Small Business Security Systems – Protection for the Little Guy

Here at Boyd & Associates, we love small businesses. They’re the backbone of our economies, our cities, and our country! For that reason, we wanted to talk about how security systems can help out. Despite what you may think, small business security systems feature the same power and features as their big business counterparts – often they’re just less complex.

Small Business Security Systems

Intrusion Protection for Small Business

Intruders are just as much a problem for small businesses as they are for others. And the solutions are the same as well!  An intrusion alarm allows us to monitor your property when you aren’t there, keeping your property, people, and product safe and secure. Detection devices in our complete commercial business security systems include:

  • Door contacts
  • Motion sensors
  • Photoelectric beams (often used for large spaces like storage yards or warehouses)
  • Glass break detectors
  • Panic buttons

Video Surveillance for Small Business

Video surveillance is a powerful tool for businesses of any size. A well-designed video surveillance system is comprised of HD-quality IP cameras covering every angle of your business. These not only provide higher security over the business but are powerful tools for increasing the productivity and efficiency of employees, processes, and customer service. And it provides business owners with protection in case of insurance claims for injury etc. It’s a boost no matter the size of your business!

Features of our video surveillance security systems for businesses include:

  • Scalable solutions – start while your business is small, it can grow with you!
  • Sophisticated software, but simple to use
  • Long-range video detection
  • Wireless video detection systems options
  • Remote access from anywhere using a smart device
  • Digital Recording

Access Control for Small Businesses

Access control might be the place where businesses can practice a bit more discretion – but there are still benefits! Access control is crucial for the physical security of the building and allows for more fine-tuning of the control to who gets in and when. A simple key and lock don’t provide the fine-tuning that a real access control system does – such as who can access the building, what days and time, and more. Typically, small businesses don’t have as many different roles within the business structure or areas in their business space so they don’t need as robust an access control system – but even a simple one can do wonders.

Video Verification for Small Businesses

Standard, bare minimum small business security systems can have false alarms frequently. Because of this, many jurisdictions require some sort of verification before there’s a response from emergency services. Using monitoring and video verification services for your small business means that any alarm is verified and ensures a priority response from police, so your alarms don’t go unnoticed.

Business Security Systems for California Businesses – Large or Small

When you’re searching for the best in small business security systems in the Southern California area, Boyd & Associates is here to help. These are just four of the big picture services we offer our clients to keep their businesses running smoothly and operating safely. We also provide automation and fire safety services – because running a small business is difficult enough, you should be able to rely on your security team!

Our easy-to-use security systems use advanced tech to deliver a higher level of protection – for your customers, your employees, your property, your business. Give us a call today if you want to take advantage of a fully automated security system you can control with the tap of a finger from an online portal or app on your smartphone.

 

Burglary Prevention: 7 Signs Your Home Is A Target

One of the major keys to burglary prevention is awareness. And much of that awareness comes from understanding the ways in which your home may be a target for would-be intruders. There are many tell-tale signs to watch out for, and some are less obvious than others. For your home burglary prevention, here are 7 signs to look out for that may indicate your home is a target for burglars.

  1. Strangers Surveying Your Property

This one might be a little more obvious, and will also depend greatly on your neighborhood or general area you live in. Is it heavily populated? Is it normal to see people you don’t know? You shouldn’t be paranoid every time a stranger walks by your house. But there’s a major difference between someone passing through, or even taking a passing glance at your home or property, and someone potentially surveying your home for a future break-in.

And, if you notice someone suspiciously snooping around or intruding on your property in a way that makes you feel comfortable, take note and even call your local police if necessary. Burglary prevention is a community effort; be sure to share with neighbors any suspicious activity and work together to keep one another safe.

  1. Random Strangers Knocking On Your Door

It sounds simple, but one of the oldest tricks to get into someone’s home is to just knock on the front door. Maybe this mystery guest asks to use the bathroom or even tries to sell you a fake product. Always trust your gut in these instances; you don’t have to answer the door for everyone. And always be wary of any strangers that ask to enter your home.

A great SmartHome solution for burglar prevention is a doorbell camera. Screen visitors before you ever answer the door and have video evidence on-hand of any suspicious activity.

  1. Uncertified Workers

You may contract for work to be done on your home, whether on the interior or for outside projects. But make sure all the workers are certified. In some instances, a burglar may see workers coming and going and use it as a chance to survey or even to enter your home. You should know the scale of the project at hand and the size and specifics of the personnel doing the work. Always make sure to contact the company if you are unsure of a worker’s legitimacy.

  1. Unsolicited Fundraisers 

Much like random strangers knocking, other burglary prevention comes from being aware of who is right at your front door. A twelve-year-old girl selling Girl Scout Cookies may not be a threat to your home, but other solicitors should always be treated with caution. Burglars are looking for any opportunity to see the inside of your home and any potential valuables and points of access.

  1. Strangers Taking Photos Of Your Home

These days, everyone is a photographer. With advances in smartphones, it’s easier than ever for anyone to stealthily take photos. And that ease makes it a great tool for burglars to canvas your house and create an intrusion plan. If you see anyone take a picture of your home, you need to immediately act. Notify local law enforcement, document what you see, and share with your neighbors and community leaders. Two can play the photo game; if possible, take a picture of the suspicious photographer as well. Just be sure to do so safely.

  1. Stickers Or Flyers

Promotional flyers or coupons and menus from local establishments aren’t necessarily a burglary threat. But if you’re noticing a higher volume of stickers or flyers on your front door, or stickers and flyers you don’t recognize, it could be a sign of potential danger. A burglar may attempt to use this method to see if a home is well guarded or not.

This, of course, is not always a signal that someone is trying to break into your home, but it is something to keep an eye out for. If you’re going to be away for a period, have a neighbor check in on your home to ensure nothing is piling up on the front lawn.

  1. Strange Markings On Your Home

Many burglars will use subtle markings to identify a house they are casing. This could be a simple symbol like a string placed on the house or a marking on your lampposts. If you see any unexplained marking that doesn’t appear to have happened naturally or accidentally, move it immediately.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

It’s important you’re aware of what is going on around your neighborhood. You can protect your home and your neighbors by keeping an eye on anything that may seem out of place. Communicate with your neighbors so they can be aware as well.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

 

Five Video Surveillance Security Tips For Businesses

Video surveillance is a vital and effective security solution that protects all business types. It acts as a crime deterrent and can help identify suspects in the event of a criminal incident.

To ensure your business video surveillance system is operating at peak performance, we have compiled a list of five fundamental video surveillance tips:

  1. Secure Your Surveillance System From Hackers

Advancements in technology have made it possible for hackers to gain access to security cameras. Today, many businesses utilize Internet Protocol (IP) cameras that require an Internet connection for operation. Consider the following practices when securing your video surveillance system from cyber criminals:

  • Change your surveillance system password every three months and utilize proper password management.
  • Always change default usernames and passwords. These factory-preset logins are often readily available online, making it easier for hackers to access your system.
  • Secure your business network. An unsecure network risks leaving open access points in your system, giving hackers the opportunity to compromise your surveillance cameras.
  • Never connect your cameras to a public network. Hackers can easily access information, like video surveillance credentials, through shared networks.
  • Choose cameras with encrypted signals. Encryption disguises information sent over the Internet, making it challenging for hackers to identify valuable data.
  1. Avoid Video Surveillance Legal Liabilities

Your business’ safety is a top priority, but so is the privacy of your employees and customers. When installing cameras throughout your business, be sure to avoid areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This includes:

  • Bathrooms
  • Dressing rooms
  • Exam rooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Hotel rooms

Additionally, understand the laws around video and audio recording so you don’t invade anyone’s privacy. Laws vary from state to state, so visit your State Labor Agency website to learn about camera privacy laws in your region.

  1. Strategically Place Cameras

Strategically placed cameras help business owners easily identify and promptly respond to potentially hazardous situations. Video surveillance cameras are most effective when they are:

  • Installed above all entrances and exits, to see who is coming and going.
  • Capable of watching over areas with high-value items, like office technology, stockrooms, and cash registers.
  • Placed under sufficient lighting for higher-quality video footage.
  • Positioned to capture wide angles for fuller surveillance coverage.
  1. Store Video Footage in the Cloud

Cloud solutions can help businesses increase storage capabilities and more easily access surveillance camera footage. Cloud-based systems offer a strong alternative to traditional analog systems. If properly installed, cloud storage can boost your business’ overall security measures because it is:

  • Cost-effective: IP cameras can eliminate the need for an onsite digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR).
  • Accessible: When housed in the cloud, surveillance footage can be viewed via smartphone, tablet, or a desktop web browser at any time.
  • Flexible: New users, locations and cameras can be added to your existing infrastructure without rewiring.
  1. Increase Business Security with Additional Camera Features

You can also improve the effectiveness of your business surveillance system with some additional features, including:

  • Adjustable angles: Cameras that are mobile and can tilt or zoom for multiple views.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) technology: Cameras hosted on monitoring platforms powered by artificial intelligence can automatically monitor all footage and alert users about unusual events.
  • Day/night capabilities: Cameras with night vision use infrared LEDs to provide clear images in near low-light conditions.
  • High resolution: Higher resolutions give the best quality image.
  • IP-based versus wired: Video cables are not required with IP-based systems.
  • Weatherproof: Cameras that can withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Remote access: Sync your video surveillance system to your mobile security app to control settings and view footage on your mobile device.

Do you have questions about ways to enhance your video surveillance system? Talk to our security experts today.

Is It Time To Manage Your Company Security System With A Mobile App?

Managing your office and employees’ security is good business. 

Your alarm system can do more than just keep your office secure. You can turn your lights on and off, set your thermostat, lock your doors, view cameras, and receive notifications, all from the Virtual Keypad™ app.

Choose your level of protection with options to arm All, Perimeter or Area, you can have the peace of mind that your investments are well protected. Set alerts you want to receive Choose to receive notifications in cases of Alarms, Trouble, and Arms/Disarms. Manage system schedules Schedule Arming/Disarming, your Favorites, Doors, Z-Wave devices, and other outputs. Control multiple devices with one tap With the Favorites settings you can group your most-used devices and turn them on or off with a single tap.

Multiple system control Manage multiple locations seamlessly from the same app.

Give us a call today to learn more.

Small Business Security Tips: Why You Need A Security System

Small business owners might not always think about security on a daily basis. When you’re too busy worried about the day-to-day operations of owning a business – from managing employees, keeping financial records, to the actual customer transactions of providing products or services, it can be easy to forget that entire operations often hinge on proper security. But, maybe now more than ever, small business security is an essential aspect of any entrepreneurial venture.

But it can be overwhelming knowing exactly where to start. Which is why we’ve compiled some quick-hitting tips to small business security. It’s time to start operating your business with complete peace of mind.

BASIC SECURITY TIPS

There are a few basic security measures any business owner should take on their own. Most are probably fairly obvious, but it never hurts to run through the basics!

KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

Any business should understand the community they are becoming a part of. And that starts with taking stock of the physical places your business is existing. What are the crime statistics like in the area? Are you located in a region that could be affected by natural disasters? Are there any safety or security concerns with the business structure itself that could pose risks?

Don’t forget – your business space should have a smoke alarm and CO detector in every room!

LOCKS AND LIGHTS

This is another pretty simple, obvious point, but the end of every business day should come with security checks. Is your workspace clean and organized? Are products and any cash from transactions locked away in a safe, secure location?

Always be sure to lock every entry point. Shutting off lights is a great way to let people know your business is closed. But it can also be an indication for burglars, especially if there are dark areas to hide. Keep lighting balanced to save on energy, but also ward off intruders.

HAVE A BASIC CYBERSECURITY PLAN

These days it’s not enough to just have physical security in place. As more and more businesses operate online, the greater the risk for cyberattacks like malware, phishing, hacks and scams. Get ahead with a basic cybersecurity plan to protect your business:

  • Use firewalls and antivirus software
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure
  • Rotate passwords quarterly
  • Protect payment processors
  • Back up any business data to a secure cloud network

Secondly, remember to educate yourself – every business is going to have unique risks inherent to individual business structure and industry that must be considered.

While these basic measures are a good start, overall they limit security options for small businesses. It is important to understand when it’s the right time to upgrade to a full small business security system.

FEATURES OF A SECURITY SYSTEM

Small business security systems come with many of the same perks and advantages that are present in home security systems. And in most cases, security solutions can be customized to fit the unique needs of any business in any industry.

INTRUSION MONITORING

Just like your home security, you can (and should!) install sensors on all doors and windows. This will allow you to know when people are coming and going on a daily basis during normal operation hours. Additionally, with 24 hour monitoring, you can trust that when you arm your system that first responders will quickly dispatch in the event of an intrusion.

OPEN/CLOSE REPORTING

Business sizes vary, and maybe you can’t always be onsite. With open/close reporting, you can keep an eye on your business operations from afar. Know which employees open and close, track shifts, and keep detailed daily log records.

VIDEO SECURITY

Security cameras are a popular small business security measure. And they can be taken to the next level. While there is certainly a market for business owners to purchase and install video systems themselves, they lack the nuance and technical advancement of a system installed by a professional company.

And with Video Verification, in the event of an alarm, live operators will monitor your surveillance footage and can notify police the moment any suspicious activity is verified, increasing first responder intel, and expediting response times. Plus, real-time analytics help provide advanced metrics, secure video data via Cloud storage, and allow you to view footage with searchable timelines.

SMART BUSINESS AUTOMATION

Just like Smart Home Automation solutions, adding automation to your business can take those basic security measures to new heights. Plus it’ll add major improvements to how an installed system functions.

Smart business automation allows you to access your business security through any computer, smartphone or tablet. That means you can remotely arm your system and monitor those daily security reports from your couch at the end of a long day. Plus you can pull up your surveillance feeds at a moment’s notice to check in.

AUTOMATION SAVES TIME AND MONEY

As a business owner, every penny counts. And smart business automation can help you save more money in the long run on your energy bills. Smart thermostats and lights allow you to set schedules and routines, and change on the fly based on real-time analytics.

And with automated lights and locks, you will never second guess whether you closed up shop or not. Want to make sure the back door is locked? Worried about your front light being left on? Not a problem. You can remotely arm your system, check locks, and even turn lights on and off, long after you have left your business.

 

BOYD & ASSOCIATES UNDERSTANDS YOUR BUSINESS SECURITY NEEDS

 While most fundamental security needs are pretty standard across the board, at the end of the day, every business is unique. The security needs of a small neighborhood coffee shop might vary greatly from that of an auto-body repair business. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for business security.

At Boyd & Associates, we understand that every business is different. Which is why we offer custom security solutions for your business. That way, you choose the combination of services that best suits the needs of your business.

If you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

 

 

 

 

How To Efficiently Review Surveillance Footage

Surveillance cameras help you feel secure that your business is always safe and protected. If anything happens on the premises, you can look at the footage and find the problem. But, while having the cameras and footage provides you with security, it can feel tedious to have to sort through hours or even days of footage to find a specific incident.

Fortunately, there is a much easier way. Learn more about how you can better review your surveillance footage and video surveillance to keep your store protected and safe.

Look For The Telltale Signs

You don’t want to miss anything while skimming through your video surveillance footage, so it’s important to know what to look for so you can spot it quickly. Some telltale signs can help you identify potential moments of crime. Remember, these are potential signs, so they do not guarantee that something suspicious or criminal is happening.

  • Loitering– For each business, there is a different amount of time that is reasonable for customers to stay around before it becomes suspicious. Anyone who is hanging in or around your business with no apparent reason should be considered suspicious.
  • Attempts to Conceal Identity– Excessive headwear, sunglasses at night, sticking to shadows, avoiding eye contact with your cameras, and avoiding being seen by any employees can be signs to keep an eye out for when you are reviewing your surveillance footage.
  • Multiple People– Many criminals do not work alone, rather they work as a team. If a group of people comes in together and exhibits some of the other telltale signs, it could be a red flag you will want to keep your eye on.

Time Stamps

Having accurate time stamps on all surveillance footage lets you narrow down your review to a specific date and time.

Not only are time stamps effective tools in reducing the hours you have to spend looking through footage, but if anything does happen, they make the footage admissible in court. Footage without accurate timestamps that include the date and time may become inadmissible in a court of law.

Can Customers Request Surveillance Footage?

You might start to have customers requesting footage. Legally, there is no obligation for a business to provide any security footage to a customer. You can ignore the request as long as it is only a customer requesting the footage. As soon as there is a warrant or subpoena involved issued by the government, you are legally obligated to hand over the surveillance footage.

Some customers might have this law confused with public entities. It is possible to obtain video footage from public entities under the freedom of information act. However, private entities, like small privately-owned businesses, are not subject to that law.

How Long Should I Keep Surveillance Footage?

It is best practice to keep your footage up to 90 days. In some situations where multiple cameras are recording for longer periods and at higher quality levels, you can go down to 30 days. It is recommended to keep footage accessible for a longer amount of time because the legal process might be slower in some locations and not realize there is vital footage or even a crime, until after the first 30 days.

Boyd & Associates Live Video Verification

With Boyd & Associates, we have live operators available at a moment’s notice to review any suspicious activity in the event that an alarm is triggered. Our trained professional can quickly review your live feed and provide important information to first responders so they can prioritize your business security—likely resulting in a higher priority emergency dispatch. This gives you the peace of mind that a helpful eye is always looking out for you, so you can spend your time focusing on growing your business.

Check out Boyd & Associates Security services to help secure your small business today.