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Women and Men, How Safe Are You? (In Your Daily Life) – 10 Tips to Protect Yourself

Women and Men, How Safe Are You? (In Your Daily Life) – 10 Tips to Protect Yourself 720 480 Jason Stadtlander

As I delve more and more into protecting personal information, protecting networks and helping with physical security – I tend to find myself thinking a lot about the security of the average person on the street. I walk down the street, mentally assessing each person’s vulnerability. Yeah, I know… it sounds a little creepy, but it’s amazing how many people are unaware of their surroundings.

So I want to take a moment and give you a few pointers on what I would term “S.A.R.E.”: Self Awareness at Recognizing Enemies.

It’s not about seeing everyone around you as an enemy. It’s about recognizing what your vulnerabilities are to an attack anytime you are in the public. I am shocked at how many people walk through the city, not paying attention to what is going on around them. Staring at their phones or simply not being aware of their surroundings.

I could make this list 20-30 items long, but these are what I would say are the most critical. And trust me men, this applies to you as much as to women.

How Safe Are You (In Your Daily Life) - 10 Tips to Protect YourselfTen Tips to Protect Yourself:

  1. Don’t be predictable. Be sure to alternate routes that you take when walking. Change up your schedule a little (even 5 minutes plus or minus can make a difference)
  2. Don’t stare at your phone while walking or being on the street. Glancing at your phone is fine, especially when following directions. Being fixated on your screen can cause you to trip, or more importantly be a target for an attack. Do not try and catch up on facebook or Instagram as you stand on the platform waiting for your train. You can catch up on that when you get on the train. Train platforms and bus stops are ideal locations for attackers and thieves.
  3. Don’t look down at your feet. Keep your eyes ahead of you. Looking down at the ground is a natural psychological trait. It enables us to not have to make eye contact with those around us (which in a city can be a LOT of people) and it allows us to be focused on our own little microcosm. But it’s very dangerous, especially when mixed with tip 3. If you’re looking down, you won’t see someone coming if you are their target and you also won’t be able to identify someone or a car if there is an incident that you ‘witness’. Look around at people constantly. You don’t need to make eye contact, but you need to be able to identify people if something happens.
  4. Be careful when wearing headphones while walking. Keep the volume low. If you can’t hear someone coming up behind you, then you can’t protect yourself, your purse or your backpack. If I were targeting someone for theft, I would absolutely look for someone with headphones on and looking down.
  5. Watch people watching you. It’s critical on the street, in the gym, even in the locker room to be aware of those around you. Try and mentally assess their motives, how much they are observing you, what kind of vibe do you get from each person. Trust your gut.
  6. Look around and be aware of the cameras that are watching you. This isn’t just seeing security cameras to ensure that you walk in areas that will see you if something happens. It’s also about making sure that you are not being videoed or photographed by someone with a phone without your permission.
  7. Watch out for tailgaters. A tailgater is someone that acts like they have access to the same building/gate that you have access to and following you in. If you don’t recognize someone and they are following you into a secure area, question them. (“Can I help you?”)
  8. Password protect your phone and don’t leave your phone at your workspace. Today’s phones are not cheap (as we all know). They are prime targets for would-be thieves.
  9. Keep your backpack/purse secured on yourself. Holding the strap of your backpack or your purse will ensure that even if someone ran by and grabbed your bag, they will have to handle the fact that you are already holding onto it.
  10. Be aware of your electronic presence. Google yourself regularly. See what shows up. Be aware of the photos you post. Don’t ever “check-in” when away from home, it’s a blazing announcement that it’s ok to go rob your home. Never post photos when on vacation on the same day you take them.

How to Enable Parental Controls for iOS7, Wii U, 3DS and PlayStation 4

How to Enable Parental Controls for iOS7, Wii U, 3DS and PlayStation 4 150 150 Jason Stadtlander

Protecting Kids while GamingTis the season for giving technology gifts and with that comes parental responsibility.

Here are some tips on how to lock down technology for your children:

Apple iOS 7 (iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPad Mini)

iOS 7 is finally packed with lots of great parental lock-downs.

You can access these by:

  • Going to Settings > General > Restrictions
  • Tap “Enable Restrictions” and give it a four digit passcode. DO NOT give it the same passcode you use to unlock the device and never give it to your children.
  • Then you can selectively choose what apps and capabilities they can use. I highly recommend disabling the following (NOTE: disabling the apps below will not remove them from the device, it will simply hide them):
    • iTunes Store
    • Installing Apps
    • Deleting Apps
    • In-App Purchases
    • Scroll down and set “Websites” to “Limit Adult Content” (Personally, I chose to disable Safari and Internet browsing for my children. If they want to browse the internet they can do it on the computer where I can watch it better.)
    • Disable Siri’s ability to web search content and explicit language
    • Tap on “Location Services” and set it to off or at least set it so only GPS or map related apps use it, then set to “Don’t allow changes” at the top.
  • I would advise going through all the options slowly, see what might pertain to your child and what might not. I’m sure what I lock my 8 year out of would seem extreme to your fourteen year old. So look around and see what fits. You can always turn restrictions off to set it back to normal.


Nintendo Wii U

Wii U has some great capabilities, but to ensure that our children are only accessing the areas we want them to, I recommend enabling the parental controls.

  • From the Wii U Menu, select “Parental Controls.”
  • If prompted, tap “Next” and enter the four-digit PIN. If the PIN has been forgotten, it will need to be reset.
    • Select the option you wish to configure.
    • To change restriction settings, tap “Parental Controls Settings” and then “OK.”
      • You can set different restrictions for each user.
    • To change the four-digit PIN, tap “Change PIN.” Enter a new four-digit PIN then tap OK. Enter in the PIN one more time, and then tap “OK” twice. Select a secret question and create an answer that is at least four characters long, then tap “OK” three times.
    • To change the registered e-mail address, tap “Change E-Mail address” then tap “OK.” Enter in an alternate e-mail address then tap “OK” twice to confirm.
    • To remove all Parental Control settings tap “Delete All Settings” or press the X Button.


Nintendo 3DS

The one thing that a lot of people don’t think about is, 3DS has wifi capabilties, and with the included browser – though it may not look pretty, you can still access just about anything out there. Unlike Apple’s iOS7, 3DS cannot be granular (set to block specific types of websites and content). It’s either on, or off. You can control the following features: Software Rating, Internet Browser, 3DS Shopping Services, Display of 3D images, Sharing of audio/video files, Online interaction (exchanging data online between users), StreetPass, Friend Registration, DS Download Play, Viewing Distributued Videos, Child Online Privacy Protection. You can get more information on these details on Nintendo’s website

  • Select the System Settings icon on the HOME Menu, and tap “Open.”
  • Select Parental Controls from the System Settings menu, and tap “Yes.”
  • Create a four-digit PIN, and tap “OK.”
  • Enter the PIN a second time and tap “OK.”
  • Select a secret question, and tap “OK.”
  • Enter the answer and tap “OK.”
  • Tap “Set Restrictions.”
  • Select the restrictions you would like to put into place.
  • When restrictions are complete, tap “Done” to save the settings.


Sony PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 has a multi-level security design to it. Parents (should) have control of the Master account and then setup Sub accounts below that. Here is how you setup the Master and Sub accounts:

(courtesy of PlayStation Website)

  • Log in to your Master Account. If you don’t have a Master Account, this article has information on how to create one.
  • Set passcodes. There are two different passcodes that you should set to make sure your settings are secure.
    1. Master Account passcode: This prevents other users from logging into your account to make changes to parental controls or view unauthorized content. To do this go to   (Settings) >  [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Login Settings] > [Passcode Management].
    2. Parental controls passcode: This passcode is must be entered before changing any parental controls. The default code is:0000, and it is recommended that you change it. To do this go to   (Settings) >  [Parental Controls] > [Restrict Use of PS4 Features] > [Change Passcode]. Take care to remember your new code as the only way to reset it is to initialize the PS4 via Safe Mode.
  • Sub Accounts
    • If you already have a Sub Account associated with your Master Account, you’re ready for the “Setting Parental Controls” section here.
    • If you do not have a Sub Account associated with the Master Account, please refer to this article for details on creating a Sub Account on the PS4, and then come back to the “Setting Parental Controls” section here.


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