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…

The Criminal Interview

While we are discussing unsolicited approaches it’s a good time to mention the criminal “interview” that is often the precursor to a robbery or assault.  The interview occurs when the criminal engages the potential victim in conversation prior to initiating a crime.  This usually serves two purposes: (1) it gives the criminal or criminals and…

Loose Lips: Recognizing and Avoiding Elicitation

In discussing social engineering and threats to your personal security we mentioned elicitation.  Elicitation is a technique that is used by an adversary to get a person to unintentionally divulge more information about a particular subject than they normally would.  Its used to gather confidential or proprietary information and in the realm of personal security…

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…

Security Considerations When Working with Local Contacts

If you are working overseas or traveling internationally for business then you probably deal with local contacts of some type.  They may be local representatives, partners, vendors or suppliers, customers or others.  While most interaction with local contacts will be valuable and productive there are potential security concerns to be aware of and to think…

Devil’s Breath & The Ativan Gang

An alarming trend that has been occurring in different places around the world is the use of drugs in facilitating crimes like robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping.  These incidents have occurred in locations as varied as Colombia, the Philippines and India. While most Americans may be aware of the use of drugs such as Rohypnol…