More money, more problems, they say. For high-income individuals, this is true when it comes to security. Their status and affluence make them more vulnerable to kidnapping, cyberattacks, investment fraud, and other crimes that aim to fleece them money.
This is why it’s necessary that people of high net worth have to rely on expert advice and advance planning when it comes to their safety and security.
Security agencies don’t want their clients to operate in fear but rather, they advocate thoughtfulness in their actions.
Because of their status, high-net-worth individuals have their personal details available online, which makes it easier for cyber-criminals to target them. This is true especially for older individuals who are less tech-savvy, which makes them more susceptible to phishing emails and social engineering.
Threats That People of High-Net-Worth Face
Fortunately, there’s so much that they can do to mitigate the risks that their clients face. Here are the best ways to identify potential dangers that high-net-worth individuals face:
High-net-worth individuals have to deal with large amounts of confidential and very sensitive information. Even stuff that has no economic value can lead to significant harm due to their reputations.
Nightmare scenarios that they face on a daily basis include hacking of phones and other electronic devices, malicious individuals getting access to financial, legal, and medical information, identity, revenge pornography, and extortion.
Also, there are viruses like ransomware, malware, and malicious code attacks. It doesn’t help that attackers can also break into voice-activated devices, which can lead to controlling home and office alarms, and getting data from the computer by hacking Alexa.
Clients are always at risk whether they are home or traveling. This is why security specialists advise against intertwining home security tools with certain apps, which is a cybersecurity risk.
They also advise their clients to hire a local security firm to install alarms, sensors, monitor devices, and help maintain a server in the residence.
Agencies also recommend having a safe room, which clients can use in case invaders take out electricity and modems, or jam phone lines and Wi-Fi connections.
This will also become life-saving in case of household workers becoming a threat to safety. On that note, security experts recommend having home employees sign non-disclosure agreements in order to protect details about the family.
Families, high-net-worth or not, are advised to make copies of their important documents, such as passports and credit cards, and keep them in a safe location.
When it comes to luggage, it’s best to use initials or corporate addresses instead of a full name and home address for marking.
Using public Wi-Fi should also be avoided and use cell service instead. For high-net-worth travelers, it makes sense to use satellite phones or Bluetooth beacons in case they will need to ask for emergency help.
Arranging for licensed transportation ahead of a trip is also recommended. This lessens or eliminates the risk for kidnappings since a criminal can pretend to be a private driver or an Uber driver to trap an individual into a vehicle.
Clients should be extremely careful about their taxes, legacy, and illiquidity. Sloppy record-keeping can result in big tax penalties.
A security agency can work with the individual to record their investments meticulously and place them in a secure online vault. Aside from this, they can also help individuals create a strategy about their taxes, such as charitable deductions and tax-loss harvesting.
In order to stay vigilant about online fraud, families of high-net-worth should communicate with each other clearly to share intelligence about their assets and establish their values.
How to Protect Individuals From Internal Threats
Top security agencies offer services that will lessen or eliminate such risks and establish a positive home or work environment for their clients. These include:
- Extensive background checks – Before hiring, potential security personnel should be interviewed using methods that effectively extract information from them.
Social media should be checked before and after the interview and their personal history and previous work experience should be investigated thoroughly. Threats that may come up will be addressed before they are hired and assigned to protect a high-net-worth individual.
- Random drug testing – It’s imperative that the workplace should be drug and alcohol-free. The same goes for household help and other employees working for the residence.
People with drug and alcohol problems can become a security threat in the future.
- Psychological assessment – In order to understand the mental health state of the people who will work for a high-net-worth individual, a security agency will have to conduct a psychological assessment to look out for personality disorders such as narcissism and grandiose ideas of self.
This plays a major role in determining if somebody is fit to support and protect a client beyond physical security.
- Monitor relationships – It’s not unusual for the wealthy to change personal relationships. Massive windfalls can lead to challenges when it comes to relationships with family and friends.
People who can be trusted can suddenly change and become threats to the security of a high-net-worth individual.
- Monitor social media – It’s just too easy to overshare on social media, which can become a massive problem in the case of high-net-worth people, as this information is used to assemble and analyze behavior profiles.
A threat can be formulated from data about one’s locations, movements, relationships, and hobbies and used against a potential victim.
Banking information and credit card details can be used in this manner as well. Under the guidance of a security expert, a high-net-worth person will learn what can be shared in public without committing security risks.
Because the risks involved are too great for one-percenters, it’s important for them to hire experts for their protection, be it internal or external.
A top executive protection company can provide the best people for the job to bolster the defenses of clients while at the same time help maintain a stress-free home and working environment for them.