Cell Phone Safety

Cell Phone Safety

It is hard to imagine life without cell phones. Being connected 24 hours a day has become the norm, and many people cannot leave home or participate in an activity without their phone in hand. Unfortunately, cell phones have become sought after by criminals. The devices are small, easily transported, and there is an insatiable market for stolen phones. Even more concerning is the level of violence associated with some phone thefts.

24/7 Security Services urges everybody to be cautious when using their phones in public:

  • Do not leave your phone on the restaurant table while dining out – put it in your pocket or bag. Ensure that your bag is safe and not hanging on the back of the chair.
  • When queueing at a shop or ATM, keep your phone out of sight. It has become a habit to text or update social media while waiting, but this puts you at risk.
  • While refuelling at a filling station, do not sit in your car engaged on your phone with the window open.
  • Do not text while sitting in traffic – you are a soft target for criminals moving between vehicles.
  • Be alert when making calls in public places while walking on pavements or crossing the street.
  • When using your phone to book transport, do not stand on a public pavement. Make the booking while indoors, and then also be aware of your surroundings.

You need to exercise – your phone does not!

We appeal to all athletes to please refrain from exercising with any valuables:

  • Leave cell phones at home (measure a route in your car and then run it if you can), but please do not run or cycle with a phone – not only does this pose a danger to yourself, but also to other athletes.
  • Do not run with iPods or any form of music in your ears. Not only does this make you a target (due to the value of the iPod), but you won’t hear traffic and thugs approaching you.
  • Remove all jewellery before heading out on the road for an exercise session.
  • Try not to exercise alone, irrespective of the time of day or the route that you follow – many incidents occur on busy roads in broad daylight.
  • If you wear an expensive training watch, consider covering it with a buff to hide it from opportunistic criminals.

Cyber Security Tips

  • Set the ‘Lock Code’ on your phone with a timer to lock the screen. While unlocking your phone after a short period of no use may seem painful initially, it does become second nature and is a great first line of defence.
  • Manually log out of your internet banking and social media sites, and do not allow these sites to auto-store your passwords.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Shopping Safety

Shopping Safety

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Festive Season shopping should be happy and carefree events. Don’t let criminals steal your joy this shopping season.

Safety At The Mall

  • Be aware of your surroundings – this is one of your greatest weapons as distraction is your biggest enemy.
  • Park in well-lit areas and as close to the entrance door as possible.
  • Do not sit in your car checking messages, as you are vulnerable and distracted.
  • Never leave valuables in plain sight in your car, put them in the boot.
  • Manually check that your car doors are locked, remote car-jamming is a common threat. Even if your car makes a locking sound, double check every time.
  • Keep your cash in your wallet to the minimum and don’t let people see how much cash you are carrying.
  • Keep your mobile phone and wallet out of sight.
  • Keep the zip of your handbag closed.
  • Carry your keys in your hand ready to unlock the car when you go into the parking area.

Online Shopping Safety Tip

  • Look for the lock: Only transact on secure websites. Look for the lock image on the toolbar, valid certificates such as VeriSign and secure payment systems such as PayU. When you get to the page where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an ‘s’ after ‘http://’ in the web address of that page – it should read: ‘https://’.
  • Do your online shopping in safe places: Don’t do your shopping in coffee shops and malls. With public Wi-Fi, there’s a bigger chance for fraudsters to intercept your connection and get hold of your usernames and passwords.
  • Watch out for strange emails and links: Fraudsters are quite good at mimicking known websites, which enables them to easily create emails with fraudulent links in them that look legitimate.
  • Use strong passwords: Don’t create a password that is easy to guess or hack. Use an 8-digit password combination of upper-case letters, symbols and numbers.
    Use two-factor authentication methods: In the world of online shopping and banking, the OTP (one-time PIN) is a must-have.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Load Shedding Safety

Load Shedding Safety

When the power is out, it could take your alarm, and other security features down with it. Here are some tips for keeping safe when the power is down.

Alarm Batteries
Make sure all batteries are charged and working. An alarms’ backup battery will power the system for eight hours on average. However, this is dependent on several factors such as how many devices are linked to the panel, the age of the battery and how many power failures or power spikes are experienced in the area. Power outages can dramatically reduce the lifespan of the alarm battery.

Electric Fence
Ensure that your electric fence continues to function during power outages. Your electric fence battery should have a backup battery.

Generators
If you are using a generator, never operate it anywhere inside your home, including the garage or any confined area, as it produces carbon monoxide which can be fatal.

Arriving/Leaving Home
Ensure that you are especially alert when arriving or leaving your home in the evenings, as the street lights and your outside lighting may not be functioning during power outages. Keep a torch in your car.

At Home

  • Ensure that all automated gates and doors are secured and that all other gates and doors are locked.
  • With candles, gas and other lighting devices being used more often, these can result in an increased fire hazard.
    Therefore, home fire extinguishers should be on hand.
  • Install battery operated lights in strategic places in your home.
  • Keep the keys to motorised gates in an accessible location and have good quality padlocks available to use as a backup.
  • Programme your security provider number in your cell phone in case of emergency.
  • Keep your cell phone fully charged.

The 24/7 Command Centre is very busy during power outage periods, and we request clients to be patient – emergency calls will be prioritised.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Holiday Safety

Holiday Safety

Before You Leave On Holiday

  • Test all your electronic systems before you go on holiday – alarm, electric fence, beams, batteries and panic buttons.
  • Alert the 24/7 Command Centre that you will be away and ensure that all your contact details are correct. If you are going to be out of contact, appoint a trusted key holder who will be local for the duration of your holiday.
  • Walk the perimeter of your property and inspect all fences, gates and walls. Ensure that there are no weak spots where criminals can gain entry.
  • Ensure that all doors and windows are securely closed and locked before you leave the property – this includes outbuildings and garages. Ensure that burglar bars are secure and that safety gates are locked.
  • Ensure that you have good outdoor lighting that switches on at night. Motion sensor lights are always a good investment.

Out And About On Holiday

  • Know where your children are at all times and do not leave children unattended or without adult supervision.
  • Avoid wearing expensive-looking jewellery when out and about, and please stay off your cell phone when in a public space – it makes you an easy target for criminals.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and suspicious people when visiting an ATM or conducting cash transactions.
  • When shopping or visiting a restaurant, keep your handbag close to you and your cell phone out of sight.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

After Dark Safety

After Dark Safety

Autumn has arrived, and with it comes later sunrises and early sunsets. 24/7 Security Services encourages everybody to pay special attention to their personal safety – the reduced daylight, coupled with the ongoing load shedding, provides criminals with ample opportunities to commit crimes.

At Home

  • Lock doors, switch lights on and activate beams the moment it starts getting dark.
  • Ensure that garages and garden shed doors are locked at night.
  • Criminals don’t want to be seen – motion detection lights are a good choice for lighting up dark outdoor areas.
  • Ensure that outdoor lights are not left on during the day. It usually indicates that nobody is home for a prolonged period of time, and criminals scouting for a target will immediately notice.
  • If you are travelling, motion detection lights or lights with day/night sensors are good options.
  • Ensure that your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery where criminals can hide.
  • Keep flashlights and extra batteries in your home and car in case of an emergency.
  • Test your electric fence and panic alarms regularly.

Running and Cycling
Reduced daylight affects most people’s exercise schedules. Pay special attention to
your personal safety when exercising in low light.

  • Wear light coloured clothing with reflective detailing. Always ensure that you are visible from the front and the back so that both directions of traffic can see you.
  • Wear a headlamp and runner lights – they will make you more visible and help you see in the dark.
  • Stick to well-lit routes as far as possible to reduce your risk of tripping.
  • When running in poor light, always run against the traffic so you can see any potential dangers coming. You’re much more likely to be able to get out the way quickly of cars or road users if you can see them first.
  • Be aware of headlights – if you see flashes of light coming round a corner or a busy road, avoid crossing until the vehicle has passed.
  • There is a certain amount of safety in numbers – exercise with a friend or in a group.
  • Always tell somebody where you are going and be specific regarding routes and directions.
  • Carry some form of identification on you so that any bystanders will know who you are and who to contact in case of an emergency. Most exercise gear has small pockets for this very reason.
  • Refrain from carrying your cell phone and other valuables while exercising – these items make you a target for criminals.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Electric Fence Maintenance

Electric Fence Maintenance

Avoid an unwanted shock – ensure that you maintain your electric fence.

  • Check your electric fence regularly for damaged, broken or corroded wires, and damaged insulators.
  • Prune trees and shrubs regularly to ensure that foliage does not touch the electric fence wires, and remove any dead insects or other debris from inside the insulators that could ground the wires.
  • Ensure that the fence wires’ tension is correct. If the wires are earthing, the fence will short and cause false alarms.
  • Remember that your need to replace the energiser battery regularly.
  • Physically check that the electric fence zones correspond with the zone display.
  • Test your electric fence regularly to make sure the alarm activates.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Emergency Numbers  

JHB011 444 2237
KZN031 140 1061
PTA012 451 8600

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