Plan.Meet.Repeat January February 2019 Issue plan meet repeat jan feb 2019 - Page 11

Keep in mind that I am not here to scare you or make you paranoid! I am simply going to be bringing your attention and focus onto potential threats that surround you on a daily basis, and specifically events. Today’s the day! You’re off to an event you’ve been waiting all month to attend. The very first thing after you get ready is probably to grab your keys, wallet or purse, laptop and smartphone before heading out the door. The mode of transportation that you use represents your first potential safety risk. For many people, this means getting in their car and driving to the event. You could also be driving or get picked up by a taxi or limo and driven to another form of transportation such as a plane, train or bus. Each of these presents a unique set of challenges to your personal safety and security we will ultimately address. For our scenario, we will be driving ourselves to the airport to fly to an event. Most of us drive just about every day and are familiar with the risks that can come our way from other drivers as well as from our own distracted driving. To protect ourselves, we try to pay attention in order to get to our destination (the airport) safely. There will always be other drivers who can cause accidents, and there may not be anything you can do to avoid one. However, allocating enough time to get to your destination so you are not rushing and distracted (such as thinking about being late for your flight) can go a long way toward reducing your stress and your risk. If you are distracted, either by your own thoughts or by technology (phone, music, news) then your level of risk increases. It only takes a fraction of a second for an accident to occur. Do you really need to check that text message as you drive 65mph on the highway? If you need to make or take a call, does your car have Bluetooth capability so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road? How about using GPS to help guide you to your destination instead of trying to read every exit and street sign? (Of course, you always wear your seat belt, right?) There are simple solutions that can make our everyday lives safer from risks. Harnessing the power of technology in certain situations can absolutely make you safer. Cars now have backup cameras, blind spot sensors, detect lane drift and do so much more to help improve your safety on the road. However, the most important factor in any of this is you. Technology can’t do everything (at least not yet!) You still must make the right decisions about what increases your risks and safety versus what decreases your risks and improves your safety and well-being. As you drive, you will undoubtedly have to make stops. It could be at a light, to get gas, grab breakfast at a coffee shop, etc. Again, each of these has risks, but we often don’t think about them. At the light, is there anyone around trying to clean your windows or asking you to spare some change? Keep your doors locked and use your best judgment about how to handle the interaction. Simply ignoring the person is one option. Engaging them is another. Which carries more risk? Stopping to get gas is typically routine. But do you know how to spot a credit card skimmer that could be attached to the gas pump’s credit card reader? If you aren’t aware that this could be a potential problem, you won’t give it a second thought. You’ll swipe your card, fill your tank, and head back out on the road not realizing that your card was skimmed, and the data read by a criminal. You may not realize it until you try to pay for dinner that night with the same card...only to find out that it doesn’t work! What is the solution to credit card skimmers? Learn how to recognize them or get in the habit of paying inside instead of at the pump. Use pumps close to the entrance since they are less likely to be compromised than ones further away. Keep in mind that these skimmers can be installed in less than a minute at various locations including POS terminals and ATM machines. Credit card skimmers on gas pumps are a huge problem, and there are hundreds compromised in every state! Not knowing this is a threat is no excuse – learn more about them and protect yourself, your finances and your identity! Plan Meet Repeat Magazine Jan/Feb 2019 11