Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

How to keep your salon secure during lockdown

By Katie Barnes | 14 April 2020 | Expert Advice, Feature

Empty Nail Salon

In any business, the most important consideration is safety. Without a safe work environment you, your staff, and customers will be at risk and you will not be insured.

The second most significant concern is often overlooked; security.

During these current times, your business can become more vulnerable and it is essential to make sure you take the steps to keep it protected and plan for your safe return to work.

Security ensures that our business remains viable, as without adequate security controls, we are open to both crime and its consequences. In the modern world, security must take into consideration both physical and digital controls. A failure to implement controls will significantly increase the risk that we will be victims of crime.

Physical security controls take many forms but the most common we will deal with are locks on doors, cash tills, and CCTV cameras. These controls are important to not only protect our customers but to ensure the safety of our staff, as no one wants to be alone in a salon at night with a door that doesn’t lock.

Camera systems also offer protection to yourself or staff as they can easily prove the factual actions in the event of an issue. When you are not in the property, it is essential to make sure the connection is working and batteries are charged.

These controls are only as good as the people who use them, as in any security structure the weakest link is always human.

This isn’t to say that people are inherently malicious, just that it is easy to get distracted or to trust where we shouldn’t. There have been countless cases where businesses have been robbed simply because the staff on the counter left the cash drawer or their personal belongings such as mobile devices unattended for a just couple of minutes. Training staff to identify risks and take steps to counter them will pay dividends in the long run.

The other side of security is digital. With most businesses having an online presence of some type, it is vitally important that regulatory requirements are adhered to. Laws such as GDPR give very specific requirements for how data can be gathered, how it can be used, and what rights consumers have around accessing this data.

The data we handle will fall broadly into two sections:

1.Financial data such as credit card information or bank details.

This data is particularly tempting for criminals and the utmost care should be taken when both recording this information in forms and when storing it. If you can avoid storing this data, do so. While it may be inconvenient for customers to have to re-enter this information every time they transact with you the risk for both you and them is considerably smaller.

2.PII or Personally Identifiable Information.

This is, as the name suggests, personal data such as name, sex, age, contact details etc. This is important for us to consider due the consultation forms that are required in our industry. This data can be used to identify specific individuals and falls into a couple of sub-categories: sensitive and non-sensitive. Sensitive data may be things like medical history. Non-sensitive can be easily accessible from public sources like date of birth or postcode. If in doubt, it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution and secure the data in line with legislation.

Failing to secure customer information, either financial or personal, carries significant penalties and in many cases will be too much for a business to bear. Don’t let a time like this overshadow essential practices.

When building a website, and in particular an online booking system or store, we must make sure we use reputable tools and implement recommended security features like encryption. A time like this is when businesses are required to take their services online, so this is now more essential than ever.

Finally, while it may seem like a good idea to post on social media when we are closed for holidays and closures due to the current situation but it can alert criminals to an easy target.

Many insurance companies will not pay out on a claim if the business has been unoccupied for more than 30 days. So, where possible, make regular trips to the business to check on the security.

Stay safe and secure out there.

Love Katie B x