Tess is the author off the highly rated guide The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step By Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster
Make no mistake, anyone held at gunpoint is living through one of their worst nightmares. That nightmare came true for Kim Kardashian West when she was recently held at gunpoint and robbed by masked criminals pretending to be police officers. While the criminals spoke mostly French when they broke into the private apartment, they also screamed, “Ring!” “Ring!”, referring to the 20 carat diamond ring estimated at 5 million dollars that her husband, Kanye West had given to her, and one they most likely saw on her Twitter feed. In addition to her ring, the robbers stole other jewels in the heist estimating to be over $10 million dollars in stolen jewels. Two cell phones were also taken that could prove to be a disaster in and of itself due to the stored information, contacts and photos.
“[Kim] was tied up, and gagged with duct tape wrapped around her head. They put plastic ties around her wrists but she managed to squeeze her hands out of the wrist ties by wriggling her hands,” a source says.
4 Costly Security Mistakes Kim Kardashian’s Team Made
While many are scrutinizing Kardashian for her lapse in judgement on posting images of her wealth and always revealing her whereabouts on social media, we can all learn a few lessons from this experience and how to better protect our personal security by being more prepared when we find ourselves in unforeseen circumstances.
1. Social media is the devil. Ok, maybe it isn’t entirely evil, but like Kardashian, at times we have all revealed a bit too much of our personal information on sites like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. For Kardashian, she created a social media empire based on giving the public access to intimate parts of her life and what happened in Paris on Monday was no different. Where she went wrong was posting images of her jewels on her Snapchat account (which also discloses the location of where the picture was taken). In addition, she also took pictures inside the private residence she was staying at. These choices made it increasingly more difficult to protect her. As well, her bodyguard was not present when he should have (something we will touch on later).
Social media has quickly become a way for criminals to stalk a victim and get an inside perspective of someone’s daily schedules, favorite spots and other intimate details that strangers shouldn’t be privy to. Kardashian isn’t the first person to post private images of her life. We all do it, but we should be careful. In fact, many post vacation pictures while away from their homes making it very easy for criminals to get the green light for a break in.
While Mrs. Kardashian made her name from her open access through social media, this situation she found herself in certainly begs the question of could this have been avoided? Thankfully, this ordeal ended without anyone getting seriously injured, but we should all take a step back and ensure that we are all doing our best to protect ourselves on social media.
2. Don’t flaunt what you have. When you put on expensive clothes and jewelry, wear brand name purses, drive high end cars, etc., you draw attention to yourself. In this day and time, there are many who have fallen on hard times and may see your wealth as an opportunity to better their situation. Designer, Karl Lagerfeld was quoted saying, “‘Kim Kardashian cannot display wealth then be surprised’ when she is robbed.”
I get that in Kardashian’s case being a celebrity makes it difficult, but if we are trying to learn from her situation, when we are out in public areas perhaps we can leave the expensive hand bag or flashy jewelry at home and try to blend in more. I’ve seen countless women dressed to the nines with expensive bags and jewelry in shopping centers during the holiday season. This is absolutely the worst time to get dressed up. Folks, when you are in a highly populated area, do not bring attention to yourself by wearing expensive fashion items. Save it for another time!
3. Security layers are the key. It must be said that Mrs. West always has a highly trained security detail around her, but perhaps enough security layers were not met in this case. The night of the robbery, her bodyguard was not present and in six minutes, the worst-case scenario went down. If someone is tracking a victim they look for an opportunity and take it. As well, perhaps Kardashian fell victim to a classic case of cognitive dissonance. As a high profile celebrity they know that danger can lurk around any corner, yet she didn’t think it would happen to her or felt the security was adequately handled.
Her security guard was there to protect her, yet he left her side and went to a nightclub to help protect Kardashian’s sisters. The security detail dropped the ball in this case and handled the situation a little too relaxed, thus giving the criminals the opportunity they were waiting for. As well, there probably were not enough security layers insulating her from harm’s way.
To learn from this, we know that home break-ins have increased throughout the years. Having multiple security layers present can better protect homeowners from danger. Here’s a few ways you can add to layers to secure your home.
Layer 1: The Outside Layer
- Reinforced doors and locks. There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.
- Invest in heavy duty door hinges and secure door frames with 3 ” screws.
- Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
Layer 2: The Inside Layer
- Consider investing in an alarm and advertise that you have one by placing stickers in windows and signs in the yard.
- Consider adding a 2-way voice feature to the existing alarm system. This feature enables your security system to communicate directly through the control panel. This feature also allows you to call into your system and be able to listen to any activity or speak to your child or other family members who are home.
- Position web cams strategically in hidden areas. Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals do not walk off with the computer.
Layer 3: The Personal Layer
This is the most critical layer.
- Teach family members to be observant of their surroundings when coming home and be aware of suspicious activity.
- Never open the door to strangers. Teach children not to be easily persuaded by strangers who look professional or have badges.
- Teach chidren to call “safe” adults, such as neighbors for help in cases where parents are not home.
- Get to know your neighbors and have their phone numbers on hand in case the child needs help from a nearby adult.
Read more about security layers here.
4. Operational security is a top priority. OPSEC or operational security maintains essential secrecy for effective operations. Those who like to be prepared for anything use this as one of the principles for staying prepared. This helps them protect the investments they’ve made in food, supplies, ammunition, etc. Therefore, if a person wants to have better security, using OPSEC is the best way to do it. You can read more here about this security component. OPSEC is another term for being aware of your surroundings and this is where Kardashian went wrong. Perhaps she become complacent and comfortable thinking she was well protected (as aspect I’m sure she is beefing up now).
This article is not intended to shame Kardashian. She didn’t want this. She didn’t deserve this. But, perhaps this situation can be something we can learn from. Use the above examples and tips to better reinforce your home security layers to ensure the safety of your family.
Has this celebrity learned her lesson? Only time will tell.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.