5 tips to improve farm security when dealing with visitors and contractors

Requiring visitors to a farm to sign in and account for their time on the premises is an option to consider when trying to improve farm security, according to the the IFA.

The increased accountability this system could provide to farmers would allow incidents of unauthorised activity on their farm to be investigated and possibly prosecuted, the IFA said.

The farming association has issued five key tips to improving farm security when when dealing with employees, contractors or other visitors.

  1. Introduce a system where visitors/technicians have to sign in and account for time spent on the farm. This is the case in many business premises, and allows for accountability and traceability.
  2. Consider requiring contractors to sign a service level agreement that will define the service expected and define the service provided and how any data will be used.
  3. Insisting on Garda vetting clearance from contractors or employees may be useful and would add an extra element of security. However, Garda vetting is not foolproof – individuals who are not trustworthy may have a clear record and even references to support their character.
  4. Keep records of anybody who has keys, passcodes or other sensitive information. These codes or information should be changed throughout the year and visitors should have to ask for updates.
  5. When you’re setting passcodes or security settings, use the false truths feature, for example use a date of birth that is not the true date.

The IFA also said that a unique security number should be used by farmers to mark their property, which clearly identifies ownership and will deter thieves.

TheftStop.ie is an initiative run by the IFA which provides members with their unique security number. TheftStop will then maintain a database of all stolen equipment for members to view online.

In the event that property is stolen this unique security number could allow items to be returned if they are recovered, according to the IFA.