This article explains how to secure your building and enforce compliant visitor check-in processes using watch lists.

The general principle of the watch list is to send an alert to predefined users (typically security) when a visitor matches a record in a watch list.

A watch list can be internal or external:

  • Internal watch lists are created and managed by you. You can create one or many internal watch lists. Most companies will keep records of unwanted visitors or restricted parties in their watch lists, but nothing prevents you from creating VIP lists too. You’ll just need to create different watch lists as you’ll likely want the reaction of your staff to be different for both lists. You can also create local or global watch lists. Records in global watch lists will trigger an alert if a corresponding visitor shows up in any of your locations
  • External watch lists are created and managed by external specialized providers. They are very powerful in case you need to comply with specific regulations

On any given location you can screen new visitors against internal and external watch lists.

In this article we’ll start with three topics that apply to both internal and external watch lists:

1. Who the recipients of the alerts are and what they see

2. When is the alert sent

3. How to temporarily deactivate the watch list feature

We’ll then cover different topics related to internal watch lists:

4. How to create your first internal watch list

5. How to differentiate level of threat using multiple lists

6. How to use a central internal list across multiple locations

7. How the matching works

We’ll finally provide high-level information about external watch lists (more info can be found in a dedicated article)

8. Introduction to external watch list


1. Who are the recipients of the alerts; what do they see?

Every time a visitor matches a record in internal or external lists, an alert is sent to the recipients defined in Settings > Building security > Watch lists.

The recipients will receive an email containing information about the visitor and about the matched record (so the security officer can check).

If you select the SMS option, recipient will also receive the alert via SMS, which can be handy if the alert requires their immediate attention.

In addition to the email and the SMS, information about the alerts is provided in the exports where you’ll find the following information

  • Whether or not the visitor triggered the alert (see column S in screenshot below)
  • The name of the watch list (you can have more than one, see further)
  • What record in the list triggered the alert  

Exports can be generated directly from the Logbook.

Alerts are only sent to the recipients and visible in the exports. In other words, the visitor will not be aware they triggered an alert. Also, reception will not see anything special for this visitor in the dashboard. The rationale is to provide a check-in experience that is seemingly normal for the visitor and receptionist (in order to prevent an inappropriate response, especially in the event of a false positive) while at the same time alerting security. Of course, if you insert reception as recipient of the alert, they’ll be informed too.

In case the visitor matches multiple records in a single list, only one email is sent (on the first match). In case the visitor matches a record in multiple internal lists, one email per list will be sent. If you also implemented external watch lists, a separate email and SMS will be sent.

On a similar note, in case the visitor triggered an alert in more than one list only the first list will be shown in the export. Also, in case a visitor triggered more than one alert in a given list only the first match will be shown.


2. When is the alert sent?

The alert is sent every time a new visit matches a record in one of the watch lists.

This can happen at two moments:

  • At pre-registration: when the visitor is created from the Dashboard (and is thus still in status expected)  
  • If there is no pre-registration, the alert will be sent when the visitor checks in

In other words, in case of pre-registration, security will be informed as soon as the visit is created, which can be days before the planned check-in.


3. How to temporarily deactivate watch lists

In case you temporarily need to de-activate the alerts without deleting the list or removing the recipients, just put the Alerts on “off”. This setting is applied on all internal and external watch lists at once.


4. How to create an internal watch list

To match visitors against a single watch list in a single location, please follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings > Building security > Configure watch lists > Add watch list

  • Name the watch list and hit “Create”. The name will appear in the alert email, in the alert SMS, and in the export

  • Add records in the list. First and last name are mandatory. Other fields are optional. Pictures can be useful if you want to compare with the picture taken by the iPad.

Once your records have been added, it is easy to edit (or delete) them at any time.


5. How to differentiate level of threat using multiple lists

In case you want to differentiate level of threat posed by visitors (or if you want to create VIP lists), you can create multiple lists. As an example, let’s say you want to differentiate between

  • “banned visitors” (security needs to prevent such visitors from entering)
  • and “to be watched visitors” (they can enter but security needs to be aware they are in the building)

In order to do that, go to Settings > Building security > Configure watch lists.

Be sure to name the 2 lists differently …

… so that the alerts are different in the inbox of security guards.


6. How to screen visitors in many locations against a global list

Let’s say you have 3 locations: New York, Paris and Singapore. You want to have one central watch list (managed from the NY office) that triggers an alert in case of a match in any of the 3 locations.

In order to do that please follow the following steps:

  • Go to the New York location, Settings > Building security > Configure watch lists and create the list. Name it “Global Watch List” (for instance) and enter the records.
  • Go to the two other locations (as an admin) and go to Settings > Building security > Configure watch lists
  • You should see the global watch list under “Watch lists from other locations”. Just activate it and do this in both locations


Done. Visitors matching the list in any of the three locations will trigger the alert.

As a general note, the system is very flexible and will allow for many configurations:

  • You can create multiple central lists
  • You can create lists that are linked to some of your locations only (not all)
  • You can create a central list and local lists. For instance, screenshot below shows the inbox of security in Singapore with 2 alerts: one that matched the central list and one that matched the local list    


7. How the matching works

By default, we apply a standard matching algorithm that triggers a match if the visitor details are identical or similar to a record in one of your lists.

If you feel you receive too many “false positives” because the standard matching method is too broad, you can change the matching method to the narrow one.

Detailed information about how those two matching methods work is provided in this article.


8. Introduction to external watch lists

Next to internal watch lists described above, Proxyclick also supports external watch lists. External watch lists are not managed inside Proxyclick: they are not created in Proxyclick and you can’t add or remove records from it directly in Proxyclick. Instead, you create a link between an external watch list provider and your Proxyclick account.

Why would you do that? Because external watch list providers maintain an incredible amount of records in different watch lists. They update their lists often and their matching methods are highly configurable. Here are a few examples of such lists: 

  • Export-related Restricted, Denied, and Blocked Persons Lists (e.g. Department of Commerce, Department of State and the Treasury)
  • Law Enforcement-related Wanted Persons List (e.g. FBI’s Most Wanted)
  • Sanction Programs-related Blocked Persons List (e.g. United Nations consolidated list)
  • General Service Administrations Lists (domestic)
  • Multiple additional lists related to Wanted Persons, Politically Exposed Persons, and International Terrorists and Blocked Persons

This article explains how to link Proxyclick to external watch lists.


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