Saturday, 23 November 2013

7 Social Media Security Tips To Protect Your Business

Your employee's online life could open your business to some serious dangers.
Many small businesses recognize the benefits of having a social media presence for customer service and long-term marketing purposes. However, many are slow to recognize social media's security issues and how employees’ own social presence can add to the company's security issues.
Some companies restrict internal access. Others may prevent employees from having any corporate association outside of work on their own social platforms. This is due to the fact that whatever an employee says outside of work publicly can have a significant impact on the organization.
Turns out the robbers scanned the teller’s social media sites based on searching the name of the bank as employer.
Last year I presented a robbery response program to a credit union. My presentation came after a mock robbery was staged, using real cops acting as masked robbers with guns. The robbers came in, guns blazing and screaming profanities, and, quite frankly, were very disturbing in their delivery. Some tellers cried, others cowered. Pregnant women were not allowed to participate and for good reason: Cops make great robbers!
At the end of the robbery, we all circled and discussed what happened. The teller who received the robbery note read it aloud, stating: “Your husband works at the Main Street Garage. We intercepted him when he was opening this morning. He is in a trunk at an undisclosed location. If you hit the silent alarm and the police come, we will kill him.”
Turns out the robbers scanned the teller’s social media sites based on searching the name of the bank as employer. Once done, they looked up her spouse’s place of employment. They were able to learn what time he opened and closed the shop. Scary.
Follow these social media security tips for small business to prevent security issues just as scary:
  1. Institute a policy. Social media policies must be in place to regulate employee access and establish guidelines for appropriate behavior. Policies must specifically state what can and cannot be said, referring to slang, abusive language, etc. Employers should train their employees on proper use, as well. At this point, many of the mistakes have already been made; a quick search for “social media policy” will return lots of great ideas.
  2. Consider a no-employment disclosure. Request employees leave their employment status blank when setting up a social site profile. Employees represent their employer 24/7/365, so what an employee says on or off the job and online directly reflects on his or her employer and, as stated in my credit union story, can be used against the organization.
  3. Limit access to social networks. There are numerous social networks serving different uses, from wine and recreation to music to movies, used for everything from friending to finding a job. Some are more or less appropriate, and others are less than secure. Employee association with a social network that is considered off-color in any way will come back and haunt the company.
  4. Train IT personnel. Policies and procedures begin from the top down. Managers and IT personnel responsible for managing technology need to be fully up to speed with social media security risks and set leadership examples.
  5. Maintain ongoing monitoring and security. Once a policy is in place, it needs to be updated and enforced, and employees’ online lives must constantly be scrutinized. Invest in consulting, hardware, software and anti-virus protection, and update critical security patches for your operating system to make sure your business network is up to date.
  6. Lock down social settings. Require employees to learn about and incorporate maximum privacy settings. Most social networks have privacy settings that need to be administered to the highest level. Default settings generally leave the networks wide open for attack.
  7. Don’t completely eliminate social media. Eliminating access to social media opens an organization up to other business security issues. Employees who want access will get it—and when this happens, they sometimes go around firewalls, making the network vulnerable.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Crime down since new Cheshire Commisioner took over

AFTER 350 days in office Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commisioner says his role has resulted in less crime and fewer victims in Warrington.

John Dwyer said that since being elected last year, he has brought crime down to its lowest level for more than a decade, with victims reduced by 1000 in the last six months.
“There is absolutely less crime now than when I started in office,” he said.
“I think I am making a real difference and if the public aren’t yet aware of that at the moment they will be through my time in office.
“This is a marathon not a sprint, and there is lots more to come.”
Elected as a Conservative Party candidate when 13.7pc of Cheshire voted, Mr Dwyer is the area’s first PCC.
He replaced the Police Authority in a Government move aimed at reducing bureaucracy and costs.
With a mandate to hold chief constable Dave Whatton to account, he claims to have improved Cheshire Police.
Mr Dwyer says the way burglaries were investigated was ‘not good enough’, and that a change in approach that sees every victim visited by an officer has lead to a reduction.
Challenges have included handling budget cuts, with £36m to be saved over three years, during public demand for more officers on the street.
There are currently 1,954 officers in Cheshire, down from 1,993 at the start of Mr Dwyer’s tenure, although there are also 222 CSOs.
That has meant 100 special constables, volunteers with police powers, have been recruited, with a further 100 expected to sign up by March.
Mr Dwyer said: “I saw a recruitment drive for specials as a way to address this issue.
“In an ideal world I wouldn’t cut any police officers but I have budget issues to deal with.
“Specials will never replace police officers, but they are of value, not pieces of cardboard.”
The commisioner will stay in office until at least the next election in 2016.
Priorities include further reducing crime and helping more victims.
So far, there have been no regrets.
Mr Dwyer added: “I wouldn’t change anything monumental.
“This is a job that no one has done before and we are all experiencing things that have taught us a lesson.
“But things are getting better.”

Monday, 11 November 2013

Cheshire Police will help veterans who may turn to crime

CHESHIRE’S police and crime commissioner has been turning his attention to the needs of the small number of ex-military personnel who break the law. 
John Dwyer said: “Today we honour the servicemen and women who have given life and sometimes limb to serve our country but we tend to think of the older generation who served in the World Wars.
“We are now seeing a much younger population of ‘veterans’ in their twenties and thirties who have experienced combat and seen things we dare not think about.
“Some of these brave men and women we sadly find entering the criminal justice system and it is important that all public service providers are set up to identify their needs and signpost them to appropriate support services. Some military personnel struggle with the transition to civvy street and may turn to alcohol or drugs.
“There is evidence that suggests that they are more likely to commit violent offences or domestic abuse. Homelessness and debt management may also become a problem for some.”
Working in partnership with Tascor, Cheshire Police now ask all detainees in police custody whether they are ‘veterans’ as part of a health assessment.
Dr Vis Reddy of Tascor said: “I am delighted we are now able to identify veterans in custody as part of a standard screening process. The work being done in Cheshire is a big step towards offering them the right support at an early stage.”
Alan Lilly, of ‘Live at Ease’ which has been commissioned by the NHS to connect ex-service personnel and veterans to the right kind of help, has been training police officers based at custody suites across Cheshire.
He said: “We are not implying that all ex-military will go on to offend but it is important their needs are identified early so they can be put in touch with the right support networks such as the Royal British Legion, Combat Stress or SSAFA for example. In just 10 days Live at Ease received five referrals from the Runcorn custody suite alone which helped veterans receive the help they need, in particular those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.”
Mr Dwyer added, “Cheshire Constabulary, clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, Tascor and probation services among others have all signed the ‘Armed Forces Community Covenant’ which seeks to encourage public service organisations to support the service community in their area and promote understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community.
“I encourage all police officers to consider the needs of ex-military personnel not just on Armistice day but every day.”

Saturday, 9 November 2013

View the latest crime figures and statistics for Sandbach and Alsager here

Sandbach and Alsager

Neighbourhood Picture

The following table and graphs show you crime and ASB breakdowns and trends for Sandbach and Alsager.
ASBBurglaryRobberyVehicleViolentOther TotalTotal
Sep 201310090111944190
Aug 2013114100132137206
Jul 20131398242444230
Jun 201311340182035197
May 20139015161849188
Apr 20131036151352180
Mar 20138711031158170
Feb 20138460121253167
Jan 20131046051163189


Crime Breakdown (Dec 2010-Sep 2013)