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Just How Old Are Your Personal Security Tips?

icon Blog on Risk/Threat Analysis  •  posted 04/15/14
As part of a holistic effort to protect workers, many corporate security departments offer safety tips and crime prevention advice—on Web sites, in corporate newsletters, posters, and elsewhere. Often, this advice focuses on helping to keep workers safe at home from burglars and break-ins.
Personal security tips and talks from five years ago are probably pretty dated, however. There are many new risks that security pros should think about adding to keep their advice current. For example, traditional security tips regarding vacations (house lights, newspaper pick-ups, etc.) should now include a warning against posting photos on Instagram that broadcast your whereabouts.
And, to reflect changes in criminals’ shopping lists, personal safety advice to workers should center more on the threat from personal muggings, according to James Treadwell, a lecturer in criminology from the University of Leicester’s department of criminology. He says that the diminishing value of household goods is changing where employees are likely to encounter crime. 
In researching how crime has changed over time, Treadwell found that crime closely follows a business model. Home burglaries and car break-ins have traditionally been popular because they often yielded household objects that could be quickly sold for substantial profit. “Gradually, the prices of such goods have fallen so low as to have almost no resale value,” he said. “It’s simply not worth stealing” (and certainly not worth breaking in to get). 
Thieves’ shopping lists have changed as a result, and they now often go after electronic devices that people carry with them, which makes workers more at risk from crime as they walk down the sidewalk or take the subway. People now need to be on guard of having their iPhone snatched mid-text or Google Glass ripped off their heads. 

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