We often hear about strangers with ill intentions creeping around where they shouldn’t. With increasing occurrences of white collar crimes in recent years, thieves are looking more and more to target the workplace. Typically, the “office creeper” will be dressed in business attire or whatever clothes will help them blend into that particular place of work. There is usually no reason to be concerned for personal safety, as these crimes tend to be non-violent burglaries. Belongings office creepers are interested in stealing include, but are not limited to: purses or wallets, smart phones, personal electronic devices, laptops and even keys.
Follow these simple tips to avoid an office creeper in your building:
1. Secure personal space, including computers and valuables
It is important for all employees to keep personal items (especially valuables) locked away and avoid leaving them unattended. Consider using security cables to attach laptops to sturdy, immovable objects. Keep coat racks and hangers away from hallways and highly trafficked areas.
2. Get to know people
Knowing the employees who work in your building will help you to identify who should and should not be there.
3. Know where visitors are allowed to be
Visitors are typically only allowed in certain areas of the office. If you see someone you do not know who does not have proper identification in a non-visitor area, such as someone’s cube, and they are unaccompanied, confront them or alert security.
4. Use ID badges
Personal identification badges with a logo of the company and a name and picture of the employee help to decrease office creeper thefts. These IDs make it easier for employees to recognize if someone does not belong in their work area. This may be especially helpful in a large office building occupied by many companies. At the very least, enforce a strict visitor registration and identification policy.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask why someone is there!
Usually an officer creeper will not know their way around, and may be looking around in an area that is not normally accessed by a visitor. They will also be by themselves. If something does not seem right, make sure to ask them what or who they are looking for.
Ask them open-ended questions such as, “Who may I help you locate?” The creeper will most likely come up with an excuses and quickly leave. If they do not leave after confronting them, make sure to contact security after the creeper has left your vicinity.
6. Know what you have and what could go missing
Keeping a log of office materials, electronics and valuables is very beneficial in the event something is taken.
Do not ever be afraid to contact building security if you see anything suspicious. It is always better to err on the side of caution. If something has been stolen, contact police authorities immediately. It is also important to inform employees of the situation and provide them with up to the minute details. Following these tips will help to minimize the occurrence of office thefts, so put them into practice!
Marlia Fontaine-Weisse is the Content Manager for Preparis.