Man pointing to a sign that says property management.

4 Highly Effective Measure for Property Managers to Improve Safety in Their Parking Lots

Improving safety on commercial, residential and retail property is a top priority of Property Managers. However, many struggle with how to implement the strategies necessary to accomplish this goal.  Over the past decade I’ve had the privilege to provide security services for many commercial, residential and retail properties. Fortunately, I have gained a lot of experience, which I have found to be useful in helping property managers to increase safety and reduce liability. Especially in hospitals, office buildings, shopping centers, and apartment communities.   

Most properties with security concerns have 2 things in common; they have parking lots, and they have contracted security companies to protect them.  Hence, in order to effectively improve safety on these properties, not only must the properties themselves be improved, but the security provider protecting them must also be improved. In this article, I’m going to speak about 4 of the most critical security measures in Property Management that often are not addressed adequately or not addressed at all.  However, before discussing the measures, I want to add that it is critical for Property Managers to begin the process by:

  • Conducting regular security assessments on their properties. This is recommended at least once a year, and sometimes more often depending on recent crime on and near your property and recent crime trends on the type of property that you manage.
  • Drafting a clear and concise Scope of Work (SOW) to potential security companies that encompass the recommendations from this article when issuing Request for Proposals (RFP’s) or Invitations for Bid (IFB’s).
  • Thoroughly vetting at least 3 security companies before settling on one and ensuring the selected company has the capacity and leadership to carry out the work as you have written.
  • Requiring the selected security company to write Post Orders that comply with your SOW and insist that the company trains all of its security officers to be in full compliance at all times.

Once the above measures have been undertaken, the following 4 Highly Effective security measures will improve safety and decrease liability on the properties that you manage. 

1.Traffic control in the parking lot – Patrons, guests, and tenants who frequent commercial, residential and retail property are 100 times more likely to be struck by a vehicle than they are to be victimized by crime in parking lots. Despite these statistics parking lot signage and traffic control measures often fall to the bottom of the list of things to be addressed by Property Managers. Likewise, many security companies also fail to make reporting issues with traffic control a part of their overall security strategy.  The Property Manager who truly wants to improve safety and reduce liability on their property must prioritize traffic control issues.

Shopping center with faded crosswalk and traffic signs

These faded crosswalks and turn signs increase property management liability.

The first step in accomplishing this is to mandate in the Scope of Work (SOW) that your security provider is responsible for reporting all traffic control hazards and that the responsibility to do so is incorporated into their post orders. Common hazards that should be reported include: overgrown trees and shrubs which obstruct the view of oncoming traffic;  Potholes, as vehicles may encounter a pedestrian while swerving to avoid them; damaged sidewalks which force pedestrians into lanes of traffic; and damaged or faded traffic control signs, e.g., crosswalks, fire lanes, yield signs, stop signs, parking lines, directional signs, etc.

Car riding over a black and yellow rubber speed bump

Traffic Calming speed bumps increase safety and decrease liability.

The second step is to ensure that you, the Property Manager, are willing to correct the reported deficiencies within a reasonable amount of time – 72 hours is usually adequate.  Traffic control recommendations that significantly improve safety, and reduce liability include speed bumps, pedestrian crossing signs, re-painting or re-striping and traffic control signs, e.g., crosswalks, stop, yield, speed, fire lane and etc. These items can be budgeted annually and purchased online fairly easily at sites like U-Line. As a best practice, annual repainting is highly recommended around the same time each year, as parking lot paint is only good for about a year.  Reflective marking tape is a more durable alternative to annual repainting*.  With pricing starting as low as $44.00 per 150 feet of tape, it is possible to save tons of money as reflective parking tape can be good for up to three years.

*The durability of all parking lot striping is determined by the volume of traffic on the lot.

2. Lighting – My security company was once contracted by a Property Manager who refused to repair lights on their Property despite that our officers reported the problem to them over SEVEN HUNDRED times in one year.   Needless to say, although my security officers understood their accountability, the Property Manager did not.  Therefore, due to the lack of action to address and correct the multiple safety and liability concerns reported by our team, I made the decision to sever ties with the aforementioned Property Manager.

A non functioning light on a building

Uncorrected lighting issues increases liability for property managers.

  • Defective or inadequate lighting is another danger regularly seen on some properties. Lighting standards are regulated by both OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Association) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute); however, Property Managers are responsible for maintaining their own check and balance systems.  Without a proactive system to ensure that lighting remains functional many properties find themselves, literally, in the dark.  Some property’s lights go unfixed for months, even years, without being addressed.
  • Good lighting is key to decreasing your liability on commercial and residential property, therefore it is important that Property Managers act quickly to repair lights that have been reported as non-functional. The key is to have proactive quality control procedures that involve security officers, maintenance staff, employees, and tenants.  The security officers and maintenance staff should be responsible for inspecting lighting issues daily and ensuring that they are reported in writing by the end of each shift.  In addition, the tenants and employees should be encouraged to report lighting issues and have an easily accessible system in place to do so.
  • To further reduce liability and increase safety, Property Managers should ensure that all lighting issues are repaired within 24 hours of being notified, or within a reasonable amount of time to order the parts necessary to remedy the problem…normally no longer than 72 hours.  Performing proactive lighting inspections will not only protect your tenants, employees and guests, it will also protect the Property Management company and the Owners against Premise Security Liability lawsuits in the unfortunate case in which someone becomes the victim of a crime on their property.
Parking lot at night light with LED light post.

LED lighting effectively increases safety on parking lots

  • To improve lighting, I have found LED lighting to be highly effective for both buildings and parking lots. It’s like night and day (pun intended) compared to traditional lighting. Hubbell Lighting Company, a Virginia-based company, has great before and after pictures and video that show the improvements gained through using LED lighting. Be sure to visit their site to see how LED lighting might work to improve safety on your property and at the same time save you thousands of dollars in operating and maintenance cost.


3. Cameras and CCTV – The power of CCTV is often misunderstood and underutilized. CCTV is a worthy ally to increase safety on any property. Analog cameras are old news but new HD cameras provide an additional layer of security and aids law enforcement and security officers with crystal clear images that bolster their efforts to protect others.  Property Managers, citizens, security and Police Officers benefit in 2 ways:

  1. By capturing incidents, crimes, suspect, and vehicle information.
  2. By acting as a deterrent against crime. The last thing that perpetrators want is to be caught, and the presence of CCTV cameras highly increases the chance that they will. If cameras are present, most perpetrators find an easier target to reduce the chance of being caught.
A globe CCTV camera with a building in the background

CCTV cameras are highly effective at deterring crime

While CCTV systems can be a big hit to your budget, not having them can be an even bigger hit according to Free Legal Advice’s website.  Legal Advice confirms what most security experts already know.  Property Managers have a “Duty to Provide” adequate security provisions for the properties they manage.  Legal Advice writes, “If you have been attacked or made a victim of a crime in the parking lot of a business or housing complex, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against the owners/operators of the lot for negligent security.”  Further, “Commercial Property owners do not have to guarantee the safety of everyone who enters the Property; however, they must respond appropriately to foreseeable risks.” Therefore “Foreseeable Risk” is the standard that Property Managers are judged by. Foreseeable Risk may involve areas of high crime, or patterns of crime occurring on or near the property of which the Property Manager was or should have been aware.  CCTV is not the complete answer, but it can be a line of defense for Property Managers and Owners who find themselves in litigation.

4. Cleanliness of the property – In the security and law enforcement profession there is a theory called “The Broken Window Theory.”  The theory has its roots in CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). In a nutshell, the Broken Window theory was developed around inner city urban environments but can be utilized to improve the security in any environment. The theory uses broken windows as a metaphor for disorder in communities. Its goal is to maintain and monitor environments to prevent petty crime such as vandalism, public drinking, loitering, littering, etc., to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crime.  Most Property Managers are consistent in keeping their properties clean.  However, if this detail has been ignored on your properties, it is imperative to the safety of the people who frequent them that your team makes keeping them clean and beautified a priority. Additionally, your security officers should be empowered by you to bar violators for loitering, littering, disturbing the peace and vending without a license on your property.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and congratulations on taking the first steps to address some of the security concerns that you may struggle with while managing your commercial, residential and retail properties.  As you can see, there are ways to implement the strategies necessary to improve safety.  These tried and true methods are the result of more than a decade of experience of applying it to successfully protect properties just like those that you manage.  It is our hope my hope that this information will help you create safer environments for the patrons, guests, and tenants who frequent your properties.

Feel free to contact me if you manage property in the Washington, D.C area and think that a free Risk Assessment could benefit you and your tenants.


This article was written by Melvin Key, SR (CPP). Melvin is a retired DC Police Captain and the CEO and owner of MVP Protective Services, LLC which has been providing security services to Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia for over 12 years.  Board certified in Security Management – ASIS

For questions or more information, Mr. Key may be reached at You may also find him on Twitter: @Security_Guy_DC 


5 Reasons Your Business Should Have an Information Protection Policy


Information is the lifeblood of all businesses, but many business owners and high level managers often overlook the security of their business information to focus on what they consider more important; “the generation of revenue.” Many even know the risk well in advance but take on the mentality, “It will never happen to us.” Then the inevitable happens.

Experience has proven that the disregard for the protection of business information is disastrous.  The smallest vulnerability in a business’s Information Security System (ISS) can and does cause businesses thousands, even millions of dollars in financial loss everyday.  Experts have found that in the majority of the cases involving “loss” from the theft of information that the business owner(s) or managers were aware that potential breaches existed and did nothing to correct the issue. Experts also point out that in 99% of the cases that the cost to fix the breach would have been thousands to millions of dollars cheaper then the loss the business sustained from the breach itself.

According to “Trends in Proprietary Loss” (ASIS International, 2007) these are the top 5 reasons businesses of all sizes should have an active and progressive Information Security System (ISS) and Information Security Management System (ISMS) in place.

  • Loss of reputation/image/goodwill –  Taking a hit in the pocket could be bad but not as half as bad as taking a hit to your reputation. Many business can rebound from loss of revenue but repairing your business reputation can cost astronomical time, effort and money. The implications are overwhelming in most cases.
  • Loss of competitive advantage in one product/service – When you have been working feverishly to stay ahead of the game but your competitor beats you to the finish line every time, “there’s a hole in your boat.”  The leaking of trade secrets, product delivery timelines and other business processes can completely derail a business and destroy its competitive advantage.”  In 2006 Coca-Cola experienced a case of information theft that later resulted in the arrest of administrative assistant who conspired to sell trade secrets to Pepsi for 1.5 million dollars.  See the full case here.
  • Reduced of projected/anticipated returns or profitability 
  • Loss of core business technology or process – For example the patent war between Apple and Samsung regarding the Iphone and Galaxy mobile phones and tablets. This resulted in extensive litigation in fierce competition in the global market for consumer mobile communications. By August 2011, Apple and Samsung were litigating 19 ongoing cases in nine countries; by October, the legal disputes expanded to ten countries. By July 2012, the two companies were still embroiled in more than 50 lawsuits around the globe, with billions of dollars in damages claimed between them. Read more about the case.
  • Loss of competitive advantage in multiple products/services 

All of the above are sound reasons while your business should have an information security policy and a way to manage it.  I am of the opinion that any business that regularly loses money and fails to implement processes to stop it,will soon be out of business.  Therefore, I encourage all business managers, executives and owners to take the protection of their information seriously.  Make time to review your current information security processes and policy with your security manager. Listen to his/her concerns and recommendations.  After all that is what you hired him/her for.  Concentrate on making your security a “Necessary good” instead of a “Necessary evil” and dedicate a reasonable but flexible budget to immediately address new or unexpected security threats. It could truly save you a life of headaches, court battles and money in the end.

Below are a few recommendations that I believe will help any business to begin improving their information security process. It will also help to improve overall security in general.


  • Ensure that sensitive information is only accessible to a small group of people based on a need to know basis. This information is to be kept in a secure area with progressive and redundant security measures.
  • The first level of security can be posted signage that designates the level of authorization required to be in specific areas. These signs should also advise the consequences for ignoring them.
  • The second level of security may include CCTV cameras which are manned or unmanned (but have the ability to be reviewed later). Cameras serve as a good method to detect, deter and in some cases respond to nefarious behavior.
  • The third level of security  mandates designated key cards or key fobs to enter restricted areas.  This authorization can also be indicated by color coded ID badges. A security checkpoint guarded by trained security officers is also an option.
  • The fourth level of security concerns areas where the most sensitive information is held.  This area should include CCTV cameras, locked file cabinets and safes.  This should be supported by a well written Information Protection Policy created in partnership with an experienced security professional and it should be strictly adhered to.
  • Lastly, a schedule for audit and compliance should be instituted and a designated person appointed the responsibility for its oversight. This recommendation has more to do with Information Security Management, which I will discuss in a later topic.

General Information Security Practices

The preceding concerned security strategies for highly sensitive information however, we must not overlook the need for the security of general business information. Information comes in many forms and businesses must protect them all.  Here are a few more tips that I recommend to improve your current Information Security Policy:

  • Ensure that all documents that contain personal, personnel and company information are always kept secure. This information should never be left lying around on someone’s desk or in their inbox. Always keep this type of information under lock and key and designate a person to ensure strict accountability.
  • Ensure that you have a information security policy in place and share it with your entire staff.  This policy should include how to file or discard company information.
  • Ensure that your company has a shredder and include shredding regulations (what should be shredded, when and by whom) into your policy.
  • Always ensure that someone in your organization stays abreast of current cyber threats. This person is normally the head of the IT department or your security manager.  He/she should also ensure that your anti-virus and firewall systems are regularly updated and tested. If your company does not have a dedicated IT department of manager it wouldn’t hurt to consult with an IT Security firm to get a check-up.
  • Ensure that your Information Protection policy includes regulations pertaining to thumb drives and portable hard drives. The policy should clearly state what information can be saved or uploaded from and to the devices.  Also consult with your IT department to disable the USB ports on your computers and networks if necessary.
  • Finally, every business should have a Non-Disclosure Agreement.  NDAs set the expectations for your employees as it pertains to the privacy of your business affairs, processes and materials.  It also provides the recourse for violating the policy.  Sample NDAs can be found on the web, but I recommend consulting with your attorney to ensure that your NDA provides you and your business optimum protection.

That about sums it up. I believe that by implementing these strategies that every business can improve the protection of their information and reduce the chances of suffering financial loss. In many cases you may even increase your profitability, which is why we are all in business anyway.  I hope that you found this information valuable. Never underestimate what a solid Information Security Program can do for you.

Thanks for reading and  I hope that these quick security tips help to kick start or rekindle your Information Security Program.

Author: Melvin E. Key, CPP

CEO, MVP Protective Services



10 Surefire tips to Hire A Good Security Company

MVP Security Officers providing hotel security

If you ask 10 people who carries the bulk of the responsibility for protecting America’s homeland 8 out of 10 of them would probably blurt out “Police.” While the police do an excellent job protecting our citizens, security officers often go as the unsung heroes!  According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the private security industry is responsible for protecting more than 85% of the nation’s critical infrastructure. In most cases security officers outnumber police officers 2 to 1.  According to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial fund there are approximately 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers and federal agents.  According to a report prepared by ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security) there are nearly 2 million full-time security workers in the United States.  Experts expect this number to increase by 21% percent through 2020.  To add to these staggering numbers there are thousands of private security firms in the US and new companies are popping up everyday.

With so many security companies to choose from it is important to use careful consideration when selecting a security provider. Choosing the right security firm not only protects your property and your people, it helps to protect your business in cases of litigation (Which can save you tons of money down the line). Choosing the right security firm also can protect your business reputation, which can be severely damaged by even the smallest security incident. History has proven that trying to rebound from an embarrassing security incident can be a very challenging and expensive task.

So let’s go through my 10 Surefire tips to hire a reputable security firm to address your security needs.  The first step in the process starts with doing a google search for security companies in the area or checking with the venue where you will be holding your event. Oftentimes they will have a vendors list.  Next you should send out RFP’s (Request for Proposals) which are formal or RFQ’s (Request for Quotes) which are informal.  Whichever, method you choose should include the vetting of a least 3 vendors. Once you gather the vendors’ information follow my 10 Surefire best practices and you will be well on your way to selecting the best vendor for your job:

  • Vet the prospects’ security experience (with a special focus on the projects similar to yours)
  • Review the prospects’ years in business, past clientele and past performance. Don’t get all excited because the prospect drops a big name (Having a big name client is one thing, but doing a shabby job at it is another).
  • Visit each prospect’s website paying special attention to content, ease of navigation, services and especially the “About Us” sections. Lack of information in a prospect’s “About Us” section should be a sign, “Buyer Beware.”
  • Request information about Professional Associations in which the company and management team are affiliated. Companies who are serious about what they do will usually be associated with associations such as ASIS, ISMA (INTERNATIONAL SECURITY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION), or IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police).  Board certifications such as the ASIS- PSP (Physical Security Professional), CPP (Certified Protection Professional and the PSI (Professional Certified Investigator are definitely a plus.
  • Request and review each prospect’s executive leadership and management experience.  Proven years in police or security “management”  is always a good sign.
  • Review the prospects’ social media presence to include content, reviews, followers and engagement with current security issues (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Request and review the prospects’ marketing material to include brochures, capability statements, etc.
  • Request and review the prospects’ insurance levels ( 1 million in General Liability is normally sufficient)
  • Inquire about guard training. A good training program should include (observation, report writing, use of force, effective communication, incident management, tort law, arrest law, criminal law, constitutional law, bomb identification and evacuation) and;
  • Consider pricing

Have you noticed that pricing was the last thing on this list? That wasn’t done by mistake.  Pricing is the poisonous apple of doing business with a security firm. Yet, it is oftentimes the first thing that those looking to hire a company considers; sometimes it’s the only thing.  While I understand that the bottom line drives many business decisions, I caution that when the poisonous apple is bitten, it often bites back.  Choosing a security firm based on the lowest price often costs businesses major losses in finances from lawsuits and crime and even more in frustration from complaints of absenteeism and unprofessional and unethical conduct.  Therefore, I strongly recommend against using the lowest responsible bidder process altogether.  Instead, I suggest using the above tips to find the best fit for the job at hand.  More often the difference between the highest bidder and the lowest bidders is usually only a couple hundreds of dollars and to me it’s well worth the money.

My father always told me that it was best to spend adequate money on quality things in the beginning rather than spending more money to replace the bargain products in the end.  In other words he would say, “You either pay the cost or you pay the price.”  In my experience paying the price is almost always more than the cost.  My father is a wise man and I’ve benefited greatly from his advice, so I felt it important to share some of his wisdom you all.

Thanks for reading. For more information please feel free to contact me at


Written by Melvin E. Key, CPP

CEO, MVP Protective Services


Information Security Companies: What Can They Do for Your Business?

Many business owners and directors are unaware of the benefits that information security companies could bring to their organisation. Even fairly small firms could find that engaging the services of an IT security company will add tremendous value both to their overall security posture and also to their specific computer risk profile.

Information security companies are niche operators in a highly specialist and quite small industry sector. The amount of knowledge and expertise required in this field is enormous. Infosec professionals must also constantly keep their skills updated in this, one of the most fast-moving of all fields. These two factors no doubt contribute to the current situation where the demand for the services of cybersecurity companies is stronger than the available supply. The result is that many businesses, and especially smaller firms, simply avoid using the services of information security companies completely.

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However, such a choice is ultimately detrimental to the health of the business. Although security threats may not materialise in any given instance, this is no guarantee that a company will remain secure from cyber-attacks. Today, the level of threat is rising more than ever before, and in the long term a firm that chooses not to make use of computer security firms may find that they are damaging their own interests.

Information security companies can provide a wide range of services. The best-understood services are penetration testing and vulnerability assessment, which are mandatory for organisations in some industries (e.g. PCI DSS). In addition, an IT security company can assess the security of a firm’s Active Directory configuration, or can review software code for security flaws. In terms of consultancy services, a computer security firm can also assist with gap analysis according to ISO 27001, comparing an organisation’s InfoSec policies and procedures against those required by the international standard, and delivering a report on areas where improvements are needed. Finally, the InfoSec company can provide a temporary information security manager, for short or long periods.

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However, it is not only in the case of one-off assignments that information security companies can make a real difference to a business. A reputable IT security company will seek to partner with their clients, assisting them in maintaining a solid and proactive security posture. This kind of work, when done properly, is not easily reduced to one-off projects. That makes it all the more important to partner with a reliable information security firm, one that will work with you in the long term to help your organisation achieve recognised standards of good practice in IT security.

Source by Andrew Leith

Security Issues of Apartment Management

Staying in housing complexes is advisable compared to dwelling in solitary houses because of the greater safety assurance that one gets in the former case. This is because the condominium management takes some standardized security measures to keep the complex safe so that the owners can stay peacefully at nights. The owner of a solitary house may not have the capacity to engage a high standard security team, but by staying jointly with the people in a complex, he can pool in resources to get one of the best security manpower and automated systems available.

Here are some security issues that need to be addressed for ensuring greater safety to the individual houses in the complex.

o It is true that housing complexes are safer to dwell in than solitary houses, but there is another point also to be borne in mind. The security that is found in housing complexes is a combined one for all the units of the complex. This does not ensure hundred percent securities for the individual units. The security personnel appointed by the condominium management do not have the time to pay individual attention to the large number of units in a complex. Hence the individual units can still be vulnerable to thefts and burglaries. In such a case the individual units need to arrange their security settings by using burglar alarms and other security equipment.

o The housing complex might be making use of sophisticated safety equipment for the whole complex, but when it comes to individual safety the owners of the units can ensure safety for themselves in the most basic and inexpensive ways. The first thing they can do is to install efficient locking mechanisms at the doors and restricting entrance through the windows using window bars. The condominium management can ask the individual units to go for such safety measures collectively.

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o The complexes that are very large can be divided into groups of three to five individual houses. The residents of these groups can take turns in safeguarding their premises. Generally it is seen that all people do not go to bed at the same time and throughout the day somebody or the other is awake. Hence security cannot be an issue in housing complexes. If the residents do not have the time to participate personally they can arrange for a paid watchman amongst themselves.

o Usually the condominium management is not very effective in providing personal safety. When it comes to security of life, one should not compromise in any way. It has become a common practice for the criminals to enter a household posing as salesmen or equipment repairing personnel. It is wise to keep the main entrances locked even during the daytime and admit people with genuine credentials. These days there are sophisticated visitor identification equipment that enables you to see and hear the visitor, with a video arrangement, before opening the door.

o The condominium management can be asked to adequately illuminate the driveways, pathways and parking lots to ensure greater safety. It is not advisable for a single person to walk through sparsely located areas during the night time. It is not all that safe to take strolls at late hours all alone. Carrying pepper sprays is a good idea for those who cannot avoid lonely travel during the dark and unsocial hours.

Source by Kamyar Shah

Security for International Business Travellers

The effects of globalisation have produced an enormous rise in the numbers of international business travellers, a trend that is only likely to increase, with the World Travel and Tourism Councils latest Economic Impact report for 2013 predicting an annual increase of over 3%. As the global economy begins to struggle free from the effects of the great economic slowdown this forecast increase may even be shown to be on the conservative side. International business trips are carried out by a cross-section of business people, from those individual traders and contractors simply representing themselves, through to representatives of huge multinational corporations. Many travellers will have taken the trouble to investigate aspects such as the climate and business cultural niceties at their destination, but increasingly, with the effects of the globalisation of threats from crime and terrorism, it is crucial that travellers are also aware of the security situation at their destination.

From the employers perspective, they have a duty of care towards their staff and contractors, and must be seen to have acted in a reasonable way, and taken all reasonable precautions, should the worst occur. Quite apart from the personal suffering involved, expensive litigation for negligence could be the least of the implications of failing to take appropriate precautions. Whilst sanity may well have eventually prevailed in a case at the High Court in Australia recently where a government employee had originally successfully sued for compensation over an injury sustained whilst having sex in a hotel room whilst on a business trip, the fact that the case ended up in the High Court must ring alarm bells for all employers. Of course the actual threats out there to the security for international business travellers are rather more significant than those mentioned in the recent Australian Court case and can range from crime though to terrorism, and will of course be specific to the destination. Although, given the ease of international travel both for business travellers and would be terrorists alike, the days of having totally safe destinations are sadly behind us. Travel to all destinations includes the risk to a greater or lesser extent from low-level crime, which can be at the very least a great distraction from the business focus of a trip, a high-profile example being that suffered by tennis star Juan Martin del Potro, victim of a distraction robbery at the Gard du Nord railway station Paris, who suffered the loss of a number of treasured items, not least of which were his passport, money and a rosary blessed by his fellow Argentinian Pope Francis. This was whilst travelling between tournaments in Paris and London and can only have had a negative effect on his performance. Potentially more serious and certainly more physically dangerous is the threat of terrorism. A Communiqué on the growing threat of kidnapping for ransom, issued in July 2013 by the Office of the British Prime Minister David Cameron stated that kidnapping for ransom is the preferred method of financing for Al Qaeda and represents a growing threat. There is also the issue of information security, an employee of contractor may be travelling with economically sensitive information and travellers need to be aware of the danger that wireless communications may be intercepted, either by criminals or even industry competitors.

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It is strongly advised that both employers and travellers themselves take responsibility for security, and undertake some initial training, prior to departure. Obtaining pre travel destination intelligence assessments will show due diligence, and highlight the need, if any, for further traveller security training. Any training provided should also consider the gender of the traveller and should at the very least include some basic emergency protocols to cover any eventuality.

Given the number of other tasks both employers and business travellers themselves may be handling it is small wonder that the security for international business travellers is usually neglected, which is why it may be sensible to contract one of the international security consultants that specialise in providing these services. Security is a bit like insurance, hopefully you do not need it, but when disaster strikes, you will be very glad you have it.

Source by Richard P Turner

In House Security Versus Security Company

Many businesses in today’s challenging economic times hire security guards in house to save money while not realizing that they are actually losing money. In house security guards require benefits, payroll expense, worker’s compensations insurance, general liability insurance, sick pay and unemployment insurance. The security officer must be supervised and most of the time supervised by people that do not have the necessary expertise.

In such companies a security plan and post orders are virtually non existent. I provided a security consultation to a business about a year ago. They were buying stock up merchandise from large retailers and selling it at more than 500 percent profit. Their sales were terrific, but at the end of the year the company managed to loose money. Although it was obvious, the owner could not explain it. The security guards were hired in house and new all employees at the warehouse.

The warehouse was basically plundered by employees and the security guards. Some employees would have people come to the warehouse and sell merchandise to them while pocketing the money and paying off the security officers. It became so rampant that the business was actually losing money.

The first thing we did was hiring an outside security company that would not allow anybody to leave with merchandise. Over time the worst employees that tried to continue stealing were caught and fired. The company’s sales were still terrific and the company actually made exorbitant profits. The hourly rate for the security officers was actually lower than what they were paying before. The client got security guards that did not fraternize with employees, were better supervised and trained and saved money on top of it.

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Saving on general liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, unemployment, sick leave and all the other benefits the client got much better service from licensed and experienced professionals while saving a lot of money. The general assumption in the business world is that in house will save money, because security companies will add their profit to the labor costs. What many managers and clients fail to see is that security companies add a lot of value for what they charge. That value outweighs the costs by much like the example above proves. Also there are economies of scale for security companies. They get cheaper insurance, because they are licensed and are insuring more people. Supervision is cheaper for them, because they have proven methods that people not in the industry do not know about. Managers in companies that employ in house security guards should definitely contact a security consultant for a free consultation. It will not benefit every business, but most businesses will be better off outsourcing their security services.

Source by Charles S Willis

Armed Security Guards: Training, Benefits, and Posts

Armed security guards are guards who handle firearms or other weapons and use them to protect an individual or property against potential danger. These guards are highly trained and skilled for handling weapons before they are deployed to their perspective employers. In order to be eligible for an armed guard job, these individuals must pass strict requirements such as a comprehensive background check and the legality of their age. Tests such as fingerprinting and even DNA testing may be included in the screening process.

How Armed Security Guards Differ from Unarmed Guards

Armed officers carry a firearm with them at all times. This weapon maybe used in the aid of securing an individual or property. Unarmed guards on the other hand do not carry weapons. Their duty is to observe and report to a higher authority. Armed guards receive higher pay when compared to unarmed security guards. In part due to the amount of training that is required as well as the cost for firearm’s licensing. Due to the risks associated with using a gun, armed security guards also have higher insurance premiums than unarmed ones.

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Training for Armed Officers

Armed officers are trained in all facets of protecting a person or a property. Often, the security company that hires and manages these security guards provides the needed training. The training includes operating a surveillance system, the use of firearms and doing street surveillance.

Before being deployed, Texas law requires that armed security guards, who are not currently policemen, will have completed 30 hours of required training. Additionally, they would have to undergo an 8-hour refresher course in training every year that they are on the job. Current police officers, or even retired ones, are some of the few who are exempted from taking the extensive trainings. Also included in the exemptions are licensed private investigators, peace officers and some military staff. For certain work environments, some additional training might have to be taken. For instance, armed security guards who are assigned to prison will have to undergo training on dealing with angry prisoners and on how to deal with prison riots. Armed security guards may have to be trained as well on company policies and ethics.

Benefits of Hiring Armed Security

A number of businesses employ armed security guards to protect their properties and employees. For business locations that have high incidents of vandalism, theft or robbery, armed security guards can provide better protection to individuals and properties. They are also ideal for businesses or properties that have alarm systems or video cameras installed, as they are well trained in operating these kinds of systems.

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Armed Security Officer Posts

Armed security Officers are trained to perform their duties serving many different posts. These might include, government buildings, banks, jewelry stores, political events, and even personal protection services. Personal protection services might include protecting dignitaries, CEO’s, and movie stars. They can also be assigned to man and operate closed circuit televisions (CCTV) as they are trained and knowledgeable in operating these systems. Of course, there are also the standard patrol duties as are often found in apartment and mall security. Armed guards have a large spectrum of clients and locations to protect creating quite a varied job.

Source by J. Singletary

Security Guard Facts

Security guards make up an increasingly large portion of the security and guarding detail that is done on a daily basis today, yet most people do not understand the job or its duties. The facts about the job and its duties may surprise you.

Security Guard Name History

During the middle ages in Europe, watchmen were employed to look after valuables as well as to observe and report on any incoming attacks. Later on in America they became known more predominately as night-watchmen before their title evolved to a more general and inclusive title such as security guard, private patrol officer, or security officer.

Can Security Guards Make Arrests?

Yes, and No. Guards do not have the power, or are required to make a criminal arrest. They can however make citizen’s arrests or act as an agent of law enforcement officers in restraining individuals when told to do so by a law officer.

Can a Guard Carry and Use a Gun?

Security officers can be deemed as either and unarmed guard or a armed guard. An armed security guard that has passed and completed the unarmed guard training can then go and complete the training to become an armed security guard. Armed guards are then permitted to carry and use a gun if necessary, although it will still be a last resort and only used in defense. A gun though must usually be worn in a visible manner unless you have obtained a concealed weapons permit.

Can You Become a Security Guard if You’ve been Arrested?

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The regulation and licensing of guards is handled differently from state to state. Most states will not permit anyone who has been convicted of a felony to become a security guard. Many states will not allow misdemeanor convictions as well. Depending on the arrest you may be still able to qualify as a guard but you should check the specific laws in your state.

Do You Need an Education?

Just like the regulations in each state concerning arrests and guard training, education is dependent on where you will be applying to become a guard. Most states though do not have strict education requirements and do not require a college education. Usually a potential applicant will have to complete a certain amount of required guard training through a state approved training facility before they can begin work as an official guard.

Do Guards Need to Be Strong and in Shape?

While most guard jobs do not have any fitness requirements, a guard should not be completely out of shape. They also do not need to be overly strong or in shape. Most of a guard’s job involves observing, reporting, and communicating. Very few times are physical strength actually needed for a situation.

Is being a Guard a Good Career?

Yes! Security Officer jobs are growing at a rapid rate with no sight of slowing done. The benefits of having a guard on duty and the heightened sense of security that most places are in today are creating a growing need for more guards everyday.

Source by Alex Wallst

What About Security For You And Your Information When It Comes To A Virtual Assistant?

The global economy becomes more relevant each day thanks to technology, the internet, and standard currencies. Business operations from manufacturing to customer service management are successfully conducted throughout the world. Many are still operating locally, but a growing number of businesses and corporations are regularly conducting business from remote locations. Small business owners and established corporate executives are finding that Virtual Assistants give them an edge over their competition and leverage in the online marketplace. Hiring a Virtual Assistant online has become a relatively common event, but does raise some valid concerns about security.

Information Security Online

While the internet has made virtually every business process easier, online transactions pose a significantly higher risk of error, misuse, and fraud. People are constantly inundated with warnings against providing their personal information online. Personal and business transactions such as dating websites and internet auctions all create a potential risk for the misuse of personal data. Companies who specialize in online information management offer measures to protect their clients by raising awareness around the areas of concern and to change the way information is collected.

Third party vendors offer temporary credit card numbers that customers use to make online purchases. If a hacker is able to obtain the information from the temporary credit card, it will essentially be useless to them because it was created specifically for a single use. Every additional layer of security that is added to online information management helps protect consumers and track down criminals who want to prosper off the hard work of others. Impersonal business transactions and internet banking are one thing, but when a person must establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with another individual online, the situation becomes more complex.

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Internet Hiring Practices

The hiring process for a Virtual Assistant online is essentially the same as a personal interview conducted face to face. An initial interview may be conducted by email or phone to ensure the person meets the qualifications for the projects at hand. A secondary interview can be conducted via a video conference. This step is essential to determine the genuine nature of the potential candidate. This initial greeting process is very similar to the common sense advice given to members of online dating sites. Quite simply, it makes sense to investigate and check out everything a person says about themselves.

A virtual assistant will eventually have access to potentially private information such as credit card data, financial account information, and much more. Before hiring an assistant online, an employer must be completely comfortable with the interview process and be able to confirm the full name, physical address, and other verifiable contact information of the candidate. It is not unreasonable to request references and even a criminal background check to ensure the integrity of information security online. Diligent entrepreneurs and financial experts recommend staying in close communication with a virtual assistant to create a solid working relationship and a sense of loyalty.

The overall benefits of having an efficient virtual assistant take care of routine administrative tasks, such as billing and communication, are well worth the risk of transmitting personal data online. Business owners should always conduct business through secure servers and never store personal or financial information in unsecured personal email accounts or on a personal desktop or laptop computer without encryption.

Source by Russell D Armstrong