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Most universities and colleges will go to great lengths to ensure the protection of their students. Visual reminders of this include campus cameras, Campus Security and various building safety measures. Safety, however, goes beyond relying on these external measures. It includes taking the initiative to safeguard your own protection. So, before heading off to university, we suggest familiarising yourself with these crucial student safety tips:

STUDENT safety tip #1

Distribute your class schedule with your family and CLOSE network of friends. This will create a type of buddy system where those closest to you are made aware of your daily whereabouts. Make sure that your parents and friends all have each other numbers too in case of emergency! 

STUDENT Safety tip #2

Do not give your student card or room key to ANYONE. And we really do mean no anyone. Keys can be copied and used to access your room without your consent. Individuals may also use your student card to access various areas of campus, endangering both you and fellow students. 

STUDENT safety tip #3

Every university has a security office and full-time Campus Security that forms part of your tuition. Make use of this resource and ensure that you know where their offices are located on campus. Your university website will also provide you with their emergency numbers. Familiarise yourself with their offerings which might include:

–          Campus Security escort service

–          University safety apps

–          Emergency phone stations

–          Campus maps 

STUDENT safety tip #4

Very few things are more empowering than self-defence and situational awareness. It will have you feeling more confident and most importantly, feeling a little safer. No, you don’t need to be aiming for a black belt, but rather basic, yet effective, self-defence moves. Make sure to check out any local self-defence classes in your area.

STUDENT SAFETY TIP #5

Always have a few safety supplies on your person. This could be a little bottle of pepper spray or a mini taser. This should be kept in an easily accessible place so you can grab it at any time! We suggest adding it either to your keychain or to a lanyard that hangs under your shirt. 

STUDENT SAFETY TIP #6

When it comes to safety tips – this one is important – ALWAYS lock your room door. Even if you are just heading out for a few minutes. If your room is located on the first floor, make sure to also lock your windows. Keep all valuables safe in a locked drawer or hidden safe. 

STUDENT SAFETY TIP #7

Social media is a fantastic platform to keep up to date with friends and family. This space is also a breeding ground for predators. Steer clear of geotagging your photos or revealing your exact location. We suggest taking the time out to do a full social media safety audit

STUDENT SAFETY TIP #8

Before getting into your car, always check your wheels. A common tactic amongst criminals is to place sharp objects into your tyres, ensuring that you are unable to drive far distances. When approaching your vehicle, walk at a slight angle, assessing if any predators are potentially already in your car. 

STUDENT SAFETY TIP #9

Venturing to a new part of campus? Make sure to familiarise yourself with the area using your campus map. Always walk with confidence and hide all electronics that will distract you and make you an easier target. 

STUDENT SAFETY TIP #10

Should you be a victim of ANY crime, notify both the police and Campus Security. Reporting the incident will help authorities mitigate future risks. Your university also maintains strong relations with local police, who will be able to help assist in future.

These simple precautions are not only cost-effective but easy to apply in your daily life. Student safety remains a priority, so take responsibility for your personal security by employing these tips today!

According to the Cambridge English dictionary, the word safety is a state in which one feels safe and not in danger or at risk. This definition is often confused with the word ‘security’. Security, however, is the prevention of malicious activities orchestrated by other individuals.

Understanding the various types of safety and security will help you control recognizable hazards and help mitigate the risks. These security tiers include internet, national and personal security to name a few.

Internet security

Internet security is a division of computer safety. This branch specifically deals with all internet (online) based threats. These threats include website viruses, malware, data damage and unauthorised system access to name a few. The internet is an open computer network. It allows for free exchanges of both information and ideas. There has been a recent surge in online-based threats. This highlights the vulnerabilities of the digital space. It also emphasizes the inherent dangerous and unsafe nature of the internet.

Did you know that everything that we do on the internet ultimately leaves a digital footprint? Whenever we engage on the internet, from sending personal emails to splurging on online shopping sites, we are essentially divulging our personal data. This information is then sent into an ever-changing computer series and various network links. Hackers then intercept, retrieve this information and use it in tandem with various breaches.

Common internet security issues

· Hackers – Individuals that attempt to circumvent or breach internet security measures.

· Spyware – The aim of spyware is to obtain personal information. This starts with following individuals browsing habits. Spyware helps in targeted advertising efforts.

· Viruses – Viruses are specialised programmes that gain entry into unsuspecting individual’s computers. Their foothold in the system either corrupts or destroys data and damages the machine.

· Phishing – Traditionally this is when data is acquired, mostly credit card details, bank account information etc. for financial gains or to commit identity theft.

· Online identity theft – Stealing the identity of an individual over the internet for personal gains, particularly that of financial motive.

· Worms – Worms are self-replicating malicious malware that spread through your network, that spread copies of your computer across the internet.

· Spam – Unsolicited messages that are sent via the internet. Some of which are embedded with malware.

Means of protection

· Anti-spyware

· Bot protection

· Antivirus

· Memory firewalls

· Defence+

National security

National security is a state requirement. It entails ensuring the survival of the nation. Protection strategies employ tactical efforts within branches of government. This to ensure the protection of society. This includes diplomacy efforts to economic interests, political maintenance and power projections etc. National security looks to examine all potential threats, their prevention and contingency plans for future use. Essentially, this form of protection is the ability for a nation to protect itself, and its citizens, from external threats.

National security subdivisions

· Economic – Ensuring the financial strength and stability of a nation.

· Territorial – Protecting the physical boundaries and borders of a country.

· Physical – Minimising injuries, chronic illnesses and death caused being national disasters or pandemics

· Ecological – Preventing environmental damage.

· Political and social – Mitigating violations of the law.

Means of protection

· Diplomacy used to isolate threats and rally allies.

· Stimulation of economic efforts through job creations, industry expansion, international relations etc.

· Maintaining substantial armed forces.

· Emergency preparation measures.

· Legislation.

· Intelligence services.

· Implementing civil defence strategies.

Personal security

Personal security pertains to the undisturbed enjoyment of man’s life, including body, reputation and health. It is essentially deterring all means of crime on an individual. At its most basic level, it entails following necessary tools, mindsets and abilities to ensure overall safety.

Personal protection “barriers” use the same procedural barriers as physical and technical barriers. The aim in this regard is to protect a house, company facility or person. Personal protection barriers may not be made of bricks, mortar or solid hardwood, but they are barriers just the same. Relinquishing those barriers, increases your vulnerability.

Personal protection barriers can include:

  • Maintaining a low profile
  • Avoiding fixed and predictable routines
  • Utilizing situational awareness training
  • Recovering from surprise and maintaining the initiative
  • Life-saving tactics
  • Using initiative

Other barriers also include adopting a positive attitude towards these procedures. It also entails ensuring strong communication and being methodical and consistent at all times. 

The prime goal of personal protection, is to utilise physical security methods to deflect criminal interest in an individual.

Types of personal security

·  Work

·  Travel

·  Roadside

·  Residential

Common threats

· Robbery

· Hijacking

· Theft

·Sexual and physical attack

Means of protection

· Always remain aware and alert!

· Stay handsfree as carrying items make you a vulnerable target.

· Display confidence when walking around.

· Trust your instincts, that if your intuitive feeling tells you that something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.

Get in contact with Arcangel Protective Services to better increase your personal security.Prioritising your overall safety and security is of the utmost importance to us. Let us help decrease your vulnerability to external threats by clicking here and booking a consultation with our team of specialists.

Everything that you do online immediately creates a stream of personal data. This data is incredibly valuable. Particularly in a world that thrives off data exchanges. Understanding how to protect your data, therefore, becomes essential.

Understanding personal data

Online surveys, Wi-Fi fill-out forms and online shipping are but a few examples of data exchange. This is where you provide personal information in exchange for a service or product. Contrary to belief, the item that you then receive is not the actual product – you are! The data that these systems gather essentially turn you into their product that they can later use for personal gains.

In some cases, your data is innocuous but in many situations, this data poses a real threat to your online safety. Companies, cyber hackers and criminals can piece together this information where all of your personal data is exposed; leaving you vulnerable and susceptible to cyber attacks.

Do not panic! There are numerous ways to protect both your privacy and identity online. Particularly when engaging on social media, which is one of the biggest platforms for cyber data hacking. Knowing the risks immediately puts you ahead. Here are our top social media audit tips for you to employ:

Facebook

As you know, Facebook has subtabs on every profile that allows users to fill in information about themselves. This includes your age, images and your location. These interactive features are open to the public to engage with.

Did you know that in the third quarter of 2019, Facebook had 2.45 billion monthly active users? This substantial user engagement accounts for the high advertising revenues that the site accumulates. When utilising this app, we suggest employing these dos and don’ts to protect yourself:

Do:

·         Only establish connections with people that you know and trust, make sure to check your friend list often.

·         Assume that ANYONE on the internet has access to your personal information on your Facebook page, so take caution when divulging information.

·         Check the privacy settings on your friends and family’s personal pages, as their accounts could expose your personal data.

·         Secure your browser settings, ensuring that you recognise and understand various access points.

Don’t:

·         Post images that have your exact location attached to the image.

·         Assume that because your profile is restricted from public view that the server does not have access to your data that can be shared amongst third parties.

Where to locate Facebook settings: Click from the top right of your Facebook page and tap the word ‘Settings’. Click Privacy in the left column and then ‘Edit’. 

Instagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing app that allows its user to curate personalised content. Instagram has over one billion monthly active users and is one of the most popular social networks worldwide. In terms of the social media platform’s privacy, accounts can be made public or private. Content, however, can be viewed by non-Instagram users via Google search. It is crucial that the following measures are taken to safeguard your privacy:

Do:

·         Only allow close friends and family to follow your account.

·         Ensure that your family and friends take similar privacy precautions to ensure that your personal information remains private.

Don’t:

·        Automate your Instagram posts to go onto your various other social profiles (ie: Twitter and Facebook). This inherently increases your discoverability.

·         Embed hashtags in your images as this increases your visibility when individuals are searching.

Where to locate Instagram settings: Tap on your profile and click the icon found in the top-right corner. This will give you access to all privacy settings.

Twitter

Twitter is a social media networking app that is known for its micro-blogging format. Twitter averaged 330 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2019. For many, Twitter is a medium to stay up to date on current affairs and the whereabouts of friends. We recommend the following when engaging on this platform to enhance your privacy.

Do:

·         Only establish connections with people that you know and trust, make sure to check your friend list often.

·         Assume that ANYONE on the internet has access to your personal information on your Facebook page, so take caution when divulging information.

·         Secure your browser settings, ensuring that you recognise and understand various access points.

Don’t:

·         Post images that have your exact location attached to the image.

·         Assume that because your profile is restricted from public view that the server does not have access to your data that can be shared amongst third parties.

Where to access Twitter privacy settings: Click on your thumbnail profile picture located on the top banner. From the drop banner menu, select Settings and Privacy. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a popular professional networking site that connects employers to job seekers that have shared their CV’s. The most recent and accurate number of LinkedIn’s monthly active users is 303 million. Users maintain their pages by regularly updating the page with educational and professional achievements.

Do:

·         Regularly review the connections that you have made on the site.

·         Although this app is based on sharing professional information, ensure that you are cautious and intentional with the information that is shared.

·         Turn your profile visibility “off” when you are no longer actively seeking a job.

Don’t:

·         Post multiple images on this app in order to ensure a level of privacy.

·         Ignore the Data Privacy and Advertising setting option. This can be found under Settings & Privacy > Privacy > How LinkedIn uses your data.

·         Forget to restrict your browser settings to prohibit those on the same server from accessing your information.

Where to access LinkedIn privacy settings: Tap on the Privacy tab under the Settings & Privacy heading. Apply the above-mentioned precautions when creating and maintaining your profile.When sharing information online, we often forget that once that information is shared, there is no control over where it goes. Employing these safety measures will ensure that this year you remain in FULL control over your digital presence. Need a little more help with navigating your online presence? Click here and get in contact with us!

Individuals who feel there is a threat to them or their families usually apply for restraining orders or protection orders. This is a way of ensuring that their loved ones, as well as themselves, are safe and protected. But do restraining orders actually work or are they merely a false sense of security?

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order aims at preventing the reoccurrence of any harm. This could be domestic violence, stalking or sexual harassment.

You need to state the conduct of the alleged offender and what they must refrain from doing. As long as he/she complies with the restraining order, you will be safe. If the respondent contravenes any stipulation of the protection order, he/she may be arrested. A protection order is enforced throughout the country once it’s granted. A restraining order is a court order intended to keep the abuser from your home, place of work, etc.

How to apply for a restraining order

As with any legal proceeding, applying for a restraining can be a lengthy process.

  • Get an affidavit and fill out the application form
  • Supporting affidavits by people who have knowledge of the matter in question may accompany the application
  • These documents must be handed to a clerk at the nearest court. The court will consider the application immediately
  • The application for a protection order is not limited to the person who has been harmed or threatened. The application may be created on behalf of the person by any other individual who has an interest in their well-being. This includes a counsellor, a health service provider, a social worker, a teacher or a member of the SAPS
  • If the court is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that the suspect is committing or has committed an act of violence/harassment and unnecessary hardship as a result of the act, the court will issue an interim protection order against the respondent

Other information

  • The application for an interim protection order may be brought at any time and not only during office hours or on court days
  • The purpose of this interim protection order is to provide immediate protection to the complainant
  • The interim protection order has no force or effect until it has been served
  • The court is also required to issue a suspended warrant of arrest. A breach of the protection order requires that the respondent must be arrested by the police immediately
  • The interim protection order is not a final order from the court, but a temporary order which grants immediate relief until the return date (the date when the applicant and the respondent, after being given due notice, are to appear before the court to have the protection order made final). On this return date, the respondent is afforded the opportunity to present to the court reasons why the protection order should not be made final  
  • If the respondent does not appear in court on the return date, but the court is satisfied that proper notice has been given to the respondent and that there is sufficient evidence, the court may make a final order without the respondent being there

Are restraining orders effective?

The effectiveness of a restraining order is debatable. Many victims only apply for restraining orders after multiple experiences of serious abuse. The problem is, once these victims apply for a protection order, they run the risk of sending the abuser into a deep rage.  

Restraining Order Statistics

Violations of restraining orders are common and mean significant danger to the victim. The National Institute of Justice completed a two-year follow-up study of restraining orders. The results found that stalkers had the highest rate of re-offending. Here are some additional statistics;

  • 48.8% of victims were abused again after filing the order
  • 69% of stalked women were stalked again
  • 81% of stalked men were stalked again
  • 21% of victims experienced increased stalking and violence

Another study suggested that “the reported rates of protection order violations vary widely across studies, from as low as 7.1% to as high as 81.3%”. While other studies reported that restraining orders have a “15% success rate”. Studies vary based on the testing group they use. It makes it difficult to officially state the effectiveness of a restraining order. But most agree that the success of a protection order is 50/50. After all, it is just a piece of paper…

How you can protect yourself:

  • Tell someone: it is important that people who are close to you or who you work with are aware of your situation.  
  • Self-defense training: you may want to learn some basic self-dense moves so that you have the ability to get out of a sticky situation
  • Have a safety net: ensure you have someone or place of safety that you can run to
  • Get legal advice/ file a report: if you have children involved, find out what actions you can take and make the law enforcement aware of your situation
  • Be vigilant/ change your routine: make changes in your day so it isn’t easy to follow your wherabouts
  • Document everything: keep a record of every text/email, threat or act of violence, this will come in handy during court proceedings
  • Be wary of social media: having your life available for anyone to view or follow online is dangerous. It is easy to trace your location or your routine online
  • Keep your phone on you/charged always: if you need help, your phone is often your best ally
  • Escape plan: save money, move someone different, preferably into a secure complex/estate
  • Get help: if you have exhausted all possible options, try finding an executive protection company that can assist you  

Personal Protection

A 50/50 chance that you and your family are protected doesn’t sit well with us. A better option for you to consider, if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation or if you ever feel unsafe, is executive protection.

Executive Protection is also known as Close Protection or bodyguard services. Our experienced executive protection professionals in the field of covert and overt security will ensure you’re protected.

We will tailor the appropriate protection package for you based on our analysis of your risk profile. Once this is complete we then formulate a plan based on the requirements for the operation accordingly. All facets of your personal security are covered whether locally or internationally. Our specialist operators identify potential threats, ensure uninterrupted surveillance and around-the-clock protection.

We take your safety and security very seriously and while a restraining order is a good start, hiring a professional security officer will ensure absolutely nothing can happen to you. We will protect you 24/7. Contact us, you and your family are worth it.