THREATs of the Week for April 14, 2017

We’re looking at news of the week against our easy-to-remember acronym, THREAT™, which is our framework for educating students, employees and personnel about major safety and security obstacles lurking in today’s environments. THREAT standardizes learning, increases information retention and applies to both physical and cyber domains.

Technical Threat: Cell Phone Cameras + Location Tracking = BOOM!

Cell phone cameras and social media make location sharing a key component of your photo experience. Tag it, check in, share it. Where you are and where you’ve been is now ego capital, but a nightmare if you’re at all security conscious.

Photos can create drama, but I love location tracking when it’s used against dumbass bad guys.

“We are on Twitter!! Famous!! Oh look, the American Air Force, I can see them! There, there… oh no…”

The key to location tracking in photos lies in the metadata stored in each photo. There’s location, date and time, make and model of phone, etc. So when you’re sharing photos online, you’re sharing a whole lot of info.

You can download and strip that metadata out of your photos, but that’s a time-consuming and not always effective process. The best method is to DISABLE location services for the camera on your phone. You lose a lot of convenience doing this. Maybe that’s not what you want.

And then there’s MAPPR, which lets you duplicate and change the location data for images, directly on your phone, while you’re sharing. That’s got a ton of fun potential. Check it out.


  • Ever been burned by your online activities?
  • Does location tracking concern you?
  • What are your favorite apps for privacy protection?


Health Threat: Space Radiation

Space radiation – a real threat for passengers in high-flying aircraft?

More importantly, should you worry?

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Space Weather reports the discovery of radiation “clouds” at aviation altitudes. When airplanes fly through these clouds, dose rates of cosmic radiation normally absorbed by air travelers can double or more.

NASA says that people flying via polar routes receive more radiation than regular flights – a lot more. And they’re developing a system to predict radiation entering Earth’s atmosphere from space.

Of course, a little education will help you understand the issue and make good decisions.


  • You gonna stop flying? Does this make you consider the flight routes you take?


Raids, Robbery, Ransom: Workplace Violence

Your co-worker has been threatened. What can the boss do?

Workplace violence is a big deal for us here at Escape the Wolf. I personally take point on developing plans to help companies, schools and government agencies understand, prevent and manage workplace violence. It’s one of the most sensitive and important issues I can think of.

It’s all well and good to make ‘going postal‘ jokes, but the origins are less amusing. Workplace shootings occur everywhere and anywhere – in post officesrestaurants, gyms, legal offices, and military bases. Sadly, no workplace is immune.

And workplace violence against women is just a scourge on our society.

Radio station 89.3 KPCC has an outstanding article about workplace violence and what employers can do to protect their people. I recommend this article to you as a way to start a culture of workplace violence awareness at your place of employment. It’s time we look out for each other.


  • Have you experienced workplace violence?
  • What kind of anti workplace violence program does your employer provide?
  • How do you feel about telling others that you suspect a coworker is just ‘not right’?


Environmental Threat: Global Warming

California’s coastal regions are at risk from rising sea levels. Global warming and Scott Pruitt jokes aside, this is a long-term environmental threat that you need to be aware of.

The Bay Area will see the ocean swell as much as 3.4 feet by 2100 if significant action isn’t taken, the report says. The scientists who produced the study pegged the prospect of that outcome at 67 percent. Tougher action on greenhouse gases would mean a lesser rise of up to 2.4 feet…” the study says.

My recommendation? Read the report. Your property buying decisions may be affected if you live in California. Regardless, you’ll get some good science behind global warming research and learn what to look for in your own environs.


  • Global warming: real science or liberal propaganda? The forum is now yours.
  • What do your kids tell you about global warming?
  • How does global warming affect your lifestyle choices today?


Agency Threat: China Pays Cash to Informants

China’s Latest Step to Root Out Foreign Spies? Cash Rewards for Informants. Wow. Is this just more of China not trusting westerners? China has a history of offering big cash for information about spies, foreigners and terrorists.

Will this work, or will it backfire on them?


  • You’re traveling to China next month. How do you prepare?
  • Chinese women are being warned against dating westerners. Are you going to look for a little companionship when you’re there?
  • How would you feel if our government made this kind of offer?


Terror: When is it ‘Terrorism‘?

CNN just published a great piece – Terror – When is something ‘terrorism’? It’s important to know the difference between ‘terror’ and basic violence because terrorism is a political act intended to scare and destabilize, whereas violence can be committed for any number of reasons.

A terrorist will plan an operation for hours to years. A criminal, insane person or drunk/drugged person may not plan at all

As a society, we respond to these situations by establishing laws and policies.

As individuals, we respond by changing travel plans, donating to action groups, or ignoring it all and assuming that ‘somebody else’ will handle it.

Stratfor ran a nice Terror vs. Terrorism article at the end of 2010 – interesting to read it in an historical context. Good analysis.

Point is, pay attention, gain knowledge, and understand what threats you might be facing in your daily life. You already know that travel has risks. Now trucks intentionally ramming into crowds is a thing. So are drunk people. So is ‘righteous rage‘.

Keep your eyes and ears open. Let’s look out for each other.


  • Which are you more worried about – terrorism or random violence?
  • You suspect someone of having terrorist intent – who do you call?
  • Word problem: Drunk people / drugged people / senile people + drivers licenses = (fill in the blank)


(Featured Image Courtesy: AP via Dailymail)

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