What Should You Do if You Have a Missing or Stolen Package?

With the postal system nowadays, it can sometimes be easy for packages to get lost. Most of the time, if you are searching for a missing package, odds are that a stranger swiped it. As a matter of fact, around 26 million packages were stolen in 2019. With those staggering statistics, there are a few things you can do in order to minimize this from happening to you.

What to Do If You’re Sure Your Package Has Been Stolen

  1.  File a Police Report

After exhausting all your options and you are sure that your package has been stolen, you need to first call the police. If you do not have evidence or witnesses, they can only take note of the incident. You might get lucky and find that theft has been occurring around your neighborhood recently, making it a possibility that the police can do more. If this isn’t the case, they won’t do much investigation, but at least can file a report.

  1. Contact the Sender

More often than not, the stolen package is something that you ordered. If this is the case, contacting the seller will be helpful. You will want to contact them and make sure that your package was in fact delivered, and telling them that you didn’t receive it, will give you the best option for a refund. Not all companies will be understanding and send a replacement or refund, but it won’t hurt to report it. Be sure you have some proof that it was delivered and you didn’t receive it. By using the police report you will be able to prove that it was in fact stolen.

If this happens with a package that was sent by family or friends, you should also let them know it hasn’t been delivered. They can then reach out to the seller and get more information on what has happened.

Things That You Can Do to Prevent Package Theft

If you want to be proactive about your packages, you can do a few things to prevent this from occurring. Catching them on video will be your best option. If you have a security camera or Ring doorbell device, this will be helpful for catching thieves. Purchasing a motion sensor light and alarm is beneficial as well. Receiving these alerts on your phone can ensure what you are up to date on all that is happening on your property.

You can shop for a number of smart doorbells and home security cameras these days online or in stores. Some send instant alerts through apps, and others simply record footage, but arming yourself with proof of delivery or theft by installing one on your porch will eliminate issues with stolen packages moving forward.

How To Find Out If You Live in a Flood Zone

If you ever have viewed your neighborhood from a satellite image, you will be surprised by what you are seeing. The layout might be different than you have expected, and knowing the curving streets and areas of wilderness will be beneficial in many ways. It is smart to evaluate the risks your home or neighborhood may face, and what to do in order to protect yourself and your family.

Be Sure to Check the FEMA Flood Map

FEMA stands for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and has tools that make it easy to see if you are living in a flood zone. This map can show information like floodways, potential flood zones, and your home’s risk level. Along with those features, this map offers topographical and infrastructural information about leeches, coastal barriers, and a base flood line.

Understanding flood zones

Specific flood zones are labeled alphabetically, from Zone A, Zone B, etc. These labels are given to help determine flood risk and set flood insurance rates and terms for housing. Here is a quick rundown of what the most common flood zones mean for you and your house.

  1. Zone A: This is the most common flood zone, and if you live here it means you’re in a special flood hazard area that’s not coastal. The type of Zone A that applies to your home will impact your flood insurance premium.
  2. Zone B: Homes in Zone B face a moderate flood hazard risk.
  3. Zone C: Homes in Zone C face a minimal flood hazard risk.
  4. Zone D: This zone indicates a possible risk of flooding, but the hazard level is undetermined.
  5. Zone V: This is a special flood hazard area with a high risk for floods in coastal areas.
  6. Zone X: On newer flood insurance rate maps, Zones B and C are identified as Zone X.

Keep Track of Any Changes

With construction changing, topography, floodplains, and flood zone designs will change over time. If you haven’t recently checked, it would be in your best interest to do some more research. These zones usually change every five years or so, and keeping an eye on these newly updated zones will help you to be better prepared.

Look Into Flood Insurance

After looking into your town and seeing that you do in fact live in a flood zone, it will be in your best interest to get flood insurance. While floods are much more common than house fires, most homeowners don’t invest in this type of insurance. You can get this type of insurance through private carriers, or through government-sponsored agencies.

This type of insurance costs around $200 to $800 a year, but by looking at your options, costs could be decreased. Doing research can lower your costs and also give you the most up to date and accurate information on this type of insurance.

Think About Installing Flood Sensors

A flood sensor is a huge way to prevent your home from flooding because these devices notify households of water leaks. These sensors can detect leaks from water heaters, washing machines, and weather-related leaks. These sensors can be integrated into your home security systems and will prove to be very beneficial in an emergency.

The Best Pepper Sprays for Self-Defense

In any situation, pepper spray is always a powerful substance that can temporarily cause blindness and burning pain in the mouth and eyes of an attacker, allowing you to getaway. When it comes to non-lethal self-defense, this substance is one of the best. Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states but does have some restrictions.

Whether you are looking to fend off an animal or an attacker, you should have the best pepper spray brands in mind, just in case.

  1. Sabre Red Pepper Gel: The best overall pick.

The Sabre Red Pepper Gel spray, which costs around $20, is one of the most popular sprays on the market.  Part of its success comes down to its main ingredients, which is a gel. Gel-based sprays are a good liquid-based option that is heavier than aerosol sprays, making it more effective. This is a huge advantage because it is less likely to get into your eyes while trying to fend off an attacker.

This pepper spray is easy to aim, and has one of the longest ranges on the market, making it effective at around 18 feet. Due to this long-range, you can protect yourself long before an attacker can get close to you. This spray comes in a small canister, but unfortunately has no clip option, only a holster.

  1. Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray: The best choice for someone who is budget-conscious.

The Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray, costing around $10, is the most traditional aerosol pepper spray. This multipurpose spray includes CS tear gas that can cause extra irritation, along with an invisible UV dye to mark attackers in the case of an incident.  The size of this spray bottom is a bit small but can hold up to 25 bursts, offering a decent 10-foot range. A perk of this spray is that it is small, and you can put it onto a keychain, which makes it easy to use and easy to carry around.

This spray can last for around 3 to 4 years, depending on the use. The blowback is a bit more common but does offer a safety switch on the top, making sure that it doesn’t get on clothes or inside a purse when it’s not in use.

  1. Sabre Red Pepper Gel Spray for Runners

The Sabre Red Pepper Gel Spray for runners costs $13 and can combine the accuracy of gel-based sprays with a small package. This makes it easy to take on your daily run and comes with a convenient strap that keeps it at the ready so that you can respond quickly to threats.

This spray can hold 35 bursts, making this brand the most available on the market. This is ideal for runners because it has a very accurate spray range, which is around 12 feet. Because the range of this spray is a bit shorter, it has less blowback. You can rotate the canister to fit the back of your hand or hold it on your wrist.

  1. Fox Labs Mean Green: The best spray for marking an attacker.

Fox Labs is another one of the most well-known brands in the world and offers options at low costs. This particular model costs $19 and gets its name from the green dye it sprays on attackers. Unlike other brands that use these types of dyes, it does not require a backlight in order to show up.

This is a high-quality non-lethal weapon, which makes it great for pockets and purses because it has no exposed trigger. This model is a bit safer to use because it is also a gel-spray. The range that this offers is around 15 feet, making it easy to maintain a safe distance while in a situation where you are being attacked.  The only drawback of this model is that it doesn’t come with separate carrying options. There is no clip, holster or keychain attachment, and if you would like this, you must purchase separately.

  1. Mace Brand Triple Action: The most compact pepper spray.

Mace, which is another name for pepper spray, is offered by a very well known company who has been making this product for years. It doesn’t have the popularity as the others have but still offers small yet effective pepper spray options. This product costs $14 and is the smallest pepper spray on the list.

It offers a flip-top design, making it secure in your pockets and backpacks. This also comes with a smaller keychain so that it can be added to your car keys. Along with its small features, it is packed with tear gas and UV dyes, making it a perfect and affordable option.

The Best Remote Car Starters

Until you use a key fob that can remote start your car, you won’t understand how ideal this type of electronic device is. Having a key fob for your car can warm up your car before getting in it, can start your car from inside, and also begin to cool your car off if the weather is hot. Having a remote start is cutting edge technology, offering you a keyless entry into your vehicle.

If you have decided to go keyless, then you will need to look into the best remote car starters on the market today. CrimeStopper has a remote that works for a variety of vehicles within a 3,000-foot range. You can enjoy the convenience of its LCD screen pager that can count down your remote start option and can even add features if needed.

The Top 4 Remote Car Starters

  1. CrimeStopper Rs7-G5: This is the best overall starter.

This remote starter can support two vehicles. It has a two-way communication system, an LCD pager, and a countdown to start your vehicle. This device is compatible with most vehicles and has an impressive 3,000-foot range, allowing you to start your car from across the parking lot or even down the street. This can be controlled from a mobile application, that is available for iOS users or Android users.

  1. Avital 4105L: This is the best car starter for your budget.

If you are looking for the basics, this remote starter is the one for you. It has two key fobs that can provide two different cars with keyless entry, trunk release, and remote starts from 1,500 feet away. Additionally, you can program how long your vehicle should run while using the remote start option and can monitor your fuel efficiency. The only downside to this starter is that the communication is only one way, so you will have no way of knowing if your vehicle has responded.

  1. Viper 530fV: This offers the best security.

This remote starter has been called the Cadillac of car starters because it is loaded with great features that give other brands a run for their money.  This two-way remote starter has an LCD display, automatic trunk release, and a vehicle temperature readout. Of course, the features are ideal, but its security features really set this model apart. The Viper 530fV is equipped with a six-tone siren, remote encryption, and a car alarm.

Unlike the other options, this application and the physical car remote is sold separately. Once purchasing this starter, you must also look into getting a subscription for the application it is used with. The system has gotten rave reviews and is a great investment to look into.

  1. Python 5706: This offers the best range.

If you are serious about range, then investing the extra money in this starter will be best for you. You can transmit its signal for up to a mile, which translates to around 5,000 feet. The starter is loaded with the basics of a car remote system and offers a ton of additional features. This model is a bit on the more expensive side but is full of features that matter. From its vehicle compatibility to the system that utilizes it, this stater is a great option.

The Best Neighborhood Safety Tools

If you are thinking about beginning to look into crime statistics before moving or searching for safety initiatives, then look no further. We have put together a list of various options in order to aid you in making the best decision when choosing a safety tool. With all the websites and applications that are out there for community betterment, there are a lot of things to look for. This article will cover which websites are the best for tracking large crime, crime monitoring, and community safety.

With community safety efforts comes social responsibility. While monitoring the community you are looking into relocating to, you must also remember not to pre-judge or profile the individuals living there. Making sure that you are using these tools in order to build the community, and not divide it.

Top-Rated Programs for Neighborhood Safety

  1. AreaVibes

This type of program helps you to find the best place to live, based on all the factors you deem important. All you have to do is enter your state, city, neighborhood, and address into the search box. From there, this website will plot your location on a map, proving you with its livability score, which ranges from 1 to 100.

This site will also map and rank the areas that are nearby to the town, according to various factors. Along with this information, you will also receive scores based on other states’ averages and national averages. A letter grade will also be given for each city, ranging from A+ to F.

AreaVibes custom search function sets it apart from other tools, allowing you to search for locations based on crime, education, housing, and amenities. If a crime is the main reason for your search, then this application will quickly and easily compare your town to several other towns and cities in the area. You can even break down the types of crime and check any reported incident. Additionally, this site can show statistics and crime trends, comparing it to different regions and nearby cities.

Cost: Free to use.

  1. The Neighbors App

The Neighbors App, made from Ring, is one of the newest neighborhood tools online. Ring is known for their doorbell cameras and home security systems and strikes again by bringing an online neighborhood watch program. The perk of using this application is that you do not have to be a ring customer, and can also be used by other community members and the police in your area. You can also contribute your own tips as well, anonymously.

In addition to its neighborhood safety functions, you can look up information on the community, search for lost pets, and also submit information if needed. This application definitely has its pros and cons, but a great reputation for quality products and services.

Cost: This application is free to use.

  1. NeighborhoodScout

This application can provide crime statistics and other local yet important information to help you decide a new place to move to. You can compare neighborhoods based on the overall crime rate, violent crime rate, and then the property crime rate. By doing this, you can compare your neighborhood against other cities and state averages. What makes this application great is that users can outline specific crime rate areas, by the distance or miles from an address.

NeighboorhoodScout allows you to create a custom search for your new neighborhood, and help you to identify the area you should move to, based on your qualifications. From there, you can always compare neighborhoods in any state you choose.

Cost: Most of the site is free, but the more detailed reports might cost a small fee.

  1. FamilyWatchdog

FamilyWatchdog directly finds registered sex offenders in any neighborhood you chose to search in. All you must do is type in the location or address to this website’s search box, and the site generates a map pinpointing the addresses of nearby sex offenders. Color-coded icons relate to what crimes were committed, included carious sex crimes, sexual battery, rape, and crimes against children. Once you see the icons, you can click on each one to find their names, where they are located, and what they have been convicted of. If you are looking for a specific man or woman, you can search for them by name.

While investigating this website, you can sign up for alerts whenever a registered sex offender moves in or out of your neighborhood. You can receive additional and detailed information about these offenders, and receive information about personal safety tips, facts about sexual abuse, and articles about the community.

Cost: This application is a free service, but you will be asked to sign up for a subscription if you want additional background reports.

  1. CrimeReports

CrimeReports can map crime data from more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies, working together to keep your community safe. You can search CrimeReports based on region, zip code, or law enforcement agencies to view maps with icons, which identify recent police activity. You can narrow down the search for more specific types of crime, and by clicking on each icon, can then view a range of details about each incident.

This website filters can allow you to narrow down your crime search rate by the date, day of the week, time of the day, and incident type. You can sign up for periodic crime alerts, register your home security camera, and submit tips. By zooming out of your neighborhood, CrimeReports will show you incident trends that are easy to read, allowing you to see how many crimes were committed over the last 15 days.

Cost: CrimeReports is free to use.

  1. SpotCrime

SpotCrime maps the crimes in your area and can deliver alerts on email, text, and some social media platforms. This app will gather data from news reports, law enforcement agencies, and user tips, to represent crime statistics. Each crime is represented by icons, making it easy to see what activities take place in your neighborhood. By clicking on each icon that this site brings up, can make it easy to see what the crime was, where it took place and a link that will give more information about each incident. The sources of these crimes are most likely from law enforcement officers. This application does not go as in-depth as the other sites listed, but is still user friendly and incredibly visual. Users can get a quick look at crimes around their neighborhood.

Cost: This application is free to use.

7 Best Internet Security Tips In 2018

While advancement in technology is something that can be considered as a good thing, it has also breathed life into one of the scariest attacks any person or institution could ever encounter: hacking.

Since the dawn of the cyber age, people, companies, and even government agencies have become vulnerable to virtual attacks. In fact, millions of social media users— both in Twitter and Facebook— were subjected to this kind of cybercrime after hackers took control over their accounts and sold them to anyone who is willing to pay as little as £1 recently.

While these social media platforms have been trying to protect its integrity and reliability by giving their users a way to report these mishaps, it always seemed like things have a way of turning for the worse. Experts explained that there are three major factors that contribute to this kind of situation: the presence of people’s credentials, vulnerabilities in source codes, and the ever-present human error.

Moreover, companies developing software and programs available for public use don’t appear to be taking these matters seriously, which should have been addressed before they even release their products. Taking these into consideration, it is best to take control of your company’s safety online with these 7 best Internet security tips in 2018.

1. Improve Security on the Hardware and Firmware Level

The first thing you need to do to improve your Internet security is to secure your hardware and firmware. Since it is the only tangible part of your system, computers, network ports, and every single part of your hardware should be made hack-proof to avoid the reoccurrence of the cyber attacks dubbed as “Meltdown” and “Spectre” that led to an exploit of passwords and other sensitive data due to vulnerabilities in New Age processors.

Processor manufacturing companies like IBM, Apple, HPE, and Intel have been releasing patches to protect users from these vulnerabilities. It is also expected to push these tech firms into prioritizing security more when it comes to their hardware offerings in the future. With that in mind, it may be good to update or replace your hardware altogether to stay safe this 2018.

2. Increase Awareness About Cybersecurity

Since human error is considered as one of the major factors that contribute to the problem of cyber attacks, limiting its occurrence is the best course of action for companies relying on the Internet for their transactions.

Experts strongly recommend teaching every single one of a company’s employees about cybersecurity policies in place to lessen the possibility of human error. Also, it is imperative for a company’s IT Department to conduct information caravans on every update they are implementing, especially if it is about managing sensitive information.

3. Create Back Ups of Your Data and a Recovery Plan

While most hackers aim to exploit sensitive data by collecting them and taking control of databases, some of the cybercrimes that plague the world today “kidnap” this information through a software called “ransomware.” Contrary to popular belief, ransomware masterminds don’t target big companies and personalities, they may also aim for small firms. This is because these companies tend to invest less in Internet security, making them an easy target.

To avoid succumbing to this kind of cybercrime, experts advise companies to make a habit of backing up their data, especially ones that are critical to the institution’s functions and transactions. This way, ransomware, which lock digital content from its rightful owners and offer an unlock code in exchange for money, are rendered useless since companies have another copy of the data.

Also, having a specific recovery plan ready in case things go awry is important in cases of data loss, malware infections, data corruption, ransomware, and other cyber attacks to that your company’s operations aren’t affected.

4. Limit Accessibility Through the Least Privilege Mindset

Limiting accessibility is also a good way to prevent leakage of important data. While there are many ways to do it, experts in Internet security strongly recommend establishing a culture where the privilege of access to information is granted only when required and after being approved.

Under this culture, computers assigned to end-users are configured in a way that they can only make use of a default profile with limited privilege. In the same manner, computers assigned to IT or admin personnel are given super-privilege with full control over end-user PCs. Through this, administrators can prevent malicious applications from being run in the least privileged computers through remote tools and commands.

5. Enhance Management of Identity Access

Improving identity access is also advised for companies to improve their Internet security in 2018 as it prevents inadvertent leakage through the cloud and mobile technologies. For years, a firewall has been built by companies to protect sensitive information from getting accessed through wired networks.

However, the emergence of cloud access has made it difficult for firms to set these parameters, which is why experts recommend strengthening the identification system. This way, those who aren’t allowed to access sensitive and confidential data will not be able to do so after their security level has been identified.

6. Check for Vulnerabilities

Checking for vulnerabilities has become an important factor in cybersecurity and “white hat” hackers are the right people for the job. Having these so-called “ethical” hackers check for possible entries in your cybersecurity is a great way to ensure that malicious hackers don’t get their hands on your stuff as it would expose any probable way that they can get in. Of course, it is important to hire a white hat hacker who is good at breaking down cybersecurity because they are responsible for identifying entries that can be exploited by “black hat” hackers.

7. Do Constant Monitoring

After applying all the tips mentioned above, some people might think they can rest easy. This should not be the case as malicious hackers are constantly working on a way to gain access to valuable information that can be exchanged for money. With that in mind, constant monitoring is a great way to stay on top of your company’s Internet security. To do so, you should also establish metrics that determine when it is time to employ your recovery and a backup plan.

Security Tips for Commercial Building Owners and Landlords

 

As a landlord or a commercial real estate owner, it’s important that you put interest in protecting the value of your investment and the safety and security of everybody in it.

 

Protecting your commercial property and its inhabitants can be a challenging proposition, and it may come with expensive fees, too. It all depends on the size of your commercial space, surroundings and its layout. Regardless, it is a fact that strategic use of security technology and common sense will ultimately protect your property and lessen the risk putting your employees or tenants in danger.

 

1. Get an Effective Security System

 

It is essential for all commercial or business properties to have a security system in order to deter would-be thieves. When one says effective, it means the system has gadgets of security installed in all windows and doors, as well as sensors that will set off an alarm once an intruder is detected. Sensors that can detect glass breaks is also a good option, and owners should install motion areas in restricted areas.

 

For huge commercial spaces, a loud siren is recommended to inform the security team that a forced entry has occurred. Remember that in a commercial space, a security system should be turned on at all times, unlike in residential properties wherein an owner can decide when the security system should be active.

 

2. CCTV Cameras Should be Installed Everywhere

 

Isolated monitoring cameras on blue sky

Surveillance cameras improve business security as this prevents theft and other crimes. Other than that, a CCTV camera can also monitor employees and people around the complex. Building owners are required to work closely with a security system to know where security cameras should be placed to deter thieves or find out who the culprit is when an unfortunate incident happens.

 

Choose a surveillance camera system that you can control and view remotely so that even if you’re away, you’ll know what’s going on.

 

3. Motion-Activated Floodlights

 

Motion floodlights are also essential especially when cornering intruders. This security feature also makes your property less tempting to break into. Floodlights should be installed in prime areas to take the intruder by surprise and blind him momentarily.

 

The best places for motion-activated floodlights include gates, garages, and entrance and exit doors. You can install one in your landscaping or near windows as well.

 

4. Remote Monitoring

 

With today’s technology, you don’t have to be in the building to know the activities of your employees or the situation of your property during the night. You can now do that by using your smartphone, tablet, or any gadget you can bring anywhere.

 

Security agencies and companies now have apps of their own available on both Android and iOS devices. Using an app that’s integrated with your security system will allow you to view surveillance camera footage no matter where you are.

 

In some highly-advanced security system, you can even, control the temperature of a certain room of the building, turn appliances on and off, and let people inside a restricted area simply through your app. You can also send video footage to your security system in case you want to verify something or you want to have something fixed immediately.

 

5. All Areas Must be Well Lit

 

Dark corners are the favorite of criminals, as it makes it harder to see them or recognize their faces. Keep your commercial property safe by lighting all the areas so that the CCTV camera can capture it clearly. Aside from discouraging break-ins, it will also make sure that your employees or tenants will feel safe in case they leave late or arrive early.

6. Secure Sensitive Information

 

Passcodes for windows, doors, and important documents should only be given to a few key people and must be changed regularly. Make sure that you ex-employees and ex-tenants don’t know your passcodes as well and inform your staff that your passwords should not be recorded or written to lessen the risk of falling into the wrong hands.

 

7. Keep a Record of Your Equipment

 

You shouldn’t only record the serial numbers of expensive equipment, even the cheap ones too should be recorded. Remember that thieves will grab anything they can put their hands on especially if they are in a hurry or their plans didn’t really turn out right.

 

Also, keep track of confidential files and personal documents. For big companies, staff anonymity is important. Make sure that files needed to be destroyed are destroyed, and files that should be kept are stored in a place where only a few people know.

 

8. Secure the Parking Area

 

There have been cases wherein burglars target the vehicles of employees and people visiting the property you own. Don’t let them get away and install surveillance cameras that should be turned on 24/7, and motion floodlights that you can activate during the night when no one should be there. You can also hire a security team to be stationed in the parking lot to make it extra safe.

 

9. Online Precautions

 

Your physical security isn’t the only thing you must consider if you have a business. If you have a website, you must be aware of cybercrimes, as well, and how it can affect the business negatively. You should also invest in quality anti-virus and firewall technology. Advice your staff and tenants that they should choose strong passwords as well, and regularly back up files and systems so everything can be restored in case something is deleted or lost.

 

10. Risk Assessment

 

If you want to fully improve your security, you shouldn’t just rely on your own knowledge. Get the help of security professionals so they can identify the weak points of your property. Security companies can assess your property so they can identify where to install cameras, sensors, alarms, and other gadgets that will set off once an intrusion takes place. Through this, you’re guaranteed that all areas are covered and you don’t leave a place for thieves and criminals to do their dirty work.

 

 

 

How Motion Sensors Work: 10 Frequently Asked Questions About This Home Security Essential

What’s the most effective way to make sure no one’s sneaking in and around your house when you’re away or asleep? That should be easy — a motion sensor. Also called motion detector, this device would help owners identify “uninvited guests” and get them behind bars immediately.

 

A motion sensor makes use of one or multiple technologies to detect movement in a specific area. If a sensor is tripped, it will send an alert to your security system, which is synchronized to your monitoring center, informing you and the security center of an intrusion.

 

There are many different types of motion sensors available in the market today, but without proper knowledge, you might end up having an inefficient security system. Before giving in to your impulse, here are the things you need to know about motion detectors.

  1. What is the purpose of a motion sensor?

As the name suggests, a motion sensor detects movement. The signal it emits is sent to an alarm panel. Unlike window or door sensors, a motion sensor is capable of securing a space effectively, which means users don’t have to install a sensor on each door or window. A single motion sensor can secure a large area and is a more affordable option for homeowners. Additionally, motion sensors consume very little power and can last up to five years.

 

  1. What is a driveway motion detector?

Driveway motion detectors are commonly installed in driveways, but they also work in sheds, pools, and stables. The standard basic model has a range of around 400 feet, apt for shorter driveways. If you’re trying to secure larger structures, however, such as warehouse complexes or private hiking trails, you will need a special long range model that can cover up to half a mile.

 

  1. Why is my motion sensor giving false detections?

Motion sensors can sometimes be triggered by sudden sounds or bursts of air. For example, moving window blinds within range of the sensor can set it off because the sensor will become suspicious and react. There’s a remedy to this situation though. You can adjust your sensor so that it would not react to sudden moving objects. However, if you’re still experiencing it despite making adjustments, you might want to send in a technician to have the unit checked or replaced.

 

  1. Is there such a thing as a motion detector guard dog?

As silly as it may sound, motion detector guard dogs actually exist. You can install one near your front door and when someone approaches, the unit will produce barking sounds. A lot of motion sensors can detect the slightest of movements through windows and doors, so it’s pretty easy to secure the unit where it’s hard to see. There are also models in which the user can adjust the volume and speed of the bark depending on how far or near the intruder is. This is ideal for people who want a guard dog but don’t actually want to deal with real pets.

 

  1. Can pets trigger motion sensors?

They can, actually. But there are passive infrared sensors that can ignore animals up to a certain weight. Motion sensors with dual technology can prevent false alarms caused by pets because two detectors need to be set off instead of one. By making adjustments, special sensors like these can ignore small pets or large ones. These sensors can also be programmed to ignore non-human behavior activity.

 

  1. What is a motion flood light?

Motion flood lights are a type of sensors that turn on a light to let you know it senses motion instead of sending off a signal to a control panel. If the floodlight detects a burglar or a visitor, the unit will illuminate. If it’s the owner of the property, however, you can make it to your house without setting off the alarm. There are many different types of motion floodlights. The basic models are those that stay put, but fancier models can light up patterns so that it pins the burglar in place. You can also program the floodlight to switch off at daytime.

 

  1. Can I use a motion sensor besides for security purposes?

Yes. Motion sensors aren’t only used for home security. They can also be used to shut down equipment or track the number of products inside a facility. Other purposes of motion detectors are the following:

  • For parking meters
  • For ticket gates
  • To control ATM displays
  • To turn on lights if people enter
  • To trigger toilets and water faucets
  • To close and open automatic doors

 

  1. Should I use a wireless or wired motion sensor?

The answer to this question depends on your need and the size of the area you want to secure. With a wireless motion sensor, you can experiment with the different areas you want to install it to get you the best range. It can be a bit tricky though. If you set it too low, your pet might trigger more often than you need. If it’s too high, burglars can easily get away. Install it in the right height and you can nab burglars and don’t have to deal with false alarms caused by your pets. Take note, however, that a wireless motion sensor can only cover 400 feet of your area. If you want to secure a much bigger space, go for a wired sensor instead.

 

 

  1. Where should I put a motion sensor?

Although you can install motion sensors inside your home, it is best to position them in areas leading to your front and back door, driveways, and windows. That way, alarms and lights will come on when somebody arrives. You can also install them in stairways, pools, patios, and decks.

 

  1. Other than lights and alarm, what are other ways can a motion sensor help secure my property?

If your motion sensor is part of your home security, it will likely come with an auto dialer. This means you won’t manually have to call the police or the security system company. It will automatically dial their numbers once the sensor detects an intruder. A pre-recorded message will play over and over again so that the authorities are informed of your identity and address.

Home Security Tips: 10 Best Places To Position Surveillance Cameras

If you have been shopping for security or surveillance cameras, you have probably realized its importance and how it can stop break-ins and burglary. Having surveillance cameras around your property will make sure that you and your family are safe, and that your valuables are intact. However, regardless of the quality of your security camera, it will be useless if you place it in all the wrong areas.

 

Knowing where to install these cameras will assure you of optimal security. And if you want to nab criminals and thieves, it’s crucial they’re set up in the right location. Here are the best places to position surveillance cameras.

 

  1. Front Door

 

According to security experts, about 34% of thieves and burglars enter your home through the front door. Naturally, you would want to install a surveillance camera near it. To prevent intruders from avoiding your camera, place it somewhere near the second-floor level of your house focusing on the front door. If you live in a single-level home, protect your camera with a mesh wiring to prevent thieves from tampering it.

 

  1. Back Door

 

A lot of homeowners forget to lock their backdoors. Some even don’t bother to secure it well because their focus is on the front door. Burglars know this fact, so it’s not really a question why most of them gain entry to your house using the rear door. Don’t forget to install double locks on your back door too, and place a camera that’s way out of reach. While the front door cam should be not visible, your back door cam can serve as a deterrent.

 

  1. First Floor Window

 

Besides serving as a point of entry for burglars, your first-floor window is a way to assess the inside of your home. Through here, they can look for valuables in plain sight and will attempt to memorize the floor plan for them to escape quickly or detect places where they can possibly hide. By installing a surveillance camera pointing towards your window, you can capture images of unknown people trying to assess your house, and it’s possible they are captured before a forced entry takes place.

 

  1. Garage

 

The garage of your house is also attractive to thieves because it regularly opens and closes and burglars can tell its insides in full view once in a while. When installing a security camera inside your garage, make sure it captures the entire space so you will know where and how the thief broke in. Exterior surveillance cameras can also be installed near your home, but make sure it covers all the walls outside of your garage to know where the burglar might break in.

 

  1. Stairways

 

Stairways are points in and around your home and are used to get around your property. For this reason, installing a security camera in stairways is a smart idea. Stairs located outside your home can be an attractive entry point and it may also be used to access a roof. This unusual way of breaking into your home is done by criminals to avoid security cameras and alarms.

 

Stairs inside the property, however, is the only area in your home where burglars might slow down a little bit. We all know that burglary can happen so fast, but if you take an image of the stairs, you may still be able to identify your intruders.

 

6. Off-Street Windows

Windows not easily seen by passersby are a common entry point for burglars because it decreases their chances of being caught. By strategically placing a security camera with a view of your back window, you will be able to identify the burglars. You can also get one of those wireless security cameras that can be controlled remotely so you can still view your back windows from your tablet or any mobile device.

 

 

 

  1. Backyard

 

Installing surveillance cameras in the backyard can be tricky because some backyards are way too huge for just one camera. You may need to install several of them so that you can capture every nook and cranny. A camera pointed at your backyard will also inform you if the unusual noise you’re hearing is caused by animals or a strong wind. If it is an intruder, it will also capture his face so you can present it as proof.

 

 

 

 

  1. Side Gate

 

While it is common to see surveillance cameras on the front gate, you rarely see one in side gates. Your side gate may be smaller, but it doesn’t mean it won’t serve as a point of entry to uninvited guests. After all, even small windows can be crawled in by thieves. Your side gate camera should have a motion sensor floodlight to alert you if there is an intruder. This is also a way to scare burglars off knowing they are clearly visible. Some thieves are also intimidated by the sight of a surveillance camera, so it’s okay to put one in plain sight.

 

  1. Kitchen

 

While not a lot of people think about installing surveillance cameras in their kitchens, you might want to consider putting one as there are also valuables in it. Unplanned robberies can also take place out of nowhere, and typically, thieves will get anything they can put their hands on. Your kitchen appliances and expensive cutlery can be sold or pawned, too, just so you know.

 

  1. Hallways Leading to Bedrooms

 

Not everybody is willing to install a surveillance camera inside their bedrooms, but you can still protect your family or friends by putting a camera in the hallway. Through this, you have a way of knowing who goes in and out of the bedroom. You can install get a camera that you can control remotely, so even if you have one camera in the hallway, you can still navigate its entirety, zoom and out, and check for signs of break-ins no matter where you are. If you have small kids, you might be able to install surveillance cams inside the bedroom.

 

Surveillance cameras aren’t just a fancy accessory in your home. When properly placed, you attain peace of mind whether you’re asleep or away on vacation.

Cybersecurity For Small Businesses: 10 Important Tips To Keep Your Money & Data Safe

You may think that small businesses are not vulnerable to cybercrimes just like big corporations. But in fact, about 43 percent of cyber-attacks target small businesses. Micro companies, in general, are not as secure compared to large-scale businesses because of budget issues and because they are “small.” Although these businesses are literally less far-reaching compared to large corporations, the security threats they experience are not small, at all. They easily fall victim to hacking, malware, spyware, ransomware, and security breaches because of their low-priced and dated protection.

Cybersecurity should be one of the top priorities for your small business, but how do you keep your business protected from these cyber threats without spending too much? Here are some cybersecurity tips that are simple yet effective for small business owners. These can help reduce the risks of ransomware, malware, and hacking.

1. Use strong passwords

If you use passwords that are very easy to figure out such as 1234, 0000, or ABCD, it would be like a walk in the park for hackers to acquire your system’s password. Strong passwords are comprised of alphanumeric and special characters that are case-sensitive. The more random the combination, the better it is. If your passwords are secure, it will be difficult for someone to figure it out and hack it. Inform your employees as well to create secure passwords.

2. Decrease the number of attempts for entering the password

Someone who will try to access your system will try all sorts of different passwords randomly until they hit the jackpot and open your account. This can mean that your account is still not safe even with a 6-digit pin that has a million unique possible number combinations. You have to be aware that there are password-cracking software nowadays that can guess your code in a few minutes. So to avoid falling victim to these hackers, you should limit the number of attempts for your authentication process. In most cases, the number of attempts is limited to 3, so after the third attempt, you can no longer try to enter the password.

3. Password manager software

A password manager tool that creates and stores the password can be helpful for you. But you have to think carefully when choosing one. Remember that this tool stores all passwords in its database; so for a hacker, all he needs is to crack one code. That is why you need to think of its advantages and disadvantages before you use one for your business.

4. On-screen keyboard option

If you are not yet aware, there are hackers that can record your keystrokes using keylogging software. This is common if you’re using shared networks. What you can do to avoid this is by using an on-screen or virtual keyboard. The keylogging software will not be able to track keys that you enter on the on-screen keyboard because you’re only operating it using mouse clicks. This is commonly used in financial establishments.

5. Backups

Data backups are important. But you have to be careful of any negligence or mishandling of these backups because this can make your data vulnerable to theft. Example, if you choose to keep your data in the cloud, you have to encrypt and keep your documents protected with a password before storing them on the cloud or a remote server, so that no one can access your data easily.

 

6. Inform your employees about cybersecurity

Although you might think that security breach is not so common for small businesses, it is good that you educate your employees about cybersecurity. We do not want to wait for a security breach to happen before we train your employees about it, right? Here are some things you need to remember when teaching your employees about cybersecurity.

  • Train everyone. No exemptions.
  • Conduct seminars about cybersecurity often
  • Talk to employees about cybersecurity regularly
  • Inform them how they can recognize a possible attack
  • Test your employees’ cybersecurity knowledge
  • Be able to identify threats within your company
  • Emphasize policies about hacking, data breach and use of devices in your company

7. Do not store the customer’s CVV or any credit card information

Keeping the customer’s credit card information with the customer’s permission can make transactions in the future more convenient. On the other hand, this can put your customer’s confidential information at risk. While it can be a little more convenient to store the CVV number, it would not bother the customer at all to enter the CVV during checkout. This is for their safety, as well.

8. Control Access to your systems and network devices

Never let any outsider or unauthorized person use your system and other devices. If there is a need for someone to use or access it, in the case of a technician from another firm, let them use a general computer or make sure to have someone supervise them during their tasks. Lock or shut down your computer after leaving them and make sure your employees do the same, as well. Also, make sure to monitor your employees’ personal devices.

9. Update your security software always.

Make sure your security software is up-to-date. Do not ignore the prompts on your screen that remind you to upgrade and update your software. This will make sure that your computer is protected from malware, ransomware, and hacking.

Software manufacturers provide software updates to address security risks for their products that can be exposed to hackers. These updates usually contain vulnerability fixes and enhancements. What is good about these updates is that they are added onto the existing installation. Make sure you choose a quality and trusted software to protect your system.

10. Keep your networks secure

Make sure your Wi-Fi network is hidden, or if not hidden, is secured with a password, to avoid any unauthorized access. You can hide your SSID or Wi-Fi name and encrypt and set a password for your access point.

There are simple ways to ensure that you don’t fall victim to hackers. All you need to do is keep these tips in mind, so you can avoid any security risks that can harm your business.