The Shropshire chairman of the Chartered Institute of IT today urged county businesses to heed warnings from West Mercia Police about protecting their computer systems over the festive period.

Telford police have issued advice to businesses in the run up to the Christmas holiday period in a bid to prevent them becoming the victims of crime.

The warnings include locking away all equipment, not leaving cash on the premises, removing spare and vehicle keys, cancelling deliveries and removing rubbish.

They also advise business owners and staff to back up their computer systems, store a copy of data off the premises and ensure computer virus software is updated before downloading email or using the internet when returning after Christmas.

Chris Pallett, the county chairman of BCS The Chartered Institute for IT and owner of Bespoke Computing Ltd in Telford, is urging businesses to take note of the advice and act on it.

He said: “There are lots of things that owners and staff need to think about when the business stops operating for a period of time, from clearing emails to ensure inboxes do not fill up and cause mail to bounce to making sure IT support have correct emergency contact details and access to premises.

“A lot of people use remote working now to access what they need to from home during holiday periods but if you don’t, or you do not want to access emails and documents over Christmas, then measures have to be taken.

“I would also advise that everything on your computer is backed up so in the event of a break-in or a fire you will not lose any work.”

West Mercia Police regularly issue advice on crime prevention measures for businesses and companies across the county are advised to make these measures part of their normal working practices.

For additional information on business security visit www.safertelford.org.uk or www.westmercia.police.uk.

To find out more about backing up your documents, remote networking or IT support visit www.bespokecomputing.com