Safety Tips For Women

Don’t ever worry about whether you are overreacting or being over-cautious. If you think something is out of place, make a call to the authorities. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Use your sixth sense. “Sixth sense” or “gut instinct” – whatever you call it, your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe – you’re probably right.

Safety tips when using public transport

  • Don’t haul out wads of cash while paying for your fare.
  • Don’t wear very expensive brand-name clothing, particularly if you have a long or secluded walk from your taxi-stop to your destination.
  • Wear practical shoes if you can, as apart from being comfortable, they make you more capable of dealing with a potential threat when walking to and from the taxi/bus/train stop. Carry the
    pretty shoes in your bag.
  • Don’t commute while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Safety tips when using an ATM

  • When you’re by yourself, avoid using an ATM in out-of-the-way or deserted areas. Use ATMs located inside banks or supermarkets where other people are around. Use ATMs in well-lit, public
    spaces.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when withdrawing funds. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, come back later or use another ATM.
  • If it looks like someone has tampered with the ATM equipment, don’t use it. It could mean that a criminal has attached a “skimmer” to the ATM.
  • When typing in your pin, cover the keypad so others can’t see what you are typing.
  • After completing your transaction, remember to remove your card, cash and any printed documents such as receipts or statements.
  • Put your money and ATM card away before you leave the ATM. Always avoid showing your cash.
  • Take your receipts with you so that potential criminals will not know how much you withdrew or how much money is in your account.
  • Safety tips when driving

  • When stopping in traffic, leave enough space to pull out from behind the car in front of you.
  • Lock all doors and roll up the windows while you drive.
  • Keep your valuables – laptop, handbag, gym bag, mobile phone – out of sight.
  • Never give lifts to strangers.
  • If you suspect that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or busy place to get help.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, tempting as it may be to check phone messages or update Facebook and Twitter while in traffic, your phone should be off every time you turn on the ignition.
  • Always park in a central, well-lit place, preferably where there are attendants on duty or people passing by.
  • Hold your keys in your hand as you approach your parked car. Don’t wait until you reach the car to search for them in your purse. Experts say you’re most vulnerable when you are getting
    into or out of your vehicle.
  • When approaching your vehicle, regardless of where you have parked it, always walk around the vehicle to check for any irregularities.
  • Wait until you’re close to the car before unlocking it, and if the car design allows it, unlock the driver’s door only.
  • Never leave your car door open with the engine running when you are opening your gate or garage door. When using electric gates and doors always keep your car doors locked until you are
    safely inside.
  • If you stay in a secure complex with security guards, do not be fooled into thinking you are safe. You can easily be followed into your complex so always remain vigilant. Research shows
    that most people relax the closer they get to home, and this is often when they are most vulnerable.
  • Don’t leave the remote control that opens your home’s electric gate in your car.
  • Don’t be a victim of car-jamming! When you press your remote-control button, make sure that you hear the beep of your alarm activating and see or hear the locks clicking into place.
    Always check your door handle before leaving the car.
  • 24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

    Laptop Safety

    Laptop Safety When Travelling

    Leaving your laptop at home is supposedly going to help you relax, but what if you’re more anxious without your laptop? You may not be working during the trip, but there could be possible emergencies to handle. And let’s not forget that a laptop can function as a travel agent, a guidebook, and an entertainment centre too.
    If your laptop is coming with you, you’ll need to take some precautions to keep it safe. Here are a few tips to improve laptop security during your travels:

    1. Secure Laptop Bag
    It’s not just thieves who pose a threat to your precious laptop. Mundane things that happen while you’re rushing to the airport can harm it too. If you drop the laptop or squeeze it into a spot that’s too tight, it can scratch and crack.
    Place your laptop in a cushioned laptop bag, preferably one that’s plain and inconspicuous, so you don’t attract unwanted attention. For extra protection, choose a laptop bag with features like slash-proof fabric and tamper-resistant zippers. If you travel a lot, consider buying a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag that will allow you to stroll through security without taking the laptop out of the bag. Keep the bag on your person or within view at all times.

    2. Be Safe at the Hotel
    You can’t take your laptop with you everywhere. If you leave it at the hotel when you go sightseeing, place it in the safe and hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. You won’t come back to a clean room, but you’ll be more likely to find your laptop where you left it.

    3. Get a Security Cable Lock
    A cheap anti-theft device, a security cable lock works like a bicycle lock. You loop it around a fixed object, connect it to the laptop and lock it with a combination or a key.
    If you don’t mind spending a little more money, you can buy a high-tech cable lock that comes with a motion sensor system and an alarm. When someone tries to remove the laptop, the movement will trigger the alarm, alerting you of the theft attempt.

    4. Buy Insurance
    A good travel insurance policy goes a long way. Get a policy that covers theft and loss of personal items. Make sure the amount of coverage will be enough to buy you a new laptop. A good travel rewards credit card may cover travel insurance — check the terms of your card issuer.

    5. Use Antivirus Software
    Using unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks can lead to security breaches. Keep your antivirus software updated and running when you use the hotel or airport Wi-Fi.
    If possible, avoid shopping online or logging on to your online banking website on a public Wi-Fi network. If you have to do it, always check that your Internet browser shows a URL beginning with “https” and a padlock icon.

    6. Use a VPN
    If you often use public Wi-Fi networks, consider spending some money on a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This service protects your Internet connection by encrypting all the data you send and receive online. Another perk of using a VPN while travelling, is being able to access online content that’s not available in certain geographic locations.

    7. Install Theft Recovery Software
    Your chances of getting your stolen laptop back are a lot higher if you have theft recovery software installed on your laptop. This software allows you to locate the laptop so you can have the local authorities retrieve it for you. Good theft recovery software works even if the thief has erased all data and installed a new operating system.

    8. Record Laptop Details
    Take down the specifications of your laptop before you travel. The laptop make, model and serial number will come in handy if you have to report a theft. Also take photos of the laptop, focusing on any distinguishing details, such as scratches and dents.

    9. Backup Your Data
    The information stored on a laptop can be more valuable than the laptop itself. Protect yourself from losing your data by backing it up on a hard drive or in cloud storage online.

    If you won’t be using the sensitive files during the trip, consider deleting the copies on your laptop. If you lose the laptop, you won’t have to worry about those files and can use the backup data to carry on where you left off.

    10. Use Data Encryption
    You probably have sensitive information stored on your laptop. Copies of your IDs, your home address, contact details of your associates, personal photos, banking details — all this information can be used for identity theft if it falls into the wrong hands.

    To minimise the risk of unauthorised access, you can encrypt your data and use strong passwords.

    Full-disk encryption protects all the data on your laptop, but it’s a little overkill unless you regularly work with a lot of sensitive information. For most people, it’s easier to pick and choose the files to encrypt. Many common programs and applications like Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Dropbox, and Evernote have options for you to encrypt specific files and set passwords for them.

    Use strong passwords with a good mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. If you find it hard to remember these passwords, use password management software or write the passwords down on a piece of paper stored separately from the laptop.

    24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

    Reporting Road Crimes

    Safety when Witnessing and Reporting Crime on the Roads

    We sadly experience on our roads, not only threats from irresponsible and bad drivers, but also threats to life and property from criminals targeting road users. Nearly every day we are warned of or hear about a protest action on a road somewhere, a hijack or a cash-in-transit robbery.
    But what can we do when witnessing criminal activity on our roads? Can we and should we assist our fellow road users when witnessing these incidents and what do we need to know about reporting such activities?

    What would we regard as Road Crime?
    There are numerous crimes that are committed on or near our roads, having an impact on road users. For this discussion we would like to refer to some of these crimes:

  • Criminals targeting private property: Cash-in-transit robberies, hijackings, vehicle theft, heft from vehicles, smash-and-grab.
  • Criminals targeting public property and infrastructure: Damaging roads, vandalism of traffic signs and traffic lights, theft of manhole covers and road barriers.
  • Usage of vehicles in committing criminal acts: Reckless and illegal driving activities such as hit-and-run, road rage and making obscene gestures.
  • We also find criminals placing rocks and other structures on the road surface or throwing rocks from bridges onto vehicles with the intent of causing a road crash to rob crash victims of their possessions.

    Why should we care or do anything as witnesses?
    All of us and our loved ones are worthy of protection and safety. We may all at some stage become a victim or need assistance to recover from the impact of the criminal activity.
    When you witness a crime, it is important to consider reporting it to the Police. Although the consequences include that you may be required to testify, you will do your social responsibility and, in some way, prevent future similar crimes.
    In the fleet industry, drivers receive training on how to deal with most, if not any, emergency that may occur during his/her duties.

    It is important to remember in the fleet industry:

  • Each company has its own emergency procedures. It is therefore up to the driver to become familiar with them.
  • Some companies have forms that need to be filled in at the scene of the accident/incident.
  • Other companies need to contact dispatch controllers as soon as the incident occurs.
  • Personal safety is first priority when reporting crime:

  • The Golden Rule is Personal Safety First!
  • You firstly need to consider your own safety – if this includes avoiding confrontation, that will be the way to go!
  • Our instinct is often to help the victim(s) in question – yet, one should not get involved especially when criminals are armed.
  • Do not try to be a hero, e.g. crashing into the car of the culprit or trying to make a private arrest, as this may endanger your life. No heroic gesture is worth your own life.
  • Furthermore, the witness won’t be any help to anyone should he/she sustain an injury.
  • Pay attention to road ahead, leaving enough distance between yourself and the position of the incident to ensure safety from explosive material, broken glass or leaked fuel resulting from a cash-in-transit heist or bombing.
  • A witness should never draw attention to themselves or antagonise the suspects by hooting, hollering, or be seen to be taking images/videos of the incident.
  • If you are followed, consider forwarding a moving locator, if your phone is equipped with this app, to a friend or family member.
  • If you are not driving, you may consider making an audio recording of what you see on your phone if it could be done inconspicuously. You may raise the threat to your safety if you are observed recording the crime.
  • What should we do when witnessing a cash-in-transit robbery?

  • Due to the severity of the modus operandi that is used to affect this type of crime, the obvious reaction would be to stop and gawk at what is going on even to the point of taking video footage with a cell phone. DON’T!
  • Do not place yourself in danger of either being shot in the crossfire that enviably occurs or being accosted by one of the criminals who may be hiding in close proximity to you and may react irrationally to you taking a video.
  • When observing a CIT attack, try and put as much distance between your vehicle and the crime scene. Do not exit your vehicle and if possible, turn your vehicle around and drive away.
  • If you cannot move away from the crime scene, lower yourself behind the dashboard so that you are shielded by more metal in case shots are fired.
  • The sensible thing to do would be to try and vacate the area if possible without jeopardizing oneself or others in the process.
  • Personal safety first – if you cannot leave the area remain calm.
  • During cash-in-transit robberies and cash-in-transit bombings, the perpetrators are armed and dangerous, so you should never approach them.
  • Immediately contact the SAPS 10111 line and report the crime. Remember to provide accurate information to the SAPS to ensure they can respond to the scene.
  • If you can identify the cash-in-transit company involved in the attack, you can then also contact their National Control Room to report the incident so that they can arrange for medical and operational assistance.
  • Do not switch off your vehicle, leave your vehicle in momentum, in case you need to escape the incident.
  • Be vigilant of your own surroundings. Lock the vehicle doors and wait for emergency respondents to arrive at the scene.
  • With caution, identify the criminals, get-a-away vehicles(s), or any information that may be valuable towards an investigation.
  • Do not remain around the area to take video footage of the incident.
  • Do not post any video footage on social media and release any footage that you may have in your possession to the SAPS and/or the cash-in-transit company to assist with their investigation.
  • Hijackings / Smash-And-Grab:

  • When observing a hijacking or smash and grab attack, DO NOT exit your vehicle to try and assist the victim. No one is faster than a bullet, so don’t put your life in danger.
  • Make observations if at all possible, but your first objective is to stay safe.
  • Make yourself a smaller target inside your vehicle by lowering yourself behind the dashboard and call for police assistance on the emergency number.

    Hit-and-Run:

  • A witness should never attempt to follow a hit-and-run vehicle. In the worst case scenario, the witness could be the suspect’s next victim.
  • Without jeopardizing your safety, attend to the victim, but try and memorize as much of the circumstances that took place and report to the authorities.
  • Requesting immediate medical assistance and securing the scene to prevent a secondary collision into the victim would do far more for the victim than chasing after an offender.
  • A witness should take note of the incident itself, assisting police officials with details of what has occurred.
  • You may try to record the registration number, but it is also important to try remembering the make and model of the vehicle, and any other distinctive marks (advert on the window). If you are not fluent in identifying types of vehicles, try to remember a description thereof.
  • Damage to property such as crashing into traffic lights, theft of manholes/ road barriers:

  • Once again, do not confront the offending vehicle/driver. Take notes and report to the Police.
  • Your chances of becoming a victim to road rage or worse is a risk not worth taking.
  • Who do we call when witnessing a road crime?

  • When clearly a criminal act – Call the SAPS on the 10111 number.
  • Where someone has been struck in a hit-and-run, it is of the utmost importance to call the numbers of emergency medical services you may know or the emergency numbers along our national roads such as 10177 or 112.
  • When there appears to be criminal activity on our tolled roads, remember these roads are well managed with 24/7 operational call centres who are able to summon immediate assistance from roads, traffic and medical personnel.
  • Reckless driving can also be reported to the National Traffic Call Centre on the number 0861 400 800
  • What do we need to know when making the call as a witness to the SAPS or Call Centre Operator?

  • When you report a crime after the occurrence thereof, do it as soon as possible after being the witness. Your memory may still be clear on the events and try to remember information gained from all the senses.
  • When you call the Police, do not interrupt the initial call. Each call is queued from anew which may waste time.
  • Identify yourself, speaking not too fast (as we may do while under stress), indicating your location first, and thereafter explaining what you are witnessing.
  • Some transport and freight companies may also offer a clearly displayed number to call when you witness bad driving and vehicle abuse.
  • When placing the call to Report Crime:

  • Let the operator control the conversation. He or she will know the questions to ask and may likely be filling out a report that will help dispatch the police as quickly as possible.
  • Stay on the line until the police arrive or until the operator tells you to hang up.
  • Stay calm and concentrate on relating important details that will be most helpful to police.
  • Very few people can observe and recognize detail when confronted or involved in a trauma situation. We would like to offer guidance on what information may be requested from a witness.

    The Call Centre Operator may ask for information on the following:

  • Time of the incident.
  • Type of crime (automobile theft, assault, etc).
  • Location of the crime (street address and cross streets)
  • Vehicle details: Make and model, colour or registration number of the vehicle in transgression.
  • The number of suspects/perpetrators and their gender.
  • Description of suspects (height; build; the colour of eyes, hair and skin; clothing, the colour of clothing and disguises; special marks or unusual features such as scars and tattoos; and weapons, tools or vehicles used).
  • The language which is spoken by the perpetrators.
  • Description of property or person(s) being subjected to criminal activity.
  • If the victim(s) is hurt and require medical assistance or has been kidnapped.
  • Ask the operator if they understood what has been relayed, how long the police or ambulance will take to arrive at the scene and request that the operator will report back to you.
    Conclusion

    We can assist our road and traffic enforcement agencies in efforts to make our roads safer. Contribute through your ability to observe and report criminal incidents. Do, however, not place yourself unnecessarily in harm’s way and consider your own safety and that of your passengers as a first priority!

    After reporting the crime, consider the impact of witnessing the event on yourself. Talk to a friend about the emotional effect of being a witness to the crime and when the matter has a remarkable impact on your emotions, consider consulting a professional, e.g. psychologist.

    Source: http://www.arrivealive.co.za

    24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

    Power Outage Safety Tips

    Power Outage Safety Tips

    When the power is out, it could take your alarm, and other security features down with it. Here are some tips for keeping safe when the power is down.

    Alarm Batteries
    Make sure all batteries are charged and working. An alarms’ backup battery will power the system for eight hours on average. However, this is dependent on several factors such as how many devices are linked to the panel, the age of the battery and how many power failures or power spikes are experienced in the area. Power outages can dramatically reduce the lifespan of the alarm battery.

    Electric Fence
    Ensure that your electric fence continues to function during power outages. Your electric fence battery should have a backup battery.

    Generators
    If you are using a generator, never operate it anywhere inside your home, including the garage or any confined area, as it produces carbon monoxide which can be fatal.

    Arriving/Leaving Home

    Ensure that you are especially alert when arriving or leaving your home in the evenings, as the street lights and your outside lighting may not be functioning during power outages. Keep a torch in your car.

    At Home

  • Ensure that all automated gates and doors are secured and that all other gates and doors are locked.
  • With candles, gas and other lighting devices being used more often, these can result in an increased fire hazard. Therefore, home fire extinguishers should be on hand.
  • Install battery operated lights in strategic places in your home.
  • Keep the keys to motorised gates in an accessible location and have good quality padlocks available to use as a backup.
  • Programme your security provider number in your cell phone in case of emergency.
  • Keep your cell phone fully charged.
  • The Command Centre is very busy during power outage periods, and we request clients to be patient – emergency calls will be prioritised.

    24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237