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Posts Tagged social media

Bags Will be Filled

179-015‘Tis the season for families and friends to get together. For some, this means travelling to loved ones or taking a vacation. It is also the time when bags get packed with gifts and goodies, but not by Santa Claus. I am talking about criminals who are waiting to find empty houses and take advantage of the holiday season. Here are some ways to protect your home and yourself over the holidays.

  1. Secure Your Valuables

If you are leaving a car parked on the street or driveway while you are away, make sure you remove all valuables from plain sight. This includes any clothing, electronics, bags, etc. Even if you leave your car in the garage, you should also remove all valuables to make sure they remain safe if someone breaks into your garage. It is also wise to place any important documents and jewelry in a safe inside of your home, a safe deposit box or a hidden secure location.

  1. Don’t Post Your Travel Plans Online

Although you might be excited about your vacation plans and want to share them with friends, it could end up being an invitation for thieves. This is especially true if you do not have strict privacy settings on your social media accounts. You are sharing this information with people you do not know. That is why it is important to be aware whenever you are posting your travel plans and location online.

  1. Have a Family Member, Friend or Neighbour Check In

Tell someone you trust — such as a family member, neighbour or friend — that you will be gone so that they can be on alert for any suspicious activity. Give them a spare key so they can go to the house daily to make sure everything is OK and bring any mail or packages inside. Mail piling up is a dead giveaway that no one is home.

  1. Hold Mail and Deliveries

If you cannot have someone you trust stop by your home to check the mail every day, call the postal service and request a hold on your mail until you are back home. You should also consider holding any deliveries or regular subscription services you receive at home, like newspapers and magazines.

  1. Make It Look like Someone is Always Home

Keep all blinds and curtains closed when you are not home. Have your lights set on a timer or solar switch while you are away, to make it appear as if someone is always there. This could help to ward off any would-be invaders.

  1. Lock All Doors and Windows

This one is a given, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure all your doors and windows have working locks and remember to remove all spare keys to your house or any keys sitting in locks throughout your home. This is important because someone could get into your house, steal these keys without you knowing, and then use the keys to gain access to your home again in the future. Also, it is important to remember to not run any extension cords through windows for your outdoor holiday lights. This prevents the window from closing properly, and burglars will see this as an easy entry point.

  1. Install a Home Security System

Whether you are home or away, a home security system can give you the peace of mind in knowing your home and valuables are secure.

 

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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Trump Protection

On March 12th, CTV news broadcast footage of a rally for Trump supporters near the Dayton International Airport. A Fairborn man with a history of protesting, vaulted over waist-high metal railings, broke through two security staff and nearly got on stage near the end of Saturday’s rally. Thomas Dimassimo, 22, was arrested for disorderly conduct and inducing panic, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Nowadays, it is common for protesters to show up and provide different opposing views. In this case, a protester jumped a fence and rushed towards the podium where Trump was speaking. Within 30 seconds, 4 protection agents surrounded Trump to shield him off, while other agents grabbed the protester. This was a well-trained group of federal agents with a clear tactical mandate. Luckily there were no serious consequences, but it showed the importance of being prepared for any type of disruption.

On a completely different scale, last Friday I received a call from an old business friend who required security at their facility within 3 hours. That morning his management team had decided to terminate someone and based on earlier comments by the subject, they thought it would be wise to reach out for protection.

The demand for protection services is on the rise in the US, Canada and most other parts of the world. Local events such as violence by employees who are being terminated or reporters being harassed cause businesses to want protection by specialized security companies or law enforcement. There are many events where the risk of disruption is medium to high and organizers need to make sure that their human assets are being protected. This includes the company representatives as well as the audience. The size of the protection detail varies based on the event, the venue and the risk involved. The preparation is important as the tactics are being formulated, making it possible to ward off threats when they occur. A security specialist speaks with a client ahead of time to get the details of what is required and it is usually followed up by a site visit. From that point, a draft plan will be composed. This is often augmented with intelligence gathered through social media and open source investigations. This preparation phase centers on understanding the assets, threats, vulnerabilities and the resources and limitations. The protection can be both overt and covert and range in size for one agent to hundreds for large events.

Regardless of political opinion, all contenders should be having the right level of protection to prevent serious consequences from happening.

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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Quarterback

Social media has been proven to be a great source of intelligence. Often the people posting content seem to underestimate the relevance and potential consequences. On November 25th, the following story was reported by ESPN:

Johnny Manziel has been replaced by Josh McCown as the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, the team announced Tuesday. One week after being named the team’s starter, Manziel has been demoted to third-string quarterback for Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens after social media posts surfaced this week showing Manziel allegedly partying last weekend in Texas during the team’s bye week.”

In this instance, Manziel’s actions were posted online and cost him not being able to play with the A team. Many times the consequences are more serious as social media investigations become mainstream. Quite often HR professionals conduct a high-level social media check as part of the recruitment process. Speaking to a recruitment manager at a fortune 500 company I learned that their process includes a criminal background check, credit history, reference checks and a social media investigation. This can be an automated investigation resulting in a clear report (footprint) delivered within 24 hours. If there is a desire for additional information, a footprint can be extended to social media surveillance. For a specified amount of time, the person of interest is followed on a defined number of social media sites. This search can also include past posts and an analysis of the information found. This can result in a comprehensive report potentially giving away a large amount of information.

Unfortunately Johnny Manziel did not read this blog or other related articles about the topic. The fact that people are warned does not seem to make a difference. The social media world continues to give away many clues about someone’s character and behaviours.

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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