Book Review: Travel Security Handbook
Books on Demand; available from ASIS; asisonline.org; 326 pages; $59 (ASIS members); $64 (nonmembers
Maintain a low profile and be a hard target! These words from the cover of Travel Security Handbook encompass the theme of this comprehensive book on staying safe while traveling. Written from a European perspective, the book emphasizes travel consciousness for both the traveler and the employer. Terrorism, natural disasters, general crime, assault, property theft, and cybercrime are touched upon, as are social, medical, and financial considerations.
Author Sven Leidel, who is based in Germany, does a good job of explaining trip planning. Documents, customs, and medical currency are explored, as well as ways to thwart crime, use of dummy wallets, documents, and modes of dress. He asks the reader to consider other peripheral issues: Did you secure your home? Who knows that you are leaving and for how long? What did you post on social media?
Data security in transit to the destination is another topic. The book explains how some data, including photos or political and religious writings, might be illegal, particularly in Islamic countries. He attempts to cover every angle regarding encryption, espionage, and ways data is stolen.
Leidel does an outstanding job covering women and security. Laws—especially in Islamic countries and India—norms, dress, self-defense, and situational scenarios are covered at length in practical and thoughtful detail. Local travel using buses, taxis, and the like are discussed with an emphasis on self-protection and recognizing potential traps. Virtual kidnapping is one of the more modern crimes the author explains.
After the trip, travelers should provide the company with a synopsis of what went on, positive and otherwise. This helps determine if aid is needed to help them readjust, or if help is needed in other ways. Further, it is used to prepare for future travel by other employees.
Overall, the work is incredibly informative; however, it may be that too much information confounds easy comprehension.
Reviewer: William F. Eardley IV has 29 years of experience in security and corrections. He is a member of ASIS International.