When 419 Fraud Gets Dangerous

Advanced fee fraud – commonly known as 419 fraud has been going on for years.  Most commonly manifested in the emails – and in the past faxes and letters – that the potential victims receive offering them an opportunity to get a large sum of money to facilitate the transfer of funds or provide some…

Active Shooter Situations

One of the most dangerous situations you can encounter at home or abroad is an active shooter scenario.  Particularly since the Columbine School shooting US law enforcement has devoted a great deal of effort on training to deal with active shooter situations.  This phenomenon has occurred over and over again – most notably as of…

To Resist or Not Resist: That is the Question

One question that often comes up is whether or when to resist a criminal.  There is no clear-cut answer as it depends a lot on the situation and the individual involved.  Generally though, most people agree that pure property or economically motivated crimes should not be resisted.  If the criminal just wants your money or…

Personal Risk Assessment

Considering that personal and travel security rely heavily on context its important to consider how the threat relates to you whether at home or abroad.  Understanding this contextual relationship let’s you realistically determine how much effort, energy and possibly money you should invest in your security. The best way to do this is to conduct…

Social Engineering: Personal Security Implications

Social engineering – the calculated manipulation and exploitation of people has historically been associated with cyber security issues.  Computer hackers found they could best get access to secure networks by targeting the weakest link – the human factor. The same techniques used to get an employee to give up their password or provide other information…

Social Networks & the Threat to Personal Security

Recent open source reporting indicates that the Colombian National Police just arrested a group of criminals that were using Facebook to identify, profile and target victims for kidnapping.  Initial reports the gang were using false Facebook profiles with pictures of beautiful women to target wealthy men as victims.  They would use information in the victim’s…

4 Steps to Taking the Adversary’s Perspective and Enhancing Your Security

  When you are evaluating your own personal security its very useful to take the perspective of your adversary — for most of us that is the common criminal but depending on your location it may also include terrorists, militants, members of organized criminal groups or others.  Traditionally most people and most organizations have viewed…

Always Have an Exit Plan

When traveling or living in the politically unstable regions it’s important to always have an exit plan.  After assessing the potential threats from coups, civil unrest or conflict you should consider several methods of egress from the country, different transportation modes that could be used and also the possibility of sheltering in place. You should…