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Wordly Wise Wednesday (WWW) – CPTED

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When I was in high school our English teacher used to make use do ten (10) words and there definitions on a sheet of paper. I can’t remember if it was once a week or twice, but I know I hated it. I am not sure why, it was an easy assignment. She said that it would expand our vocabulary and make us into wise people.

Nevertheless, advance that date by ten to fifteen years, I have been through my Navy enlistment and am in IT and Security and started to see the wisdom of a vocabulary. I learned from a preacher friend of mine that words, their meanings and how they used in a sentence or paragraph are very important. As I started working with legal documents and auditors, that could never be more true.

Understanding what acronyms and words mean are important to gaining a firm foundation of Information Security and IT systems. Every Wednesday at Common Sense Security will be Worldly Wise Wednesday, or that infamous WWW for short. The posts on Wednesdays will be short, a word, the definition and maybe some small additional explanation. Hopefully it will increase your vocabulary.

Today’s word: CPTED – pronounced “SepTed.”

CPTED stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

A creative set of bollards to keep people from driving onto the beach

Everyone of you has seen CPTED in action, and hopefully not even known it. A form of CPTED is a big planter in front of an office door, or even a bollard so that the criminal or terrorist can’t drive their car through the door. Other forms of CPTED are properly designed and spaced lighting or maybe a three to four foot berm around a building or parking lot. The main point of CPTED is that you can use environmental items to not only make your property look better but also deter crime, terrorist activity or otherwise.

The one thing you have to watch out for with CPTED is that you don’t design something that looks nice but creates a camouflage or some other form of concealment for the same criminals you are trying to keep out. The most common mistake with CPTED is to place a row of dense bushes near windows. Criminals just love to sneak in behind them, peer into windows and  maybe even break in through one.