It may seem like large corporations, with their numerous employees and large bottom lines, are easy targets for theft. But what many people don't realize is that small businesses may actually be more at risk. In their case, it is often a neglect of spending the time and money necessary to guarantee security. While it is an investment, theft prevention measures are critical to the success of a small company.

The security risks that small companies experience often come from within. Employee theft is, unfortunately, a real threat that can undermine even the most promising small businesses. And because employees have better insight and access to a company's inner workings than the common crook, an office needs to be fortified with strong locks, digital alarms and cameras.

Small businesses often don't report theft
According to a study from University of Cincinnati criminal justice doctoral student Jay Kennedy, of the 64 percent of small businesses that experience theft, only 16 percent report it. A variety of reasons were behind the trend. Some employers don't think the theft warrants their extended involvement in a legal battle, while sometimes it is the attorney who advises against it. In other instances, the employee at fault is a close friend or family member and bringing in authorities would ruin the relationship.

While these reasons may be valid, they only underline the need to prevent theft from occurring in the first place. The study revealed that one small business had $200,000 stolen and will essentially never get that money back, despite using the legal process to prosecute the employee.

Better security can prevent or catch theft
The Houston Chronicle listed cash, property and goods as the most common items targeted by employees. A worker can access the cash register, use a key to enter the office after hours or sneak merchandise into a bag or purse and simply walk out with it. Employers that install cameras and time-tracking devices can better attend to employee activity. Plus, workers who know a camera is there will be dissuaded from committing an act of burglary. Owners can also use multiple locks for closed hours or implement automatic alarm systems that arm at the same time every night.

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