Course Content
Effective Strategies for Preventing Tailgating Incidents: Educating Staff on the Risks and Countermeasures
    About Lesson

    Tailgating, also known as piggybacking, is a security breach method where unauthorized individuals gain entry into restricted areas by following closely behind authorized personnel. Such intrusions pose substantial risks to organizations, ranging from data breaches to potential theft or even physical harm to employees. Recognizing the behaviors used by tailgaters is paramount for bolstering security. In this article, we’ll shed light on some of the most common tactics tailgaters employ to bypass security measures.

    1. The Friendly Intruder

    One of the most typical tactics involves playing the friendly card. The intruder might strike up a casual conversation with an employee, building rapport and trust. Once they reach a secured entrance, the employee, viewing the intruder as harmless or even friendly, may hold the door open for them.

    2. The “I Forgot My Badge” Act

    Tailgaters often pretend they’ve forgotten their access cards or badges. They may wait near entrances, looking flustered, and when someone approaches, they might mention how they left their badge at their desk or in their car. Many employees, wanting to be helpful, will let them in.

    3. Dressing the Part

    By dressing in a manner consistent with the company’s dress code or even wearing uniforms similar to maintenance or IT staff, tailgaters can blend in. This approach relies on the assumption that people will less likely challenge someone who looks like they belong.

    4. Carrying Loads

    Tailgaters might carry a stack of boxes, a tray of coffee, or any cumbersome object. When they approach a secured door, they may struggle intentionally, prompting a kind-hearted employee to open the door for them.

    5. Phone Distraction

    A common tactic involves the tailgater pretending to be engrossed in a phone call. They’ll time their approach to a secure door with that of an authorized employee. The employee, not wanting to interrupt, might just wave them through or hold the door for them.

    6. Using Side or Less-used Entrances

    Rather than using the main entrance where security is tightest, tailgaters often target side entrances or less-frequented doors where they can exploit lax security or fewer witnesses.

    7. Timing Shift Changes or Break Times

    Tailgaters might time their attempts during shift changes or break times when multiple employees are entering or exiting, making it easier to blend into the crowd and slip in unnoticed.

    8. Faking Identity

    While riskier, some tailgaters might use counterfeit or stolen badges. If the organization does not employ multi-factor authentication or if employees aren’t vigilant, these intruders can gain access.

    9. The “Do You Know Who I Am?” Approach

    Some tailgaters rely on bluffing. They might drop names of senior management or mention an important meeting to create a sense of urgency or importance. Employees might feel too intimidated to challenge them.

    10. Waiting Out of Sight

    A patient tailgater might wait out of sight, studying patterns, and identifying employees who seem less security-conscious. They then target these individuals, following them closely as they enter secure zones.


    Awareness is the first step in combating tailgating. Organizations should educate employees about these common behaviors, emphasizing the importance of security protocols, no matter how innocent or urgent a situation might seem. By promoting a security-first culture and investing in advanced access control systems, businesses can safeguard their assets, data, and employees from the risks associated with tailgating.