Here are some basic guidelines for you regarding home and office security. You can also contact us at any time for additional support.
- Secure your office and home. If possible, keep your exact physical location inaccessible to far right groups. If you have a dedicated office, consider having an alarm system put it. If you have reason to believe your home is under surveillance, or your home address becomes know and you experience harassment, consider putting an alarm system in your home. Be sure to lock all doors whether you are in or out of the office/home.
- Secure your documents and information. Duplicate important documents, backup files on a hard drive and store copies away from the primary office site. If you have key informant information or mailing, donor, or supporter lists in your office, keep it in a locked safe. Shred documents related to your work. Ask yourself if you would be interested in the kind of information if it were about a racist organization – if so, shred it.
- Dealing with suspicious phone calls. Organized racists will sometimes call to harass you or get information from you. Sometimes they may pose as potential volunteers or reporters. If you receive a phone call that may be suspect:
- ask for the name, address and phone of the person who called;
- tell them you have to call them back shortly;
- search the information online and in directory assistance (411) to verify the information;
- call back to the number you get from directory assistance.
- Responding to harassing or threatening phone calls. Before you experience this, get Google Voice or another program that allows you to record incoming phone calls. Record any threatening calls, keep copies and keep a log of harassing phone calls that includes dates, times, caller characteristics (gender, age, accents, background noise). Use *57 on your phone to trace a call. If a call persists, call your phone company and ask them about setting up a Call Trap or a Call Trace on your phone. Look here for additional information if your service provider is Verizon or AT&T. Additional information on responding to harassing phone calls is provided by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. When dealing with threatening or suspicious phone calls, never say anything that you don’t want recorded. Assume that you are being recorded and keep your conversation professional.
When dealing with threatening or suspicious phone calls, never say anything that you don’t want recorded. Assume that you are being recorded and keep your conversation professional.
- Report incidents to law enforcement. Document the harassment and report it to law enforcement. Send it to local, state and federal law enforcement officers.
- With the Trepper app, you have a ready tool to record video of harassing incidents near your home. Do so. If your phone does not have a camera, keep one nearby. Photograph/video any individuals making threats as well as a vandalism or property damage related to harassment.
- Know people before you invite them into your office. Create an application process for volunteers. Ask for references for volunteers and be sure to call them.
- If you receive threatening mail, use gloves or prongs to handle it. Place it in a sealable plastic baggie. Demand that the police check it for fingerprints.
- Use the buddy system. If you have to travel for your work, don’t travel alone to the extent you can avoid it. If you walk to your car at night to go home, try to have someone with you.
- Being followed. If you are followed in your vehicle, drive to the nearest police station. Park, lock your car, get out and walk in. On the way there, attempt to get a description of the car and a license plate. If someone is with you, have them do this. If not, get what you can from the mirror. If possible, film or photograph the vehicle following you. If you get footage, circulate the photo online.
- Prepare for self-defense. If your organization is involved in countering organized racism, it is prudent to seek self-defense training.