Protecting PII in the Days of COVID-19

Identity Theft has been a problem for a long time.  Everyone has heard horror stories about identity theft.  You may know someone who has suffered from identity theft or worse you have suffered identity theft.  But did you know that the problem has been made worse because of the pandemic?

The FBI reported 40,000 cases of identity theft in all of 2020.  If that wasn’t bad enough, in 2021 they have already logged over 30,000 cases just in the first four months.  That is increase is very alarming.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, they reported 444,344 identity thefts in 2018, 650,523 identity thefts in 2019, and finally 1,387,615 identity thefts in 2020.  The statistic shows a steep increase in 2020 over 2019.  Early data from the FBI shows that the increase in 2021 over 2020 is even steeper but those numbers are not yet in. 

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Choosing and Managing the Right UPS

Have you ever spent time working on a document or software project and became so engrossed that you forgot to hit “Save” for a while?  Then the power went out and all was lost since the last save.  Fortunately, that is not as common as it used to be since a lot of us use laptops and they have their own onboard power, but you get the idea.  Computers need to have power and an unexpected power loss can be disastrous. (more…)

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Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating the Achievements of Women in STEM.

What is Ada Lovelace Day?

Ada Lovelace Day is the second Tuesday in October and in 2021 that day is October 12th.  Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  This day seeks to increase the profile of women in STEM to create role models that will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women currently working in STEM.

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Visitor Vetting and Your Business

A picture of a man walking through a building with visitor access managementHow many visitors does a given facility receive every day? Is Visitor Vetting a part of your company procedures? What happens to them once they enter the building? Is someone posted at the entrance or is the check-in process automated? These are just some of the questions and concerns at the forefront of clients’ minds. Conversations regarding effective building security take place in offices and installations every day. These discussions underscore the significance of visitor management, specifically a visitor management system (VMS) to keep them organized.

But before getting down to the best visitor vetting system in the market today, let us define the system first.

What Is a Visitor Vetting System?

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Background Checks Can Help In Arriving at a Correct Judgmemt of People

Background checksBackground checks get you information about the history that an individual has. They may become necessary when you have recently met a person, and have an intention of developing the acquaintance for business or other purposes. They allow you make a quick check about the character of the person before you make any further commitments in any form.

With the wide advent of the internet, such checking of backgrounds has become quite simple and is conducted by most companies before they hire any individual, especially if they are being appointed for key positions and those that require honesty, dependability, and confidentiality. It is often conducted by landlords before they take on potential tenants. You may also find such checks being made by financial institutions before they get into monetary dealings with a person. Online dating has become quite common and conducting background checks on people can give you a truer picture of a person than what is available in a profile.

A wide variety of information about people is available in public documents and is often negative information that can give you access to criminal records, driving history, and more importantly credit or financial standing. This can often raise red flags and prevent a person from getting a job or even being able to rent a home or get a loan. While others can conduct a background check on you, you can do the same for anyone that you come across. You can also conduct such checks on institutions and companies that you intend dealing with. You will, however, find information about the products and service offered by a business, and the sort of work done by an institute quite easily, but if you are looking for reputation, financial standing and the way a person is perceived in society this may require more detailed digging and greater effort.

 

Background checks are not always reliable

Background checks

And it has led to cases of mistaken identity and even wrongful arrest, and before you take any drastic action that can backfire on you, it is always desirable to go in for additional verification from different sources so that you are sure that you have the right information. Poor credit ratings can often be because of circumstances that were beyond the person’s control, and a deeper research can often clarify this.

Online checking of backgrounds has become much easier because of the internet and the vast amount of data that it holds. Putting all the information you gather in the correct context and drawing conclusions, only after additional verification is a must. You can also find a lot of agencies who can conduct such background checks and you can even remain anonymous to such data miners, but their reliability and ability to keep things in confidence must be accurately judged. These checks can help to verify information given by applicants for a job, those applying for loans, and can help in decision making. Often, even innocent details like where persons have worked before, the place where they live, their circle of friends, and other innocuous things can give a better understanding of the person being checked.

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Things to Know about Video Badging

Video BadgingTo create a much more protected area, an establishment owner could utilize a video badging solution. It is a system comprised of several simple features.

A person could capture more details about the Access Control cardholders and offer staffed guard checkpoints with an extra identification of those permitted entry to protected places using a photo ID card printer, a computer with video badging software, and a CCTV camera.

Nowadays, video badging is actually often printed on the Access Control proximity card. This creates a photo together with the card being read. The systems capture the facial image of the badge-holder that could be used later to recognize an individual in video recordings. It could even offer details for an improved type of advanced security, biometric facial identification systems.

Today, the world is constantly evolving, and so does technology used in security and surveillance solutions.

ADVANTAGES OF VIDEO BADGINGAdvantages of Video Badging

The clear and main advantage of video badging is that they enable people to mix electronic recognition together with visual recognition. Personalized ID Badge templates enable for the utilization of the badge perimeter space to recognize divisions, departments, and clearance levels of a firm and even association with a group. For instance, the Labor and Delivery department of a medical facility might have a special color background to provide immediate and quick reference that the holder is fine to be in the Labor and Delivery section. Access control systems, such as video badging, lower the necessity for expensive security staff while still making sure that the place is secure and safe.

Generating Pathways

It is vital that the service provider consider the pathways of those who would be influenced by the new access control setup, whenever they are working with video badging systems. This means that it should be obvious who is capable of accessing what areas. For instance, several badges can bring an Orange security level clearance and signs dispatched around that place can reflect that. This avoids confusion over what places are accessible to certain individuals.

Who Could Benefit

Building Access Control SystemsVideo badging systems are best for any establishments that host a huge variety of staff and are required to limit access to particular people while not prohibiting the progress of other individuals. It is a cheap approach that’s best for government facilities, schools, and hospitals.

There are a lot of service providers out there who provide data communication solutions for a lot of various markets. With the amplified importance on access control for businesses and establishments in recent days, any method that makes the jobs of screeners simpler is a welcomed one. Screeners, such as security guards and people at the reception desks, will have an easy job with video badging.

Video badging comes with a lot of advantages. When dealing with the access control efforts of the company, these cheap and simple tools provide great versatility. Using video badging services will help a company experience the benefits that it could offer. Though not each security firm who provides these services offers all of the benefits, almost all of them do.

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Information On Physical Security

Physical SecurityPhysical security has become one of the most important investments a business can make.

Whether it’s a simple commercial building or a nuclear site, there is importance given to this part of the project. For those looking to get a feel for what physical security involves, here’s a look at the concept and its advantages.

What Is Physical Security?

Physical security refers to an established protocol for security measures. These are set up to make sure only authorized individuals can access the particular assets inside (equipment/materials/products/designs). The security measures are set up to make sure everything is done to protect the asset(s). This is often used as an umbrella term for a broader security plan involving various solutions and/or technology.

When done properly, this acts as a complete security blanket around the protected area and keeps things as safe as possible. It is supposed to protect from things such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, theft, vandalism, cyber attacks, and anything else that can do unwanted harm.

Examples of Physical Security

* Fencing
* Security Guards
* Protective Barriers
* Locks
* Surveillance Systems
* Access Systems

Benefits

Physical Security1) Complete Protection

The premise is to put together a solution that is well-rounded, easy to manage and will keep the asset(s) in safe hands. No one wants to look over their shoulders all the time when it comes to key designs, prototypes, assets, equipment, or anything else valuable. With physical security in place, the assets are going to be safe and will not get compromised at any stage. There are several layers to the protection making sure nothing happens.

This is where physical security becomes essential.

2) Minimizes Security Concerns

One of the biggest benefits of physical security is the minimizing of security concerns.

The assets will not have to be protected from the inside because they’re going to be handled from afar. This peace of mind is what makes it such a substantial investment and the way to go. As the security concerns are minimized, the chances of new issues creeping up will die down as well.

A lot of businesses put in the time and effort to set up foolproof systems that are going to be secure from all angles. This is the charm of high-quality security.

security guard3) Creates a Structured Safety Net

If there is an asset or group of assets inside, it’s important to keep things as secure as possible. Physical security is a way to manage these protective requirements without creating new issues along the way. Everything is mapped out and this creates a “safety net” around the asset(s). It’s best to take time planning out the solution so it acts the way it is supposed to and interlinks appropriately.

These are the benefits of focusing on physical security and making sure a multi-layered approach is taken. If not, there are additional worries that can crop up over time leading to the asset(s) getting damaged/stolen. A professional setup is always going to account for these threats and will include a detailed physical security solution.

Things to Know about Video Badging

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Monitoring And Surveillance Methods

There are a variety of different types of surveillance and monitoring methods available that are used primarily to improve security measures. Most people only employ one or two of these measures to keep their property, themselves and their loved ones safe.

Physical Surveillance1. Physical Surveillance

This is the oldest type of surveillance around and even though it has been largely replaced by technology, still forms a significant part of the security industry. Physical surveillance involves the presence of person (like a security guard) to patrol, monitor and provide a certain measure of protection against intrusion on a premises.

There are different levels of security surveillance available to meet different needs. For example, in a gated community, a security guard may patrol the neighborhood and respond to calls from residents whereas physical security in a mall will take on a much more complicated and involved form.

Security cameras2. Cameras

Security cameras have fast become the preferred surveillance and monitoring method for homes, business and other establishments. Digital cameras and wireless technology provide the opportunity for just about every person to monitor their property or premises around the clock, no matter where they are.

This type of surveillance can be linked to a response unit that can monitor premises on behalf of an owner and respond to any intrusions or other safety and security breaches and requirements. The combination of physical surveillance with camera monitoring and surveillance provides comprehensive and effective security measures.

There are a wide range of cameras and surveillance equipment available. From tiny fiber optic cameras that can be hidden to monitor activity to large cameras that provide a 360 degree view of an area and can be remotely operated. Cameras also provide a number of other benefits such as infrared monitoring capabilities, motion detection, etc. to further improve security measures.

GPS Tracking3. GPS Tracking

Most people take for granted that the GPS tracking device in their vehicle, smartphone or other mobile devices are also a monitoring and surveillance method. The technology also allows for chips to be placed on other valuable items in order to be located should the need arise. However, GPS tech is not only for locating vehicles or items but is also used to track items.

For example, a business owner with a fleet of cars will be able to effectively track the location of each vehicle to ensure that employees are not using company property for personal reasons. Combined with smartphone and other digital technology, GPS can even be used to provide images of the location of a lost or stolen item.

security guard watching video monitoring surveillance security system4. Computer Surveillance

This is a means of tracking and recording the activity on a specific computer, laptop or mobile device. This is ideal for businesses who want to monitor what their employees are really doing during business hours as well as for parents who would like to observe what their kids are looking at. Webcams can also be accessed using computer surveillance technology.

The type of surveillance technology that is required is dependent on individual needs and it is recommended to discuss the different options available to provide the greatest security benefits.

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Tips For Vetting New Employees

Hiring new employees can be stressful as you have to find someone with the right qualifications and experience. You also need to ensure that they are telling you the truth and this can be done through vetting the candidates. If you are unsure about where to start with the vetting process, there are a number of tips that you should use to ensure that this is done correctly.

  • Rely On The InternetDo Not Rely On The Internet

There are many people who use a quick internet search to verify that the candidate is who they say they are. While this can be a good place to starts and is something you should be doing, you cannot rely on a Google search only. You have to take further steps to verify identity, qualifications and past work history.

The internet search can help you find the candidate’s social media accounts so you can see what they have been posting and if it is in line with your business values. However, you need to complete a background check if you are thinking of offering the person a job. The depth of the background check will vary depending on the sensitivity of your business and the data that you work with. If you deal with financial data, you have to complete a background check and a credit check.

  • Call The References

Call The ReferencesThe references that are provided by the candidate will need to be checked. Emailing the references is often the easiest option, but does not always yield the right data and can easily be faked by the candidate. This is why you should take the time to call all of the references.

A phone call will also give you the opportunity to ask follow up questions based on the answers given. This can lead you to negative information about the candidate that you might not have received otherwise. Of course, you should not wing it when you call and have a list of open-ended questions ready based on the information that you have about the candidate.

Be Aware Of  The Legalities

When vetting candidates, you need to be careful because there is a legal minefield waiting for you. You should not run criminal checks and other background checks indiscriminately because this could lead to rejected candidates claiming discrimination. You should only be running certain background checks when the job you are hiring calls for this.

This means that if you are hiring a receptionist, you probably do not have to run a credit history check. However, if you are hiring a cashier or someone who has access to accounting records, a more thorough background check is expected. Criminal background checks should be handled with care and only when specific duties are part of the job.

You should also note that looking at social media should be done with care as it could also result in a discrimination claim. While posts on social media can tell you a lot about the candidate, if you do not hire them they could claim discrimination. An example of this will be a woman who announced on social media that she is pregnant and claims that she was not hired based on this fact which is considered discrimination.

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Tips For More Secure Visitor Access

Secure Visitor AccessThere are a lot of businesses that need to have their customers visit them. While visitor access is something that you need, you have to ensure that your business is kept safe. This is why you need to consider tips for secure visitor access.

The first step to more secure visitor access is to have a visitor badge. This should be more than a piece of paper in a badge sleeve that says visitor. The badge has to be well-designed to meet the security needs of your company.

A basic visitor access badge should have the name of the visitor prominently displayed. The name of the person they are going to be seeing should also be included on the badge as this will help security identify the visitors who are in restricted areas. If your business deals with sensitive information, you might want to go a step further with the badge.

In these cases, you might want to consider including a photograph of the visitor on the badge. This is actually a lot easier to do than you might imagine. You can take the picture with a webcam and use software to place in on the badge before printing it. You can also ask the visitor to send a picture before they arrive if this is possible.

  • Always Check Identification

Identification CheckingAnother way to ensure that visitor access is secure will be to check identification. Before the visitor badge is handed to the person, an inspection of their ID should be completed. This will help you ensure that the person is who they say they are and that they are not operating under a false name.

When it comes to checking ID, you need to ensure that all personnel knows what to look for. There are certain security features built into different types of ID and you need to know what they are. The ID check procedure should include looking at these features to ensure that the ID is real and not a fake.

  • Control Access To The Building

Security Access ControlWhen you control the access to different parts of the building, you will be able to make visitor access more secure. Access to the reception area should be open, but all areas past this should be carefully restricted. This is particularly important if your business is working with sensitive information.

To restrict access, you could have an RFID chip system where employees have access to the areas that they need and visitors do not have any access. This will stop visitors from gaining entry to restricted areas or areas that they should not be able to get to. If you are going to restrict the access to the building, you will need to have a process in place for when visitors arrive.

The best solution will be to have the visitor wait in reception until the person they are seeing can show them into the building. Having security personnel take the visitor to the person comes with risks as they could be left to wait unattended if the person is not at their desk.

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