Nine Steps That Can Be Taken To Increase Security

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Security experts from RSM McGladrey offered these security tips for credit unions:

* Have one person dedicated solely to security issues. If the CU doesn't have the resources or personnel to hire someone with a law enforcement or security background, consider hiring a consultant who does to help revamp security policies and periodically review them.

CUs that have law enforcement personnel as part of the field of membership should make the most of that relationship.

* Reevaluate and assess security issues on a regular basis and always take a worst-case scenario approach. Remember, no one thinks it will happen at their credit union or in their own home.

* Inform key personnel that their duties and stature at the CU may make them a target for kidnapping, etc., and provide them with training on personal security issues.

* Ensure that surveillance cameras are not only in working order and located strategically-but that they also provide good-quality photos or footage.

* Consider purchasing "dummy" video equipment and placing it in full sight. Crooks can be fooled into stealing that old copy of "Gone With The Wind" thinking it's the security camera tape.

* Beware of the "fortress mentality." Many financial institution employees are on guard at the financial institution but lose that shell of awareness and concern when they leave the office and go home. As far as would-be robbers are concerned, you take your work home with you.

* Have a plan in place for serving members elsewhere after a crime has been committed, because law enforcement will evacuate a crime scene, sometimes for days.

* High-tech crime and e-crime are "hot" right now and get a lot of attention, as does internal "sticky fingers" crime- don't forget that physical (and violent) crime still happens.

* The vast majority of robbers "case" their targets, and most of the time, the bad actor is on the list of depositors because they have to be able to justify going to the facility several times before committing the crime.

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