The Crucial Role of Situational Awareness in Transitional Spaces for Personal Safety and Security

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Situational Awareness in Transitional SpacesAt Kenton Brothers Systems for Security, our mission is to protect people property and possessions. It’s important work, and we take our work very seriously. A part of our role is creating policy and procedures for companies around physical security and how you interact with the situational environment around you. For instance, if there is an active shooter scenario at your workplace, we would help your company create the procedure for helping those affected deal with that situation. Today we are taking a different spin.

We live in a distracted world full of cell phone screens. In these distracted times of modern life, we often find ourselves moving through transitional spaces without giving them a second thought. Whether it’s walking through a parking lot, riding public transportation, or simply strolling down a city street, these transitional spaces are an integral part of our daily routines.

It’s precisely in these seemingly mundane environments that the importance of situational awareness becomes most apparent. In this blog, we’ll explore why situational awareness is paramount for personal safety and security in transitional spaces, shedding light on the potential threats that lurk in the shadows and the common distractions that hinder our ability to stay vigilant.

Understanding Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness in Transitional SpacesSituational awareness, often described as the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, plays a pivotal role in personal safety and security. In transitional spaces, being attuned to your surroundings means being able to identify potential threats, assess the level of risk, and respond appropriately to ensure your well-being.

Transitional spaces are unique in that they serve as connectors between different environments. They are the thresholds between safety and potential danger, requiring individuals to adapt their awareness to the changing dynamics of the space. Whether you’re stepping out of your car into a dimly lit parking garage or navigating a crowded subway station, situational awareness acts as a shield against unexpected threats.

Common Distractions in Transitional Spaces

To truly grasp the significance of situational awareness, it’s essential to recognize the myriad distractions that can divert our attention, leaving us vulnerable to potential risks. Here are some common distractions that people often encounter in transitional spaces:

Technological Distractions: The ubiquity of smartphones has created a generation of individuals constantly engrossed in their screens. Whether texting, browsing social media, or listening to music, these technological distractions can significantly reduce awareness of one’s surroundings.

Daydreaming: Mental preoccupation with thoughts unrelated to the immediate environment is another common distraction. Whether worrying about work, personal matters, or daydreaming, being mentally elsewhere can prevent individuals from recognizing potential threats.

Noise Pollution: Overstimulation from loud noises, whether it be traffic, construction, or public announcements, can overwhelm the senses and make it challenging to focus on important auditory cues.

Complacency: Familiarity with a particular transitional space can breed complacency. Individuals may assume that because they have traversed a route countless times without incident, there is no need for heightened awareness. This false sense of security can be dangerous.

So what’s the big deal?

The Implications of Inattention

Crimes of convenience are rising at alarming rate.  Failing to maintain situational awareness in transitional spaces can have severe consequences.  Criminals often exploit these environments due to the perceived lack of vigilance from potential victims.  From pickpocketing to more serious crimes, individuals who are not fully aware of their surroundings become easy targets.

Moreover, emergencies such as fires, natural disasters, or medical incidents can occur at any time. Without situational awareness, individuals may struggle to respond effectively to these situations, putting their safety and the safety of others at risk.  Do you know where the exit is?  How about the closest storm shelter?  You should.

So, what can I do specifically?

 Enhancing Situational Awareness

Now that we understand the importance of situational awareness, let’s explore strategies to enhance this critical skill in transitional spaces:

Limit Technological Distractions: While smartphones are valuable tools, it’s crucial to use them judiciously in transitional spaces. Consider keeping your phone in your pocket and headphones off until you’ve safely navigated the area.

Practice Mindfulness: Actively engage with your surroundings by practicing mindfulness. Take note of the people, sounds, and potential exit points in a given space. This heightened awareness can significantly improve your ability to respond to potential threats.

Vary Your Routes: Avoid falling into a routine that breeds complacency. Deliberately choose different routes when possible to keep your awareness sharp and adaptable to changing environments.

Trust Your Instincts: Intuition often serves as a powerful guide in assessing potential threats.  Read that again.  If something feels off or uncomfortable, trust your instincts and take appropriate action, whether it’s changing your route or seeking assistance.

In the complex dance of daily life, transitional spaces demand our utmost attention and vigilance. Situational awareness isn’t just a skill; it’s a mindset that can be cultivated and honed through conscious effort and practice. By acknowledging the potential threats in transitional spaces and understanding the distractions that impede our awareness, we empower ourselves to navigate these environments with confidence and security.

It’s not your imagination, the world we live in is more dangerous. Situational awareness stands as a beacon, guiding us through the labyrinth of transitional spaces. It’s a skill that transcends the physical, extending into the realms of mental preparedness and proactive engagement with our surroundings. So, the next time you find yourself in a transitional space, remember: stay vigilant, stay aware, and stay safe.

Thank you for reading this blog Kenton Brothers Systems for security is celebrating its 126th year in business.  We blog every week and would love to have you subscribe to our newsletter!

Positive Pay – Protect Your Business Accounts Against Check or ACH Fraud

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

Positive Pay - Protect Your Business Accounts Against Check or ACH FraudThe 2023 AFP® Payments Fraud and Control Survey reports 65 percent of organizations were victims of payments fraud attacks/attempts in 2022. Checks continue to be the payment method most vulnerable to fraud, with 63% of respondents reporting their organizations faced fraud activity via checks. Of those who were victims of payments fraud in 2022, more than one-fourth of organizations (27%) were able to successfully recover at least 75% of funds lost.

However, nearly half (44%) were unsuccessful in recouping any of the stolen funds. Forty-five percent of respondents (the highest in the past five years) cited wires as a top payment method used during BEC attempts. Instances of fraud via commercial card increased by 10 percentage points, and instances of fraud via ACH credits and virtual cards increased by 6 percentage points each.

Scary stuff, right?

How many business owners have had a scare when a potentially fraudulent check is presented at their bank for payment? We recently had what looked like a legitimate check written to a credit card company (one that we use) for $21,000. This is happening regularly these days, and we needed a safeguard to help protect us from this type of fraud.

Country Club Bank’s Positive Pay program is a great way to prevent fraud and/or encoding errors.

Positive Pay for ChecksCheck Positive Pay

Here is how the check Positive Pay system works:

  1. Your company assigns check data and sends it to the bank.
  2. New checks submitted against your business checking account are verified against the data submitted.
  3. Exceptions are sorted out and you are notified via email or text message depending on your notification settings.
  4. You log into the bank portal or mobile app to decide whether to pay the item or deny it.

Positive Pay for ACH TransactionsACH Positive Pay

Here is how the ACH Positive Pay system works:

  1. Your company identifies a list of approved ACH debits for your business account.
  2. The approved IDs are added to your business online banking profile.
  3. As ACH debits are presented to your account, the IDs are matched against approved IDs in the system.
  4. Exceptions are sorted out and you are notified via email or text message depending on your notification settings.
  5. You log into the bank portal or mobile app to decide whether to pay the item or deny it.

These safeguards work really well, and give you peace of mind that fraudulent checks or ACH debits don’t hit your business accounts. If you don’t have Positive Pay enabled for your business, ask your bank about this service! Don’t get taken by scammers — there is protection available for you in the form of Positive Pay for your business accounts!

What happens to your cell phone files after your passing?

Digital DeathBy Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

I recently received an article from Creative Planning discussing a topic that I’ve never thought about before, and thought it would be worthwhile to pass on for others’ benefit. As attached as we are to our cell phones…. no, we won’t be taking them with us to the afterlife. So it’s even more important to assign your legacy contact today!

If you handle the finances in your relationship, would your partner know whom to contact without you or your phone around?  How would a loved one get in touch with extended family members for purposes of planning your funeral? In order for friends or family members to be able to access your cell phone data after your passing, you’ll first need to assign a legacy contact. Below you’ll find instructions on how to set up a legacy contact for your iPhone.

Digital DeathHow to Add a Legacy Contact on iPhone and iPad

  • Open Settings
  • Click on Apple ID
  • Open Password & Security
  • Tap on Legacy Contact
  • Click Add Legacy Contact
  • Again click on Add Legacy Contact, once the disclaimer screen pops up
  • Authenticate the process using Face IDTouch ID, or password
  • Users can choose a family member if they have enabled Family Sharing. Otherwise, they can select Someone Elsefrom their contact list
  • Once the Legacy Contact is selected, tap Next
  • Click Continue on the screen that describes how the feature works
  • Users then have the option to choose how they would want to share the Access Key. It can either be shared through iMessage or a copy can be printed
  • Once the sharing method is selected, the selected contact is set as the Legacy Contact

Users can have multiple Legacy Contacts, so the process can be repeated for other Legacy Contacts.

This is one of those things that isn’t fun to think about, but important to take care of so that the people who survive your passing have an easier time when trying to get your affairs in order.

Spooktober with Kenton Brothers – Creepy Ring Doorbell Footage

By Erik Andress, Sales Management Professional at Kenton Brothers

Watch this video on YouTube | Subscribe to the Kenton Brothers YouTube Channel

Hello, everyone. Eric Andrews here with Kenton brothers. And we get to do something exciting today. We wanted to introduce you to our new Vlog!

We wanted to start with a fun one, and it’s spooky over here at Kenton Brothers because it’s the Halloween season. So we’re going to have me, a security consultant, review and react to creepy ring doorbell footage. I’m alone in my basement. Hold my hand. Okay?

Stay tuned for the next next one… And on behalf of everyone here at the Kenton Brothers Systems for Security family, we’re wishing you and yours a very Happy Halloween!

Kenton Brothers Holiday Party Recap!

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

As this year comes to a close, Kenton Brothers wishes you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

The KB Family gathered again this year to continue the tradition of celebrating our successes as a team. And we thought it would be best to tell the story through pictures, so here we go!

2021 Kenton Brothers Holiday Party

We started out with Stroud’s Catering.

Stroud’s catered and fried on site… extra delicious, hot and fantastic! If you are interested in Stroud’s catering your next event, visit their website!

2021 Kenton Brothers Holiday Party 2021 Kenton Brothers Holiday Party

Music provided by DJ Shark Attack

Luke Simon of Columbia’s DJ Shark Attack provided fantastic music for dancing!

DJ Shark Attack 2021 Kenton Brothers Holiday Party

Gina presented this year’s McGyver Award to Don Brownback.

In 2015, we created an award to pay tribute to the KB security professional who has the tenacity and creative problem solving skills to get the job done while overcoming any adversity they may encounter. We compare this ability to the famous TV show and character from the 1980’s, MacGyver, who could pretty much solve any predicament with some ingenuity and the use of a paper clip or multi-tool Swiss Army knife!

The definition of ‘to MacGyver’ something at KB is to fix something in a resourceful and improvisational way.

The 2021 prestigious ‘MacGyver award’ goes to Don Brownback. Congrats Don!

2021 Kenton Brothers Holiday Party Don Brownback

Games and More Games

After dinner we all hung out for intense Pickleball, death match Jinga, and not so intense mingling.

2021 Kenton Brothers Holiday Party 2021 Kenton Brothers Holiday Party

We hope 2021 has treated you well this year. Thank you for being a part of our story and our success! So enjoy a few more days of 2021 and let’s get ready for 2022 together!