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Take Your Security Seriously

Protecting our families, homes, and valuables is a top priority. Home and business security systems aim to give you peace of mind when it comes to intruders, however, not all properties are created equal. A security system tailored to your specific needs is a smarter option. Aside from consulting with Security Cam Experts, you should also take note of these statistics and security tips.

Statistics

  • According to the FBI, in 2014, there were 1,729,806 burglaries in the United States.
  • Of those burglaries, 73.2% were residential burglaries.
  • Of these residential burglaries, nearly 28% occurred during the day while over half happened at night.
  • Top targets include women living alone or wealthy senior citizens.
  • Burglars also choose targets by the type of car you drive, what neighborhood you live in, the size of the home, or signs that a home is unoccupied.

Prevention Tips

  • Never open your door to strangers or solicitors. Remember that delivery persons need not step into your home to make a delivery.
  • Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door. With enough force, it can easily be broken.
  • If you don’t have one already, install a peephole and always use it to see who is at your door before opening it.
  • Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times. This helps to prevent unwanted intruders from simply walking through an unlocked entrance.
  • Choose heavy duty locks and use four three-inch screws to secure heavy duty lock strike plates in the door frames.
  • See something, say something. If you notice any suspicious stranger activity, call the police.
  • Have a family meeting in regards to home security plans so that everyone is on the same page.

Having something to protect you is better than nothing, which is why even a simple dummy camera can make a difference. But if you can afford it, investing in surveillance systems and home alarm systems can be a great benefit and put some of your worries at ease. If you have any questions or want to shop a wide variety of affordable security cameras and equipment, please call 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com today!

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Video Surveillance Technologies

Video surveillance has often proven helpful in producing evidence after a crime has been committed, and plays a role in deterring some incidents. But unfortunately, it seems video surveillance is no longer enough. Threats of violence and attacks have become more prevalent, forcing us to increase our security measures.

Containing and preventing violence has become rather costly over the years. In fact, the economic costs for prevention and recovery reached a peak high at $52.9 billion in 2014. This cost is far greater than the cost of carrying out the acts.

A real time solution is necessary. This can start with technology that has the ability to detect weapons while assessing the level of threat in the process. While this advanced technology could save lives, it could also save us billions of dollars by stopping these incidents before they happen.

For example, the fiscal impact of the September 11th attacks was found to have cost $55 billion in physical damage, $123 billion in economic damage, along with other expenses such as developing the Homeland Security Department and funding the war. The tragedy of lives lost and money spent to repair damages shows us that a more proactive approach, rather than reactive measures, would prove to be more effective.

It is estimated that the United States spends about $100 billion a year on counter-terrorism measures. With proactive efforts, these reactive expenses could possibly go toward other areas that need attention and improvement.

Aside from anti-terrorism, surveillance technologies can benefit many industries. For example, big retailers are investing more into their security. Wal-Mart, for instance, is in the process of deploying drones to monitor warehouse inventory. It is advances like this that get us one step closer to embracing futuristic machines.

What are your thoughts on the future of surveillance technologies? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Shop our selection of CCTV security cameras systems and more at SecurityCamExpert.com. If you have any questions, please call 888-203-6294.

Common Security Camera Mistakes

When it comes to security, you want to deter intruders from targeting your property. Investing in advanced security and surveillance cameras with the latest technologies can be a smart approach, however, in order to be effective, they must be installed properly. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when installing a security camera system on your property.

Mistake #1 – Hiding Your Cameras
The presence of security cameras can deter bad behavior, so why would you hide them? Making them visible from the street, yet out of reach, is a good idea. Keeping the cameras out of reach is important to prevent any tampering or vandalism that could compromise their performance. Burglars are always on the hunt for an easy target, and homes or businesses with security cameras create an extra obstacle.

Mistake #2 – Camera Positioning
The important places to monitor are rather obvious, but you must also take intermittent lighting and weather conditions into consideration. Things like direct sunlight can wash out your recordings, while rain or snow can build up on the lens, and windy days can make branches and leaves a problem. All of these can interfere with your recordings and possibly make your footage useless.

The best way to avoid these issues is to employ proper housing to protect and shade your cameras. Keep an eye on your feed to ensure that various weather conditions are not interrupting your surveillance.

Furthermore, if you’re using IP cameras, it is crucial that each camera location has strong and consistent Wi-Fi signal. Weak or spotty connection will impede your camera system’s performance.

Mistake #3 – Cheap Systems
Unfortunately, not all security cameras are equal. While there are many inexpensive cameras and systems that may seem appealing (especially to your wallet), you will likely run into performance issues. When shopping for security cameras, be sure to pay attention to features and specifications. Look into user feedback and reviews to ensure you are making a sound investment.

Mistake #4 – Passwords
With anything security related, we can’t stress enough how important strong passwords are. And always, always, ALWAYS change the default password. If someone gains unauthorized access to your surveillance feed, they can study the layout of your system and your daily routines, mapping out the best time to attack.

If you have an internet-connected system, it likely offers remote monitoring, thus you need a password to access it. Again, change your default password as soon as possible, and choose a strong, complex, and long password that you can remember.

Mistake #5 – DIY Installation
While it may seem more practical to set things up on your own, it might be better to leave it to the professionals. You don’t want to risk ruining your equipment because you installed it improperly. Trustworthy companies usually offer warranties, and will come back to fix any issues should they arise.

Do you have any other advice to add? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a great selection of quality security cameras & CCTV surveillance packages, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For more information about our products and installation services, please call 1-888-203-6294.

The Future Of Retail Loss Prevention

Loss prevention tactics began with in-store monitoring and patrol. As our technologies evolve and the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, security measures have improved. In fact, a U.S. retail fraud survey revealed that spending on store fraud prevention declined while online fraud prevention spending increased.

Because cybercriminals are constantly sharpening their skills, loss prevention specialists are using new technologies to their advantage as well. For example, data analytics have helped specialists understand suspicious behaviors and patterns in the e-commerce and m-commerce environment, and social media vigilance has helped to identify potential threats.

As the retail industry continues to expand and grow, what’s to come in the future of retail loss prevention?

Video Surveillance
It’s true that retail uses a variety of different technologies to operate, including point-of-sale transaction profiling as well as RFID tracking. However, now more than ever, video surveillance is playing a larger and smarter role.

With video surveillance, loss prevention officers have been able to catch thieves in the act and the recordings have provided excellent evidence. With the introduction of built-in facial recognition technology and video analytics, video surveillance can do so much more.

In the same vein, the smart features, connectivity and convenience put these devices at risk. While their role is to protect the business, retailers must do their part to protect their devices, data, shoppers, and employees.

IT & Outside Vendors
Because of this, loss prevention specialists must develop their knowledge and skills with the new technology. They should understand how to use data analysis to identify ever-changing criminal activities, such as new ideas, concepts and schemes.

Loss prevention specialists, cybersecurity specialists and IT team members must all work together to create a system that complies with privacy issues and maintains heightened security to prevent any data breaches or disasters.

Development Of New Responsibilities
As retailers begin to shift from their brick-and-mortar stores (some even closing completely) to focus on e-commerce and m-commerce, the role of data loss prevention specialists will morph into something new, which encompasses more aspects involved in keeping a company safe and secure.

What are your thoughts on the future of retail and loss prevention? Share your predictions and opinions with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

Choose the best security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment to protect your business or home. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection today!

Ethics & Laws Of Home Surveillance

When you decide to install home security cameras, where you place your cameras and how you use your footage is important to consider. For maximum protection, it is recommended to monitor common areas as well as possible points of entrance. While home surveillance is not banned, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid breaking the law.

Home Surveillance Concerns
Within your home, you do have the right to record without informing others, but there are very large exceptions to this rule. First, any area where a “reasonable expectation of privacy” is assumed is off limits. For example, if your home security cameras are monitoring your front yard and possibly the sidewalk and street, your expectation of privacy in these areas is low. On the other hand, bathrooms and bedrooms, where you may be in a state of undress, have a high expectation of privacy, and, thus, are prohibited.

Second, if your cameras enable audio recording, you may want to brush up on wiretapping laws. While these vary slightly from state to state, federal statutes allow audio recording so long as one of the two parties consents. This basically means that you, as the recorder, may know and give consent without informing the other party. However, some states, including California, require dual consent, meaning both parties must be aware and agree to be recorded.

In regards to recording burglars, any trespassers forfeit any expectation of privacy in your home. You may record the person, submit the footage to police, and use your video in court.

For cameras that run non-stop and record audio, you will want to warn any person that is allowed access to your home that these cameras are there and running, otherwise you may run the risk of breaking wiretapping laws. These people include family members, guests/visitors, delivery persons or installers.

The Consent Conundrum
You may now be wondering how you can lawfully gain dual consent. Will verbal consent or a surveillance sticker in the window suffice, or should you have every guest fill out a consent form upon entering? Unfortunately, consent for audio recordings must be given in written form. It is a common misconception that window decals or yard signs are sufficient means to gain consent, as it is expected for visitors to see and recognize them.

However, in a home setting, there may be an exception to the rule. With home cameras, it boils down to what you do, or intend to do, with your recordings. If you don’t do anything with the recording, it is likely that no one will know or care – no harm, no foul.

If you do something with the recording, things change. For example, say a celebrity is a guest in your home and now you have footage of this celebrity hanging out in your home. While selling this footage to a gossip magazine for profit may seem enticing, you will be breaking the law. First, consent was never given from this celebrity.  Second, you cannot use a recording for commercial gain without the subject’s consent.

In regards to wiretapping, a possible solution is to simply turn off audio recording if your devices permit. However, why turn off a service that you have paid for? While thieves are usually fairly quiet while they work, using audio recording for eavesdropping may be beneficial (but puts forth yet another ethical dilemma).

Uses For Recordings
Let’s say you record someone in your home plotting a crime, or admitting to committing a crime. Most states allow you to use the recording to prevent a crime or prove that one was committed.

However, if the recording does not involve a crime and you decide to post it on YouTube or a social media site, you could be engaging in illegal activity. Using a recording for exploitive or commercial purposes (as in the previous celebrity example) may be misappropriation if not all parties consent. As a reminder, laws vary from state to state so please look into your own state’s laws.

Also, even within your own home, recording with the intention of blackmail is illegal.

Law enforcement has the right to ask for your home surveillance if they suspect illegal activity, and a warrant will likely be necessary. However, since most recordings are stored in the cloud, they may be able to go straight to the provider and obtain the footage, bypassing your permission to access.

What Should You Do?
To err on the side of caution, be sure that everyone entering your home is aware that the cameras are there, and avoid placing them in areas where privacy is expected. If you wish to withhold the information, so long as you do not do anything with the footage, you should be fine.

However, there are other reasons to be careful with the privacy of your security cameras. While you may not have the intention to do bad things, hackers may be able to access your cameras and broadcast your feed. To protect yourself and your guests, it is advised to take reasonable security precautions (ex. strong passwords, maintain security Wi-Fi network), and take the ethical high road when using new technology.

Have any other tips or experiences to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Choose from our quality security cameras and surveillance equipment to protect your home or business. Shop our stock online or call 1-888-203-6294 today!

Video Surveillance In The Cloud

Businesses often turn to video surveillance to enhance security. In recent years, it has become a more feasible option for small businesses to employ cloud-based video surveillance due to lower costs and easy maintenance.

While some swear by the cloud, others are hesitant and worry about its security. If you are considering moving your video surveillance management to the cloud, you should get a better understanding of how it will work and how you can ensure that your data stays safe. Take these measures to ensure that your cloud-based video surveillance is as secure as it can get.

Is Your Hardware Secure?
Before you even think about cloud security, you must make sure that the equipment you have is free from security vulnerabilities. Do your homework and research different vendors’ reputation and history. Once you find a vendor you trust, make sure that your equipment is up-to-date with the proper software installed and in use. Maintain security by keeping your firmware current and using strong passwords. If your vendor has any other recommended best practices, be sure to follow them.

Vendor-Defined Cloud
Because the definition of “cloud” can vary from vendor to vendor, make sure you know exactly what your vendor is offering. When it comes to cloud service for video surveillance, you should be provided with camera management and data storage in the cloud. Your media infrastructure and value-added services should be managed in the cloud as well. Beware of vendors who advertise a cloud service, but really only offer remote access to a local device. This can be beneficial, but is limited in comparison to real cloud services.

Learn More About The Cloud & Data Center
If your cloud provider’s solutions are rooted on well-known cloud servers such as Amazon, Microsoft, or Google, you can rest assured that their general security is adequate. However, if they are using their own proprietary data center, you may want to proceed with caution. While there are secure clouds out there, you don’t know for sure how secure theirs is.

It is much easier to track a well-known cloud provider’s track record. For example, the Amazon AWS data center is supporting some of the largest internet services in the world. Their data storage environment is designed to limit the loss of data objects and is set for “encrypted at rest” which means it is stored encrypted in the cloud.

Camera To Cloud Connection
You should always understand how your system works. When it comes to your cloud-based video surveillance, you should know how your camera connects to the cloud. There are three different types of connections:

  1. No network configuration required
  2. Network configuration required
  3. The use of on-site device or gateway (not a cloud solution)

When it comes to your cloud solution, we will deal with the first two options only. If you prefer no network configuration required, your available options will be limited, but viable. Some vendors offer a solution to configure your cloud cameras with no network configuration, while others have built-in direct connections for your camera to the cloud.

Beyond that, any other cloud solution is likely a P2P solution, which tends to be less reliable than other options, so be sure to research your camera and cloud vendors.

The other option is to configure your own network to permit access to your own device from the internet. This is technically called “port forwarding” and, if done correctly, can be completely legitimate and safe way to configure your cameras. If you choose this route, here are some tips to boost security.

  1. As with everything else, choose a strong password.
  2. Ensure that all available firmware updates are applied.
  3. Ask your cloud provider for a list of IP addresses that will be used and white list them. This will create a very restricted list of servers that can connect to your device.

Implement these measures and work with your network or IT person and you have an adequate way to configure your cloud video surveillance system. You will avoid any black box P2P connections while opening up a huge list of cameras you can use for cloud surveillance.

Cloud To User Connection
Now that everything is in order, find out how the cloud makes your data available to you through its web or mobile apps. All your data and video is under their control, therefore the traffic from the cloud to your web browser or mobile app should be strongly authenticated with username and password and encrypted in transit using TLS, including standard web traffic and video streams.

While other limitations may occur (ex. bandwidth capacity), security concerns should not hold you back from cloud-based video surveillance. As evidenced, there are smart ways to keep your cloud video surveillance safe and secure. If done correctly, cloud-based video surveillance can offer a better solution than local storage solutions.

Does your business employ cloud-based surveillance? Share any tips or advice with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a wide range of network IP security cameras, CCTV surveillance packages, and more, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. If you have any questions and would like to speak to a representative, please call 1-888-203-6294.

IP Video Surveillance For Your Business

Video surveillance can be an invaluable asset for businesses. It helps to improve security, manage risks, and boost efficiency. Most benefits of video surveillance can be seen and measure, however, determining its financial return isn’t as easy.

In order to better understand the fiscal value of IP video surveillance, security leaders consider the impact and effect of a hypothetical security event. This gives them better insight to how effective their surveillance system is. And by understanding how IP video surveillance adds value to your business, you demonstrate your overall dedication to success. Here are some of the ways IP video surveillance can influence and improve your business.

Protection
A common reason to employ IP video surveillance is to protect your property, employees, and customers. It can help to minimizes losses when it comes to a security incident, however, it can go further. The application of IP video surveillance can also ensure cyber security, data protection, intellectual property and brand reputation. By protecting these assets, a cohesive approach to risk management can be achieved.

Various Applications
Again, video surveillance goes beyond security and safety. It has become a fundamental aspect when building a business. Aside from monitoring on-site and remote locations, surveillance footage can be analyzed to improve employee productivity and help to measure the success of marketing campaigns. This data can be valuable across different departments, which adds to its value and merit.

Demonstrate ROI
There are different ways you can evaluate and determine the total cost of ownership for your system. For example, by investigating liability claims with video footage, you can save money and prevent future slip-and-fall claims. Some cases may be proven false, while others may bring to light new or unnoticed safety risks that can be addressed.

The stronger your system is, the more money you can potentially save. The most effective systems are comprised of enough cameras to cover all areas and detect crimes in progress, with highly trained staff to monitor the different feeds. A system that can do this as well as integrate the technology into all manner of law enforcement activities will demonstrate true ROI to security leaders.

Remote Monitoring
Remote monitoring is an excellent luxury of IP video surveillance. When alarms go off or unfamiliar activity is detected, rather than sending managers or guards to investigate, you are provided with alerts and can respond quickly and appropriately.

Building a system that meets these standards will be a great addition to your business. What other benefits do you enjoy with your video surveillance system? If you don’t have one now, are you considering implementing an IP video surveillance system for your business? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

We carry a great selection of IP video surveillance cameras, equipment, packages, and more. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our inventory or call 1-888-203-6294 to speak with a representative.

How Security Cameras Can Improve Your Workplace

When you think of security cameras, it’s usually in regards to home protection or public safety. What people tend to overlook is that security camera systems could be very valuable in the workplace.

Security cameras in the workplace can help monitor workplace compliance, efficiency, and safety of workers, as well as safeguard against any thefts or criminal acts. The presence of security cameras may encourage workers be on their best behavior, likely resulting in increased productivity. They may also make employees feel safe in the sense that activity is being monitored, and it is less likely that the area will be targeted.

Security cameras can also help protect employees from workplace injuries. An evaluation of the workspace can help identify any potentially dangerous areas, and improved safety measures can be put into place. On the other hand, security cameras can also protect the business owner from fraudulent claims, as surveillance footage may be used to assess the situation.

Depending on your work environment, different features may be more valuable than others. For example, a license plate reader for the parking lot may or may not be necessary, and the same goes for facial recognition. You may want to consult with a security camera expert to help figure out your needs and what would work best for your particular space.

The basic equipment will include security cameras to suit your needs, a digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR) to record and store your footage, a monitor screen for active surveillance, and possibly a means for remote viewing, such as an accompanying app for your system.

Before installing any security cameras, you should research your local laws concerning video surveillance. Also, you will want to inform your employees about the installation so that everyone is on the same page and understands why and how the security cameras will affect the workplace.

For assistance in choosing the appropriate security cameras for your business, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. You may browse our wide selection of security cameras and equipment, learn more about our support and services, or request a free quote. To speak with a representative directly, please call 1-888-203-6294. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Security Surveillance Systems Capture Ghost Walking Through Disneyland

You may have seen this before, but Disneyland surveillance footage from 2009 has resurfaced showing what looks like a ghost roaming around the park after hours. Could it be?

It may take a few views to see what everyone else is seeing, but a spooky apparition appears to be roaming around the empty amusement park near the Haunted Mansion and Rivers of America area. Could he have escaped the Haunted Mansion to enjoy the park to himself?

There is plenty of speculation on what this could be, ranging from Walt Disney’s spirit to the unknown. Others more practically infer that a reusing of VHS surveillance tapes produced this strange and ambiguous footage. We understand this video is old, but if Disney is still using VHS tapes to record and store their surveillance footage, they may want to upgrade to digital video recorders or network video recorders.

What do you think you’re seeing in this video? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Want to see what’s lurking around your property after hours or when you’re not around? Visit SecurityCamExpert.com for our selection of security cameras, equipment, and more. Do you have questions about our products and services? Feel free to speak with us directly by calling us at 1-888-203-6294.

Choosing A Security Camera System

Choosing a security camera system properly equipped to suit your needs is ever important. When choosing a system, you should understand your wants and needs before you proceed to shop. Here, we’ll break down some basics to get you started.

Placement

There are many factors to consider when it comes to placement. Which areas would you like to monitor? Whether the security camera will be used indoors or outdoors will dictate which type of camera you use. Security cameras are usually identified as indoor or outdoor cameras, with outdoor cameras being built a bit more sturdy and, likely, weatherproof and/or waterproof.

Wired vs. Wireless

Placement may also determine whether you choose wired or wireless cameras. Wired cameras usually provide a more secure, constant connection. The downfall is that a simple cut or disconnection of wire and equipment can take down your system. Also, depending on its location, wiring may not be feasible. Wireless cameras make it a bit simpler, allowing connection through a local network, and letting you install them virtually anywhere. Connection may be an issue, depending on the distance between cameras and servers. Luckily, as technology improves, this problem will likely be eliminated.

Lighting

The lighting in the environment you will be monitoring plays a vital role in determining which features will produce the best results. For an area in which lighting will be relatively ample and constant, most cameras will work beautifully. However, in dimly lit areas, or areas where the light source will be intermittently available, you’ll want to invest in cameras with day/night vision and possibly infrared LEDs for better night vision.

Fixed vs. PTZ

Another thing to consider is the question of a fixed or PTZ camera. Ultimately, this depends on how you would like to survey your grounds. Fixed cameras are set on a fixed area, needing manual adjustment to view other areas, whereas PTZ cameras afford a more flexible range. With PTZ cameras, you can remotely adjust the lens to move left and right (pan), up and down (tilt), and zoom in and out as needed.

Viewing

As far as recording and viewing goes, you’ll want to choose the appropriate DVR (digital video recorder) or NVR (network video recorder). If you want to monitor your feed at home or in an office, a DVR and CCTV monitor will do just fine. If, however, you would like to view your live feed from your smart phone while on the go, you’ll want to find a DVR or NVR which supports mobile viewing and your mobile device.

At SecurityCamExpert.com, we carry a wide variety of security cameras and camera systems to match different needs. Shop our selection online or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294. You can also connect with us on our social networks – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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