Security Sunday 20161016

Security Sunday

Internal Controls

Up to this point, we have discussed physical changes you should make. Those are easy compared to the mental changes you need to make. You need to be security conscious, that does not mean paranoid. What this means is to consider your security.

The idea of Internal Controls is about your thinking in terms of security. Internal controls is looking at how people move and interact with your property. Some of these controls are passive, such as walkways and paths. Other controls are active, such as fences, doors, and locks. As with before we will begin outside the home and move inward.

It should be obvious to any visitor where the main entrance to your home is. You can help them by creating walkways, paths, and decorating the main entrance. The goal here is to keep visitors from getting lost. Side doors, back doors, or any other entrance that allows someone to not be seen from the street are off limits at all times. Except under circumstances you control. You would be shocked at the number of thieves who will use the excuse of being lost as a way to recon your residence.

This will mean you will need to be exact with delivery people as to where they may leave deliveries. Sales people are threats that must be deterred in the strongest possible way. Short of shooting them that is. Lights, intercoms, and even well-placed sprinklers can help in this regard. Keep in mind, uninvited visitors are a threat. No one, except those in the most trusted parts of your Circle of Trust, should ever move onto or around your property without your consent.

You have gone through a great deal of trouble and expense to create secure areas, now you must defend it. You will interact with people in this process, and it will always come at the most inconvenient time. If you see someone in an area they should not be in, get on your intercom and tell them in no uncertain terms to go away, or you will call the police. Then if they do not go…call the police.

From time to time, you will have guests. Sometimes many guests. That means people will not only be on your property, but also in your home. This is where things get dangerous. Many burglaries have occurred after a party. Which means one of the guests was scoping things out.

Remember the “cloak room”? That special room where you have your guests toss their coats? This room is often the site of thefts and an excuse for guests to get “lost” in your home. If you must secure people coats, then YOU need to be the one to take the coats there and retrieve them. The room they are stored in must be locked. It may be inconvenient, but security is never convenient. It sure beats filling out a police report later.

At some point, someone will want to use your bathroom. Every internal door of your home should be equipped with a lock. Lock all but the bathroom door, and put up plenty of signs pointing to the bathroom. No one should just be wandering around your home.

If you have children they will want to have friends over. Don’t trust those short thieves. I have investigated many thefts that revolved around children’s friends. This is why children are security risks, only tell them exactly what they need to know.

Put all of your easily stolen valuables out of sight. Security by obscurity.

Finally, walk your property and ask How can I gain access? How can I recon this place? You can’t possibly fill every gap in your security, but you should be aware of them.

Next Week…Security Monitoring Systems and Services.

**sorry this was late, but I had life**

What to do when you have writers block.

 

Honestly, I’m not sure. Right now I have three complex projects and they are collectively whooping my butt. So, to break those up…I have decided to write about something that just popped into my noggin.

While stationed in Grand Forks, North Dakota I was the Flight Sargent responsible for a number (its a secret number) of nuclear weapons. My teams were spread over a very large portion of the frozen wasteland that is North Dakota.

As extreme as North Dakota can be, it does have a beauty that many miss. At night, which was my favorite time to work, a stark contrast between the white snow and the black sky would create the perfect background to some of God’s greatest light shows. The Northern Lights.

I have yet to see an artist or photographer that can capture the beautiful display. The drama of one moment looking at a pitch black sky with just the twinkle of stars, and then suddenly an intense rainbow colored curtain just descends from the sky. It is awe inspiring.

On this particular night, I was on my way to rescue one of my teams. They had decided to use an unauthorized route and had managed to get stuck in the snow. There was some urgency in this case. They were on a timed response, and I needed to keep them from getting busted for being on an unauthorized route. This meant using the radio was out of the question. So we resorted to our alternate communications method…which I will not mention here.

At first glance, North Dakota looks flat as a table top…but that is deceiving. They have hills. Just not many of them. As I came over the hill leading to my lost team, Plush by Stone Temple Pilots came on the radio…at that same moment an intense blue and red curtain magically appeared in the sky. I was so awestruck I almost ended up in a ditch. Whenever I hear that song that display comes vividly back to my memory.

I found my lost team, managed to get them out of their predicament and they completed the mission within the required time. Most importantly I saved some young guys from standing tall in front of the commander. I scared them enough that I do not think they have made the same mistake since. Or, if they were like me….they just got sneakier at it.

Security Sunday 20160918 Privacy Fences, Walls, and Other Obstructions

 

Security Sunday 20160918

Privacy Fences, Walls, and Other Obstructions

Our homes are more than a defensive castle. We spend time and money to make them comfortable and pretty. Typically the front of our home is decorated for “curb appeal.” We live in our backyards. For this reason, we build privacy fences and walls to keep people from gawking at us while we lounge around our pool, or metal tub (don’t judge). In some areas, fences are mandated by Home Owners Association (HOA) or even by local law (where pools are involved). Privacy fences, walls, and other obstructions pose a security risk. But there are ways to deal with these.

Light. Criminals hate light, especially lights that come on unexpectedly. It costs money, but hey they are lights (from $40US). With some creative organizing, you set up the lights to come on as soon as someone crosses the fence. The key in selecting a system is that it be easily calibrated and covers the entire area contained by the fence.

Observation. No need to creep out into a dark backyard with your slippers and a baseball bat. Security Cameras are available for under $200US. These systems will even allow you to record, are motion activated, and night vision capable. As with lights, they must be easily calibrated, unless you want to video cats and possums. With some creativity, you can use just a few cameras to cover all of those pesky hard to see areas. DO NOT USE wireless systems. Many of these systems will also allow you to connect them to the internet. Before connecting anything to the internet make sure you have a very good cyber security system installed.

Yelling. Yes, an unexpected human voice can freak out even a hardened criminal. Installation of external Public Address systems is easy. If you have a stereo system that is already feeding sound to the outside, you only need a few more things to scream “Get Off My Lawn.”

To this point, we have dealt with the security of the outside of your home. Criminals like easy targets, at this point you are hardening your home.  Most of the people I have known that were burgled were burgled by someone that had been in their home. We will now shift to Internal Controls in the next post.

To Be Continued….

News 13 September 2016

Updating the website to add a mobile-friendly version in preparation of launching a series of applications.

Security Sunday posts will resume on 18 September 2016.

 

Old Woman and The Coyote

 

One of the advantages of being in the military was the exposure to different cultures. While stateside I had the opportunity to study Native American myths. This was in the days before the Internet, and these stories come from oral tradition.

My favorite story is one of the many creation myths passed down among the Navajo. The characters of this particular myth are Old Woman and The Coyote. Old Woman is the partner of Old Man, the godlike creators of the world. Unlike gods from other myths Old Man and Old Woman do not help nor hinder humans they merely observe. The Coyote is a complex character. What we may see as evil is not always so. The Coyote is a trickster who attempts to sway events. These attempts are not evil or good, but they do teach us many lessons. This is the story of Old Woman and The Coyote.

OldwomanandCoyote

One day The Coyote came upon Old Woman while she was cooking. The Coyote asked, “Old Woman, what are you cooking?”

Old Woman replied, “I am cooking the people. They will move among the animals and become their overseers.”

The Coyote watched as she put her first batch of People into her oven. After a few short minutes, The Coyote began, “Old Woman remove them now! If you cook them too long they will surely burn!”

Old Woman replied, “Not yet Coyote, they can’t be done so soon.”

The Coyote continued, “No they have been in too long and have surely burned by now!”

Old Woman gave into The Coyote’s continual begging and removed the people from the oven. She saw that they were still white, and very under-cooked. She said, “She what you have done Coyote, these people are not ready yet, they are still raw.”

The Coyote said, “I was just trying to help you Old Woman. Make another batch.”

Old Woman put another batch into her oven. After some time she went to take them out.

“No!”, said The Coyote. “Remember last time? You took them out too soon. Let them cook a little longer.”

The Coyote begged and pleaded so much that Old Woman left the people in the oven twice as long as before. When Old Woman removed the people she saw they were burned black as coal. “See what you have done Coyote? I have left them in too long now they are burned black!”

The Coyote put his tail between his legs and said, “I am sorry Old Woman. I will leave it up to you next time. Please do another batch.”

Old Woman did just that. She placed another batch of people into her oven. This time, she ignored the pleading and barking of The Coyote. She removed the people from her oven, and they were perfectly golden brown. “See Coyote, these people are perfect.”, she said.

“We will see.”, said The Coyote.

And that is the creation myth of Old Woman and The Coyote.

Security Sunday: 20160904

 

Security Sunday

From the Outside Looking In.

The key to a good Security Analysis is being through. A security analysis is the most important step and the most active part of your overall security plan. Put on your walking shoes, grab a sketch pad, pencil, and lets get started.

In the middle of your sketch pad make a diagram of the outside of your house [fig 1]. leave room for your front and backyard. If your property is large use a larger sketch pad. Duh.

fig1
Fig 1. Basic House

Now walk out to the street in front of your house and center yourself on the house as best you can. From this vantage point, you should be able to clearly see all entry points and windows. Anything that is blocking a clear view must be removed or trimmed to give a clear line of sight. Hedges and bushes should be trimmed to keep someone from using them as cover for breaking in.  Move to the far right and left  and repeat the procedure.

Add all features that can’t be moved to your sketch [fig 2].

fig2
Fig 2. Yard obstacles

At this point, you need to think like a criminal. How can you get to doors and windows without being seen?

With the front and sides of your house sketched, we move to the big threat area. The back.

Many people love privacy fences, so do I. However, a privacy fence offers excellent concealment for bad actors. We will deal with this type of fence later…for now repeat the procedure in the backyard as you did for the front yard.

This next step will require either another person or a stick to act as a marker. The stick needs to be no more than 4 feet high, and easy to see. If you are using a person they should be average adult height (no midgets). Now go inside your house.

You will make several sketches at this point. One for each window
or other entry that allows you to see out of the house. From each of these points have the person start at the far right of your property and move left just until you see them. Add this point as your line of sight right. Have them continue to move left while you note anything that blocks your view. Add these items to the sketch. When they just disappear from sight on the left this is your line of sight left [fig 3].

fig3
fig 3

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it will pay off. While you are doing all this sketching you are training yourself on what a bad guy can, and can’t use to his advantage. You are becoming the master of the terrain which we will take advantage of later.

We will expand on these sketches, and discuss what you can do about that pesky security fence.

To be continued…..

Security Sunday. 20160828

Security Sunday.

Security Plan.

If you have not read the Introduction to this series you should go HERE first. Assuming you have read the introduction we are ready to move on to developing our security plan.

Kings and Generals have created battle plans that would have guaranteed a victory only to be undone by poor security. The person in control of your security is you, and you must have tenacity and discipline to make it work. Let’s dig in.

Your Circle of Trust.

Yeah, I stole that from the movie “The Fockers”. Your circle of trust will require a great deal of thinking on your part. The circle consists of family members, friends, government agencies, delivery services, and strangers. How you handle each is important and you must base it on what you know, what you need, and who needs to know it. It sounds complicated, but as we go along you should be able to grasp the concept.

Study this graphic.

CircleofTrust

At the center is you. You control, or at one time controlled all of the information about security. I say at one time because prior to now you may have shared important information with people. Don’t freak, you will learn new ways to reduce the amount of information you release.

Trusted Agents. These are significant others, children, parents, anyone that MUST have access to the inner-circle. The information in this circle is the type of information someone could use to gain access to your home, business, or travel plans. For instance, when you go on vacation, who looks after your property? Who knows where your important papers are, or where you hide your good stuff? Who has a set of keys? As you can see, only the most trusted people are considered a Trusted Agents. Even Trusted Agents must be limited to only the information they must have to perform whatever task you need. Your big mouth sister or brother are off the list.

Limited Access. These are delivery persons, police, mailman, lawn service. anyone that will access to your property on a regular basis. The information they should have is only the amount they need to complete their tasks. You need to know as much information about these people as you can get. What do their uniforms look like? What type of ID do they have? How do you verify their authenticity? We will cover this is more detail later.

Everyone Else. If they are not in the first two categories, then they are not allowed on your property. Pollsters, Girl Scouts, Door to Door Sales, and Jehovah’s Witness must all be engaged quickly and sent packing. We will discuss how to do this later.

At this point you have a security analysis from your local police and you have developed a Circle of Trust. Now it is time to do a security analysis of your own.

To be continued…..

Music and Cryptology.

Music-music-13512622-1280-800

The other night I was working on a song when it dawned on me…music is its own language…and as a language, it could be used as a code. I did some research and found out that this had already been done. But I didn’t let that stop me. This post is about how you can use music to create cryptic codes. Music can become complex very quickly. To present this in a short blog post, I will keep the concepts simple.

A code must be able to transmit information in a secure and understandable way. Music does just that. I am not talking about cryptic lyrics, but the actual notes and notation that makes up music. For instance, every song has a tempo. Some songs have many tempos within the same work, but we will stick with one tempo.

Tempo is a way to define time. A song may have 80 beats per minute…that is the timing of the song. If you set a metronome, a device used to keep the timing, to 80 beats per minute This type of timer is exactly how a fax machine works.

Imagine this. Two people are very distant from each other, they communicate by holding a flag up. If they both walk at the same speed (determined by the tempo) when one person raises his flag the other begins to make a line on a piece of paper at the same tempo. When the flag is lowered the person with the pen stops making the line. Using this method a message can be transmitted over a huge distance. This is the importance of tempo. For those of you into digital systems, you know the importance of time.

A code should also have infinite possibilities. Music at first glance is not infinite. But this is not true. Each pitch in a musical scale has a corresponding frequency. The middle C on a piano has a frequency of 261.6 Hz. This is where number theory ( a basis of many codes) comes into play. How many frequencies are there between middle C and the D just above it? Middle C is 261.6 Hz and the D just above it is 293.7 Hz. **Warning Number Theory** If the frequency was to be increased to halfway between 261.6 and 293.7 Hz…we would be at 277.65 or musically just above C#. What if you go halfway between C# and D? If you continue to move half-way to D…you will never reach it. In theory, there is an infinite number of frequencies available. This gives us the ability to assign an infinite number of values to a code.

Of course, a code without a key is worthless. And the key can be found in…the Key Signature, the first note, chord, or nearly any of the accent marks, etc…

So that is my idea.

Thanks to Sieve70 for the help.

Friday Freak Out. 20160826

This is a freestyle blog post…no rules..no single subject…no cute outline. Just a rant.

triggerwarning

About Trigger words, warnings and safe spaces.  I have no ability to keep track of all the words people dislike.  So, if I Trigger you…get over it..or…get over it.  The only words I consider to be Trigger Warnings are…”Halt or I’ll Shoot”  That is the only warning I give.  If my shot misses..it was not a warning shot…I missed.  A safe space is a bunker…or a well-constructed fox hole.

THIS

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., begins to speak at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle. Co-founders of the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter took over the microphone shortly after Sanders began to speak and refused to relinquish it. Sanders eventually left the stage without speaking further and instead waded into the crowd to greet supporters. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

 

AND THIS

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

 

WILL LEAD TO MORE OF THIS

ben-shahn-1

12088031_411808319012652_2566633678642493982_n

Ooops…that was racist….it will also lead to

THIS

10599409_10203528501201598_3879816056213271744_n

^^^ THAT IS BAD

I watched a YouTube video that asked this question.

Is It Ethical to Kill Animals For Food?

The argument attempted to put a moral spin on killing animals. One of the arguments was that killing animals because we are smarter than they are is not a good reason.

Oh, so killing Kale because we are smarter than it, is a good reason?

King-Julien

and finally.

Why does this guy still have a job?

Brian-Williams

otter

End of Freak Out Friday.