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Month: June, 2015

Stop bloviating & being verbose

From high school until now I’ve often wondered why those giving presentations and writing reports have to be so verbose and bloviate about their subject. I understand that there are subtle points that have to be talked about and some subjects have to be discussed in painful detail, to get the information across to those that are dull, stupid, or lazy (me in high school)at times.
I’ve sat through seminars, workshops, classes, and read reports that did nothing but put me to sleep. The information that I gathered in them was minimal, at best, and I wasted hours of explanation for one or two nuggets. And at the end, sometimes, I was more confused that I was to begin with.
When giving a presentation or writing a report I’ve always, even when not knowing I should, attempted to be brief in what I said. I explained it as best as I could and then left it up to the participants to act as adults and ask questions.
The mentality of ‘I want it now’ is useless and far too many adults have fallen into that trap. So I have made a career in cutting corners and getting to the end of the problem or issue quickly. Is that a failing? Probably, but I do take time to do it right the first time.
Many people , , believe that if they talk for a long time and with nothing new to say, or write about, they can make us appreciate their expertise and to be thankful for the money we’re paying them, in short they are trying to justify themselves. And that helps no one except their bank account.
One of the things that I like to pride myself on when I give a presentation or write a report, is two different but effective methods of giving information to anyone. I’m sure you’ve heard of the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. The other method I use is called the Socratic Method. The basic concept is make the participants train themselves. It keeps them engaged in what you’re presenting. Ask them open ended questions, not just yes and no. A couple of other things I’ve learned are these.
Don’t be verbose. Tell your audience what you came to tell them. If it’s CEO’s or front line employees it doesn’t matter, if you talk too long and start getting into minutiae, you’ll lose your audience.
Granted, if you’re talking about physics that’s one thing. But if you’re teaching security officers or running a seminar in WPV for senior management you don’t have to do that. If they get bored, they’ll never listen.
One last thing that I don’t like doing in a presentation or report is use ‘dem big 25 dollar words’, it confuses people! I don’t use words like that unless there is an absolute need for them. Obfuscate, contraindications, bloviating, and verbose, are not words people encounter very often. Again, if you’re talking to CEO’s, then it’s possibly okay. But if you’re talking to front line employees, don’t do it.
You also have to know your audience when you present your material. And most presenters don’t know or care about who they’re talking too, the presentation is all the same. Be it for college grads or high school drop outs.

Reports:
The same holds true for written reports, especially in the security field. Most C-suite executives, business owners, or client contacts absolutely refuse to wade through a 200 page report on security, unless a deadly incident has occurred and they are going to court.
I have learned in my 32 years that if you write a report that is short and succinct then it is more than likely to be read, and understood, than a 200 page one. And that goes for everything except highly technical items i.e. specifications and etc.
I once wrote a report on a security survey for a client. The client didn’t think that it was complete enough because it was only 12 pages. So they spent upwards of $20,000 for a report from a ‘professional’ consulting firm. It said the exact same thing that mine did. There were only two differences. The Report was over 100 pages and the Plant Manager and the corporate staff didn’t read it all. They neither had the time or inclination to do so.

In conclusion I can say that if you are conducting a workshop, seminar, or writing a report make it short, sweet, and to the point. No one, and I do mean no one, wants to read or listen to something that resembles ‘War & Peace’. And for the presentation?
Change it up; don’t keep repeating the same thing, unless it is imperative to do so. Make it as short as you possibly can and still present the required information in a coherent manner.
In the end your audience, written or spoken, will thank you for not wasting their time trying to obfuscate the facts or bloviating until they are sleeping.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.

Train your guards to be officers – Part 2

• Testing
While training is the first step, testing is a mandatory 2nd. After training someone, whether it is orientation or On-the-Job (OJT), you need to test them. If you don’t test, how do you know whether or not they learned, and retained, anything in the class or OJT? And how can you correct any issues that come about because of a lack of understanding?
You should always have written tests at the end of training. Whether that training is in the classroom or during OJT or even a mandatory yearly re-fresher. Written forces the officer to think out their answer and put it in writing. Another way is the oral test.
Whether you see them in the office or when you’re on a post inspection, ask them a question about their assignment. And require them to answer you in as detailed as the two of you have time for. Officers don’t like this, but I believe it’s mandatory.
Both of these kind of tests will keep them on their toes and keep them thinking and learning about their assignment. Additionally, it will keep them up-to-date on their post, client needs, as well as the industry and company news.

• field supervision
Are you, or your field Manager’s, out at all hours conducting post inspections? If they are, then they need to be doing more than just shooting the breeze with them. Ask them questions about the post, post orders, and other such things. And after the breeze has been shot, leave them with something to think about, i.e. a motivational thought or similar.
But this will also help to get them into the idea that they need to be an officer not a guard. Your field level supervision needs to be the official presence of the company and uphold the standards that, I hope you do, have. Checking on their uniforms, duties performed, passing along memo’s and etc. will help the officer know the company cares.
Guards will see field management as a royal pain in the butt. But to an officer they will see it as an opportunity to learn and grow, whether within the industry or company, and learn from a more experienced officer. Should your field managers become friendly with the officers and be personable?
Of course they should! You can’t just walk onto a post and be all business and then walk off. Whether they are guards or officers they will see that as nothing more than someone who wants to fire them rather than assist them in becoming better at their job. Shoot the breeze all you want as long as both understand that it is a business talk as well.

• Be curious and paranoid
Yes paranoid. Does that mean call another officer, supervisor, or the police every time they hear a sound? Of course not. What it means is that they should take nothing for granted. If you hear a noise in a dark facility, no matter what kind, then don’t think it’s just a rat or mouse. It could be a criminal breaking into the facility to cause who knows what kind of havoc. And curiosity killed the cat, but it won’t kill the officer – unless you’re in a horror movie!

• Customer service
There is so much more to customer service than smiling and being respectful to others. I wrote a post on customer service a couple of months ago. Read it and you’ll get a good start on ithttps://todays-training.com/2015/03/31/customer-oriented-quality-service-coqs/. (I have several blogs on customer service recently so just look for them along with this one)
Just remember that customer service is not an act but a habit. Therefore, in order to make your officers into customer service extraordinaire, you need to make them effective, efficient, & train them in the skills they need.

• Conclusion
Did you get to your level of expertise in the field by sitting around and doing nothing? I really don’t think so. There isn’t a magic elixir to take to make you a security genius. Nor is there a metal helmet you can put on to attract the entire worlds knowledge. So, that leaves one thing and one thing only. Observe and learn!
Have your officers learn and keep learning about everything. Have them observe everything and record it mentally and in their mandatory pocket notebooks. If you can get them to change their perception of themselves, and the client/management changes their perceptions, the hardest part, then you are on the way to having officers not guards. And if you can do that, then your officers will gain and be respected as such.

Here’s an interview for a podcast that I did. I hope you enjoy what I have to say about how observe & report is obsolete and the wrong way for security officers to complete their duties;
http://www.silvertracsoftware.com/extra/observe-and-report

Observe & Report is obsolete

When I posted this into a Linked In discussion group, it created a firestorm of controversy. Many who responded did so positively. A few were negative, mainly managers or supervisors. But the theme is the same, the old fashioned duties of observe & report for contracted, or in some cases proprietary, security officers is obsolete.
I know there will be a whole lot of push back and guffaws from some security professionals, but with increasing threats in the world, from a myriad of sources such as ISIS, criminals (both from outside & insider threats), riots, & just plain cheap and useless thuggery & violence, we in the security field need to step up and advance our security officers as much as we do our technology. It is one of the things we too often neglect.
The impetus for this being obsolete came about, in my mind, more than 30 years ago. But recently, a judgement against U.S. Security Associates, in the amount of $46.8 million because the officers didn’t act, or go far enough, in a workplace violence (WPV) incident at the Kraft Foods plant in North Philadelphia in 2010.
The officers called 911 and did nothing else. Did their post orders say do more? Or was it that they were too scared to do anything else? And the security supervisor was seen, on camera, running to hide in a boiler room during the incident, instead of trying to warn employees or otherwise do something.
In my years in the field I did whatever I thought was necessary to safeguard the client’s property. If that meant investigating something, inside or outside the plant or office, I did it. I always went a step beyond what my orders, post or managerial, said to do. Was I ever chastised for going too far, doing too much, or stepping on toes? Yes, more than once. I’ve also been commended for doing something above and beyond to help or save the client from loss? But the point was, and is, we as security professionals can’t be afraid of disciplinary action in carrying out our responsibilities and duties.
As professionals, we need to have the mindset to do whatever is necessary to get the job done, right, unless it’s illegal, immoral, or unethical. It is a matter of customer service and safety of lives & property. We, meaning all security pros, need to do whatever is necessary to get the job done and get it done right, no matter the orders. Remember Bhopal?
With the world in such an uproar over far too many things to list here, security officers, MUST be charged with doing whatever they need to safeguard the lives and property of their company or client. I’m not talking heroics, but making suggestions and following up on them, educate ourselves, and etc.
This also means that the pay rate for officers needs to be raised. If we want our officers to be professionals and be willing to go above and beyond, we need to pay them more than minimum wage. And I’m talking dollars not a few pennies. When I started in the field 32 years ago, I made $2.35 per hour. Most of the officers I worked with made little more, if any. Site supervisors made a total of .05 – .25 cents more per hour, with very few exceptions.
There are few people working in the security field that I can point to and say that they are as dedicated as I was/am in protecting lives and property, and ones I do know don’t work in the field anymore. And some have forgotten what it’s like to work there. I hope I never get driven by $$$$signs, instead of dedication to the job.
You’ve read my posts about making your guards into professional officers. Every single state, municipality, and security company (not to mention clients) need to follow thru with that and start to act like security officers are more than lowly observers, fit to do nothing else but watch the plant burn or people get killed or assaulted.
Observe & report is obsolete. It went out with the old fashioned security guards of 25 and longer ago when technology began to accelerate and we left our officers behind. In order for the lives and assets of our responsible charges to be properly protected we need to expect more from them. And to do that they need to be professional.
Simply asking someone to do nothing but observe and report tells them they have to do nothing but sit on their butts and make a phone call, just remember U.S. Security Associates. We in the field and the world at large can no longer afford that kind of thinking. If our clients want us to do that, we need to have them sign off and release us from responsibility if anything occurs. And even that probably won’t protect contracted officers and their employers in the instance of a WPV or similar incident. Just remember this number $46.8 MILLION. Can you or your company take such a hit and stay in business?

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV and other security issues, as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Train your guards to be officers

I don’t like the term guard. I changed my mind about 30 years ago because it demeans the honorable position of security officer. Yes we guard the lives and property of the company and client, but the term guard is a verb not a noun. If we call them officers, that puts them in a more professional light and, hopefully anyway, will make them worthy of the name.
The question for many security managers, and managers’ period, is what the difference between officer and guard is. And this has to go above the legal definition of your local municipality or state. It seems like it may have a complicated answer, but it’s fairly simple.
That answer is that it starts with management. The management team has to refrain from using the term guard, unless it’s being used in a derogatory way because of their work performance. Many security companies still call their officer’s guards as do their clients.
However, they have been doing it for so long that it has become a habit. It doesn’t matter the level of training, pay, or level of ability. They are all guards and nothing more. And not many people think of it differently because they have been conditioned to think that way as well. So the first thing is to change the perception of these people in uniform.
The company & client can change and start calling their guards officers. But then what do you do? You have to change the perception of the client employees as well. And how can you do that, when the employees think that the officers are more of a hindrance than a help. We all know that the officers are there to assist and safeguard the property of the company asset’s as well as employees.
By the company/client calling them officers, eventually the employees will as well. And as the officers prove that they are officers and not guards or good ol’ boys then their attitudes will change as well.
The next thing that has to change is the officers themselves. The people have to change as well in order to have the transformation work and they become known as officers not guards. How the hell do I convince them to do that? That answer and the way to get there is simple as well. You don’t!
The only things you can absolutely do are hiring, fire, and pay them. Anything else that they do is up to them. You can’t make anyone do anything. You can ask and order, but unless they are in the mind set to do it, then they won’t. To those guards, it’s all a bunch of hogwash, and they don’t want to do anything more.
So what do you have to ask and order them to do to become officers not guards? Again it is all up to them to want to change and be an officer not a guard. Hopefully, these tips will help you answer that question for yourself.

• Education
And no I don’t mean they have to have a Bachelor’s degree, or any college experience to be honest. Even if the individual is only a high school gaduat, they can be an excellent security officer. The key is to start learning and never stop learning – no matter what it is. World events, security, or computers.
I surprise people when they find out that I don’t have a degree. Many people ask me how I’ve become so educated in security, not to mention my specialty of workplace violence. Let me elaborate and show you how education actually can make a professional out of anyone who can adapt. Succinctly… I started learning and never stopped.
I’ve had security officers that were conscientious and dedicated to their job. But they weren’t educated or looked the part of a professional. On the other hand, I’ve also had ‘guards’ that had college degrees and could shame me mentally, but they were guards.
Before going blind I was used to reading as many as 4 – 5 newspapers a day. Additionally, I read magazines all the time as well. That’s where I self-educated myself. I read whatever and whenever I could, even industry specific magazines on plastics, cardboard, construction, & heavy manufacturing, amongst others.
The key is to let your officers know what’s going on within the company & industry. And it doesn’t matter what the industry is. If you are in a plastics plant, do you read any manufacturing or plastics magazines? Those are just as important. If you’re contracted, you have to know your client’s business and how it works.
Going along with this is the initial orientation class that most companies will put you through. At least there is hope that they will anyway. Pay attention to what’s being taught in the class. It may be different from company to company, but remember this is generalized training. Things will be different when you get on your post and start working at the client site. Or if you’re a proprietary officer, to pay extra close attention in orientation, because this is where you’ll first learn about being a professional officer, if the training is adequate.
And lastly on educational aspects, just because you’ve completed however many hours of training videos or OJT it’s not even close to being enough for training you. Nothing can compare to the difference between formal classroom training and OJT for the same training.

The 2nd part of this post will be next week.

Here’s an interview for a podcast that I did. I hope you enjoy what I have to say about how observe & report is obsolete and the wrong way for security officers to complete their duties;
http://www.silvertracsoftware.com/extra/observe-and-report

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for nearly 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

HOW TO PREVENT WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

GUEST POST BY FELIX NADER
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION BY FELIX NATER
HOW TO PREVENT WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
by Felix Nater

Summary:
Workplaces must appreciate that unhappy employees don’t wake up one morning consumed with retaliation. They don’t!

Recent workplace and school shooting incidents underscore the importance of having comprehensive prevention and response policies and plans in place. We are finally coming to grips with the reality that workplaces are veritable lightning rods for violence. In an article titled, “Business Continuity for Small Businesses,” Dr. Robert F. Hester said, “Safety, security and preparedness aren’t routinely a focus in our lives. Being on guard is not something Americans are used to or like doing. Still. . . the threat never goes away; only fades in memory.” Workplace violence reflects employee perceptions of their workplaces and their personal issues. Workplaces are veritable lightning rods for violence. Our job is to minimize the risk through strategies and preparation. Minimizing risks requires a critical assessment of your workplace security; prevention and response procedures; physical security measures; and administrative and operational policies. Workplaces must appreciate that unhappy employees don’t wake up one morning consumed with getting even. They don’t! The escalation toward homicidal retaliation probably started months earlier, if not years, and the clues were missed or misunderstood. Supervisors need to examine work sites for autocratic supervision, toxic employees and criminal elements. Sometimes, workplace policies create misunderstandings, when the workforce is taken for granted, and that can lead to conflict. Supervisors and managers need to intervene swiftly by monitoring and then communicating. They can show sensitivity to changes in family, medical, personal, financial and workplace relationships that are often exacerbated by workplace relationships.

Workplace violence prevention really requires a comprehensive view of workplaces and how best to integrate resources, collaborate on strategies and coordinate efforts. (Developing Your Comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Policy/Plan).
Workplaces must review their policies and plans annually and design the right atmosphere. Workplaces must be critical of their capabilities and limitations by asking tough questions. We must not allow convenience to dictate management’s decisions and attitudes. Employees (supervisors and managers alike) must be held accountable for inappropriate conduct as part of building credibility in violence prevention.
We must ask the following questions:
• Do we understand the risks?
• Are we responding properly?
• Do we monitor and track incidents, situations and people?
• How could an incident happen?
• What did we miss that could have prevented the outcome through care, consideration and attentiveness?
• What did we take for granted and why?
• How do we interact or fail to intervene?
I ask that senior leaders begin a process today to assess their workplace settings to uncover hazards and resolve security gaps. Why wait to answer such questions tomorrow when posed by the media, OSHA or a jury?
Research shows that people delay because of:
1. Denial about whether they have a problem;
2. The resources required;
3. A belief that they can simply terminate troubled employees;
4. An inability to act quickly;
5. Lack of staff and support;
6. The cost of training;
7. The expense of hiring a consultant.
But there is a need to be prepared for the when it happens rather than if it happens. The threat can come from a: current employee, former employee, disgruntled customer, client, patient or student, criminal or a domestic/intimate partner. I will not scare readers with immaterial statistics not specific to your respective workplaces at this point, but I will implore you to take immediate action to improve your workplace security.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Felix Nater is the president of Nater Associates and a consummate professional who brings passion to his work as a certified security consultant. He takes time to listen. He is a problem solver, an effective communicator and more than a security consultant.

Essential tips for your PSP

The below listed tips should not be considered an all-inclusive or definitive list. You will find many more things to add to your list than I have here. And that is mainly that each and every company, and location, is different.
The business may be the same, but the location and threats will be different. And if you lease space instead of purchasing, then it is even more different than other locations.
Take these tips and start there. AS you progress you’ll find other items that need to be addressed and fulfilled. Add them to your list and complete them as well. In the end you may end up with a report so detailed that it is unreadable by anyone other than a security professional.
In that instance you need to shorten it and list only the major aspects of a survey, not an assessment. You’re not writing a manual on security surveys or assessments, you’re trying to protect your company. Add to that, that most executives won’t read such an exhaustive report and shuffle it to one side, no matter how important it may be to company survival.
And while having a detailed report is not a bad thing, because you can refer to it at any time and use it as a reference for a future date. Then if and when your company grows larger, you have a template in which to utilize on larger facilities. But until then, read these and then make your own list. And keep in mind that I have emphasized disasters for obvious reasons.

Hiring Process”
The applicant
Dressed appropriately for position being applied for
Hygiene is good including brushing hair & teeth
They don’t smell like tobacco or bodily odors
Prepared for whatever may come about during the process
Knows a little bit about your company and field

The application
Utilize a 4-6 page application which requires detailed answers
Ask good questions that require answers not check marks
Look at their handwriting, is it legible?
Are they being vague or generalized in their answers or possibly evasive?

The interview process:
Ask in-depth probing questions and expect full in-depth answers
If they don’t give those answers then keep pushing them
Make them uncomfortable when answering the questions
Ask off-the-wall questions and expect good answers (see how they handle the unexpected)
Be friendly with the questions and gauge their responses
Are they friendly and engaging?
Are they forth coming in answering or are they evasive
Can they give specific examples of what you ask or generalizations?

After the decision is made to hire:
Ensure your background checks are done in as much depth as the law allows for the position being hired for and your municipality
Don’t allow them to go to work until all the checks come back to avoid any issues, even if the law says you can
Always use a probationary period to ensure a good fit

Training:
Ensure the people conducting the training give them all the necessary training and references to operate their position effectively & efficiently
Learn, know, and enforce customer service techniques to all customers internal and external
Training the employees in knowing the rules and WPV
Train your supervisors/managers in all aspects of your Disaster Recovery Plans
Ensure your security personnel, at the field level, are knowledgeable and trained
Institute a regular training program within your organization at least yearly
Utilize an instructor driven approach, or guest speakers, not videos and boring films
Ensure that a training manual is available, at any time, to any employee who wishes to review it

Other Human Resources issues:
Get rid of those ‘zero tolerance’ policies, they cause nothing but embarrassment and laughter from others. Review, delete, change, or revise your HR policies & procedures at least yearly

Physical Security Measures:
Ensure that you complete a security survey every 6 months
Complete a security assessment at least yearly
Keep your physical security plan up-to-date review at least yearly
Know what your vulnerabilities are at all times, even when they change daily
Review and revise your DRP (diaster recovery plan)at least yearly
Review your security policies & procedures at least yearly or as necessary, even after a minor incident
Ensure you have a Threat Assessment Team/Group in place that meets at regular intervals
Ensure that your DRP team meets at regular intervals as well to review the plans
Conduct WPV active shooter drills at least yearly
Ensure your employees are fully versed & knowledgeable in the emergency plans
Conduct other emergency drills at least bi-yearly for fire, tornado, hurricane, & etc., ensuring that employees know what to do in a crisis situation
Ensure your employees know how to report threats, bullying, harassment, & etc.
Know the warning signs of employees who may potentially be violent

Again, this should only be a starting point for your survey and assessment. There are hundreds of books out there with much more detailed plans. And if you need one, then get it. There is no substitute for good security, and the best starting point is a survey or assessment. I hope these tips will help you get started in protecting your client or company.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for nearly 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Designing a PSP (Physical Security Program)

Most people and entrepreneurs don’t think much about security when they start a business. Other than turn the lights off and ensure the doors are locked when they leave, they don’t put much thought or effort into security, which is too bad, and they could save a lot of headaches or financial resources if they did.
What most of them, and even C-suite executives, think about is how much it will cost, not how much it will save them. They look at the immediate loss in terms of money and not at the long term prospects of loss of resources/people.
And to that end they need a good Physical Security Program (PSP). It takes a bit of time, effort, thought, and a few financial resources (most of the time) to design a good program that will resist loss and give the business owner some Return on Investment (ROI). Seems like an irony to say that security can be a good ROI, but it can be a profit center and not a cost center, if done properly.

Getting Started
The first thing you need to do when beginning to design your program is determine what the vulnerability is of your business. This comes in several ways, including location. You have to think about your enterprise and the crime specifications of that business i.e. pawn shops or payday loan stores. On the other hand a cookware and cookbook store could possibly be much less vulnerable to any crime, including robbery.
If your business is in a high crime area, then you’ll have to take different precautions than if your office inside of a Class ‘A’ area. If you don’t know a Class A is a very high rent area such as the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, West Gate in Glendale Arizona Or Avenue of the Americas in New York City.

What do you Need?
This is another question that will vary greatly within your business and location. If you’re in the jewelry business in a high crime or low income area then that’ll be different than being in the Empire State Building in New York.
If you are a standalone business, in a strip mall area, then you’ll probably need alarms, access control, sufficient lighting (yes lighting), landscaping, and other items that make it hard for someone to hang around to plan a robbery or other crime. And these are just as varied as the kind of business and location that you’ll have.
Other things that you need to look for when renting space, for any kind of business, are not as varied – except within the individual items themselves;
Doors – what kind & are they safe/secure enough
Locks – are they sufficient for your business?
Cameras/CCVS – Is all parts of the business covered and blind spots outside doors eliminated?
Security officers – you may need some physical protection ‘who ya gonna call?’
Cash & Inventory handling
Employee safety
Policies & procedures for everything

Is it absolutely necessary to think about all of these things? Yes it is. If for no other reason as to eliminate them from being used against you, and your employees, in your business. It’s always better to over protect at first and then cut back than not have enough to cut costs and get ‘bit in the butt’ from an issue!

How do I know what I need?
This is not a professional plug, but most of the time business people just don’t know what they’re doing. It’s best to call in a consultant (not a sales person) to give you an assessment of what you need. A good consultant will give you several options, from the cheap to the not so inexpensive.
A consultant is independent, hopefully, and is objective in what they report to you in the way of precautions. I mentioned not to have a salesman come to your business and give you an assessment. Not that they are dishonest, but they do need to sell their product in order to make a living. If possible you could call in someone who is well versed in security that is a friend of yours, just ensure that they are experienced in physical security.
Another good resource is calling the police and asking a Crime Prevention Officer to come to your business. They often, not always but often will perform a survey for free. They won’t give you the same information, or detail, as a security consultant, but they will give you enough to get you started. And it will also help you to prevent immediate crime in or around the business.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for nearly 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Computer Security in a Nutshell

Many organizations don’t think about computer security, or most security, until there is a breach. Creating insecure passwords such as your, or the name of a favorite pet or spouse, name or a common word, could compromise your information or network. This post gives you, hopefully, some basic principles to mitigate security risks of your information & identity.

WiFi networks
If you decide to log on while at McDonalds or Starbucks, you absolutely must ensure that the WiFi network you’re logging onto is secure or it’s useless! Cyber criminals can ‘hijack’ your signal from an open network just as quickly as if you gave them access to your passwords! And if they do that and you’re banking or shopping…
Going along with this is radio frequencies within your home and such things as your baby monitor. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone can be driving up and down your block looking for a signal they can pick up and hijack. It does happen with cell phones, baby monitors, WiFi networks, and so on.

Viruses and malware
How often do you check your virus software to ensure that it’s up to date on the latest viruses out there? There are millions of new viruses that are floating around on a yearly basis. And while it is impossible to keep your computer 100% safe you have to do your best.
Having malware on your hard drive is just like having a virus. It can hijack your web browser and switch you to a different website that isn’t secure where it will prompt you to put in your information, to steal your money or identity.
And some malware can be used to ‘force’ your computer to do its dirty work. In other words, it’ll use your address to try and hack others – all leading back to you.
Then there is ransomware. This is where a malware program will be planted on your computer and a message will pop-up ordering you to pay someone, somewhere a princely sum, from $250 upwards of a million dollars if you’re rich enough. It virtually locks up your computer until you pay them for the passcode to unlock it or pay several hundred dollars to have someone get rid of it.
The only protection you’ll have from these is to run a complete virus scan. This will allow your computer to find, and hopefully, destroy any viruses and malware on the hard drive. Keep in mind that some malware & viruses can elude detection for as long as 6 months, no matter how good your protection is.

Passwords
Changing your passwords at least on a quarterly basis, is a good way not to be hacked and keep them wondering and worrying about their efforts. And if they start worrying about it, then you’re not worth it and they’ll move to someone else’s computer.
It’s estimated that a password containing 8 symbols can confound the common hacker for as much as 6 months, symbols meaning numbers, letters (upper and lower case), and the symbols above the numbers on the keyboard. If you can lengthen it, not to mention remember it, to 15 then it’ll take the average hacker more than a trillion years to hack your password. And even with the programs for such things it’ll take years to find it, which hopefully, you’ll have changed it by then!

Websites:
You have to be careful with your web surfing as well. Too many times, you can click on a link within an e-mail and it will re-route you to a different website. One with viruses and malware, which as you know can be trouble,
The best advice I can provide if you want to web surf, is to never click on a link within an e-mail. Keep your security settings as high as you can and still allow you to surf. And lastly, type the name of a trusted website into the browser yourself, especially if you’re going there for the first time.
Once you’ve been to the site a couple of times it should be okay to keep it in your ‘favorites’ folder and just click on it. But if you’re shopping on-line, then look for the locked padlock on the corner of your screen before putting in your card or other personal info. This is one way that cyber criminals want to get a hold of your info and steal your identity.

Identity Theft:
One of the biggest crimes, and invisible ones, is identity theft. It’s one reason why people lose, or can’t get government benefits, booted off disability or can’t buy a house, car, or anything else on credit.
You have to be aware of what you do on-line no matter what you’re doing on there. Clicking on bad links, downloading malware (unintentionally), opening phishing e-mails, sharing ‘open source software’, placing too much information on-line in social media, not to mention other personal financial information, and many other things
Phishing e-mail:
Phishing e-mail is a mail that is meant to attract you to open it and then click on the links provided. And please also keep in mind, that some of these mails have malware embedded into the mail so that that just opening the mail can infect your computer.
The best advice I can give you for this is simple; if you don’t know who sent it, why, or for what reason, then don’t open it! Send it straight to spam. And absolutely never download an attachment unless it is for a trusted source.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for nearly 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

WPV Numebers for May

Peoria, AZ. May 1 0
Phoenix, Az. May 5 0
Newark, NJ. May 6 0
Tecumseh, Ne. May 10 2d 8w
Santa Barbara, CA. May 11(school) 0
Tempe, AZ. May 12 1d
Washington D.C. May 14 4d
Detroit, Mi. May 17 3w
Waco, TX. May 17 9d 18w
Los Angeles, CA. May 20 0
Phoenix, AZ. May 21 (school) 0
Eager, AZ. May 23 1d 2w
New Orleans, LA. May 24 1d
Grand Forks, ND. May 25 2d 1w
Cottonwood, AZ. May 30 1d
Conyers, GA. May 31 3d 2w
May: 16 incidents 24 dead 34 wounded

Total # of incidents: 70 Arizona 26
57 Dead 97 wounded

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV and other security issues, as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.