As you go through everyday life, how do you think about your own security? Are you the type of person that may cling to your purse in a crowded elevator. Or have to turn every light on in your house, just to make sure you can see everything in the room? Obviously, we all lock our house and car doors, right? Well, believe it, or not, some people still don’t. Because risk is based on an individual’s perception. This perception is how you see the environment around you, and will determine how you react to everyday tasks. In this blog, I’m going to give you tips on how you can change your actions within the world around you, and increase your protective posture in both your personal life as well as at work. Hopefully, these simple tips can help prevent security mishaps from happening in your everyday life.
Be a hard target:
When the bad guy observes an area for an intended victim, they will target the most vulnerable person or place possible. They will spend their time looking around for the person, place, or thing, that gives off the weakest signs, or negative indicators. Indicators are something everyone and everything displays, they can also be used to tell people how you react within your environment. An indicator by definition is a thing, especially a trend or fact, that shows the state or level of something. Do you have a friend or a loved one that you know when they’re lying, because of a certain face they make when they tell a fib? That is an indicator. The key is to give away as few negative indicators or vulnerabilities as possible. Now indicators can also be positive. Think of the “tough guy” walking down the street no one wants to mess with him right? That is because he acting like hard target. The more strong signs or positive indicators you portray the less vulnerable you become. Some simple ways to be a hard target are to stay observant and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dangerous areas and don’t wonder to secluded locations. Reduce the attention that you draw, and try your best to blend into your surroundings.
What comes to mind first is always lock your stuff up. Lock your car, lock your door, lock your office, and put all your important stuff in a safe! But really everyone knows this, and somehow people and businesses get victimized every day. So what about other ways to secure things, like Alarms systems, cameras, security teams? Ok yes, but I am not necessarily talking about all that complicated and expensive stuff. Let’s get back to the simple habits you do every day. You wouldn’t walk around flashing a wad of cash would you? By practicing simple, security-minded habits, you can prevent information and valuables from be stolen with ease. Have you heard of the saying “out of sight, out of mind”? What this means is keep important things out of observation where they can easily be swiped or grabbed. Whether at home or work, keep Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and valuables out of sight and within close reach. PII should be kept covered or secured if it is not needed shred it/destroy it. Don’t write important information on whiteboards and sticky notes or hang it on walls. Keep your computer screens hidden, and screen lock them when not in use. If it is valuables, you may want to decide whether it should be brought with you in the first place. You wouldn’t go to the public swimming pool to go swimming, wearing expensive jewelry and carrying a laptop would you? It is always a good idea to simplify what you bring with you. Always remember your valuables are worth a lot to the bad guys, especially if they can get it with ease. PII can be just as valuable as money to the bad guys so protect it like you would that wad of cash.
Change your route:
Humans are creatures of habit; we will take the same walk, same drive, same path every day. Believe it or not, bad guys will learn these patterns and exploit them. Now you don’t need to change everything everyday, sometimes just being aware is enough. Maybe go through a different door at work, park in a different parking spot, walk around a different side of the building. These little variances are sometimes enough to keep you from being a victim. Another tip I personally do, I call the 3 turn rule. If I am walking or driving and an individual has made three turns the same as me, I will never go straight to my destination. I will proceed past my office or home and conduct a series of turns to see if they stay behind me. You can then, positively determine if you are being followed, or if it is a coincidence. This also prevents your home or workspace from being known and becoming a possible target later.
Hopefully, I have started you on a path to thinking about security in a new or different way. There are many ways to stay safe in your everyday life, and these tips are just scratching the surface. But hopefully, these little things can dramatically change your security of both your personal and your professional life. Remember, begin by becoming a hard target, then secure it, and finally change your route! It’s changing the little habits you do every day that can make a huge difference in your future!