Security

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Security

Staff Security levels

POS SOFTWARE

The mere presence of you having a correct security procedures system often deters theft. If a staff member sees cameras, if they see proper procedures in the POS software, then there is less likely to be trouble. It is essential that you do take retail loss prevention seriously.

I have, over the years, become very cynical about this issue. Too many retailers have told me stories which starts "He was in school with me... his family and my family....he was very good, my best employee ... and ends that he had been skimming my cash register for years.

Face it if an employee sees that you won’t care about a discrepancy of a few dollars in the cash drawer, some will note this and take advantage of this. If they see a third-party your POS Software monitoring this, it will give them something to think.

One of the clients to pick up almost $13,000 a year in extra revenue when a computer system was upgraded by simply running separate tills for every staff member and introducing a policy of counting each cash drawers after each shift.

 

Now it is straightforward to set up in our system. 

Firstly in the section "Staff maintenance", there is a section "Security Level."

 

Now the defaults are there which we have set up designed to work for 90% of the shops. However, like everything, each shop is different and what works in 90% of cases often does not work with your shop so you can fine-tune it for your situation.

There are heaps as you can see options here.

Set them up for you. Now enforce them.

Now make sure you have cameras facing the tills.

Security in retail is often treated as a joke, but it does not have to be and should not be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Integrating video surveillance and the POS system

POS SOFTWARE

The best and most important area in the shop to install security cameras is at the point of sale as that is where the cash is located, so that is where most fraud takes place.

Integrating your video surveillance with the POS system makes a lot of sense. This example shows a skimmer being installed by some shop thieves. Your staff may not be involved in the fraud at the point of sale. This fraud took three (3) seconds. Nothing would show here on the computer if the cameras had never been installed on the tills, it would never have been found.

 

This is a bit exceptional; as most of the fraud involves actual transactions. Typically a brother of a staff member buys a $30 book, and it gets rung up as a $5 remainder book. 

With a camera, you have a video record of each transaction, the customer and the operator. So you can provide evidence that can be used to confirm the point of sale software. This is always a problem if the matter requires verification. For this, you need video e.g. you often hear this remark in court "The computer said that I did it, but many could have done it.." or "I gave you a $50 and you gave me a $20, okay the computer said $20, but I gave you a $50."   

The computer can and does give you alerts e.g. high dollar amount and other dubious transactions which can alert you to possible fraud. At the very least, it can enable you to identify common mistakes or misunderstandings that can be corrected with additional training.

Also just the fact it is there has been shown to reduce theft.

If your system is not integrated then the archived video needs to be searched by date and time, which is slower and a pain.

PS if you want to extend what the cameras can do e.g. facial recognition analytics to identify known individuals; counting analytics to ensure that occupancy limitations are not exceeded or demographic analysis we could do that too.

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Computer chain security

POS SOFTWARE

Laptop security chain

 

What is popular now is to link into your point of sale system a laptop rather than a desktop. The cost is a bit higher, but it has a heap of advantages, e.g. you do not take over a computer at work, it is easy to move where you need it, and you can easily take your work home with you. I have been to meetings where we all have our laptops in front. It is the in-thing now.

Unfortunately, one problem is that one of my clients went looking for a price for an item, so left his laptop alone and in seconds someone grabbed it and was out the door in seconds. When he came back and wondered where it was?  By the time anyone realised it was long gone.

So if you are going to use a laptop in the shop, I would suggest that you get a laptop security cable lock. You can pick one up for about $10.  That should stop your average thief looking for something easier to steal. Of course, it will not prevent the guy with the bolt cutters, but he is a much less credible threat.

I have seen some security footage of some thieves hitting a shop after hours, and it shows them pulling the cable trying to get the laptop and giving up, so here the cable worked.  Remember these guys have only got a few minutes before the police come.

Here are some tips for the cables from a guy that has had a few.

Make sure they are solid.

I had a cheap one whose combination failed on me and in desperation, I tied to pull it out and was shocked to discover that under pressure, it just fell apart. I gave the next one a few big tugs to make sure that it worked. Also, make sure that the chain looks solid if it seems solid thieves will probably not even try.

Bolt properly

Make sure that the chain is adequately bolted. After all the chain is only as good as what it is attached too and how strongly it is held to that object. 

Long chain

Make sure the chain is relatively long, a short chain will be hard to move around unless you have a stand.

Easy to use

Make sure the chain and lock does not interfere with the laptop operations, e.g. you do not want to lose a port or struggle with a switch. You also need to be able to put the laptop on a desk, some chains are designed to be used with a stand and so do not let the laptop sit on a desk.

Good lock

Finally, for the lock, it has to be easy to use, I had one that could only be opened by picking up the computer and turning it upside down, it was a pain to unlock.

For the lock, I prefer combination, but I warn you that cheap combination locks are easy to break. If you are going to use a key, make sure you have spares. I doubt you can get a spare.

 

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Anti virus and old versions of windows

POS SOFTWARE

Microsoft antivirus no longer supports XP, AVG anti-virus no longer supports XP, AVAST no longer supports XP,  etc. Most no longer support Windows 7 either. 

As such some of our clients, of our point of sale software are running into a problem that old versions of windows are no longer supported and now it appears that most of the antivirus companies are not supporting XP either.  This leaves them open to most viruses and ransomware. 

For these users, I am recommending

 

360 total security

 

Details here

 

It is a free product for commercial use, it has no licenses, no expiration and no hidden fees. It is also a first-class product which runs on just about any computer and is fast. 

 

 

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Importance of good cameras

POS SOFTWARE

I spoke yesterday about good cameras, today the issue came up about skimmers which turned out to be an excellent example of why I do believe that all businesses need good cameras.

A skimming device

These come in many types and are widely available on the web. What a skimming device is, is an electronic device used by criminals that generally are put on an EFTPOS reader to read (skim) the information off on the magnetic strip of a credit card and then to capture the PIN number.

The idea is that a criminal comes to your shop, in a few seconds installs a skimmer then returns in a few days to your shop and retrieves the skimmer with your customers' credit card details on it.

Skimmers have been regularly caught around Australia.

 

Cameras

These people would never be caught without decent cameras.

Take a look, I think you will find it interesting. Two guys come into the shop, the guy in front distracts the cash operator, now look at the guy in the white shirt installing a skimmer. He took about three (3) seconds to install the skimmer.

Here is a discussion about the incident.

 

What to do.

I always give a test pull on any EFTPOS reader before I use it.

My suggestion to everyone is to put a marker all around the EFTPOS reader with texture, this can help as a skimmer would need to cover the mark and be in your handwriting, always have a camera on your EFTPOS unit and try to monitor it at all times. If something looks off, call your EFTPOS provider immediately.

 

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EFTPOS warning

POS SOFTWARE

One of my clients had the following happen to them.

 

They got a query from the credit card that one of their customers is claiming that a transaction was rung up twice and so they have charged the customer twice for the same thing.

When they investigated in their POS systems what they discovered was that they had done two purchases on the same day for different items but the value was the same as the amount claimed. 

Now what they had to do was show clearly that both these transactions were for something different and that they were different transactions.  The security footage was very useful here.

What it does show is how important it is to include enough detail to show that even though the transactions are for the same amount, that they are a different purchase.

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Booster bags

POS SOFTWARE

A "booster bag" or "magic bag" has been used by professional shoplifters for years to beat security detectors. 

Magic booster bags

Although you can buy them, as a rule, shoplifters prefer to make their own. What you do is take a bag although a pocket in pants can be used too, put metal foil inside and so shield the security tag from the detectors in the gate. Using it in theory, you can put something in a bag and walk out of a shop.

One shoplifter just got caught using one by one of our clients. What he noticed was someone walking in with a larger sized bag from a well known retail shop, but it appeared to be empty which did not look right. So he watched the person and noticed as the person was passing out, the bag was not empty. When he examined the bag later, he saw that it was lined with aluminium foil.

If you want to know more click here.

If you find them, you know you have a serious security problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WARNING ON YOUR FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE

Facebook point of sale

You have a Facebook page for your business!

The way Facebook works is that the business pages are connected to the person who created it. So if you got someone to make you a facebook page for your business, that Facebook page is linked to their account, it is their property. Now say they leave your business, there can be problems as even if the person gives you admin access to that page, as it is still technically connected to and owned by them. In today's case, the separation has not been a happy one, and they refuse to even talk to the owner of the business.

The only way around this if they wish to continue with Facebook is to start a new page and start again. They then have to report to Facebook that the old one is impersonating the business which is messy as I am sure that Facebook does not want to get involved in disputes regarding the admin position of this page.

If you have such a Facebook page now, make sure that it is linked to your account. Also, consider giving someone else your passwords just in case something happens to you, and so the business can still use its Facebook page. If you are reluctant for some reason to do this, consider setting up a “legacy contract” for that someone who will take over an account is for some reason you cannot.

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OUTDOOR CAMERAS WITH NIGHT VISION AND WIFI

Outdoor security cameras

 

Unlike many other point of sale software, our system talks directly to the cameras which mean we get involved in security cameras, which I do not mind as I find these fascinating.

The first point is cameras seem to be the best form of evidence in a theft that judges accept today in retail. So it is important to get it right.

Some of our clients have installed these type of cameras to protect the outside of their shop. Say you put them in a spot guarding the rear of the shop.

If you are thinking of getting some of these cameras, here are some points to note.

) As they are outside, they need to be waterproof. Avoid plastic ones as they need to be sturdy so metal is better. Plus if they are metal, you can nail them in.

) Its best to get ones that have a lot of flexibility in their stands as you will need to aim them.

) Test the motion detection. When we tested some and found that the motion detector did not work well at all.

) The installation seems to be quite easy. I would say that someone that is reasonably handy with their hands and tools should be able to install them. Since they are outside, they can be an eyesore so they do not need to be professionally installed as would be the case in the shop. In fact, it is better its an eyesore as it will be noticed by thieves.

) You do need to find a good spot to put them. Make sure this spot has some wind and rain protection. Strong winds are often a real pain as they set up false signals. The spot will need a powerpoint and a decent WiFi signal. In shopping centres we have seen problems are there seems to be a lot of interference on the WiFi if so you may need to move it closer to the shop although another possibility is to install a WiFi extender.

) Once installed you need to check the picture quality both in the daytime and at night.

) Check the frame rate, most defaults are one picture in ten seconds. In ten seconds a thief can be long gone from the camera's view. I would recommend one picture in three seconds.

) One of my clients reported that they found if they walk on a certain path it did not set off the motion detector in the camera. This problem is common so you may want to consider more cameras.

) As with most videos systems today you need a decent size hard drive to keep the images.

) Lastly, you will generally only get a few years out of these cameras before they need to be replaced. They need to be tested every few months.

 

Overall they do appear to be very good at deterring thieves. One client had a shed in the back, which was burgled a few times, they put in these cameras and no-one has come back.

I hope this all helps.

 

 

 

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Shoplifting - booster bags

POS SOFTWARE

 

A few people asked me after I wrote my article discussing among other things booster bags (often called magic bags or faraday bag) often used in shoplifting with particular emphasis on bypassing the security tags.

The quickest and I think the best way to test them is to do what shoplifters do, grab a few of your tags and see whether your security poles will pick them up. Try looking for weak spots that the labels close to the poles, put the labels very low or straight etc. What an experienced shoplifter often does is take a few labels from inside your shop. As no-one is looking for those labels, they are not hard to take and as no-one is going to do anything to him/her coming into the shop so they can test your security all they like. Be worried if someone comes into your store and the security alarm goes off, its quite possibly not a malfunction but a test run.

As far as testing for booster bags, make one yourself and try it out with a few items. One of my clients found a person with a booster bag with over $240 worth of books of their books in it. A useful app "MD Faraday Bag Tester" that can help you test the bag and will give you a pretty good idea of how effective is available in the google play store

 

This app can also be used to check whether you have label security on an item. As a test, I went into a large shop, walked around with this app, tested many items and no-one said anything.