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How to Be Your Own Executive Protection Agent when Traveling for Business

Lance Guillory
April 15, 2024

Many hats are required of the modern-day CEO and small business owner, including The Company Traveler. Remember that your security is of the utmost importance while traveling to that next conference or summer trade show. You likely carry sensitive information and one wrong move can give those with bad intentions just what they need to take it all. Taking a few pointers from a professional executive protection agent is a great idea. Here are some strategies and tips to protect yourself effectively while traveling for business trips.

Risky Business for the Business Traveler

It's impossible to eliminate every security risk faced when traveling for business, but there are basic preventative measures you can take to avoid and prepare for a detrimental situation. Anything can happen anywhere. Be alert.

Some of the security risks you face when taking a trip include:

  • Personal Safety Risks: Depending on the destination, business owners/travelers might be at risk of violent crimes, terrorism, or kidnapping, especially in regions with high crime rates or political instability. 
  • Data Theft and Loss of Possessions: Valuables like laptops, smartphones, and sensitive documents can be stolen or lost, leading to major financial loss and potentially catastrophic data breaches. 

Moral of the story, without you, there's no business, but with business travel moving past the pandemic and volume only expected to increase, it's time to take your security seriously.

7 Considerations While Traveling for Business

  1. Pre-Travel Preparation. Before setting off on your travels, taking the time for thorough preparation is a must. Start by researching your destination to get a good grasp of the area and landscape, understand the cultural norms, familiarize yourself with local laws, and note any travel advisories. 

Ensure all your travel documents are not only valid but also backed up digitally. Consider using a secure app for storing copies of these essential documents. Also, use anti-theft bags with reinforced straps or locks to keep valuables secure. Health precautions and preparations should also be heeded. 

Make sure you have an adequate supply of any personal medications, and familiarize yourself with the local healthcare system, pinpointing reputable medical facilities just in case you need them.

  1. Digital Security. More than 40% of global travelers admit to connecting to an unsecured Wifi network, which is only a good move in becoming susceptible to hackers. Always connect to the internet through a Virtual Private Network (VPN), especially when using public Wi-Fi, to keep your data encrypted and safe from prying eyes. RFID technology has also given rise to a form of electronic pickpocketing known as skimming

Unauthorized individuals, like those lurking around the airport or gas stations (even at the fuel pump), use RFID readers to intercept data from RFID-enabled items such as passports, credit cards, and ID cards, without ever physically touching them. Securing your devices with passwords and encryption and investing in RFID wallets and sleeves will mitigate these risks.

Last, when charging your devices in public spaces, use your own chargers to avoid the risk of juice jacking, a common tactic for installing malware on mobile devices. The threat of malicious software tapping into your phone via these charging stations is so great that the FBI issued a warning to the public about them.

  1. Physical Security. Your physical security while traveling cannot be overstated. Always stay alert and maintain situational awareness, especially in crowded places, to avoid becoming a target for thieves. It's wise to limit flashy displays of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or flaunting high-end gadgets, as these can draw unwanted attention. 

Opting for safe transportation is another suggestion. Use reputable transportation services over hailing taxis on the street, and refer to booking registered cars through known companies or apps that can be easily tracked.

  1. Accommodation Safety. Opt for places to stay that boast solid security measures, including 24/7 front desk security, in-room safes, and surveillance cameras. Upon arrival, make it a habit to inspect the security of windows, doors, and locks in your room, and always utilize all available locks. It's also prudent to be discreet about your room number and travel itinerary to avoid unwanted attention, especially on social media.
  1. Communication. Effective communication is your lifeline while traveling. Establish regular check-in routines with a trusted contact/business partner to ensure someone is always aware of your safety and whereabouts. Keep a list of local emergency contacts handy, including the nearest embassy or consulate (When traveling internationally), local law enforcement, and medical facilities, in case you need assistance.
  1. Behavior. Avoid appearing like an obvious tourist, which can make you a target, and try to learn a few basic phrases in the local language, especially those that could be useful in emergency situations. Always trust your instincts—if something doesn't feel right, it's better to err on the side of caution and remove yourself from the situation.
  1. Emergency Preparedness. Lastly, emergency preparedness is key. Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and evacuation routes in your accommodations and other places you visit. Carrying a basic medical kit for minor health issues and knowing how to use each item is also advisable. Here are some additional travel tips from the CIA.

For additional resources, The U.S Departments Travel.State.Gov has many listed regarding traveler safety. 

The Best in Protection for Your Business Travels
Adopting the mindset and practices of an executive protection agent for your own travels means embracing a comprehensive approach to safety, covering everything from digital security to physical security. If you're ready to place your security in the hands of the experts, reach out to us today. Your sensitive matter deserves attention and your security is our top priority.

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