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Basics Of An Employment Background Check

background check

The professional investigator should conduct an employment background check from an experience-based template, outlining his/her methodology.  Aside from the consistency of results, wire-framing the investigation will ensure that the basics of a background check are researched and, serves as a solid springboard once the information pipeline begins to flow.  Starting with the very first step – in all cases – from an entry level employee to a potential new partner, all references and work history should be verified.

Below we will outline the various type of background checks and the situations wherein which they should be conducted.

 

New Hire (Non-Management Level, excepting positions involving access to client and or other financial information:

The most relevant and important features of a comprehensive background check are the:

1. Address, SSN and DOB verification.

2. Criminal history  (This level hire will not include criminal charges – only convictions.)

3. E-Verification clearance ensuring that the potential new hire is in fact legally allowed to work in the U.S.

4. Driving record, if relevant.

New-Hire (Management, fiduciary trust or client financials access and C positions):

A more comprehensive search than a basic new hire background check, those conducted for potential management, C positions and employees with access to client financial information should include the above and:

1. A full credit check.

2. Assets search.

3. An in-depth criminal records review.

New Partner:

In taking on a new partner, including all of the above searches, the following investigations should also occur:

1. Full litigation history.

2. Previous positions and conditions of departure verifications.

3. Professional license search (to ensure licensure validity and uncover professional sanctions, if any).

4. Full criminal check to include researching the backgrounds of the new partner’s former associates.

5. Develop the subject’s public and private profile.  (There are many methods employed by professional detectives that will allow the investigator to acquire the comprehensive information necessary to develop a 360 degree assessment of the subject.)  This is a critical part of  checking the background of a potential partner.  In today’s information age, no one can control all visible aspects of one’s life and there will be the inevitable professional and personal disclosures online.  While no single posting (unless of course it’s of a truly damaging event), will reveal the subject’s true character,  subsequent to assessing the all of the tangible search results, a pattern should become obvious to the investigator which will allow for an accurate analysis of the subject’s behavior.  The past portends the future.

The above recommendations for employment consideration are, as the title states, the basics of a new hire/partner background check.  Each industry – from transportation to healthcare – has in place employment policies specific to the field. By way of example, businesses involved in financial transactions – wherein the personal identifier information of a client may expose her to identity theft –  may have to impose an extra layer of records protection to ensure that this information is not accessed or used in a fraudulent manner.   (See the FTC Red Flag Laws.)

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Facial Recognition Technology In Schools – Protective or Invasive?

Wired, July 17,2018:  Over the past two years, RealNetworks has developed a facial recognition tool that it hopes will help schools more accurately monitor who gets past their front doors. Today, the company launched a website where school administrators can download the tool, called SAFR, for free and integrate it with their own camera systems. So far, one school in Seattle is testing the tool and the state of Wyoming is designing a pilot program that could launch later this year.

On its face, this type of facial recognition technology appears to be a significantly helpful tool in monitoring unwanted visitors in our childrens’ schools but there are privacy and technology defect issues that need to be addressed as well.

One group in particular, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a white paper outlining how facial recognition technology often misidentifies black people and women at a much higher rate than white males.  (Let’s stay away from any racial debate and stick to the tech flaws that are currently embedded in the software that obviously needs major tweaking.)  Amazon employees are strongly protesting the use of its FR product,, Rekognition for law enforcement purposes.  Last week, Microsoft President Brad Smith called for federal regulation of facial recognition technology, writing, “This technology can catalog your photos, help reunite families or potentially be misused and abused by private companies and public authorities alike.”

Every parent or guardian of a child should have the knowledge that their children are secure in their schools but at what cost? Children are as entitled to privacy as are adults.  And, will the technology simply search for unwelcome visitors or closely monitor targeted children?

Our stance is that this technology needs to be refined so as to not misidentify children and its use regulated to maintaining a safe environment against intruding elements – not to track children.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

 

As always, stay safe.

From Breathlyzers To Personal Safety Companions – Five Worthwhile SmartPhone Apps

Our smartphones are becoming smarter and more helpful almost by the day, it seems.

We’ve identified several apps that we believe will aid our readers in making informed decisions about their health and  safety.

  1. BACTrac:   Transforms your Smartphone into a breathalyzer. Open the app and get your estimated Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in seconds.  Can also be accessed remotely so that you can monitor young drivers and or family and friends.  Comes in a police grade model too.
  2. Doctors On Demand:   A doctor who is with you always – everyday.  Available when you are and without the hassle of the waiting room. Connect in minutes with board-certified doctors and therapists over live video.
  3. Eye Que: Your personal vision tracker.  The affordable way to test, track and correct your eye sight.
  4. First Aid:  If there’s an app that can save a life, the First Aid mobile app from the American Red Cross is it. With expert advice for everyday emergencies, you’ll be prepared to handle anything life throws your way. Or, you might just save someone else’s life thanks to the First Aid app’s step-by-step instructions.
  5. Companion: For many of us, walking home alone at night is a dangerous but unavoidable part of life. The free Companion app sends a live map of your walk home to the loved ones you assign to act as “companions.” Companions don’t even have to download the app; they are texted a link to a GPS-enabled map that will allow them to see where you are on your trip home. If your headphone gets yanked out, your phone falls to the ground, or you start running, the app will ask you if you are OK or if you want to call the police. If you don’t respond within 15 seconds, the app will notify your companions that something is amiss.

We’ll post more articles on helpful apps as they are developed.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.

 

LieSpotting; Phraseology of a Lie.

swearing bible

Why did Bill Clinton say, “I did not have sex with that woman.” rather than “I didn’t have sex with that woman.”?  (See Number 3 below for the specific answer.)

Because lying is hard work.  It requires activating different areas of the brain not normally in play during truthful storytelling, controlling one’s physical responses that lying normally elicits and being particularly attentive to the questions being asked.  Fortunately, one of the most reliable methods of lie detection comes from the liar herself. Her words.  Unless you are dealing with an out-and-out clinically pathological liar (and even they will trip up from time to time), it’s fairly simple to hang a liar by her own verbal statements.

We work with various law enforcement agencies that ask us to analyze suspects’ verbal interviews, and over considerable time, have developed a checklist on LieSpotting – the art science of taking apart a lair’s verbal response through verbiage analysis.

Below are 10 common ways that liars use words to obscure the truth:

    1. Liars will repeat a question verbatim. Hey Mike, did you send the email to Karen? Did I send the email to Karen? If this is Mike’s response, you have your answer—he didn’t send it yet. Repeating a question in full is a common stalling tactic used by people looking for an extra moment to prepare their lie. In natural conversation, people will sometimes repeat part of a question, but restating the entire question is highly awkward and unnecessary—they clearly heard you the first time.
    2. Liars will take a guarded tone. If Mike had replied to the question by lowering his voice and asking,  What do you mean?, a lie may well be in the processing of formation. A suspicious or guarded approach isn’t generally called for with a basic question, and the guarded tone taken may indicate that he’s concealing something—usually the truthful answer to your question.
    3. Liars won’t use contractions in their denials.  Providing the classic example of what interrogators call “non-contracted denial” is Bill Clinton when he said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” The extra emphasis in the denial is unnecessary if someone is telling the truth. I didn’t have sex with her is how the honest person is likely to phrase his claim of innocence. Clinton said a lot more than he realized with his words.
    4. Liars tell stories in strict chronology. To keep their stories straight, liars tend to stick to exact chronological accounts when relating an event. They have enough to think about in creating the lie.  But this isn’t how we ordinarily talk when being truthful. When recounting stories, honest people will tell them they way they remember the events – in emotional order rather than strict chronological order. Often we’ll start off with the most impactful emotional moment, and move around in time order to add details that are not in the primary recall.
    5. Liars love euphemisms. It’s human nature not to implicate ourselves in wrongdoing. This holds especially true for liars, who will shy away from strict definitions of their actions, often opting for less harsh language, for example; instead of saying “I didn’t steal the purse” they may say “I didn’t take the purse.” If asked a direct question and your wording is modified/softened in the response, you are being lied to.
    6. Liars overemphasize their truthfulness.  There’s no need to add modifiers such as  “To tell you the truth…” “Honestly…” “I swear to you…” if you really are telling the truth.  When people bolster their response with these type phrases, there’s a strong chance that they are hiding something or not telling the full truth.  There’s no reason for the extraneous words.
    7. Liars avoid or confuse pronouns. We use a good amount of pronouns in normal conversation. They are a sign of comfortable speech, and they may disappear when one is lying. A liar may say “You don’t bill hours that you didn’t work” instead of making the clear first- person statement: “I don’t bill hours I didn’t work.”
    8. Liars use long introductions but skip over main events.  Deceptive individuals will add more detail – particularly around the prologue of a story – but glide over the main event when lying. This lopsided storytelling style is specific to those intent on deception.
    9. Liars give very specific denials. Liars tend to be very particular in what they say and don’t say. Truth-tellers have no problem issuing categorical denials—I never cheated anyone in my whole life—whereas the liar will choose his words ever so carefully – I never cheated on my husband  during the period of our marriage. (Well, there’s the period of dating, engagement and separation and previous relationships that is not covered by that denial.)
    10. Liars hedge their statements. We hear them in court testimony, political speeches and interviews all the time: qualifying statements that give the person on the hot seat an “out” if their lie is uncovered.  “As far as I know…” “If you really think about it…” “What I recall is…” Hedged statements should make the interviewer wonder when the other shoe will drop.

The best liespotting detector is, of course, yourself – the experienced interviewer.  Very few people – statistically insignificant – can lie perfectly; giving a recall of the events in emotional (v. chronological) order, interjecting themselves directly into the lie and remember the non-existent details over an extended period of time.  If they could, they’d be professional spies.   Trust your instincts and listen very carefully to what is being said.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

Protect Your Privacy: Block Your Phone Number or Display A Fake Phone Number

At some point or other, we’ve all had the desire or need to make a phone call yet did not wish to reveal our phone number.  Below are three methods of phone number blocking that work and can be enacted immediately.

1. Use a caller ID blocking prefix. In many countries, you can enter a code before you dial a number and your phone number will be blocked from appearing on the recipient’s caller ID. The code varies depending on your country and your service provider, and it is not possible to block in all countries. Enter the prefix, followed immediately by the number you are dialing. For example, if you are in the US and want to call (555)123-4567, you would enter *675551234567.

  • North America – *67 or #31#
  • Albania, Australia, Denmark, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway: #31#
  • Argentina, Iceland, Switzerland, South Africa: *31*
  • Germany: *31# or #31#
  • Hong Kong: 133
  • Japan: 184
  • UK and Ireland: 141
  • New Zealand: 0197 (Telecom) or *67 (Vodafone)
  • Australia: 1831 or #31#
  • India: *31# – Must be enabled by network.
  • If your country is not listed, chances are you can use either *67 or #31#. Most GSM mobile networks work with #31#.

2. Contact your carrier. If you want all of your phone calls to always be blocked, you can contact your carrier and set up permanent Caller ID blocking. There is typically a charge for this, and the fees and terms will vary from carrier to carrier.

  • Most pre-paid plans cannot enable permanent Caller ID blocking.
  • Some people have Anonymous Call Rejection enabled, which means your call will not be able to be completed unless you call from an unblocked number.

3. Hide your number through your device’s settings. Many phones allow you to block your Caller ID information by changing the phone’s settings. If your phone does not have the option to do this, then it is not allowed by your carrier, and you will have to try one of the previous steps.

  • iPhone – Open the Settings app, tap Phone, tap Show My Caller ID, and then toggle the slider to ON.
  • Android 4.0 and earlier – Open the Settings app, tap Call, tap “Additional settings”, tap Caller ID, and then tap “Hide number”.
  • Android 4.1 and later – Open the Phone app, tap the Menu button, tap “Call settings”, tap Caller ID, tap “Hide number”.
  • Windows Phone 8 – Open the Phone app, tap the More button (…), tap “settings”, tap the box under “Show my caller ID to”, tap “no one” or “my contacts”.
  • BlackBerry – Press the Menu key, click Options, click General Options, find the Restrict My Identity field, set it to Always.

Fake Phone Number: If however you wish to display a fake phone number, try one of the many apps available that do just that – pop up a fake phone number on your target’s phone.  A new app on the market also allows you to change your voice to sound like a man or a woman: FakeCallerID.  Let’s bear in mind that ultimately, all fake phone numbers are logged somewhere and if necessary, law enforcement can certainly obtain these records.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Telegram: Secretly Text, No Tracebacks & With A Self-Destruct Timer

Telegram – the new era of secure messaging

Virtually every day we read about a politician, a CEO or even a lawyer (let’s let Michael Cohen breathe for a moment) who has become legally jammed up – sometimes criminally –  based on their outlandish statements in text, email or other electronic device method.  Anyone with a pulse and access to a smartphone or laptop at this point believes that “everything” is stored in perpetuity “somewhere”.

Well, along comes a messaging app like no other, Telegram – ushering in a new era of safe messaging that you absolutely control.  Let’s get right to Telegram’s benefits:

Why switch to Telegram?

Private

Telegram messages are heavily encrypted and can self-destruct.

Cloud-Based

Telegram lets you access your messages from multiple devices.

Fast

Telegram delivers messages faster than any other application.

Distributed

Telegram servers are spread worldwide for security and speed.

Open

Telegram has an open API and protocol free for everyone.

Free

Telegram is free forever. No ads. No subscription fees.

Secure

Telegram keeps your messages safe from hacker attacks.

Powerful

Telegram has no limits on the size of your media and chats.

What can you do with Telegram?

Connect

from most remote locations.

Coordinate

groups of up to 100000 members.

Synchronize

your chats across all your devices.

Send

documents of any type.

Encrypt

personal and business secrets.

Destruct

your messages with a timer.

Store

your media in the cloud.

Build

your own tools on our API.

Available

on every native platform (web version, macOS, PC, MAC, Linux).

================================================

We’ve tested Telegram ourselves for several months now and will use no other messaging service – or even email all that much any longer.  Our favorite feature is the self-destruct timer (which can be set anywhere from one second to one year or more) and, as it’s end to end encrypted,  NO COPIES OF YOUR CHAT OR ATTACHMENTS ARE STORED ON ANY SERVERS ANYWHERE.  Our second favorite feature is that in Secret Chat mode, you can’t even screen shot or forward the conversation.  Finally, there’s no file size limit.
Happy Telegramming!
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.

How To Tell If Your Cell Phone Is Bugged

Detecting Cell Phone Spy Software

There are a  few obvious signs that your cell phone is being monitored/tapped.  (Bear in mind that some of these indicators can be caused by other factors so you need to use your judgment.)  Some spy software works extremely well and in stealth mode for which you will need expert advice, but in general, below are indications that your phone may be tapped:

Odd Phone Behavior –  Make note of  odd changes in your cell phones behavior. Does it suddenly light up when not in use; make random beeping noises, shutdown by itself or exhibit any other random behavior? All phones can do strange things from time to time but if this is happening on a regular basis it could be a sign that your phone is being accessed by hidden software.

Battery Rundown – Some spyware apps can be a drain on your battery so look out for any sudden changes in your battery life such as it needs charging more often.   Be aware that over time your cell phone battery life will diminish naturally, so you’re looking for any dramatic change. Some of the cheaper spy software programs will run your battery down quickly, however the more modern programs are designed to make less demand on the battery and are harder to identify.

Phone Shuts down –  Has your phone begun to regularly shut down by itself, even when the battery is charged? Some spyware can be buggy so be on the lookout for this weird behavior.

Background Noise –  Background noise can just be a bad connection but f it is happening more than normal, it could be another tell-tale sign. Look out for static, clicking, beeping or voices in the background.

Receiving Unusual Texts – Don’t dismiss strange text messages containing random numbers, symbols or characters? The remote control feature of spyware works by sending secret coded text messages to your phone and in some cases these can be seen – if the spyware is not working correctly. If this happens regularly you could have a spy app on your phone.

Increased data Usage – Noticed an increase in your normal data usage? Some of the less stable spy apps use extra data to send the information collected from your phone, so be on the lookout for any unexplained surge in your monthly data usage. There are several apps that can be used to monitor your data usage check out: My Data Manager – Android from Goggle Play,  and Data Usage – for iPhone, available from the Apple Store. Again, with the best spy software programs data usage has been reduced and will be almost impossible to spot – but the poor programs will show significant data use.

With all of the above indicators you are looking for sudden, unexplained changes in your phone’s behavior. Each abnormal behavior on its own is not necessarily evidence of spyware on your phone but if several of these weird actions occur, you could very well be a victim of spyware.

If you suspect spyware on your cell phone, visit this site and select the best spyware removal app for your purposes:

2018’s Top Ten Spyware Removal Apps

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Can A Burglar Access Your Home Via Key Entry? He Can in 90% of U.S. Homes.

lock-bumping

 

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and so therefore are home burglaries.    And let’s face it – with the uptick in family travel and vacation during holidays and the fast-approaching summer season, one can reasonably presume that the number of home break-ins will increase dramatically during the next several months. From time to time in the upcoming weeks, we will post security tips that we hope will increase your personal security risks and management.

This week we will concentrate on the first usual point of entry – the family home door.  Whether it is the front, side or basement door, burglars know how to get inside and to your property.

As if evilly purposed technology isn’t bad enough, the old-fashioned methods of breaking and entry are still widely used by burglars.

A phenomenon known as ‘lock bumping’ is on the rise. It’s a little-known technique that’s fast, simple, and very discreet.  It draws far less attention than breaking in a window or tearing down a door.  If your cylindrical door lock is one of the more popular brands or models on the market – and 90% of home door locks are cylinder-models and ACME types – you’re vulnerable to this particular type of illegal home entry. Lock-bumping requires a bump key.

What is a Bump Key?

A bump key is a key in which all the cuts are at the maximum depth (999). Bump keys can be cut for standard pin tumbler type locks as well as “dimple” locks.   (From lockwiki: A dimple lock is a pin-tumbler-based lock design that uses flat side of the key blade as a bitting area. Cuts on the bitting area resemble dimples, hence the name. This contrasts traditional pin-tumblers that use the edge of the blade as the primary bitting area.)

 

How is lock bumped?

Steps

Image titled Bump a Lock Step 1

  1. A key type is determined that fits inside the target lock. In most cases, a particular model of lock will accept all keys from that model because only the teeth of the keys are different. In other words (and as mentioned above), once a burglar has an Acme-model bump key, it could open all other Acme-model locks.

    Image titled Bump a Lock Step 2

  2. Obtain a bump key. There are two ways to obtain a bump key: one way is buy the type of key for the model lock in question and ask the locksmith to lathe a “999” key, a kind of key where all the valleys are at the deepest possible setting.   ORImage titled Bump a Lock Step 3
  3. Cut one’s own bump key. With a copy of the key in question made, a burglar will then use a metal file to create his own bump key.  All of the valleys are filed down so that they are even with the lowest point in the teeth.
Of course, then there is this simple bump method:
A special “bump” key is inserted into the target lock and then struck with a tool made of rubber or plastic, such as this blue tool on the bottom of the image. The impact of the bump key on the tumblers inside the lock temporarily pushes them up, allowing the lock’s cylinder to turn. When done right — and it’s not hard to learn — this method can quickly and quietly open a lock.
In our next mid-week Beacon Bulletin, we will bring you information and videos on how to bump lock-proof your home.Just remember that your personal safety and that of your family is paramount.  Whatever knowledge in this area that we may impart, do not back up it with a plan to confront a burglar unless it is absolutely necessary. If a successful entry does occur, hopefully, no one will be home and material possessions are not worth a life.

BNI Operatives; Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Real Life Cyborg Hacks That People Have Implanted In Them Right Now

Aside from the nation being warned by credible intelligence sources that the new wave of terrorism will involve surgically implanted explosive devices (SIEDs) within human beings, there are other positive uses for our now cyborg bodies. (A cyborg is defined as a “being” that contains biological and mechanical – robotic or other artificial – parts.)
Several examples of positive cyborg enhancements are:

Multi-Purpose Hand Implant Chips

We’ve all lost (misplaced) keys, credit cards, driver’s licenses… But just suppose you could store your valuable items in one hand?  Literally, “in” your hand.  Seattle company, Dangerous Things, touts a small multi-purpose RFID implant that can replace all of your must have items.

From The Modern Rogue:  “The RFID chips that you implant in your hand or wrist, are a sort of multipurpose identification/unlocking/communication tool. Need to open your door? It can function as a key card — the inventor of the device, biohacking pioneer Amal Graafstra, uses his implant to unlock the door to his house. Passport control? The implant can contain the same information biometric passports do (though good luck getting through airport security without a real passport until these things become the norm). It could store your personal data, health stats, and even financial information.”

 

 PetaPixel.com

The Eyeball Camera

Filmmaker Rob Spence happened to have a  nonfunctional blind eye in his socket, so he had it removed, replacing it with a specially built camera.  While the recording capability may raise privacy concerns (ala the fiasco that was Google’s Glass recorder eyewear that provoked such a negative response that the item was deep-sixed- well, for now), the positive usage is obvious – those who couldn’t “see” now can via record and playback or, I imagine as the technology continues to evolve, view in real time.

 

 The Verge

Finger Magnets

We haven’t quite figured out beyond the “cool” factor how tiny magnets surgically implanted into one’s fingertips will revolutionize mankind yet but they certainly make picking up metal stuff a lot of fun!  Theoretically, though, these magnets can aid with helping those who’ve lost sensory abilities in their hands to use eating utensils, operate machinery and just about any other function that requires interaction with metal in our lives. (Presumably there are control functions that turn on and off the magnetivity.)

The research for this article was fun and occasionally, we all need to lighten up, so we hope you have enjoyed this brief interlude from our generally serious topics!

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

Using Someone Else’s WiFi- Can They See Your Activity?

Several times a week, we are asked this exact question – If I am using someone else’s WiFi,  can they see my search history, read my email or otherwise monitor my activity?

Simply put- unless they are extraordinarily gifted tech geniuses, not really.  In other words, they can see that you are connected to their WiFi and can see the length of connection but your device’s anti-virus and other firewall programs will prevent them from accessing your desk/lap tops hard drive and other devices’ internal and cloud storage.

That said, if you are up against a very savvy tech thief, (the types that sit outside hotels and passively offer free connection bait – usually ones that looks very similar in name to the hotel’s WiFi, e.g. MarriottGuest1 rather than MarriottGuest), bide these steps (added to by our friends over at xqiz.it :

1) Most importantly, use HTTPS.

2) You should use non-logging DNS servers (hint: NOT Google’s DNS servers).

(At this point, in the US, you are reasonably well protected from someone doing a man-in-the-middle read of your communication. Unless you know how to manually manage your certs, you’re never safe in other countries, particularly places like China and any of the former Soviet states, where the governments tend to have access to the certificates that the local cert authorities provide for encryption and signature validation.)

3) Java and Flash must both be disabled. Failing to disable these allows local code to go around the settings you use from above. (Little known industry secret: Most sites that use Flash use small pieces of invisible Flash content to track you.)

4) Do not use Chrome. Its primary purpose is to de-anonymize you so that Google can track you completely.

5) Use the private surfing option in your browser (preferably Firefox) to reduce the chance that your browser fingerprint is discernible (unique/identifiable) by the server.

Our advice? Use common sense- if in public, be very careful; if in private, know your source.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As Always,

Stay safe.

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