Holiday Tips from Protos Security
As the holiday season approaches, individuals and businesses are gearing up for festive celebrations. While this season can be incredibly busy, it’s crucial not to overlook security measures during this time of year. The security industry plays a pivotal role in safeguarding people, property and sensitive information during this time of increased activity. We’d like to share a few holiday tips so you can remain especially vigilant in both your personal and professional lives to ensure a safe festive season.
Home (and Work from Home) Holiday Safety
Leading up to the holidays, many households are storing more valuables than usual such as brand-new electronics, jewelry and in-demand toys. Home burglaries occur most often between 10 am and 3 pm as these are times when people are least likely to be at home. To avoid crime, it’s best to take precautions around your home.
- Avoid storing presents in a garage, shed or other storage areas with weaker locks and keep them away from windows where they may be visible from outside.
- Store other valuable items (including cash) safely too – consider a safe or tougher-to-access areas, such as an upstairs closet or attic.
- Break down boxes (especially for purchases like valuable electronics) and put them in a recycling bin or trash bags to reduce visibility.
- Limit the amount of cash kept at home and avoid leaving cash in a wallet or purse near the door.
- Schedule deliveries for when someone will be home to receive packages or consider having them delivered to a neighbor who will be home.
- Keep lit candles away from flammable items such as trees or other decorations and ensure that no decorations impede foot traffic.
Vehicle Holiday Safety
Holiday purchases left unattended on the back seat of a car invite theft. In addition, winter weather across much of the country can add further dangers for vehicles, especially those which have been driven less often in recent months.
- Always lock car doors and never leave keys or valuables inside the vehicle, especially if a garage door opener is stored inside the vehicle.
- When shopping in person, make more valuable purchases toward the end of the shopping trip.
- Lock items in the trunk of the car or in a spot with minimal visibility, such as under a blanket on the floor.
- Avoid making unnecessary stops with items in the vehicle and remove all purchases from the car once home.
- Park in well-lit areas and maintain an awareness of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle.
- Ensure that vehicles are still adequately maintained.
Online Shopping Holiday Safety
With online shopping becoming increasingly popular, it is essential to prioritize online shopping during the holidays. Cybercriminals often take advantage of the surge in online transactions during this time, employing tactics such as phishing scams and fraudulent websites to compromise sensitive information. By staying vigilant and implementing these safety practices, consumers can navigate the digital marketplace with confidence, ensuring that the joy of holiday shopping is not overshadowed by cybersecurity concerns.
- Choose reputable retailers who you know and trust or ask others for recommendations of trustworthy options.
- Ensure transactions take place over a secure server (check the URL for https, not just http).
- Remember to create strong and unique passwords for all accounts (password managers can help to keep track).
- Pay with credit cards when possible to reduce the risk of fraud and check bank statements closely so you can quickly report fraudulent activity.
- Be cautious with emails – check for red flags such as an unusual sender’s email address or links that lead to unexpected websites.
Traveling Safely During the Holidays
Securing your home while traveling during the holidays is a critical aspect of ensuring a worry-free and enjoyable trip. Here are several key measures to help protect your home and belongings while you’re away:
- Avoid sharing about travel on public platforms, including social media.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to check for mail, packages, newspapers and other deliveries that may indicate a home is unoccupied.
- Consider light and television timers or ask someone to switch them on/off periodically.
Workplace Holiday Safety
Recognizing the importance of maintaining a safe and secure work environment not only safeguards the well-being of personnel but also contributes to a positive and productive atmosphere. Regardless of the industry, security needs are constantly fluctuating, and clients need providers who can offer an array of flexible solutions.
- Remind lone workers onsite to remain vigilant and contact security or local law enforcement if any suspicious activity is observed.
- Look for security officers who are trained in and continuously updated on the latest safety measures.
- Ensure there are sufficient additional staffing options for scheduled security officers in case a replacement or back-up is needed.
- Embrace technology, such as remote video services for remote monitoring along with the flexibility of being scaled up or down as the facility’s needs change.
- Consider security systems that offer video surveillance and recording, access control and other advanced technologies.