New York, NY—With added concern for health and safety, the Jewelers Security Alliance has issued a special bulletin with extra security precautions specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of JSAs regular security recommendations remain the same; however, there are some special risks that need to be emphasized and important protections needed for this critical time.
In addition to this alert, further recent recommendations from JSA regarding security and Covid-19 can also be found on the JSA website, which also provides links to additional informative interviews.
JSA personnel are working from an off-site location, and are in regular contact with JSAs law enforcement network partners, as well as jeweler crime victims. Jewelers with security questions are directed to contact JSA via email, email@example.com.
“JSA and the industry offer special thanks to law enforcement personnel who now have to handle Covid-19 issues, putting their health at risk, in addition to the usual risks they face every day in fighting crime,” says president John Kennedy.
Below are some key issues of concern:
With many stores closing due to the virus, with an unknown date of reopening, burglary becomes a paramount issue for jewelers. Take these precautions:
- Jewelers need to put away all goods in a safe or vault, and not leave goods in showcases. Goods left in showcases are a magnet for burglars, and even lower end goods need to be put away. If you don’t have room in your safe or vault, put lower end goods in a locked cabinet, drawer or closet.
- You should test your alarm system, including motion detectors and other components, before closing.
- Many jewelers have safes offering inadequate protection from today’s burglars. If your jewelers’ block insurance coverage allows you to store your higher end merchandise or a portion of your inventory in a bank vault, you might wish to consider this for the duration of the closure.
- Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company will be launching a program for their insureds, in cooperation with secure shipping firm Malca-Amit, to pick up some or all of your inventory and put it in Malca-Amit's secure vaults.
2. IF YOUR STORE REMAINS OPEN:
Follow JSAs regular security advice, such as not resisting in a robbery, showing one item at a time, and keeping your showcases locked except when actually taking product out or returning it to the showcase.
Look for JSA's red flags indicating a possible suspicious situation, such as:
- Three or more people entering together,
- Criminals disguising their appearance with hats and sunglasses,
- People talking on cell phones,
- People wearing inappropriate clothing for the season or putting clothing down on a showcase counter.
When you see such red flags, you and the store staff need to go on high alert.
3. INCREASED CYBER SECURITY RISKS FROM WORKING AT HOME
If you are working from home, you need to be especially careful that you do not present an increased cyber security risk to your business. Law enforcement and cyber experts warn of an upsurge in fraud and hacking since there are so many more inadequately protected people working on their computers or smartphones from home. Take these precautions:
- Make sure your home digital device has robust and updated protections: firewall, malware, and spam protection.
- When available use a secure company email system, Virtual Private Network (VPN) or an encryption system to protect your communications, and not your personal email system.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi, which can easily be hacked by criminals.
- Be especially alert for phishing attempts in which criminals try to have you open and click on links in emails that appear to be genuine. If you have the slightest doubt regarding the legitimacy of an email, simply delete it.
- Be on guard for fraud attempts involving social engineering, in which criminals may, for example, impersonate a customer or vendor and attempt to have you send money or jewelry product. Look carefully at email addresses that might be slightly different from your actual customer or vendor. If you have any doubts in a transaction, contact the known customer or vendor by phone to confirm the transaction or request is legitimate.
“On behalf of the board and staff of JSA, we hope you and your families, loved ones, employees, co-workers and customers stay healthy and safe,” says Kennedy.