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5 Common Myths About Internet Security

ADS Guards | Blog

You probably have an idea about how important it is to protect your personal information online. From social media and email scams to malware and hacks, there’s no shortage of cyber threats. One of the best ways to protect yourself online is by separating fact from fiction. Here are five common internet security myths you might believe and what you should be doing to stay safe, brought to you by ADS Guards, one of the top security companies in Hayward

1. I Won’t Be Targeted Because I’m Not Important Enough

Many people think the internet is too big for anyone to take notice of them, and even if someone does try to attack vulnerabilities in their system, they don’t have very valuable data to steal. The truth is cyber-attacks aren’t personal and are largely automated. Cyber criminals will take anything they can get, which may be your personal information rather than access to an account. This is still valuable information that can be used to steal your identity and damage your credit.

2.Using Antivirus Software Is Sufficient

Think of an antivirus program as a flu shot. It can protect you against some strains of the flu, but not all of them and certainly not other viruses. A single antivirus program isn’t enough to protect against the thousands of malware threats circulating every day. Most programs do a fairly good job of protecting against viruses, but they can be pretty hit and miss when it comes to adware, worms, backdoors, ransomware, and many types of malware.

3. Public Wi-Fi Is Safe

Public Wi-Fi may be convenient, but it’s far from secure. Accessing personal accounts like email or bank accounts on an unsecured hotspot is essentially rolling the dice. There are many ways for even unskilled hackers to compromise a public network to see what you’re doing. One common threat is called a man-in-the-middle attack in which hackers intercept data when you shop or log onto an account. Cloning, which involves diverting you to a fake website, can also be easy to do over a hotspot. Many free hotspots at businesses, airports, and hotels do not even use encryption technology.

4. You Can’t Get Infected Just by Visiting a Website

Many people believe malware only comes from email attachments or that they need to be aware of downloading something to infect their computer. The truth is many attacks online happen when loading an infected webpage that triggers a drive-by download that installs itself. A firewall can’t detect drive-by downloads because they’re hidden among normal website traffic. Don’t assume general websites are safer than adult websites, either. It’s usually easier to hack hobby or general websites than professionally maintained websites.

5. Strong Passwords Are Enough 

While it’s recommended that you choose unique, strong passwords for all of your accounts, a strong password won’t be enough to keep cyber criminals away. Instead, it’s one of several layers of security. Along with choosing strong passwords, activate second-factor authentication when possible to create a second barrier around your accounts. This will require a second method of authentication along with your password, such as entering a code from your email or text message.

Cyber security is crucial in a corporate setting, as is the presence of highly trained guards. If you need corporate security services in Hayward, reach out to ADS Guards today. Call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our friendly representatives and receive a complimentary quote.

How to Keep an Office Building Secure

ADS Guards | Blog

In May 2018, detectives from the Fresno Police Department released amusing video surveillance clips related to a case they were investigating. The incident was first reported as a missing laptop. However, the investigation later revealed that a breakdancing burglar had robbed an office building at various times over a weekend. The digital version of the San Francisco Chronicle shared the video clips, which showed the 29-year-old suspect using keys to enter the office building and stopping at the lobby to show off a few dance moves. Aside from the quirky breakdancing, this case features some interesting details that illustrate the need for increased security in office buildings. 

Manage Keys, Locks, and Building Access 

Fresno detectives explained that the thief gained after-hours access to the office building using copied keys. It is not clear how he was able to obtain copies of the keys that unlocked not just the main doors of the building but also the office suites. To minimize this risk, building managers should consider switching to more secure locking systems such as programmable key cards and biometrics scanners. 

Utilize Remote Video Monitoring 

While the video surveillance system in this particular robbery served to identify the suspect and even catch him dancing as he stole office equipment, a more comprehensive solution linked to a remote monitoring center could have prevented the incident altogether. 

Purchase Alarm Systems with Sensors 

The breakdancing burglar entered the office building more than once over the weekend, which suggests the structure was not equipped with an alarm system or motion detection sensors. Even when facilities are not actively monitored, an alarm system connected to sensors that detect intrusions or suspicious movement around buildings can go a long way toward increasing security. Modern alarm systems can be programmed to send smartphone notifications in case of break-ins, breaches, and other situations. 

Post Security Guards 

The details of this case suggest the involvement of an insider who may have allowed the thief to make copies of the office building keys. Nonetheless, this incident could have been prevented if the suspect arrived to find Hayward security personnel guarding the premises. More sophisticated thieves can break into commercial buildings without the benefit of keys, but they would not attempt to do so if they know security guards are posted. 

Secure Sensitive Equipment 

The San Francisco Chronicle news report mentioned a missing laptop, which is an object that could have been locked away to minimize losses. Companies that have migrated their data infrastructure to the cloud are increasingly assigning laptops to their employees so they can access the office network. In this case, a recommended security measure would be to store the laptops in a locked server room that is no longer being used. Something else to keep in mind is that laptops should be disconnected from the cloud network at night and over the weekend to prevent unauthorized access.

If you own or manage an office building and need professional guard services in Hayward, get in touch with ADS Guards, a leading provider of professionally trained security guards. For a free quote, call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our friendly representatives.

5 Tips for Staying Safe at Summer Festivals

ADS Guards | Blog

There’s no better way to enjoy the summer than by attending your favorite seasonal festival. The Bay Area comes alive during the summer with dozens of popular festivals like the Berkeley World Music Festival, the Alameda County Fair, and the Hayward Russell City Blues Festival. Whether you’re in the mood for beer or wine, music, or a cultural festival, you’ll find an endless roundup of activities throughout the Bay Area this summer. Here are some tips to stay safe while you’re enjoying the sunshine, music, and food. 

1. Stay Hydrated 

If you drink alcohol, pace yourself and avoid becoming dehydrated. Becoming dehydrated is easy to do in the hot sun, especially when you’re distracted by music and you’ve had a few alcoholic drinks. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Many festivals have stations to refill water bottles so you won’t need to pay for water. 

2. Learn Your Way Around

When you first arrive, take a walk around to find out where everything is located, including the medical tent, shady areas, water fountains, and exits. You should know where the emergency services are located in case you need help. You should also note where Hayward guard security is stationed in case you need their services. 

3. Use the Buddy System 

Sticking with a friend or two is a good way to protect yourself at a festival. Don’t rely on your phone to keep in contact. Your battery might die or the network might get overloaded. Have a meet-up location in case you get separated from your friends, and make sure everyone is accounted for at the end of the night if you’re camping. 

4. Wear Sunscreen and Watch for Heatstroke 

While sunshine may be appreciated, it can cause serious health issues with prolonged exposure. Always wear sunscreen if you plan to be out in the sun. You should also recognize the signs of heatstroke, which can come with fever and unconsciousness when the body is unable to regulate its own temperature due to prolonged sun exposure. Someone experiencing heatstroke may not be able to get help for him or herself, so watch out for your friends. Heatstroke can cause the skin to feel dry and hot to the touch instead of sweaty. It can also cause flushed skin, rapid breathing, an altered mental state, and nausea. 

5. Protect Your Hearing 

While loud music and summer festivals go hand in hand, you should arrive prepared to protect your hearing. Too much exposure to loud noise can cause chronic tinnitus, migraines, and hearing loss. Keep in mind most rock shows are 110dB to 120dB, but continuous exposure to noise as low as 85dB can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Wear hearing protection that allows you to hear the music, just at a lower volume. Skip the disposable foam earplugs that muffle the noise and spend a little more for high-fidelity earplugs. Take regular breaks from the loud environment to reduce the dose of loud noise you are exposed to.

If you’re running a festival or another special event and need high-quality event security services in Hayward, reach out to ADS Guards today. We also provide highly trained guards for commercial and residential properties. Call 1-800-794-1550 for a free quote.

5 Ways Professional Guards Can Help in Emergencies

ADS Guards | Blog

Above all else, people want to feel safe in their own homes, places of business, while out and about, and at special events. No matter the location, security is important because everything goes smoother knowing someone is there for an added level of protection. There are 5 main ways Hayward security guards can help during an emergency. 

1. Handle the Unexpected 

Security will have everything handled if a problem, fight, or chaos ensues during an event. Security guards have gone through rigorous on-the-job training to prepare for several types of emergencies. They know how to deescalate a situation, take away someone who is being problematic, and calm those who may be upset. 

2. Spot Problems Before They Get Out of Hand

Security guards have been trained to spot potential emergencies before they turn into full-blown problems. They are constantly surveying the crowd and paying attention to the behavior of individuals, which helps them spot those who may have a weapon or a suspicious package. Trained security guards know the signs of someone who may cause an emergency. 

3. Assist with First Aid

When an emergency occurs, security guards are typically the first to respond because they’re already on the scene or in very close proximity. Luckily, the vast majority of security guards are Red Cross certified in CPR, AED, and first aid. Thanks to their training, they can do anything from helping someone who is choking to providing a tourniquet to someone who is losing blood. 

4. Deter Crime 

A place of business or an event is generally safer when there is security making its presence known. If criminals see professional guards on duty, they’ll look elsewhere for an easier target. Guards show a place is ready for any sort of emergency, and those who want to commit crimes won’t want to go through the hassle. Crime can occur at any time, which is why guards are needed to deter lawbreakers and make citizens feel safe in their own homes and places of business. 

5. Step in Before the Police Arrive 

Depending on the place of business, you may need armed guard private protection in Hayward, which can come in handy if there’s an armed robbery or other situation involving a gun. Situations can turn deadly in a matter of seconds, and police aren’t always nearby. Armed security guards then become the first line of defense. They can spring into action immediately because they are often near the crime. Security guards have been known to stop school shootings, robberies, and more.

If you need patrol security in Hayward, get in touch with ADS Guards today. We have been protecting the Bay Area for nearly two decades, offering professional security guards for commercial and residential spaces as well as special corporate events. Call 1-800-794-1550 today for a free quote.

How Hiring Professional Security Can Save Your Company Money

ADS Guards | Blog

The losses experienced by American retailers due to theft and robberies have been gradually increasing since 2014. The National Retail Federation estimates that store theft incidents currently account for more than 50 billion in annual losses. This loss amount becomes even more disheartening when adding liability situations such as customer injuries, conflicts between staff members, vandalism, fire, and accidents. 

The costs associated with providing security tend to give business owners pause, but the current liability and risk climate in the Bay Area certainly merits paying attention to this important business process. For many companies, the business expense of hiring on guard security in Hayward can turn into overall savings.

Deter Graffiti Artists and Vandals

Many business owners prefer to paint over graffiti rather than repeatedly file liability claims each morning they discover something spray-painted on their walls. The costs of this constant remediation can quickly add up, and the same goes for minor and cosmetic damages caused by vandals. These issues can get even more expensive when damages are caused to vehicle fleets or to the cars of customers who park in lots provided by companies. Vandalism and graffiti can be sharply reduced by the presence of security guards. 

Prevent Robberies

Retailers are not the only business owners who can realize savings when they hire security in Hayward. Any business that keeps a substantial amount of cash in a register or safe is at risk of being robbed. Cannabis dispensaries are particularly vulnerable since customers tend to pay with cash. Medical and dental clinics face a different type of risk. For example, in Texas police detectives have been investigating an organized group dedicated to robbing clinics and stealing data that can be used for identity theft purposes, which might in turn lead to fines and lawsuits. The bottom line is that preventing such situations saves money. 

Lower Insurance Premiums

In many cases, insurance companies offer nice discounts on policy premiums to business owners who keep security guards on premise. The types of companies that stand to save the most on insurance policy premiums include nightclubs, banks, gas stations, auto dealerships, and convenience stores.

Increase Employee Focus and Productivity

Security incidents in the workplace tend to result in a loss of morale and productivity, which often leads to economic losses and unrealized revenues. Employees who work at companies where security guards are posted tend to feel safer and focus more on their duties. Furthermore, they are less likely to escalate personal conflicts into fights. Another advantage in this regard is that employees do not have to worry about security matters when they know professionals are taking care of that business process. For example, employees do not have to review surveillance video recordings after an incident.

If you need mall security in Hayward or professional guards for another type of business, reach out to ADS Guards. We have been serving the Bay Area for nearly twenty years. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 for a free quote.

5 Reasons Your Business Should Have Security Cameras

ADS Guards | Blog

According to statistics compiled by the National Retail Federation, California was the state with the highest incidence of organized retail crime in 2017. On a national level, organized retail crime represents $30 billion in annual losses, and the bulk of these losses are perpetrated by sophisticated crews that know how to exploit security weaknesses. Professional thieves and shoplifters work tactically. These criminals do not take unnecessary risks. Instead, they conduct surveillance of establishments and avoid those protected by security cameras.

The threat of organized retail crime is just one reason business owners should install security cameras in their stores, offices, warehouses, industrial shops, and clinics. Here are five other benefits of security cameras businesses should consider when it comes to corporate security services in Hayward.

1. Reduce Internal Theft

In the retail industry, loss prevention is more than just an important factor of overall business security. Loss prevention is part of shrinkage, which is something all business owners should expect and work toward minimizing. The National Retail Federation estimates that 30 percent of American businesses go bankrupt each year in large part due to employee theft. When staff members are aware they are being monitored by security cameras, they are less likely to steal from their employers.

2. Detect Corporate Espionage

The Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates that one percent of global business revenue is lost every year to corporate espionage. Although a significant portion of business espionage is perpetrated by cybercrime, the most damaging incidents take place at physical offices. To prevent trade secrets and confidential information from being extracted from workplaces, it is recommended to set up off-limits sections monitored by security cameras.

3. Document Accidents and Decrease Liability Risk

Insurance companies are known to offer discounts on policy premiums to business owners who invest in security camera systems. The basis for these discounts is that companies can provide digital video of accidents and mishaps in their establishments, thus reducing the likelihood of frivolous lawsuits prevailing in court.

4. Enhance Customer Experience

Retail establishment owners can review video recorded by digital cameras to evaluate how customers flow through the store and the factors that prompt them to select certain items. Store traffic is constantly analyzed by major retailers such as Target and Walmart. The goal is to identify areas of improvement in terms of store layout and product placement.

5. Increase Overall Safety

Business owners should think of security cameras as reliable electronic eyes that constantly monitor their commercial establishments. When paired with other security measures, cameras can boost business safety. Let’s say a camera and motion detection system is set up to be remotely accessed via smartphone. When the owner of a boutique gets a notification from the motion sensor, he or she can connect to a video feed to see if a burglary is in progress or if it’s just a stray cat prowling.

Though security cameras can be a great help to businesses, hiring a professional security guard offers additional benefits. If you need a commercial security guard, get in touch with ADS Guards. We are one of the leading security companies in Hayward, CA. Call 1-800-794-1550 today for a free quote.

How to Make Gated Communities Safer

ADS Guards | Blog

The most recent American Housing Survey conducted by the Census Bureau indicated that 11 million homes are located within gated communities, and this statistic is expected to increase when the 2020 Census takes place. To a great extent, gated communities have become a new element of the American Dream. They have almost come to replace the white picket fences of yesteryear, and one of the reasons homeowners are attracted to these enclosed neighborhoods is because they believe they are safer than homes built on open subdivisions.

Gated communities often transmit a false sense of security. Gates, fences, and perimeters are not enough to protect residents. A 2013 study published in Justice Quarterly showed that only vandalism and spur-of-the-moment theft are diminished within gated communities. HOA board members who want to increase security in their gated communities should consider the following measures.

Increase Security Awareness

Leaving doors unlocked and windows open are common issues created by the false sense of security within gated communities. HOA meetings, social gatherings, and newsletters should be used to remind residents that they should not adopt a glass bubble mentality. Residential security does not start at the gate. It starts at the property boundaries. 

Hire Security Personnel

Sophisticated burglary crews are known to target gated communities because they research the level of affluence within. These “professional” thieves know more about the false sense of security than homeowners do. However, these thieves will draw the line when they see trained Hayward security guards posted at the gate or conducting patrols. Sophisticated burglars take pride in not getting caught. Therefore, they will not take unnecessary risks and will seek other targets.

Install Smart Home Automation

Modern household technology is not limited to DVRs or advanced refrigerators that notify homeowners when they are running low on milk. Today’s smart home systems include keyless locks that can be accessed by means of fingerprints or smartphone codes. Other security devices include surveillance cameras, motion detectors that send smartphone notifications, and lighting systems that can be remotely turned on or off. If a resident specializes in setting up smart home systems, he or she could be invited to deliver a presentation at the next HOA meeting.

Encourage Closer Bonds with Neighbors

Good neighbors will look out for each other after they get to know each other. Planning activities that bring residents together is something HOA board members should consider regarding the overall security of their communities. The idea is to organize events that go beyond Tupperware parties and neighborhood security briefings and plan activities that are mindful of the diversity of residents. HOA board members should not expect everyone to show up to Bible study sessions. They should mix things up with potluck lunches, pool parties, carpooling, Habitat for Humanity projects, and Disney movie screenings for children.

If you’re looking for unarmed or armed guard private protection in Hayward, reach out to ADS Guards. We are a leading provider of residential security services, and we also offer security for commercial spaces and special corporate events. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 to learn more.

4 Ways to Prevent Employee Theft

ADS Guards | Blog

Employee theft is something business owners should accept to some degree. Most insurance companies and retail analysts consider theft by employees to be part of shrinkage, a business reality that includes shoplifting, breakage, spoilage, and vendor fraud. The issue with employee theft is when it exceeds the levels of shoplifting, which accounts for 37 percent of shrinkage according to a 2014 study by Checkpoint Systems, an American supply chain management firm. With the above in mind, keeping employee theft down to a minimum can be managed using the following strategies.

1. Maintain a Positive Work Environment

Corporate culture can go a long way toward reducing employee theft. If management promotes a toxic work environment, employees may feel empowered to steal cash or even items they do not even need. In this case, theft will be a reaction toward draconian work policies and a means to get revenge. A positive work environment shows respect for staff members and gives recognition for their efforts. Promoting goodwill in the workplace builds true loyalty toward the company, which in turn motivates employees to protect their organization instead of stealing from it. When a toxic work environment is left unchecked, employee theft can escalate into situations such as sabotage and even violence.

2. Retain Security Guard Services 

Uniformed security personnel at retail businesses are often recommended to deter shoplifting, but they can also keep employee theft incidents down. Security guards can be instructed to keep an eye on suspicious employees, which can be addressed during a staff meeting after a major incident is detected. Employees who know they are being watched by uniformed guards may feel self-conscious and perform their duties in a more productive fashion. Managers who believe organized shoplifters are being assisted by insiders will likely see these incidents stop immediately after hiring security officers in Hayward.

3. Install Surveillance Cameras

There are various ways to implement a video surveillance system, and none of them should involve decoy cameras because employees will quickly catch on to this ruse. Hidden cameras can be used in case of serious theft. Otherwise, visible cameras should be adequately monitored by loss prevention professionals. 

4. Be Smart When Screening Potential Employees

A Hayward security services provider can help business owners determine the best course of action regarding background checks. Naturally, arrests and convictions for fraud, larceny, and shoplifting are the most concerning red flags, but there are other signs that could point to a potentially dishonest employee. For example, an applicant who shows a pattern of working as a stock clerk or cashier for just a few months before resigning without explanation could be an insider for a shoplifting crew. An applicant who denies drug use and fails the test is another red flag, and the same goes for an applicant who provides fake references.

Contact ADS Guards if your business needs armed or unarmed security. Hayward companies have been placing their trust in our high-quality services for nearly 20 years. Call 1-800-794-1550 today for a free quote.

How to Tell If a Security Guard Company Is Bad

ADS Guards | Blog

Poor business security can be a quick ticket to company failure. For this reason, taking appropriate measures and retaining the right security solutions is vital for developing a truly sustainable business for customers, employees, investors, and company principals. An example of just how important physical security has become in the 21st century was reported by Associated Press correspondents in Southern California, where a high school security guard took notice of a heated discussion involving a disgruntled student who threatened classmates with a mass shooting. The guard reported the incident, which prompted deputies from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to investigate and find an arsenal of firearms and ammunition in the home of the suspect.

When evaluating commercial security in Hayward, you should choose a company committed to excellence, and you should also look out for the following warning signs of a bad security firm.

Deficient and Antiquated Equipment

If you notice the patrol vehicles and the items the security guards carry are old and poorly maintained, this could be a sign the company is more interested in cutting costs than providing security.

Lack of Interest in Displaying a Professional Appearance

There is a good reason security companies prefer to hire military veterans and former law enforcement officers: these individuals know about the value of grooming and uniform standards, which have an effect on customers, staff members, and would-be perpetrators. Wrinkled, dirty, and ill-fitting uniforms or clothing suggest the security firm does not adhere to certain standards. Sloppy-looking security guards send a dangerous message to sophisticated criminals who know lack of professionalism is something they can easily exploit to their devious advantage.

Lax on Background Checks

Reputable security agencies in Hayward conduct frequent background checks on their guards, and they may not object if you propose to obtain a fresh report on the security personnel that will be assigned to your company.

Consumer and Regulatory Complaints

In California, the Department of Consumer Affairs has a division dedicated to the oversight of security guard companies. The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services keeps a record of licenses, complaints, and incidents related to security providers. You can also check the Better Business Bureau for complaints filed by consumers against the security firms you are evaluating, keeping in mind that a few complaints are always expected. However, lack of response and inaction should be considered major red flags.

No Referrals

If the security firm you are evaluating has been retained by companies in your sector, this is a good sign. You generally want to avoid companies that do not have a good track record in the community. A lack of referrals is also a warning sign that existing or prior clients have nothing good to say about their experience with the firm.

ADS Guards is a leading provider of guard patrol security. Hayward businesses place their trust in us for good reason, as we have been serving the Bay Area for nearly two decades. If you’re looking for expertly trained security professionals, give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550.

5 Weapons Armed Security Officers Often Use

ADS Guards | Blog

While some security guards carry firearms, others carry non-lethal weapons. Here are a few examples of weapons armed security guards carry.

1. Handguns

If a security guard carries a firearm, it’s usually a handgun. While many brands of handguns can be carried, armed security guards often carry a 40 caliber Glock. Since handguns are lethal weapons, many guards carry other weapons instead. It’s necessary for an armed security guard to have a license for a handgun. Security guards usually carry handguns if they are in situations where they face an especially high risk of dealing with armed attackers.

2. Rifles

While it is relatively uncommon for a Hayward armed guard to carry a rifle, some security guards do if they face the possibility of encountering an armed attacker. The rifles security guards carry are generally semi-automatic. Armed security guards need a license to carry a rifle.

3. Tasers

Tasers are effective against an assailant who is located relatively close. They deliver an electric shock to attackers that disables them. Guards have control over how long they deliver electricity to the assailant. If the security guard delivers enough electricity to the attacker, he or she may be disabled for up to 30 minutes. In almost all cases, Tasers cause no permanent injury because the amperage is quite low. While Tasers are usually effective, there have been cases when they have failed to stop an attacker.

4. Pepper Spray

Pepper spray (also called mace) is a non-lethal weapon. Most attackers who are sprayed with pepper spray experience no permanent damage, but serious allergic reactions have been known to occur. Pepper spray temporarily blinds the attacker and causes a severe burning sensation. However, the security guard must be very close to the attacker for pepper spray to work. Armed security guards do not need a license to carry pepper spray.

5. Nightsticks

A night security guard in Hayward can disable attackers by striking them with a nightstick. In some cases, an attacker might surrender after realizing the guard is carrying a nightstick. However, there are important disadvantages to consider. While nightsticks are intended to be non-lethal, they can be lethal when used improperly. Also, they don’t offer sufficient protection against attackers armed with guns or knives. In some cases, an unarmed attacker may prevent an armed security guard from using the nightstick by grabbing his or her arm.

There are many potential uses for both armed and unarmed security guards. For instance, if you need construction site security in Hayward, ADS Guards can provide the professionally trained guards you need. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 for a free quote.