Your Email is Filled with Attacks

Your Email is Filled with Attacks

The recent high-profile email dumps from Wikileaks appear to be obtained through an email “Phishing” scheme that is pervasive. I recieved the same email around the same time as the target of on of the most visible leaks. Here is how to minimize your risk.

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Personal Safety Tips to Remember During a Terrorist Attack

When a truck plowed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France earlier this month, it was another painful reminder that a criminal or terrorist attack can happen at any point.

Although we should live our lives as normally as possible, it’s important that each of us is prepared to take personal safety measures if an incident occurs.

Taking stock of your surroundings

Photo Credit:  Bradley Gordo

Photo Credit: Bradley Gordo

Whenever you go to a public place — like a movie theater, shopping mall, restaurant, or sports arena — take the time to identify the closest two exits. It’s important to find a second exit in case your first option is cut off.

If you can sit closer to an exit (like in a movie theater), take the opportunity to do so. If you’re out at a restaurant, take note of the kitchen’s location since there’s usually an exit route nearby. Some stores in shopping malls will have storage areas that will also provide back-door exits.

Avoid looking down at your phone while you’re walking; instead, swivel your head from side to side so you see everything around you.

You don’t need to be on high alert at all times, but getting into a routine of constantly taking in your surroundings will let you quickly identify something that’s amiss.

If a shooter emerges, first try to evacuate

How should you respond if an active shooter is in your area? The Department of Homeland Security recommends following the “run, hide, fight” approach. That means first trying to evacuate.

If you’re unsure where the shooter is, it’s important to not run around blindly. Pick an escape route and stick to it.

There will be a commotion as the large crowd of people all tries to escape the area at the same time. Try to stay as low to the ground as possible, but be sure to have full control of your balance to avoid falling.

Don’t bring any belongings with you as that may slow you down. Keep your hands visible at all times.

Hide if you need to, fight as last resort

If running is not an option, then hide in an area outside the shooter’s line of sight, DHS recommends.

If possible, block entry to the location and lock the doors. Silence all cell phones.

In a restaurant, you may need to drop to the ground immediately and use your table as a cover. If you’re in a public office, then close and lock your doors and turn off the lights.

Take action against the shooter only as a very last resort. The Department of Homeland Security recommends throwing items and the shooter or trying to incapacitate the person in some other way.

This should be seen as a last possible option — only when your life is danger, and evacuation and hiding options have been exhausted.

Be prepared, even if you’re not at scene

Even if you’re not in the immediate location where a criminal or terrorist act occurs, the Red Cross recommends taking steps to ensure your safety.

Turn on the radio or TV to hear news and instructions, and follow the advice of local responders and public officials.

Smell for any gas leaks. If you suspect there is one, turn off the valve right away, open all windows, and leave the building.

Don’t light any matches or turn on light switches; instead, use your phone or a flashlight to check for damages to utilities and wiring. Be on the lookout for fires or fire hazards.

Make sure your family has an emergency plan. Practice it often so you’re ready to act if an incident does occur.

What to do in a Terrorist Attack - Report Following Paris Attack

A new report released by the UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (Nactso) responds, in part, to the 13 November 2015 ISIS attacks in Paris. The report characterizes the recommended response for individuals finding themselves in a similar fast moving shooter attack as that which occurred in Paris.

The four page report summarizes a Dynamic Lockdown approach which that may be implemented in most organizations through careful planning and security systems deployment. The report includes:

  1. What is dynamic lockdown? 

  2. Why develop dynamic lockdown? 

  3. How to achieve dynamic lockdown 

  4. How to let people know what’s happening 

  5. Training your staff 

The ‘Stay Safe’ principles of Run, Hide, and Tell are detailed and the report is an excellent resource for K-12 Schools, Universities, Theaters, Hotels, Restaurants, and other businesses that may be exposed the an active shooter terrorist attack. 

For more information on Urban Alarm's Video Surveillance, Mobile Guard Patrol, Intrusion Alarm, Access Control, and other security systems design and installation please visit our website or contact us to arrange a consultation.


Those seeking to conduct attacks often undertake a level of planning including hostile reconnaissance. All opportunities to detect and deter threats at the attack planning phase should be taken.
A memorial to the victims of the Paris attacks. (Creative Commons photo by  Franck Schneider )

A memorial to the victims of the Paris attacks. (Creative Commons photo by Franck Schneider)

Taking a Fire Prevention Approach to Active Shooter Preparedness

Taking a Fire Prevention Approach to Active Shooter Preparedness

Over the past couple of months, our team has been working with a number of K-12 schools to revisit plans and strategies in the wake of the Newtown massacre. While our instinct is often to “fight the last battle,” (i.e. prepare for the last incident, despite the multitude of other threats) this may not be the best approach. These incidents are wake-up calls that remind us of the vulnerability of our schools and in particular, of K-12 schools.

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