Warning to our celebrity friends. Are your bodyguards posting pictures with you on social media? They maybe are setting you up to be attacked. Sometimes the internal threat may be your own security.
There are two types of threats: external threats and internal threats. The external threats are those that come from ‘the outside’, such as stalkers, random crime, terrorist attacks, burglars, or kidnappers. The internal threats many times could be the assistant to the celebrity, the driver, housekeeper, gardener, agents, or even the close friends of the celebrity.
What this means is that celebrities need high quality protection
teams who they can absolutely trust. They also need a head of security who has a lot of training and strong intuition for identifying untrustworthy individuals – meaning they can quickly be alerted of those potential internal threats. Because celebrities are regularly working with and meeting lots of new people on a weekly or daily basis, this means new internal threats could enter their circle at pretty much any time.
Understanding Internal Threats
There have been times when famous individuals have untrustworthy friends who they are very close to. These friends often manipulate the celebrity in various ways to attempt to get them away from their security or protection team. Some of the internal threats may have convictions against them, but others are simply scammers or grafters who have gotten close to the celebrity. The internal threat can undermine the celebrity’s trust and professional relationship with their security team.
This type of sabotage makes the executive protection agent’s job nearly impossible because plans and meeting points will change without warning and the security will be blamed for not keeping up despite being given the incorrect information. Why do they do this? Sometimes the internal threat has a security company that they are associated with and are trying to get the current team fired in order to replace them with their company. They may get commission or compensation for this type of work.
There are also some celebrities and high profile clients who can be incredibly difficult themselves and actually damage their own protection by acting unprofessionally. For instance, if the client is very narcissistic, they might belittle the protection agent by giving them demeaning tasks that are not part of their contract. These bullying tactics will usually result in terminated contracts and the client will have to seek security from another company, usually one that hires contractors with less experience or no training.
Social Media Risks
There are some internal threats that are not putting the client at risk on purpose, but the result can be just as dangerous. Many of these threats arise when the professional boundary between client and protection agent become blurred, especially where social media is involved.
The bodyguard might just be ignorant and not realize that bad guys can get the latitude and longitude of the picture and when they get this information they know exactly where the celebrity is. If the picture happens to be at the celebrity’s residence, that’s even worse as they now know the precise location of where the celebrity lives.
Bodyguards should not be posing for photos with their clients in the first place, but by posting in real time, the bad guys can get ahold of very sensitive information like the client’s current location. This is a goldmine for burglars and stalkers who will be closely tracking the activity of everyone in the client’s inner circle, including the protection agent.
The professional boundary between client and protection agent needs to be firmly established and respected on both sides. This will keep the client safe from all types of threats as the agent will remain focused on the job and personal feelings will not be factored in.
High Quality Personal Protection
When it comes to high quality personal protection companies, the client will receive the best services and teams around. They will likely need to be open to their protection team’s advice when it comes to internal threats, and evaluate who they can really trust in their inner circle.
The best executive protection agencies will provide a comprehensive service, top tier specialized training, and an awareness of the specific threats that celebrity clients face on a daily basis. While not every internal threat is putting the client in danger intentionally, that does not diminish the risk posed toward the client.
To increase security and safety overall, the protection team needs a close and highly professional relationship with the client and crystal clear communication. Clients also need to be aware of what their internal threat factors are and who in their circle may be taking advantage of them or putting them in danger.