As a business owner, you may need to travel locally as well as internationally. It may be part of your routine. However, as a business owner, you might just be considered a high-value target, and frequent travels put you at great risk. Your personal security should be a top priority when traveling.
We have consulted with professionals from the business world and security experts to get the best recommendation on what measures you can take to safeguard yourself and your business while traveling.
“My business requires me to travel to various places. So I have to make sure that I am completely safe while traveling. I ensure the following measures while traveling:
Mike Thompson, Marketing Strategist & Direct Lender at Hyperlend
“When it comes to securing high value targets the immediate thing that should be planned prior to the travel date would be a risk assessment, this would include elements such as where they are going, how long for, what are the dangers at each critical point (At the airport, getting a hotel room, going out to eat), why they are going on this trip etc. This is to ensure not only are there security guards or other systems in place at all times but also to know what exact threats exist. As an example, a head of a bank going on a business trip to meet with other high-profile figures would have to take their own and everyone else's security into consideration, what security is offered at the meetup, how does this integrate with your own safety, what contingency plans are in place dependent on if things go awry.” says Security Expert; Jessica Keyes.
Discreet security can also be used for individuals who may not be well-recognized but require security nonetheless, as Keyes suggests, “There is also very much the opposite approach with very discreet security, this would typically be for people who don't show their face often, people that won't typically be recognised but need security just in case. We often times recommend security guards for what we define as critical points which are the areas wherein which the individual is most at danger (walking through the street, in public in general etc.) this is due to security guards basically being able to act as a full security unit - surveillance, monitoring, preventative measures - all in one.”
Jessica Keyes is the Head of Security Operations at Region Security Guarding.
“It is easy to get caught up in the thrill of traveling, but one must remember to take proper precautions.
Colin Barker, Co-Founder of Filtersmart.com
• Have a kit with all of your Rx and OTC medicines in your carry aboard luggage. Also, ask your Doc for an Rx for antibiotics and antidiarrheal prescriptions.
• Keep your travel secrete. Ensure your spouse and kids do not tell the world that you are going to XYZ on social media. If more need to know you will be out of the office, give them an incorrect destination.
• Have an excellent global health insurance plan.
• Do not use flashy luggage or matching sets.
• Learn to walk with a cane. While you cannot carry a weapon – a cane can be an excellent weapon.
• Have someone precheck the locations. Scout out where you are staying, where you might dine, and the various destination and routes to destinations you will be visiting. They should be looking for multiple routes and expected congestion, and suitable alternative destinations and evacuation routes.
• Buy and carry a personal locator beacon.
• Dress casually and respectfully- attract no attention.
• Do not supply your name for pick up at the airport. Have the prospective driver display a picture. You will produce a matching one on paper. Make up a story- I have always liked ‘I have a vengeful ex-spouse’.
• If you can have a local precheck in your room under their name.
• If you have to sign the registry, request that no information be given to anyone that you are there, you know - ‘vengeful ex-spouse’.
• My preference is an Airbnb or VRBO over any hotel. Avoid the “known” hotels.
• Prohibit the black car nonsense, any color car other than black, or the White Land Cruiser. All pick-ups and drop-offs should look casual- not Hollywood.
• If you have a protection detail, they must dress like you. If you are in a casual suit and slacks, they should be too. If you walk around in an ill-fitting black suit taking in your sleeve, they should too.
• Remember, your phone tracks you. Disable what you can. Try and use only wifi and not cell connections.
• Say nothing about where you were or what you did. If you must say something, provide misinformation such as the wrong hotel, wrong, but actual flights, etc.
L. Burke Files, President Financial Examinations & Evaluations