R. L. Oatman and the great minds in executive protection have echoed that the executive protection specialist’s greatest resource is his mind. It’s not a gadget, an app, it’s not part of your EDC set up (every day carry), etc. You either have a mind that is prepared for the job or you don’t.
The executive protection specialist’s mind is only effective with the timely and actionable information. That’s why we set up 24-hour command centers and enlist geeks to gather, interpret, and disseminate intelligence.
In my previous post ("20 Uses for IFTTT in Executive Protection") , I discussed how to take advantage of a single app, IFTTT (If This Then That). IFTTT makes the executive protection specialist’s life easier by giving them a simple system of notifications and tools. But IFTTT is only one tool among an entire ecosystem.
I call it the Executive Protection Alert Ecosystem. And yes, all of the services I am mentioning here are free.
Caveat: This is a system of tools to support your intelligence collection process. This is not a substitute. There is no substitute for a human, manually sleuthing through all of this data. However, since we all have limited resources, the alert ecosystem can be a big help.
What is the Executive Protection Alert Ecosystem?
The Alert Ecosystem is a collection of tools, that when used collectively, keeps the executive protection specialist informed (instantly). I created a 6 step formula for readers to follow along and create their own alert ecosystem. Download my full post and infographic below, so that you can get started.
Step 1: Key Word Alerts for Protection and Brand Monitoring
I recommend setting up keyword alerts as the first step because they are the foundation for our alert ecosystem. We can expect key word alerts to keep us informed of mentions of the principal’s name, their company, etc. This information will help us in managing and assessing the security measures we have in place to protect the principal.
What key words should I target using these services?
Examples: Principal’s name, names of the principal’s associates (or family), names of the principal’s business ventures,
- *Must Have* Google Alerts - https://www.google.com/alerts
- Talk Walker - http://www.talkwalker.com/alerts/
- Social Searcher - https://www.social-searcher.com/
- Warble - https://warble.co/
- Mention - https://mention.com/en/
Does the principal have a Wikipedia page? Why not get alerts when more information is added (or edited).
Example of Google Alerts
*Note that Google search operators can be used with Google Alerts.
Step 2: Emergency Alerts
Emergency alerts can tip off the executive protection specialist to natural disasters, severe weather, infrastructure damage, etc.
At a bare minimum, I recommend using United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake alert: https://sslearthquake.usgs.gov/ens/ This tool allows one to receive customizable alerts about earthquakes from specific regions and of specific magnitudes.
Example of USGS Earthquake Alert
Next, I recommend that you find alerts that are specific to your area. That may be a hurricane, tornado, snow storm, or any similar alert that is specific to your area. These alerts are out there if you search for them.
Lastly, have you checked to see if your local government agencies have an alert system? For example, Los Angeles and Orange County have their own alert notification systems. Here is an example:
OC Alert - Mass Notification System - https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085613900#/faq
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About the EP Nexus Blog
The EP Nexus executive protection blog, is a comprehensive resource for security professionals involved in executive protection, protective intelligence, threat assessment, and related fields.
Launched in March of 2016 as a resource for executive protection professionals, command center gurus, and close protection know-it-alls, EP Nexus is quickly becoming a resource for those seeking to quench their thirst for executive protection reading.
The most popular section of the blog is Executive Protection Hacks. EP Hacks is a series in which we address complex topics (one topic per issue) in a convenient collection of tools & writings. I am actively collaborating with industry leaders to produce future issues. If you're interested in taking an active approach in moving your industry into the future, contact me below.
Outside of EP Hacks, I explore the following topics in writings, tutorials, and webinars: online tools for executive protection professionals, open source intelligence investigations (OSINT), threat assessment, protective intelligence, travel security, and more.
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