Providing employees with assets like laptops, cell phones, cameras and even cars tends to go along with growth in any organization. By necessity, business owners invest a great deal of trust into their staff to protect these belongings. If your employee loses or breaks these assets what then? Things can become a little tricky.
In the absence of any pre-established rules in these situations, the employer’s insurance typically covers the expenses of the loss (subject to a deductible. We’ve helped many of our clients set this up. The financial implications alone are minor in comparison to the potential loss of sensitive company information! Financial documents, credit card data and other personally identifiable information, passwords and intellectual property in the hands of a thief can cause significant financial damage. Yet, many small businesses just don’t have policies and plans of action in place that protect them from these events. Here are our tips for getting ahead of the curve.
Define Appropriate Use of Devices
Start by creating a policy with us that defines what is considered inappropriate use of your company assets. This policy may prevent your employees from using your assets for personal things like online shopping and social media. It also will spell out how property should be cared for. This will encourage employees to regard your assets with tact and attentiveness.
Clearly Define Ramifications for Misuse
This is a bit of a scare tactic, but it’s essential for discouraging abuse of company assets. Having a clause in your policy that describes what will happen in the event that company property is damaged or stolen in their care will cause employees to take a sense of ownership. This should hopefully prevent your assistant from speeding down the highway in his company car or downloading movies to his work phone.
Create an Aftermath Procedure to Protect Your Company
Warning your employee of the ramifications of misuse is only part of the battle. Things happen. Do you know what you’ll do when they do? Create an action plan before lending property to your team. There are many tried and true approaches like secure company servers. This limits access to company documents without first being linked to a shared network connection. This is also a great way to connect remotely to any connected device to seize files when they’re in the wrong hands.
Introduce a Biometric Lock System
There are many technological advancements a skilled IT team can equip you with. Digital lock systems replace traditional pins and passwords and use finger prints and retina scans. This is an amazing way to keep your data out of the wrong person’s hands in real-time. The barrier this creates will keep outsiders out of your data centers and mobile devices.
With remote work growing in popularity, the risk of losing devices becomes greater. Device-tracking software can protect you when things go missing in your employee’s care. They work much like the GPS systems on any smart phone. There are affordable and even free options to achieve this.
Use Non-Removable Identification Labels
Electronic devices are highly sought after by thieves. If you engrave your company label with a tamper resistant adhesive bond, they’ll have a hard time re-selling your stolen device or using it in public. This is an affordable and effective preventative measure anyone can take to protect their assets.
So many of our clients are hardworking business owners. We’ve helped many of them develop insurance policies and financial plans that protect them in the event that their assets are compromised or stolen. We can help you reduce your risks too! Contact us for your business insurance needs.
Vice President, Commercial Lines & Risk Management