MT Expert's Ten Top Tips: Keeping your CEO safe

Watertight security plans are no longer the preserve of celebrities, politicians and Royaltym says Mel Robarts.

by Mel Robarts
Last Updated: 28 Jan 2011
Most people would think that safety and security are matters for the police, not private individuals. But now business leaders are not only wealthy but also increasingly in the public eye – particularly given all the information now readily available about them on the internet – they’re also more likely to be a target for criminals.

Thankfully, this is not a problem most of us have to worry about. But for high-profile corporate CEOs, is it time to think harder about personal security, especially when travelling abroad? We asked Foresight’s Mel Robarts for his ten tip tips on how to prevent worst case scenarios.

1. Identify your risk level
The amount of risk to each person varies, depending on his/her situation. Identify your level of risk in order to develop a plan to minimize your exposure.  

2. Create a security profile/prevention plan - and use it
After assessing the vulnerable areas in your life, develop, implement and practice a plan to thwart danger.  It does not benefit you to know your weak areas or develop a prevention plan unless you fully commit yourself, your family and staff to engage in the daily practice of this plan.  

3. Limit the information about you on the Internet
The Internet allows outsiders to effortlessly gather information about you. So limit the information you put on the internet, as well as the number of people who are allowed access to your computer and files. Also, don’t forget to protect your smartphone, since it is also a gateway to your personal information.

4. Be careful in cars
If you are distracted by work or other activities, other drivers can capitalize on your lowered awareness to attack you. Hire a professional licensed and trained Security driver or complete a security driving program to educate yourself.   

5. Beware security threats to your home
Even homes with installed security measures can suffer a breach. Limit the people who have access to your home (workers, housekeepers, lawn maintenance). Resist the temptation to ‘let your guard down’ at home. Remain aware and alert; do not assume everything is in order.

6. Vary your office routine
The best measure of safety is, again, being alert and aware. Alter your routine, such as arrival and departure times. If possible, do not go to your office alone during OFF hours, and park in a well-lit area that is as close as possible to your planned entry point.  

7. Take precautions when you travel
Avoid sharing your travels plans with others. Protect laptops, phones with access to important information. Avoid entering "common carrier" vehicles. Instead, utilize a familiar driver or service that has been vetted, especially in certain international venues. Secure a hotel room that is at least on the second floor but not higher than the 4th. Ensure all windows are locked and the dead bolt on the door is used. Refrain from roaming the halls alone and always keep your room key on your person.  

8. Check for threats
Monetary gain is the biggest motivator for an attack. Know your competition. Monitor new hires or recent individuals who have been terminated or left your employ.  

9. Include your family in your security plan
The easiest way to obtain an objective is to launch an attack on the family, so include them when developing a security protocol.  The practices that have been presented throughout this article with regards to an executive’s security should also be implemented with their family, especially children.

10. Bring in the experts
The use of a security consultant, who will conduct a professional, in-depth analysis of the level of security in your life, allows you to conduct business as usual, as well as offer those who depend on you the peace of mind that your well being is being monitored.

Mel Robarts is the founder of Foresight, a full-service security and surveillance firm, and is an expert on the personal safety of high-profile individuals.

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