Basic Safety and Security for Individuals

Basic Safety and Security for Individuals

Basic Safety and Security for Individuals

Good afternoon fellow Investigators / Security professionals and welcome to the New Blog of Confidential Investigations!

My name is Tim Spiess and I am a retired Senior Special Agent from the United States Secret Service.  I spent 20 years investigating white collar crime and protecting high government officials abroad internationally and domestically. I am also an accomplished Martial Artist with 34 years in training.  I have trained in Okinawan Karate, Kung Fu and Aikido. I also served in the US Air Force for 8+ years where I performed the duties of an Aircraft Loadmaster and flew all around the world.   

Let’s get started!!  I would like to discuss for our first blog basic safety and security of your own person.  I believe today one must take responsibility for their own safety and security.  I know firsthand that the world is a dangerous place in some areas.  You can’t depend on law enforcement to be there each time.  More and more we are experiencing as a society more shootings, violent crimes, and mere acts of violence that are unexplainable for today’s advancement.  

  1. Never think someone will take care of you!  Always have a conscious mind, not a paranoid mind, to see the threat approaching. 
  2. Plan out your movements in your head. i.e. picking the kids up at the movies, running into the store late at night in a dark parking lot.  It is always better to adjust or adapt to your plan rather than be reactive toward an incident. If you have a plan you have a start and a finish. Now all you must do is fill in the gap. 
  3. Once you must initiate your plan remember, use the 90% to 10% RULE.  90% to getting to safety and 10% to the problem.  If the attack or problem is on top of you then switch to 90% to the problem and 10% to safety.  Safety meaning fleeing or getting to an area that is safe.  
  4. When you address the situation and the incident is neutralized, get out!  Get to the nearest place to call for help or just flee to your home.  (I will discuss the methods of fighting the attack in a future blog.)

Financial Safety and Security:

One of the most important things to do today is safeguard your financial interests.  Everything from bank accounts to credit cards and to even your personal information.  Everyone I am sure is constantly told not to expose those items that can be compromised such as address, social security number, telephone number, date of birth, and all passwords for electronics.  Here are some simple rules to follow to help make it more difficult for the bad guy to compromise your financials.

  • All mail that has your name on it, shred.
  • All blank transfer checks that you get from your financial institutions, shred.
  • When creating passwords, use names from your hobbies, favorite sports or sports team, something that is not related to you personally.  (i.e. Karate = saikata@2019, sports team= penguins1718@champs, dog lovers=englab@2019)
  • Check your balances and statements at least twice a month.  We live in a world of APPs. Sometimes its good to see these items up front. 
  • Shred expired credit cards.
  • Any financial document whether it is old or just a few weeks new, if you don’t plan to keep it, shred it. 
  • Get used to carrying only one or two credit / Debit cards.  Less likely to lose and have stolen.  
  • Check your credit online through Equifax, Trans Union and Experian.  Also red flag accounts that are not in use and cancel them through the business.
  • If you are going on vacation or are gone for more than three days, have your mail held by the post office.  The bad guys look for over flowing mailboxes for financial statements and PIV information. (PIV: Personal Identifying Information)

In conclusion, I believe the two most important things to be concerned about is your personal safety and your personal financials.  If you are hurt, it takes a while to get back on your feet.  If you are compromised financially it takes a while to clean up the mess and regain your momentum.  Safeguard these two as though they are the same.  We will discuss personal safety at the home in a future Blog. Items there are covered by insurance, you don’t have the luxury of being replaced. 

Until next time, be safe and smart and be aware! Have a safe summer! 

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