, most entrepreneurs prioritize computer security over their own.
This Quick-Read contains the following information:
- How to evaluate your risk and decide if you need a security staff.
- How to employ security or personal protection people.
- On your own, there are ways to reduce the risk.
According to Corwin Noble, founder of Portland, Ore.-based executive residential security services London Noble Ltd., a changing economic situation in this country that results in layoffs or bankruptcy generates risk. Violence in the workplace is on the rise. Noble claims that public awareness, wealth perception, and even the executive’s political opinions are all liabilities. Bodyguard protection can cost up to $1,200 per day, and a security system can be expensive as well; nevertheless, these expenditures pale in comparison to lost business, damage, or even death.
Entrepreneurs frequently undervalue the dangers they face. However, security should be part of your overall operations strategy. A thorough assessment of your workplace and the dangers you face will aid in determining how to respond to security concerns.
Quick-Read “Avoiding Workplace Violence” has ideas for dealing with potentially aggressive employees, and “Keeping Your Employees Safe at Work” has ideas for dealing with safety risks from the outside.
Six methods for determining whether you need a security team and assessing your risk
Examine your public profile. Are you frequently giving talks to civic groups or holding business seminars? Are you well-known among the business community? Is your name frequently mentioned in the news? Are you vocal about your political opinions? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in a public setting, and your personal safety, as well as the safety of your family and employees, is at stake.
Take into account your physical accessibility. How close can they approach you? With what kinds of persons do you collaborate? Do all of your workers undergo rigorous background checks? The more people who can get near to you, the greater the chance of physical damage.
Determine your financial status. Despite the fact that many emerging-growth entrepreneurs have limited capital on hand, the public perceives them as immediate millionaires. All that matters is perception. If you’re thought to be affluent, that’s enough to justify taking action against you.
Examine the working environment. What’s going on at your place of business? Have there been any job cuts? Do you have any employees who are victims of domestic violence?
Workplace tensions are a strong signal of personal danger.
Consider your workplace’s location. A workspace that is set back from the sidewalk and surrounded by greenery provides more security than one that is right on the street.
Examine your security strategy. Have you got one? One is required. Examine what you’re doing now to protect yourself, your staff, and your workplace. Is your team prepared to deal with challenging customers? Do you have a closed-circuit television surveillance system and panic buttons on your alarms?
How to employ security or personal protection people
Speak with insiders. Compile a list of credible individuals or agencies by networking with other executives.
Make queries anonymously. Have your representative request that materials be sent to a post office box or another private address once you’ve compiled a list of names. You want unbiased information while keeping the process private.
Interview. Set up meetings with firms or individuals depending on the information you get. In someone with great technical talents, look for someone with a compatible personality. These individuals should be meticulous and dedicated to assisting you in developing proactive, preventative security tactics, such as an office alarm system or bodyguard protection.
Inquire about previous experience. Inquire about the types of clients they’ve worked with and the situations they’ve dealt with. This could be a red flag if the applicant is ready to list clients. Ascertain that your privacy will be respected. Clients frequently give authorization for the security business to release their names. This should be made obvious by the people you interview.
Inquire about hypothetical scenarios. Ask the interviewee how he would manage a hypothetical circumstance based on actual corporate events or incidents. Is his response reasonable? Is it a generic strategy?
Think about it. Regardless of who you choose for special events or round-the-clock security, the security provider must be familiar with your company and culture. They must be able to adapt their previous experiences to your setting.
Techniques for reducing your personal risk
Be unpredictably unpredictable. Routines and patterns appeal to both humans and those who wish to harm you. Change up your journey home, your departure times, and your hangout spots.
Be alert. When you’re walking to the car, take a look around. When people approach you, pay attention. Keep an eye out for strangers and awkward situations.
Access and exposure should be limited. Is your home phone number listed in the phone book? Have you prepared your receptionist to deal with problematic customers? Controlling who you come into contact with and how that contact is managed reduces risk.
Trust your gut feelings. Pay heed to your nervous or uncomfortable feelings and get out of the situation. Don’t dismiss our intuition as a natural warning system.
Control your personal data. Controlling the quantity of information you give out, especially to strangers or employees, will reduce the hazards to you and your family. Keep the information safe and secure.
Establish a working relationship with local law enforcement. Call your precinct’s chief of police, sheriff, or whoever is in charge. Introduce yourself, tell them about your company, and request tools to help prevent crime. Contact them on a regular basis.
Don Edwards (not his real name) did not realize he was in danger until it was nearly too late. He had finally found a product and a market that he liked after five years of trying to develop a successful visual software business.
The “local guy who made good” received a lot of headlines after taking the company public in 1998 and then selling it to Microsoft a year later. However, soon after the piece was published, he began receiving threatening messages demanding payment. “You never consider oneself to be high-profile enough to experience something like this. Even though the agreement with Microsoft was public, you could read about how much I was worth in the press, I never considered seeking additional security for myself or my family.”
Edwards relocated his family and hired a security squad to guard his home around the clock. The FBI attempted to track down the letters, but no one was apprehended. “It’s unsettling to know that someone is monitoring you and intending to harm you, but I suppose that’s the world we live in.”
According to Edwards, any executive should consider personal protection as a precaution.
Make a risk assessment. Make a list of your public exposure moments, workplace challenges and attitudes, and publicly communicated contentious ideas.
Examine your office and home’s physical structures. Is it easy for an intruder to get into your office? Do you have a safe room in your house where you may gather and lock the door in case of an emergency? Consider which rooms present the highest danger of exposure and access.
Make a security strategy. Make a list of the equipment and tactics you apply to protect your employees, family, and yourself.
Start an anonymous investigation. Make a list of security companies and persons.
Request information from multiple firms by having your attorney or other representative call them.
Choose a security consultant to visit your office, assess your personal risk, and write a report with advice on how to deal with that risk.