Overseas travel used to mean a long voyage by ship. It could take weeks or even months for a passenger to get to their destination. Terms like “overseas employee travel safety” didn’t even exist. The dangers of the trip alone could range from storms and disease to pirates. [Read more…] about A Smaller World Means Big Changes in Technology for Overseas Employee Travel Safety
Employee Travel Safety
July 1, 2016 – New York, NY. IMG GlobalSecur, a leading international security consulting firm, is proud to announce a new blog post about the importance of employee assistance for global travelers during the busy summer season. Summer vacation brings more visitors to countries all over the world, and ‘business’ and ‘pleasure’ tourism often crosses over the one to the other. Smart overseas employee travel safety plans go beyond automated check-in systems. [Read more…] about IMG GlobalSecur Announces Blog Post on Overseas Employee Travel Safety Plans and the 2016 Summer Vacation Season
There are certain verities in the world, e.g. the sun rises in the east. This is well-known, and in fact we know exactly where and exactly when it will rise each day. In contrast, there are future events that are known in outline, but not in specific detail, which makes travel risk assessment more of an art than a science. [Read more…] about Intelligent travel risk assessment involves evaluating what is known, what is unknown, and what is unknowable
In light of the recent tragedy at the Brussels International Airport and the tragic incident regarding EgyptAir Flight 804, more and more corporations and business travelers are realizing that travel security is not something just for the streets and subways of Europe, but a frame of mind that must be active from the moment that one leaves one’s doorstep in the United States until the moment that one returns. Among the areas where one can take security for granted is, of course, the airport. As various terrorist attacks have indicated, airports are not completely secure, especially in those areas that exist before one goes through the security checkpoints.
Here are some thoughts about how to think about airport travel security for business travelers. Of course the readers of this blog are largely corporate travel security experts, but if you are a business traveler, you should also be able to find some useful information and food for thought.
Tips on International Travel Security at Airports
First, educate your employees about international employee travel security and about the fact that it is a frame of mind that should begin before, during, and after the travel. For example, even airports in the United States, and even minor airports as we learned during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, can be utilized as targets. Educate your employees, therefore, to always be vigilant when traveling. Educate them to look around at their surroundings and pay attention to any suspicious people or packages. Obviously, if something is truly suspicious they are advised to alert the various police or security officers.
Second, educate your employees to think broadly about travel security. For example, although terrorist attacks gather all of the headlines, the reality is that many, many more business travelers are subject to petty crimes when traveling abroad. It may not make headlines when a person is mugged in London, but if it is your employee who is mugged, that in a sense is a travel security problem. Similarly, while diseases such as the Z cut virus garner the headlines, the reality is that influenza kills many, many more people across the world than these high profile viruses such as Z cut or Ebola. Educate your employees to be aware of sick people around them in the crowded environment of an airport, and to move politely away.
Third, while on board an airplane, advise your employees to not let their guard down. Pay attention to the other travelers, and pay attention to the flight attendants and crew in terms of their instructions. With recent unfortunate events in terms of people who have been speaking Arabic on planes, also advise your employees and executives to be culturally sensitive and to not go overboard. Not everyone who is different is a security threat!
In sum, travel security for business travelers (both executive travel security and junior employee travel security) begins in their mind. Make the correct frame of mind a priority, and educate your employees that airport travel security is the first part of general international security.
The smartphone has become an indispensable tool for modern daily life, and its importance is magnified in the context of overseas travel for employees or executives should not be discounted. Whatever you need to do, “there’s an app for that.” Except when there isn’t, as when an employee is overseas, and her cell phone dies or gets broken and yet she needs it for important medical or travel security information. Whether she is in Germany, the UK, Iran, or China, it really doesn’t matter. That iPhone or Android device is her lifeline to the home office, and reassurance about her own travel security abroad.
Our phones can serve as translation devices, can help with figuring out monetary transactions and proper exchange rates, can function as a flashlight; the list goes on and on. And of course the phone can also work in it’s basic capacity as a communication device–you can always phone home! On account of this, everyone should consider the issue smart phone travel security beyond avoiding pick-pockets. There is a fly in the ointment: the phone turns into a mere paperweight if it runs out of battery charge. Given how important this tool can be in keeping you on track and functioning while traveling, it is imperative that you a good backup plan for keeping the phone alive.
Beyond simple things like running virus scans to prevent hackers, and making sure one has fresh batteries, there is the issue of the ‘there there.’ When she calls out, does anyone answer? With time differences and cultural differences, the last thing you want is an employee to face an emergency abroad and find ‘no one home’ when he or she needs help.
Smart Phone Travel Security Means Getting Live Updates
Smart phone travel security involves having a backup plan for staying charged up. What if your charging block overloads or shorts out due to power-grid fluctuations (not uncommon outside 1st-world countries)? What if the power just goes down and shows no sign of coming back up (not uncommon in 3rd-world countries)?
This basic level smart phone travel security can be handled with some clever 3rd-party tools. Solar-powered chargers can trickle-charge your phone. A good option most times, but this can be slow, and of course sometimes the sun just does not shine (at night for instance!).
Another option is a hand-cranked charger. The only limitation on your battery life then is how vigorously you can turn the handle (hint: it’s not that hard to keep it charged).
Beyond the ‘simple’ problems, there is the problem of just being aware of what is going on in the country. And the problem or challenge of reaching out for help as for instance during an employee medical emergency in Syria or Iran, and needing to find on-the-ground assistance. That’s where we come in.
One of the most important class of apps you be locked out of if your battery died would be those from IMG GlobalSecur. These provide updates on security issues realtime. Think about it this way: If the power is down, that’s precisely when you’d most want to know what is going on?
To see how our software can help you, to reach out to us and have one of our friendly staff conduct an employee overseas monitoring audit and demo the available software.