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Personal Security Threats in the Current Political Climate

  • 1:21 pm
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  • Security Guard on duty near a public buildingWhile the issue of personal security frequently involves only immediate surroundings, it is an undeniable fact that extraneous situations can have a very real impact upon existing threats. Those within decision-making roles as well as the general public need to be aware of such risks as well as the ways that they can be mitigated. So, what are companies such as Surelock doing to address this challenging climate and what steps can be taken to lessen the perceived (or real) threats that currently exist within the United Kingdom? These are two very important questions to answer.

    A Looming Brexit?

    The population will soon decide whether or not Britain should formally leave the European Union. While much of the focus has been placed upon the potential economic impacts that such a move could cause, the security of the general public is another factor to consider. Although this article points out that the United Kingdom will remain a core contributor to the NATO alliance, the question of cross-border intelligence sharing must be addressed. Will security services and relevant agencies be as free and as open with one another? We have already seen that intelligence failures were partially to blame in regards to the Paris attacks. Will the average commuter on the streets of London or Birmingham face a similar risk in the event of a Brexit?

    The second point to make in regards to a Brexit involves the potential for cyber crime and financial instability. Once again, this may partially revolve around less transparency within the international marketplace. Will instances of money laundering rise? Some officials are already observing that a Brexit would be thebiggest risk to domestic financial stability. This holds just as true for instances of cyber crime as companies are forced to modify or even scrap their current security architecture. As of yet, these issues have not been fully addressed.

    Terrorism

    There is no doubt that terrorism is an issue mentioned frequently in the news and many believe that it is only a matter of time before a major city within the United Kingdom is attacked again. Whether we are referring to the soft-target threats associated with ISIS strategies or the increasing concern that homegrown factions may already be present, the public is understandably worried. These situations can be tackled with the synergy of proactive governmental intervention and better cross-border communications between nations within the European Union and the United Kingdom. However, this will only be effective if used in conjunction with greater public vigilance and political decision-making processes that appreciate the potential for a Paris-style attack (or perhaps worse).

    Migration Issues

    We have already seen areas within Europe such as Germany become polarised over the issue of mass migration. The same could very well hold true for the United Kingdom. Of course, this is one of the issues which has affected the upcoming Brexit vote. Many analysts believe that the United Kingdom could already be “sleepwalking to catastrophe” in regards to the influx of refugees from war-torn areas of the world such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Although Surelock and other firms certainly provide effective private investigationtechniques, these are literally only the tip of the iceberg. Tighter border controls and more thorough background checks are two steps which need to be taken on an administration level.

    Governmental and Leadership Changes

    Changes in political and leadership roles have always been prone to cause a certain amount of instability. Perhaps the most recent example can be seen in the election of the first Muslim mayor of London. We have already witnessed a polarisation over immigration issues and some are concerned that the allowance of more refugees under the leadership of Sadiq Khan may impact the safety of the general public. In this case, we are not only referring to the potential of attacks. We also must keep in mind ethnic tensions, a rise in hate crimes and similar violent reprisals from all sides. Some are of the opinion that the very social fabricof Britain could be at risk. From the standpoint of the private citizen, this is just as much of a relevant topic.

    Natural Threats

    Not all of the present risks are caused by mankind and political decisions. Some of the issues which the United Kingdom (and the world as a whole) currently faces are:

    Of course, this is but a general overview of some of the most pertinent security threats which may impact the United Kingdom. It is just as important to appreciate what decision makers and the public can do in order to lessen their exposure to such circumstances.

    Mitigation, Deterrence and Prevention

    Brexit

    The public needs to be made aware of the risks as well as the rewards associated with a potential Brexit. Issues such as cyber security, international trade, financial transparency and immigration all need to be clearly summarised by those within leadership positions. An informed public is one that can make the correct choices when the time comes.

    Terrorism

    From the point of view of the private citizen, vigilance and prudence are two top concerns. Basic steps such as reporting suspicious activity and realising international travel risks can go a long way. It could very well be an individual citizen who thwarts a planned attack.

    Perhaps more importantly, those who are in charge or large venues or gatherings must be made aware of the potential for planned attacks. The application of crowd control techniques and the hiring of trained security personnel should be high priorities in any counter-terrorism plan. One example of how an exercise can be used to prepare for any terrorist threat has recently been seen in the terror training exercise at Trafford Centre.

    Migration

    As mentioned previously, the government must seek to develop more thorough screening standards while bolstering the security within high-risk areas (such as around Dover). The point is not necessarily to deny entry entirely, but rather to make certain that those who are arriving have only honest intentions. This will take a great deal of logistical coordination and it is likely that the use of companies such as Surelock will be necessary.

    Governmental and Leadership Changes

    During any change in leadership, policymakers need to maintain a focus on security during and immediately after the transition. As political instability can often lead to events such as protests, race conflicts and the destruction of property, it is also prudent to bolster security forces located within any purported urban “hot spots”.

    Natural Risks

    A shift towards environmentally friendly technologies, greater international cooperation and investments into ecologically conscious companies are all ways to help protect the environment. Ongoing public relations campaigns should likewise be employed to educate the average citizen of the threats which are currently present. Not only would these practices allow the United Kingdom to beless dependent upon oil from the Middle East, but investing now for an environmentally sound future will help protect generations to come.
    ***

    Surelock is a global leader in the field of investigations, risk mitigation and security services. Whether in reference to home and personal security or other areas of specialisation, preparation is critical in terms of prevention. Surelock is pleased to be able to offer additional services such as fraud detection, surveillance services and security training.

    In a world that is now partially defined by rapid political and social changes, it is now more important than ever before to be adequately prepared for whatever may be around the next proverbial corner. Surelock is here to help.

    Read a presentation version of this article on Slideshare.net (and brought up to date, now that the UK is negotiating to leave the EU).

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    by alex

Stay Safe: Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Personal Security

  • 11:41 am
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  • No matter where you live in the world there are potential threats to your home, to your personal security on the streets, and to your identity online. You only have to turn on the news or read the papers to see the increasing number of security issues the we face these days. However, a few simple adjustments can make all the difference to you and your family’s security. Read on for some simple yet highly effective preventative strategies that will help you to stay safe.

    Protect Your Home

    Home security is a serious issue as break-ins not only put your belongings at risk of theft, but they can also pose a safety risk for you and your family. An estimated 33% of burglars gain access to a property through the front door and 7% of all burglaries result in violent crime against someone who was in the home. Some simple measures will help to update the security of your home and make it less of a target to thieves. You can start by making sure that all windows and doors have a secure locking system. An alarm system along with CCTV cameras on the exterior of your property will further help to deter people from breaking in. You can also use security lights around the perimeter of your property. These security lights can be motion activated in order to illuminate the area as soon as someone comes within range.

    Stay Safe Online

    It’s important that you take measures to stay safe when using the Internet too. A study by CIFAS reported that of all recorded fraud cases, a massive 47% of those were some form of online identity fraud. You can stay safe online by avoiding giving out personal details like your address or birth date. Make sure that your personal social media pages, such as your Facebook are set to private so only close friends and family can see your personal updates and photographs. Ensure that your passwords are hard to hack by choosing a selection of letters and numbers and avoiding using simple passwords such as one word dictionary letters, names and places. It is also a good idea to have different passwords for different accounts so that if one does happen to be hacked the rest of your accounts remain secure.

    Internet users should also be aware of phishing scams. These are where a fake email is sent asking for personal information such as pin codes, dates of birth or addresses. A bank will never ask for personal information via email. If in doubt, stay safe and contact the company who you think the email is from directly, and report the email to your service provider if necessary.

    Be Street-Wise

    Be street smart by choosing to walk in well-lit safe areas, and by avoiding walking in dark places alone at night. Keep valuables, particularity mobile phones and digital devices out of sight when walking alone, and be wary of keeping wallets and purses in your pocket in busy areas, as you could be easily pick pocketed. If you have concerns over your safety when travelling then it may also be worth taking self defence classes in order to better protect yourself should you be involved in an incident.

    These are just a few of the many things that you can do in order to stay safe in your home, on the streets and online. Surelock are one of the leading companies in the personal and business security field. They provide a range of services including surveillance services and private investigation services in harassment, blackmail and kidnap and burglary, arson attacks and stalking cases. They also provide protection against violence training courses for your security needs.

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    by alex

A History of Locks and Security

  • 9:23 am
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  • Ever since the concept of ownership was established, locks have been around. Their history is fascinating, not only in terms of the evolution of the locking mechanism, but also in terms of the ways locks are implemented and their relationship to the different levels of security and the need to deter the variety of threats which have come about over the millennia.

    Earliest Locks.
    The earliest locks, designed with preventative security strategies in mind were developed in Assyria, 6,000 years ago. These were pin locks; a series of pins slot into holes on a bar across a door securing it. By Roman times the use of locked doors and strong boxes had become common place. Locks play a significant role, of course, in helping provide personal security and one has to be grateful for their significant advancement since these early Assyrian locks. Modern threats can not be averted via locking mechanisms alone and there is an increasing need for companies like Surelock to help advise on all round personal and corporate security.

    Locks are only a small aspect of overall personal security, but nonetheless their advancement since these early Assyrian locks

    Locks have come a long way since then. Although companies like Surelock are leaders in the provision of personal security and advice on security matters.

    Basic mechanics.
    Early locking devices were based on two simple mechanisms still used today:

    • A series of pins that on application of a key rise from specially prepared housings, releasing the lock; or alternatively
    • A bolt or bolts activated, on the turn of a key, by levers.

    Warded locks common during the medieval period were of this type had become much smaller and were built into doors facilitating the use of keyholes.

    Tumbler Locks.
    1778 saw the invention of the first modern lever tumbler locks. In 1778, English locksmith, Robert Barron, improved the design with the introduction of a double acting lever tumbler lock which kept the bolt in place and ensured that the lever was lifted to the right height to address the bolt.

    In the 1820s, Jeremiah Chubb took the lever tumbler lock a stage favour with his relocker; a feature which enabled the key holder to determine whether anyone had meddled with the lock. Lever tumbler locks eventually became known as Chubb locks, incorporating several levers of which the five lever varieties became a popular way of ensuring a good degree of home security and a foil against burglary. Home insurers invariably request these locks be fitted on external doors as a condition of insurance.

    Pin Locks.
    It was Linus Yale and his son, of the same name who in the mid 19th century improved the design of pin tumbler locks by introducing key pins of different sizes, each matching a particular cut in the key, and driver pins which prevented the plug, which by now was housed in a cylinder inside the frame of the lock into which the key was inserted, from rotating. The driver pins were kept in place and at the right height by springs.

    In 1784 Joseph Bramha of Barnsley, England received a patent for his lock design culminating in his famous Challenge Lock, so called because he offered a 200 guinea prize to anyone who could pick it. Charles Hobbs an American locksmith did, though not without controversy, at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

    Padlocks.
    Padlocks are invariably metal with a U shaped shackle that locks into the device. Applying the key opens the shackle which can then be linked by a chain or hasp to the item to be secured. In an integrated padlock, rotating discs with groves cut into them connect with the shackle. In padlocks with a modular design the plug is set in the cylindrical housing which also has a “locking dog” pins that jut out from the shackle lock into the casing. In 1920 Harry Soref put this type of lock in general production using plates riveted together with a hole running tough the middle to house the cylindrical mechanism.

    Cylinder Locks.
    The Romans provide the earliest examples of cylindrical locks that use moveable discs with numbers on which when properly aligned release the locking mechanism. Today they are used to lock bikes, gym lockers and for personal security on hand luggage, laptops and other devices. In 1857 James Sargent designed a key changeable magnetic bank lock. He then went on to develop a time lock and in 1880 merged the two ideas to create the first lock that could be opened by combination but only at a certain time.

    Sam Segal, was an American Police office who noticed that thieves tend to jemmy locks where a bolt fits into a housing but leave hinges alone. In 1912 he invented a hinged lock that bolted across an opening secured with a deadbolt. He then went on to invent a pick-proof cylinder lock.

    Modern locks.
    Lever activated mortise locks tend to be the favoured option for internal house doors and require housing in a door jamb opposite to the lock. Digital locks are common place on multi-occupancy buildings. Once the correct code is input a small electrical charge releases the mechanism. Smart locks can be operated from smart phones, specially designed and enabled key fobs or other devices that can signal using Wi-Fi. It is even possible to transfer the information required to open a smart lock via Wi-Fi to another person.

    The future.
    In 1936, the ophthalmologist, Frank Burch noted the uniqueness of each person’s iris. Since then technology first developed to facilitate biometric identification is now being used for locks. The person seeking entry simply looks into a glass plate and if the iris pattern is held on the system the door will unlock.

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    by alex

Universal Door Lock On Sale After Inventor Raises £10k

  • 1:16 pm
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  • 1410788976253_wps_21_Bob_fitzjohn_lockA grandfather has helped answer the concerns of travellers across the globe by creating a portable lock which can secure almost any door in the world.

    Bob Fitzjohn, 66, form London, developed The EasyLock device at his kitchen table after raising more than £10,000 from crowdfunding website, IndieGogo.

    This device, which weighs less than an iPhone, will completely secure any type of door that opens inwards, anywhere on the globe, providing extra security for guests using hotels, B&Bs, or even beach huts.

    It works by being fastened across the door’s latchplate and hooking onto the outside of the doorframe. The lock is then secured in place with an adjustable handle.

    It also allows users to open the door slightly to check a caller’s identity and pass through slim items.

    Mr Fitzjohn, an entrepreneur, said he spent hours drawing up the designs and making the prototypes at his kitchen table before setting up an online scheme to get money from members of the public to help him produce the invention.

    He was appealing for £10,000, but eventually managed to secure almost £10,500 with donors praising the idea.

    In return for their money, Mr Fitzjohn offered people a number of free EasyLocks depending on the amount they had pledged.

    One member of the public offered £2,500 in the early stages of the campaign with Mr Fitzjohn promising to send him 50 free EasyLocks once the invention had been finally produced.

    The new product is being sold for £24.95, and is being advertised as ‘the perfect gift for a travel lover’.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2756562/I-wanted-grandchildren-safe-travelling-Lock-fits-ANY-door-world-goes-sale-entrepreneur-raises-10-000-crowdfunding-website.html#ixzz3DflKNoDD

     

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    by Ron