It’s that time of year again – summer is winding down and children are heading back to school. Thus, we must also deal with an increase in foot and street traffic. This can cause increased stress in some, which may result in dangerous situations and bouts of road rage. It is important to remember to proceed with caution. Take heed of these back-to-school road safety tips.
When kids are present (especially in school zones and neighborhoods) before and after school, it is important to abide by speed limits and slow down.
Always keep a safe distance between you and the bus (or any vehicle) you are following. This will allow you enough time and space to react to any of the bus’s intentions.
And remember, it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children – be sure to stop far back enough to allow kids to safely enter and exit the bus.
In school zones, near parks or playgrounds, and in neighborhoods, be more alert when watching for children. And always obey a crossing guard’s stop sign at intersections and crosswalks.
When stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, avoid blocking the crosswalk. By blocking the crosswalk, pedestrians may be forced to walk around you, possibly putting them in the path of moving traffic. Always stop before the crosswalk line and watch for pedestrians.
If there are dedicated pick- up and drop-off zones and rules, follow them. They are put in place for the safety of your children. Double-parking not only holds up traffic, but also reduces visibility for all, increasing the risk for an accident or dangerous situation.
If you are letting your children walk to school, be sure to scope out the route beforehand. You want to make sure that the route offers good visibility, is relatively free from hazards, has plenty of pedestrian room at a safe distance from traffic, and involves no dangerous crossings. There should be well-trained crossing guards at every intersection your children must cross. Consider the available daylight when your child will be walking and always dress them in brightly colored clothing, regardless of visibility.
If your children will be riding a bike to school, they must always wear a Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved helmet. Kids must also bike during daylight hours only, wear bright attire, and follow the rules of the road. Children under nine must ride with an adult and out of the road as well. It is up to the parents’ discretion whether or not older children may ride bikes in traffic.
Shop our stock of quality CCTV security cameras and surveillance equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To learn more about our products and services, or to request a quote or site survey, please call 888-203-6294.
Over the years, video surveillance has made great improvements in regards to design, features, functionality and application. As our technologies continue to evolve, the surveillance industry is bound to grow and expand even further.
In 1996, Axis Communications introduced the first IP Camera. This was originally used for monitoring the sea for oil spills, saving their customers from having to take two flights a day. Decades later, digital cameras are now the norm, from entertainment to security purposes.
When it comes to security, because we are very visual and use our eyes more than any other senses, we tend to prefer video. This is why we see CCTV surveillance cameras nearly everywhere these days. But how can we improve it?
Video surveillance can be valuable to businesses, however, monitoring the live feed 24/7 is not very realistic. Other detection tools, such as perimeter breach or motion detection, in conjunction with an alarm or alert system helps to improve security. But, as with most things, it has its flaws. These can include problems with detecting the breach, a bad judgment call in regards to what is seen, how long the feed is monitored and the length of backtracking.
Video analytics is more prevalent these days and makes efforts to address this issue. Thanks to advancing software and artificial intelligence (AI), video analytics can determine a human from an animal, eliminating false alarms caused by a pet at home. It also eliminates human error and takes motion detection a step further, as some systems can also distinguish between a known house member and a stranger.
Business and home protection continues to advance as more security camera systems integrate video analytics along with alarms, PIR sensors, and smart recordings. And thanks to edge computing, these technologies are becoming more accessible. By performing data processing at the edge of the network, close to the source of data, edge computing ultimately optimizes system performance.
But aside from all these advancements and improvements, privacy is still an important issue. Many feel uncomfortable having cameras watching over them and having their video streamed into the cloud. But what if our security systems became so advanced that video surveillance became unnecessary?
Hypothetically, an “Optical Analytic Sensor” could use edge computing to process new, updated analytics without having to transmit video. Instead, detailed descriptions of events would serve as data, eliminating bandwidth requirements and video privacy issues. Using advanced tools and AI, this sensor device could learn how to distinguish between known users and strangers. Thus, the device could automatically grant access t authorized users, eliminated passwords, codes, pins or keys. In a commercial setting, this device could sound an alarm for any unauthorized persons while ignoring those who are allowed to be there.
Again, this is all hypothetical and we may be years away from such an advanced and sophisticated system, but this shows how video analytics have the potential of enhancing various security applications.
Smart home technology seems to be popping up everywhere these days, from locks to lights to thermostats. Such an abundance of tech and devices makes it hard to determine which ones are really worth the hype.
When you are shopping for smart home technology and devices, it is best to focus on how these will help you. Those that save you time and money in the long run are usually better choices. Here are a few examples of good smart home investments.
Smart switches allow you to control lights and appliances remotely from an app. Save energy and ensure your devices and appliances are not left on standby. Most smart switches are easy to install as they simply plug into an existing power outlet, making them a sound purchase.
Air pollution is not limited to the outdoors. The air within your home could be polluted too. To improve the air quality in your home, a smart air purifier could be just the trick. Most air purifiers capture gases and fine particles such as allergens and pollutants. What makes them smart is their ability to be controlled remotely, enabling you to monitor air quality, make adjustments, and even schedule purifications with your smartphone or device from afar.
Smart Smoke Detectors
Aside from detecting smoke and carbon monoxide faster than standard models, smart smoke detectors deliver voice alerts to tell you when and why the alarm is sounding.
Baby Changing Tables
No, this does not mean the end of your diaper-changing days. It does mean that you get an easier way to monitor your baby’s health. Smart changing pads allow you to track your baby’s weight, food intake, and any changes, making it a great product for parents.
While these have been around for a while, they are getting even smarter. For example, the LG Smart InstaView has partnered with Amazon to enable you to order items directly from the store by scanning items on the panel of the fridge. And thanks to a cleverly placed security camera, you may view the contents of your fridge from your phone! No more getting up to linger in front of your open refrigerator, wasting energy and time.
If you’re in the market for home security solutions, visit SecurityCamExpert.com for a wide selection of CCTV surveillance camera packages and more. To learn more about our site surveys and installation services, or for a free quote, please call us at 888-203-6294.
Unfortunately, for many businesses, physical security is often overlooked. Some may have budget concerns while others may simply be too busy running their business. Sometimes it takes an actual incident for businesses to consider installing a security system.
Whatever the excuse, security should never be dismissed; it should be considered from the very beginning. As much as we would like to believe our chances of being targeted are slim, the truth is it happens more than we would like to admit. And thanks to advanced technology and increased demand, there are a variety of security solutions to suit different budgets and needs.
Here are some of the ways your business can benefit from a solid security system.
Deter Criminal Activity
This is obviously one of the most important reasons businesses look into security solutions. The presence of security cameras tends to discourage criminals for fear of being caught. In turn, they much prefer businesses which do not have proper surveillance systems in place.
In addition, security systems enable businesses to act quickly in notifying authorities when incidents do occur, helping to de-escalate the situation faster.
Protect Your Business Assets
Regardless of your company’s insurance policy, the loss of certain assets can still be devastating. For example, if your customers’ data is stolen, the repercussions could be extremely damaging and irreversible. Security systems come into play to secure assets which cannot be accounted for via insurance payouts.
Enhance Employee Safety
Employee safety is important, and security systems can help to protect and reassure your workers. For those who work late shifts, odd hours, or are often alone on the premises, security cameras can offer peace of mind. Should an accident or dangerous incident occur during this time, an advanced security system would be able to send out an alert and provide evidence as needed.
You will want to extend your security camera system to the employee parking lot as well, monitoring employees and they arrive and leave work, walking to and from their cars. Employees will also feel safer knowing their vehicles are under a watchful eye.
While you may think the costs are too high, security solutions can save you money in the long run. First, many insurance companies offer discounted premiums to companies that utilize security systems to deter criminal activity. Some insurance companies even go as far as helping small businesses by defraying the costs. Also, surveillance footage helps to speed up the claims process.
The surveillance footage may even be used to defend your company in the case of frivolous lawsuits. For example, if a customer spends time on your property then falsely claims they were injured, without security cameras, it is their word against yours. Video surveillance could prove who is liable and potentially save you from expensive lawsuits.
Enjoy Greater Peace Of Mind
Aside from the benefits outlined above, there is an intangible feeling of peace knowing that your business is secure. Most advanced systems now offer remote access around the clock, allowing you to check in from wherever you may be.
The next, very important step is to choose the right security system for you. There are numerous security solutions that offer different features and functions, so you should take the time to evaluate your needs and research different systems. Feel free to browse our stock at SecurityCamExpert.com. We offer free quotes, site surveys, and provide installation and support services. If you need any help or have any questions, call us at 888-203-6294 and we will gladly assist you. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Yelp!
As the Internet of Things continues to grow, more and more of our personal and business matters are being handled online. Thus, the internet is becoming a hotbed for cyber attacks, demonstrated by the various hacking stories in the news lately. Smartphones and PCs are often targeted since they usually contain a wealth of personal data. Thus fingerprint sensors are being implemented on these devices in order to properly identify and grant access to the legitimate owner.
But with new technology comes new concerns and critiques. Some people believe that fingerprint sensors are not as secure as they are being touted, while others believe the concept is simply not feasible. Here are some of the most common myths about this biometric technology.
Myth: It’s easy to spoof a fingerprint.
Despite its portrayal on the big screen, taking a high-resolution photo of a fingerprint or recovering a latent print would be extremely difficult. This method is known as an “attack spoof” and, because of its challenging nature, would not be a method that a criminal would likely use. With the exception of an extremely high-value target, it simply would not be worth the effort.
The main reason this myth persist is because this process can be easily demonstrated with a willing participant. You can create a spoof of your own fingerprint by creating a mold with various substances, including glue or clay. Fortunately, new anti-spoofing algorithms are constantly working to combat this.
Myth: Optical sensors are less secure than capacitive sensors because they store the actual fingerprint image.
Optical sensors do NOT store the complete fingerprint image. Instead, the biometric information is converted into a “template”. This template retains certain parameters while discarding the rest, and is then encrypted when the abstract data is stored. Since it is not a complete image, even if the fingerprint template is somehow retrieved, recreating a fingerprint from the template data is not possible. This applies to both optical and capacitive sensors.
Myth: If a bad guy gets the fingerprint image off of your phone or PC, he can use it to access your phone.
As previously mentioned, fingerprint images are not stored on your smartphone or PC, therefore, they cannot be stolen from your device.
Myth: Multi-factor biometric security on mobile devices is hard and/or expensive to do.
There is some truth to this. Mobile devices already have fingerprint sensors and front-facing cameras, so we can expect to see an increase in multi-factor authentication based on your fingerprint and face. Other combinations (e.g. iris and voice recognition) will likely follow.
Now comes the hard part. The algorithms that combine multiple biometric factors into a single trust score need to be thoroughly verified. While this is a complex process, expect to see it become available in the near future. When that happens, we will see a strong network in place that supports multi-factor authentication across various platforms and applications.
Myth: Contextual factors aren’t enough to secure a mobile device.
This statement should read that contextual factors “alone” are not enough to secure a mobile device. When combined with biometric authentication, contextual factors can be part of a smart and strong security solution. For example, smartwatches can stay unlocked until you take them off, offering convenience and security. Contextual factors, such as location, proximity, room monitoring, etc., will allow your device to remain unlocked as long as you are in your office, or to authorize transactions without additional authentication.
Myth: Fingerprint sensors have to be on the home button or back of the smartphone.
Fingerprint sensors are available in a broad range of form factors, including slim sensors that fit within the power button. New sensors also work under the cover glass and detect fingerprints so that the physical home button can be eliminated, thus enabling edge-to-edge infinity displays. We may eventually see solutions in which the entire display contains sensors, allowing an effective fingerprint scan from anywhere on the screen.
Myth: Biometric authentication is just for security.
This technology is not only used for security, but can also enhance the user experience. For example, if you are driving a car that uses a fingerprint scan on the start button, it may adjust preferences (e.g. seat, mirrors, infotainment) to match the user. In the case of a smart home, a fingerprint scan may unlock a door, trigger preferred lighting and music settings, and possibly restrict access to certain home features (for time-shares or rentals).
Myth: Optical sensors are too big/power-hungry for fingerprint scanning in a mobile device.
Thanks to technological advances, optical sensors are small and efficient enough to be used in mobile devices. Some optical sensors can generate more in-depth fingerprint images which allow for more details to be used in the fingerprint template.
Myth: All fingerprint solutions are equal, so cost should be the deciding factor.
Fingerprint-sensor providers offer a range of solutions utilizing different technologies (e.g. capacitive vs. optical) with varying security levels, form-factor options, power consumption, durability, and software. It is best to look at the specifications of both the hardware and software involved before making your decision, rather than basing your decision solely on cost.
Myth: Biometrics are too difficult/too expensive to manage for use in enterprise environments.
When it comes to enterprise environments, fingerprint solutions are actually more secure than username/password configurations. With fingerprint solutions, the need for password resets or IT support calls are eliminated. Because of this, maintenance and support for these systems is easier, which is crucial in today’s cloud-based business world. And updating PCs is simple via a peripheral USB dongle-based fingerprint sensor, or a mouse with embedded fingerprint sensor.
Myth: Encryption is enough to protect a fingerprint template file.
Encryption is used to protect the template file while it is being stored, generally in a small amount of non-volatile RAM (NVRAM). However, more protection is necessary for when the template must be decrypted, for example, during the testing for a match. These security architectures can include match-on-host solutions, secure element, and match-in-sensor solutions.
Invest in your security and safety when you shop at SecurityCamExpert.com. Find CCTV surveillance cameras, DVRs, NVRs, and more to monitor and secure your home or business. Call 888-203-6294 to learn more!
Now that summer is in full effect, you should be mindful of sun safety practices. Whether you’re enjoying a staycation, vacation, or simply some outdoor fun, be sure to protect your skin from the sun. Here are some helpful sun and skin safety tips to keep in mind.
Cover Up During Transit
The ultraviolet (UV) A rays from the sun may not always cause sunburn, however, exposure can lead to skin aging and skin cancer. If you are sitting in a car or the window seat of an airplane, you may still be exposed as these UVA rays can penetrate glass and plastic. Be sure to cover up and apply sunscreen as needed.
Be Careful Near Water
A 2009 study found that the number of moles children had increased by 5% for every vacation taken near the water. This is concerning because more moles means an increased risk of developing melanoma. While proper sunscreen application helps, it may not be enough. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning and late afternoon and utilize protective clothing and hats.
Don’t Forget About Reflected Rays
When the sun’s rays hit a reflective surface (ex. sand, snow, water), they bounce back up. This increases your exposure as the UV rays are now coming from above and below. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that water reflects less than 10% of UV rays while sea-foam in a choppy ocean reflects 25%, sand reflects about 15%, and snow reflects almost 50%. Keep your destination in mind and pack the appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
Account For Altitude
Remember that as you get closer to the sun, the air gets thinner, thus there is less atmosphere to block UV radiation. To gauge this, for every 1,000 feet you gain in elevation, the sun’s rays increase in strength by 10-15 percent.
Count The Daylight Hours
Avoiding the sun between 10 am and 4 pm (when the rays are strongest) is typically advised. However, if you’re in a place where the sun doesn’t set until 10pm or later in the summer, it is still possible to get sunburned or damage your skin well past that time frame. If that’s the case, remember to reapply sunscreen while the sun is out.
Don’t Be Fooled By Cool Or Cloudy Conditions
Cloudy, overcast skies give people a false sense of security, often resulting in them believing that staying out in the sun longer will do no harm. While UV radiation may be less when it is cold or overcast, you are still getting some and can still do damage and even get burned. Despite the cold, cloudy weather, you should still apply sunscreen.
Buy Sunscreen At Your Destination
If you’re going on vacation and only taking a carry-on bag, it’s likely that a 3-ounce tube of sunscreen won’t cut it. To ensure you have enough to last for your entire vacation, simply buy a bottle when you arrive at your destination. Having an adequate amount will deter you from skimping your applications.
Before you leave for that vacation, secure your home and property with the best security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment from SecurityCamExpert.com. Browse our selection online or call 888-203-6294 to learn more about our site surveys, quotes, and installation services.
Since their introduction, drones have been used for many different applications. For example, they have been used for surveillance, delivery, and have even been used for urgent health care purposes. In fact, in simulated emergency situations, drones were able to carry defibrillators to heart attack victims faster than an ambulance (by 16 minutes). If bystanders are willing and able to use the devices, the shorter response time can make a huge difference and even save lives.
There are many other ways drones can make an impact on health care:
Deliver Medication To Rural Americans
A clinic based in Southwest Virginia has been eyeing the use of drones as a way to deliver medication to uninsured residents in remote areas of Appalachia. Two years ago, the first drone approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deliver medication took flight. However, FAA restrictions have since prevented the clinic from using the drone for deliveries.
Send Contraceptives To Sub-Saharan Africa
Women in Ghana have limited access to contraceptives, so the United Nations commissioned 5-foot drones to air drop condoms over rural parts of Ghana. Other countries are considering adopting the use of drones to ensure quick and efficient deliveries.
Transport Blood Samples To Labs For Swifter HIV Testing
Despite the fact that one in ten people in Malawi is HIV-positive, the nation has only eight labs that can test for the disease. They have relied on motorcycle drivers to deliver blood samples from rural villages for testing, however, the use of drones can help labs turn around results faster.
Get Google Glass To Disaster Victims
Drones could potentially deliver telemedicine kits, including Google Glass, to get doctors in touch with victims of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Google Glass would enable a bystander to be walked through treating someone in need of emergency care. Again, FAA approval would be necessary for the use of this.
Get Blood Units To Surgeons In Remote Parts Of Rwanda
As early as last fall, Zipline used commercial drones to deliver medical supplies from its distribution center in Muhanga, Rwanda. Remote clinics are able to order supplies via text and receive an air drop delivery in as quickly as 15 minutes.
Find a great selection of security cameras and equipment at SecurityCamExpert.com. Contact us at 888-203-6294 to learn more about our products and installation services, or to schedule a free* site survey.
Summer is here and Independence Day is right around the corner. Most people celebrate with fireworks, whether they watch professional public displays or they light their own. While the former is encouraged, those who choose the latter should be extra cautious. Fireworks can be very dangerous if not handled properly. Before you put on your own fireworks show, please review these fireworks safety tips.
Please remember, we will be closed on Tuesday July 4, 2017, for the holiday. Normal hours will resume on Wednesday July 5, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. From everyone at SecurityCamExpert.com, please enjoy a safe & happy 4th of July!
From simple cameras that captured video of the area in front of them to advanced cameras that offer exceptional features, our security camera systems have come a long way. The security industry has embraced the high-tech boom, offering sophisticated solutions and attracting more interest from consumers, thus driving home security system sales up over the years. We can only expect this to continue thanks to these security camera innovations, as well as those yet to come.
Video quality was once the defining factor of how advanced your camera was. Since high-definition and improved resolutions have taken care of that aspect, focus has now turned to the range and extent of camera views. Currently, most cameras can offer about 130-degree views, but 360-degree views are already being offered by newer security cameras.
This type of biometric technology enables your security cameras to distinguish strangers from members of the household. By doing so, home owners can be alerted to when members arrive home, as well as when unwelcome guests try to enter.
What was once a special feature has now become a standard function for security cameras. Night vision cameras can see almost as well as they can during the day and are often built to withstand extreme weather conditions, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
The security room, dedicated to numerous monitors and feeds, is becoming obsolete. Modern technology is now allowing security cameras to be integrated with smart phones, sending the live feed directly to these devices. Users are even able to change the angle of the camera from their device to investigate the area in question further.
Solar Power Integration
Solar-powered camera systems are much more energy efficient and can cut out the complications and vulnerabilities of hard-wired camera systems. A broader range of businesses are able to access security solutions thanks to solar-powered security cameras paired with wireless systems.
This feature is especially convenient for parents and pet owners to check in on their loved ones. Users are able to communicate through the camera to check in with kids or scold unruly pets. This feature can also be used to scare off intruders remotely, avoiding any immediate danger.
Voice commands and voice control has become a staple in our everyday lives, so bringing it into the security realm only makes sense. With voice control technology, you are able to manage your security systems completely hands-free. For example, you can turn on a camera, lock the house, or close the garage by simply activating voice command.
For a great selection of security cameras and CCTV surveillance systems, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For more information about free CCTV quotes, site surveys, and installation services, please call 888-203-6294.
For businesses, it is important to keep your data secure and protect your customers. Recent hacks and data breaches have proven that one small misstep can cost you a fortune. Don’t become the next example – heed these helpful business security tips to ensure that your business remains safe and secure.
“Least Privilege” Protocol
Employees should only have access to the systems they need to do their job, no more. Opening access to sensitive systems for all employees is unnecessary and increases the security risk.
Control Removable Media
Limit the use of external devices (ex. USB memory sticks) especially those brought in from home by employees. These external devices are a main route for malware to disrupt systems.
Secure The “Doors”
Old systems, network devices and sites should always be removed and decommissioned. Forgetting about these may allow hackers to access your network.
Devise a plan that encompasses the following: network privileges and devices for new employees, what happens when employee roles are changed, and the protocol for when employees leave. In the event an employee is leaving, be sure to revoke access and collect company devices upon departure. Please note that this process can become quite complex if workers used personal devices in the workplace.
Define “Tolerable Risk”
We all take risks every day, varying from minuscule to major. It is important to understand how much of a risk your business is willing to take to get the job done. For example, are you willing to allow staffers to use their own devices or take data files home? While this may help with productivity, you also run the risk of devices being lost, stolen, hacked, or contaminated with malware.
You MUST properly train your staff in understanding the risks and legal requirements around data security. Explain the different issues and best practices. Without proper training, you leave your organization vulnerable.
Observe & Report
Ensure that your staff knows to be vigilant and report suspicious activity (ex. suspicious emails, attachments) or any unexpected changes to the company system.
As you may have concluded, much of the data security risks start within the business rather than on the outside. Most of these mistakes result from accidental or ill-considered actions by employees, thus, proper education and training is pertinent. In addition, data loss prevention (DLP) technology can prevent unauthorized saving, copying, printing, or emailing of sensitive files. This will prevent insiders from compromising data, whether accidental or criminal.