Smartphone Apps – Technology vs Ballistics: The Modern Protector

Smartphone Apps

Technology vs Ballistics: The Modern Protector

By Joe LaSorsa PPS, Consultant, Investigator & Instructor at LaSorsa & Associate

In today’s world, we have more capabilities and efficiencies than ever before. Everyone has a smartphone with internet, email, a hi-def camera and many more features. All of these however, exponentially increase threats and the self imposed risks of your principal. Everything is a give and take, and nothing is free – they enable us, they hinder us.

So what can we do today that helps reduce our exposures and increase our proactive safety measures to protect our clients and ourselves? Honestly, the list is endless and growing by the day. With new technology comes new features with functionality that may seem irrelevant, but that function can be useful to you if used in the right way.

Let’s take a look at a simple and effective method of knowing what is out there on the internet – the Google Alert. This is typically used by content writers to find news articles and things to fill their pages. Now lets take a deeper look at this free tool – you can define and categorize a keyword and select how often it is searched and Google sends you an email on what is found. A phenomenal tool if you are trying to keep track of media releases on your principal, for example.

Another free tool – Google Maps. This tool provides a multitude of ways you can see a location without even being there. Whether it is a birds eye view, map view, street view, etc. this tool is great for on site situational awareness and planning without leaving the office. Note: not to replace an actual advance.

To tie into the previous tool, apps and feature such as Microsoft’s Snipping Toolwhich is on every PC or free apps like YouDoodle allow you to take a screenshot or snip and draw on it with colors and shapes, allowing you to instantly make an overlay for your team.

Another free app, Life360 can be put on a smartphone, and with a simply authorization with an email that phone can be tracked in real time. Additionally, recent crime reports are provided in the map as well as police departments, hospitals, emergency rooms and more.

iTriage and the Red Cross First Aid app, which are both free to download, also other insight into hospitals and emergency rooms and add symptom search tools and even procedures and guidelines for CPR and First Aid. Many more features in the iTriage app as well – check it out.

Voxer is also a free app and this one provides the incredible capability of instant push-to-talk communications over your GSM/CDMA network. Additionally, you can text, send pictures and add groups. An added benefit is the geo-tag which gives you the position over Google maps of the sender and all messages are saved.

Bar and Club Stats is also a free application but the membership and extended use does require payment. This app allows you to scan identification cards and driver’s licenses from all 50 states in order to verify he information and catalog data. You can also mark scanned ID’s as VIP or create an alert so every member on your account gets an alert if that is has been scanned. This has been used most effectively at events at locations such as speaking events where knowing if a patron has attended other events in the past and obviously that is good information if they have been identified as a threat.

Features on your device, such as FaceTime, multimedia messaging and even the camera itself are commonly overlooked by agents, namely advance agents, when providing reports and insight into the destination. Think about trying to describe the crowd and curbside situation at a red carpet event VS. Face Timing your team leader and letting him see first hand.

NowSecure is a great product that is free on the Apple store and Google play. This app puts into a graph what is being communicated both secured and unsecured by your smart phone, and will give additional insights and rankings to your phone security, such as if it has JailBreak software installed or if the devices has been Rooted.

A couple of excellent and free travel apps – FlightView is great for tracking flights real-time, with real-time updates on gate info, departure/landing times and delays, etc.
FlySmart is great for learning what resources are available at airports,such as restaurants, shops, amenities, clubs, etc.

As you can see, there are many ways we can use technology to increase the probability of success of our mission as a protector. Keep this in mind – when you find a tool that offers an exceptional capability, think outside the box and come up with a way to use it for you, your families safety and your principal’s safety.

More to come, stay tuned and let us know what you think of this article and what technology you use that helps you do your job.


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