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Safety Tips

Mounting Outdoor Security Cameras

Outdoor security cameras aid in your first line of defense against criminals. The presence of outdoor security cameras can deter burglars from targeting you, or they can provide key evidence should an incident occur. Thus, the installation and mounting of your outdoor security cameras play an important role in the success of your surveillance system overall.

Height
Whether for home or business use, the height of your camera will determine what you can capture and the quality of the images. In a business setting, the camera should be able to view the surrounding area while still adequately capturing the faces of incoming customers and those around the front door. Thus, a security camera mounted at least 10 feet high should properly capture the faces and body types of individuals. For homes, you should mount a camera at least 3 feet above your front door and another at least 10-20 feet up to capture vehicles that enter and exit your driveway.

Location
If your cameras are not in the right location, they won’t be able to record crucial footage. You want your security cameras to cover all the main entrances to your business or home, as well as any potential weak spots (ex. first floor windows). For businesses, you also want to monitor your parking lot. Surveillance cameras in parking lots should be in a location that allows them a clear view of customers’ vehicles. And as mentioned, you should have a home security camera devoted to monitoring your driveway.

Visibility
Surveillance camera laws can vary from state-to-state, however, hidden cameras in private places, such as bathrooms, changing rooms, or locker rooms, are forbidden in all states. Since outdoor security cameras are not located in private places, they can be hidden to some extent. But again, the visibility of security cameras alone can play a role in discouraging potential burglars from striking. If you decide on hiding your outdoor cameras, be sure to place a sign on your property informing guests and visitors that they are under surveillance.

How have outdoor security cameras helped keep you safe? Want to share your own tips? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Browse our selection of outdoor and indoor security cameras, along with PTZ cameras, network IP cameras, surveillance system packages, and much more at SecurityCamExpert.com.

Troubleshooting Tips For IP Security Cameras

After investing your time and money into choosing the best security cameras to suit your needs, it can be frustrating to come across issues with them not working properly. When your security system is down, not only is it a nuisance, but it can leave your property vulnerable.

Before giving up on your security cameras and shopping for new ones, review these troubleshooting tips for common security camera issues.

  • Connection & Power
    Though it may seem like common sense, sometimes we overlook the obvious. If your security camera is not working, check all of the connections. Make sure that the camera is correctly connected to the power source as well as any other devices.For wireless security cameras – Check the Wi-Fi connection (if the wireless security camera is connected successfully via Wi-Fi). You can use a network cable to test the network connection. Ensure your router is working properly and, of course, check the power supply.For wired or PoE security cameras – Make sure video signal and power supply is well transmitted. For a PoE security camera, check the PoE injector or PoE switch is in order, compatible and working. If you have an NVR security system, double check that all the connections to the system are correct and secure.
  • Cabling
    A majority of connection issues center around cabling problems. For example, if the IR LEDs do not turn on at night in the dark, it is likely a cable problem and no images or video recordings will come out.To check this, use another cable to connect the camera to see if the problem is solved. For a PoE security camera, you use a Cat 6 or Cat 5 Ethernet cable.
  • Settings
    It is easy to forget about camera settings. You may find that your security camera doesn’t do 24/7 recording, no motion detection alerts, can’t connect to Wi-Fi, or can’t record video at night all because you did not set up the settings. Remember: Security cameras do have features, some of which have been enabled by default and some that need manual enabling on your end.There is usually computer software or an app for a mobile device that is in place so you can easily control and manage your system, such as adjusting the settings accordingly.
  • Reboot
    The “Golden Rule” in IT troubleshooting is to reboot the device. When you reboot a security camera, it flushes the cache, recalibrates the settings, and revises the connections. To reboot you camera, directly unplug the power supply, wait for a few seconds, and plug it in again.
  • IP Address
    Each IP security camera needs to have a unique IP address so it can send and receive data via the Internet or a computer network. If there is another device using the same IP address with the camera, there will be a conflict and your security camera will not work. If you are experiencing issues, check the IP addresses to resolve any conflicts.There are two ways to check:
  1. On a computer that is connected to your cameras, go to the Windows search box and type “cmd” to open the DOS command prompt. You can type the command “arp -a” to see if there are any IP conflicts.
  2. You may type the command “ping cameraIPaddress -t” (ex. for IP address 192.168.0.999, type “ping 192.168.0.999 -t“). If you received results with “Unreachable” or “Timed Out” it means the IP security camera is not connecting to the network. You should change the camera’s IP address or assign a new one.
  • Update Firmware & Software
    Most manufacturers regularly release firmware updates to fix security camera issues and glitches, and also to add new features. Make it a habit to regularly check the brand’s official website to see if new firmware has been released for your camera and update accordingly. Remember to make sure the firmware you download is the correct version for your security camera.If you can’t connect to the security camera via software, it’s likely due to incompatibility of the software and firmware. If you are updating your firmware, be sure to check for updates for your software as well.Remember, it is best to use the software or app from the manufacturer since it is designed to work with all the features of your security camera without compatibility issues. While third-party software exists, it may or may not be fully compatible with your cameras.
  • Reset To Factory Default
    This is often one of the last ditch efforts to resolve an issue. Factory reset means all settings and configurations will be removed and will go back to the “factory default” settings (you will need to enable features and other configurations again).Some security cameras come with a reset button, while others may come with a pinhole as the reset function, requiring a needle to enable factory default.
  • Manufacturer FAQs
    Most of you problems or questions can be answered by checking the FAQ section of your manufacturer’s website. Search keywords about your problem and you should get related troubleshooting methods.
  • Tech Support
    If the FAQ section did not help, you may want to reach out to the company from which you purchased your equipment. Most companies offer tech support and you can reach out via email or phone call. Remember to provide as much details as possible and a professional technician should be able to help you fix the problem or offer alternative options accordingly.

If you need help choosing the right security cameras for your property, as well as installation services, feel free to contact us! You may browse our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to schedule a site survey or get a free quote. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Security Measures For Large Events

With the big game going down this Sunday, security for large-scale events is on our minds. Unfortunately, heavily publicized events that draw substantial attendance and large crowds tend to be prime targets for attacks and incidents. Luckily, proper security measures can prevent dangerous incidents from escalating further, or, ideally, from even happening at all. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to event security.

  • Security Posture
    It is crucial to make security efforts visible. Bag checks, vehicle-free zones, and uniformed personnel make all the difference.
  • Constant Vigilance
    Security personnel should be prepared to handle the crowd beforehand and screen every guest that enters, but security measures should remain in place throughout the entire event. It may be feasible to reduce some personnel when a majority of attendees have entered, however, no one should be able to enter the facility at any time without going through the same screening as everyone else. Once the event is underway, it makes it easier for potential attackers to move without being noticed.
  • Outdoor Security
    If you uphold strong indoor security, an attacker may decide to carry out his actions outside. This makes it vital to maintain additional security measures around the perimeter and beyond (ex. mass transit connections, tailgate areas, merchandise locations). Typically, perpetrators will target large, dense gatherings of people. Spreading out locations to disperse crowds with ample security personnel makes it difficult for attackers to select a prime target.
  • Layers Of Security
    As you may already tell, several layers of security are crucial. For example, your first layer of security may be traffic control personnel, who limit vehicle access to the venue and can watch for suspicious activity and individuals. Another layer may be personnel looking for potential criminal behavior in parking lots or directly outside the venue. Next would be the bag checks, magnetometers, and pat-downs to ensure prohibited items stay out of the venue. On the inside, you want to monitor the activities and prepare for the appropriate response, such as getting individuals to exits safely and getting emergency responders to the scene of an incident quickly.
  • Communication
    Keep attendees informed about prohibited items and any other policies and rules before the event. These communications can be distributed with the help of ticketing outlets and public media. Getting this information out beforehand will help security lines and bag checks move smoothly and quickly, decreasing traffic and delays at the entrances.
  • Offsite Security Command Center
    It makes sense to maintain a security command center onsite so that it is easy for people to find them if necessary. However, perpetrators know they can inflict more damage if they take down the command and communications center first. To combat this, while still maintaining an office within the venue, many facilities are moving the main command center offsite. By doing so, should an incident occur and the onsite center is compromised, security will still have eyes and means of communicating with the security personnel on site and still coordinate an appropriate response.

Tragic events over the years have forced us to reevaluate and tighten our security measures to keep the public safe. Now more than ever, security and emergency response personnel must work together to prevent and respond to major incidents. As an attendee, remember to be aware of your surroundings, and if you see something, say something.

For affordable, quality security systems, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294! We are happy to provide you with a free quote, schedule a site survey, or assist you with any questions you may have. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Smart Homes 2019: What To Expect

We have seen smart technology take over many aspects of our lives. From smart phones to smart watches, smart technology continues to improve our day to day living and is spreading to our homes. A smart home incorporates smart technology into your house for added convenience and security among other benefits. Find out how you can start turning your house into a smart home this year.

Lighting
This is the most common way that people ease into smart home technology. Smart lighting allows you to set a timer for your lights and control them through an app or possibly link them to your own voice assistant. But smart lighting is more than just convenience. Adjusting lighting when you are away from home helps to deter burglars by making it appear as if someone is home.

Cameras
Security cameras also act as a deterrent, ensuring that your property is monitored and informing potential trespassers that they are being watched and recorded. Should they proceed anyway, you are equipped with video evidence of the burglary.

Smart surveillance cameras, often equipped with high definition technology, can be installed anywhere in or around your home. When motion is detected, these security cameras can automatically begin recording and send you an alert via smart phone or device when this happens. Some smart cameras even employ facial recognition to inform you when certain people have arrived home or an unknown visitor is present.

Leak Detection
You also want to protect your home from damage, which is why smart leak detectors are growing in popularity. These alert you when water is detected where it shouldn’t be, preventing costly water damage and enabling you to address broken appliances or burst pipes immediately. Considering the cost of damages that you may be preventing, investing in these leak detectors is a smart choice.

Fridges
While not necessary, smart fridges offer a range of innovative and convenient features:

  • Transparent doors to easily see what’s inside without opening the door
  • Doors that open as you approach
  • Frost-free smart drawers
  • Interior cameras which can be viewed remotely so you can check inventory while you’re out
  • Interactive touch screens for communicating, pinning notes, and even watching films

Doorbells
Much like a smart camera, a smart doorbell allows you to see who is at your door via your smart phone, with additional security features:

  • Alerts when someone rings the doorbell
  • View live footage from your front door
  • Hear and speak to visitors
  • Record video remotely to watch back as any time
  • Motion sensor alerts when visitors don’t press the doorbell

Which smart home trends have you adopted already? Which smart home trends are you considering? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a wide array of security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment, please visit us at SecurityCamExpert.com! To learn more about our installation services, or request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.

Holiday Home Safety

‘Tis the season for holiday and good cheer! Unfortunately, there are also hidden dangers lurking around. Here are some smart safety tips to protect your home and family.

Holiday Lighting
Beautiful light displays are a sight to see, but they can also be a fire waiting to happen.

  • Carefully examine your holiday light strings each year. Discard any with frayed cords, cracked sockets or lamp holders, loose connections or tightly kinked cords. Before replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure the voltage and wattage of the new bulb is the same as the original bulb.
  • Always look for certification marks of an accredited certification organization (ex. CSA International, UL, ELT)when choosing products such as light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances and carbon monoxide alarms. The certification mark ensures that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
  • Avoid overloading extension cords, such as connecting more than one extension cord together. Instead, use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
  • Remember to keep lit candles far from decorations and other flammable materials. Also, keep your children and pets away from light strings and decorations that use electricity.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree – a single touch can cause electrocution. For outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off of the ground and away from metal rain gutters. To hold the strings in place, use insulated tape or plastic clips (not metal nails or tacks).
  • If you’re using a ladder to put up lights, make sure you are using the correct one. Double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder is safety compliant.
  • A certified outdoor light timer is a smart way to save electricity and be sure you don’t leave your lights on overnight. You may want to set your timer to turn on lights after 7pm to avoid the electricity rush hour.
  • And again, always turn off your lights when you leave the house unattended and before going to bed.

Trees

  • For artificial trees, look for a “fire-resistant” label.
  • Freshly cut trees are more resistant to ignition. When shopping, look for fresh green needles that don’t break easily when bent.
  • Set up trees away from fireplaces, radiators, portable heaters and other heat sources. Unfortunately, this is a common cause of holiday tree fires.
  • Keep the tree watered and make sure it doesn’t block any main exits.

Decorations

  • If you have any suspicion that your older ornaments were painted with lead paint, do not display them, especially if you have children.
  • Nonflammable, fire retardant, and unbreakable ornaments are safe choices. Also, choose ornaments that are free of sharp edges.
  • Be sure to hang ornaments with moving parts out of children’s reach.

Entertaining

  • Don’t leave the kitchen when anything is cooking. Again, a common cause of home fires starts in the kitchen.
  • Poinsettias are a festive way to decorate your home, but be sure to keep them out of your pet’s reach (or avoid them all together). While they are not poisonous to pets, according to vet experts, they are mildly toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, and skin irritation.
  • Always be sure that the fireplace flue is open BEFORE you light the fire. Keep evergreen boughs, paper, and decorations away from the fireplace and Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
  • Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken. Only a qualified service person should replace any fireplace parts.
  • If you are having guests over, be sure to test your smoke alarms. Monthly checks are recommended to make sure they work. And be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home (especially near sleeping areas).
  • Speaking of maintenance, you should have a qualified heating contractor perform a maintenance check of your furnace and venting system yearly. And during the heating seasons, it’s important to clean and replace your furnace filter frequently.
  • Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.

Security
Criminal activity is heightened during the activities. Be sure to lock your doors and windows when you leave home.

  • Make it appear as if someone is home – Leave a radio or television on.
  • Keep indoor lights on a timer.
  • Do not openly display gifts in front of windows.
  • If you’ll be gone for longer periods of time, ask someone to pick up your mail or newspaper or temporarily halt services.
  • Do not hide the spare key in obvious places – burglars know to look under doormats, rocks, flowerpots and above the door.

Do you have your own home safety tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a great selection of security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment, you may visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with us directly!

Hiding Security Camera Wires

If you have chosen a wired security camera system for your home, concealing the wires should be one of your priorities. Dangling and exposed wires are not only unappealing, but give intruders an easy opportunity to disable your security camera system by cutting cables.

Hiding your security camera cables is another way of safeguarding your system. Here are some smart and helpful ways you can keep your cables hidden.

  • Paint the wires.
    Help your cables blend into the environment by stapling the cables to the walls (via staple gun) and painting the wires the same color of your walls. This makes the cables less noticeable from a distance.

A similar alternative would be using a cord cover. If you can find one that matches your walls perfectly, you can eliminate the painting step.

  • Hide wires within baseboards.

The narrow wooden boards that run along the lowest part of the wall are known as the baseboards and can be a helpful ally in concealing your wires. If you have enough doorways in your home, this method can be especially easy.

Remove the baseboards and fish the cables in the gap between the wall and the floor. Make sure the wires are in the proper position before replacing the baseboards.

Aside from the baseboards, you may also hide the security camera wires inside or behind large pieces of furniture (ex. bookshelves, mantels, under the carpet).

Be sure to plan the wiring route first and then fasten the hanging wires with binder clips behind the nearby pieces.

  • Use a plastic tube.
    If you are hiding the cables of your outdoor security cameras, using a plastic tube not only covers the wires, but can also protect the cables from harsh weather conditions and external damages.

    • Because this method involves drilling through studs and threading the tube, you may want to contact an experienced installer.
      Note: Unless you seek professional help, the wires will be almost inaccessible in case of power failure.
  • Run wires through the walls/ceilings.
    If the power source or monitor for your security camera happens to be on the other side of the wall or ceiling, you can take a shortcut by drilling holes in the wall and threading the wires through. The camera, in turn, would be the only visible part.

    • For your own safety and the safety of your equipment, be sure to turn off the power source before you run security camera wires.
    • Begin by drilling holes in the position where the outlet or monitor will be, and use a straightened metal coat hanger to look for any unforeseen obstructions within the wall.
    • Feed the wires through the walls or ceilings to where you need them to go.
  • Install a completely wireless security camera.
    If you don’t want to deal with concealing security camera wires, you can always opt for completely wireless security cameras. Wireless security cameras are powered by batteries or solar-panels and can make the installation process easier. But remember, wireless security cameras are not always wire-free. You may need to run wires to power the plugged-in wireless IP cameras.

If you need help installing your security cameras and hiding the cables, please feel free to contact us at 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com. It’s our pleasure to help you find the CCTV surveillance system that suits your security needs. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Home Security: Mistakes To Avoid

You may think you are taking all the necessary precautions to keep your home safe, but you may be unaware that you are making some simple mistakes. Here are some common missteps that may be putting your home at risk.

  • Location
    Sometimes the location of your house can influence your risk for burglary. If your home is located on a busy street with high-visibility, you have less chances of your home being targeted – there’s simply too much risk of being seen and caught in the act. Unfortunately, better burglary targets are townhomes, houses in the middle of the block, and homes on cul-de-sacs. If your property backs up to a forest, open lot, or other unguarded area, be sure to take the necessary precautions and install high fences and lots of lighting.
  • Garbage
    Did you know electronics are second to cash when it comes to the things burglars look for? Don’t leave big boxes from your expensive electronics visible from the street. This is a telltale sign that you’ve got shiny, new electronics ripe for picking. Take the extra time to break down the boxes and make sure labels cannot be seen.
  • Mail
    An overflowing mailbox is a sure sign that someone is out of town. The same goes for newspapers piling up on your driveway. You can arrange for someone you know and trust to pick up your mail or place a temporary hold on your mail and newspapers while you’re away.
  • Yard
    Your yard can give away many clues as to what may be inside your home. Before you go on vacation, be sure you have mowed the lawn and trimmed your bushes and that you have a plan to upkeep these appearances until you return home. Burglars will pay attention to uncut lawns, and overgrown bushes allow for a place to easily hide. In addition, if you live in an area where snowfall is possible, arrange for someone to create car and foot tracks into the house.If your children’s toys are left out, they are at risk of being stolen, and they give burglars insight to what type of valuables they may find inside. With children present, there may be an expensive gaming console or other electronics, and mommy and daddy may have expensive jewelry hidden away inside.Lastly, you don’t want to make it easy for thieves to access your home so be sure to put your ladder and tools away and refrain from leaving stools or chairs in your backyard. This makes it easier for them to gain access to a second story window that may not be locked.
  • Lock Up
    Speaking of locks, more often than not, burglars enter homes through unlocked doors and windows. So it is worth mentioning – Do not forget to lock your doors and windows. And that goes for all doors or entryways, such as the front and back doors along with the garage doors. Whether your garage door leads into your home or backyard, be sure to lock it because the bad guys will try anything and everything to get to your valuables.And because they will try anything, do not forget to secure your dog door while you’re away. And you may forget, but it’s smart to secure patio doors as well since they are fairly easy to pick. The easiest and most inexpensive way is putting a heavy duty stick in the door track, however, there are locks which fasten along the top and bottom of the door and are less of an eyesore and inconvenience.
  • Windows
    Much like doors, windows provide another point of entry, albeit less convenient. You may want to crack a window to cool down the house without cranking the A/C, however, if you neglect to close it when you leave, you are making is too easy for someone to enter your home. Along the same lines, if you have a window A/C unit, it is easy for thieves to knock it out and climb in through the window.Aside from locking them, you should consider the visibility of the inside of your home from your windows. You should leave a mix of open, partially open, and closed blinds, but choose wisely. Avoid leaving blinds open near your valuables and electronics. Leaving some blinds partially open allows for some privacy and security while letting interior light out, and vice versa.
  • Keys
    Leaving a spare key around in case of emergency is a good idea in theory, however, thieves are often privy to the usual hiding spots. If you must hide a spare key, avoid the obvious areas and think outside of the box.Additionally, don’t keep your keys on a hook next to the door nor should they be visible from outside. And do not keep your garage door opener in your car. Whether your car gets broken into at home or elsewhere, the burglar knows your address is printed on the registration card. Invest in a keychain remote for added security.
  • Visitors
    Be wary of those you invite into your home. Whether they are friends of friends or hired help, word can spread quickly about what’s inside your home. While those who enter your home may not be thieves themselves, they may pass information along to someone looking for some quick cash.
  • Social Media
    Social media is a tricky thing. While you want to share highlights from your vacation with friends and family, be sure you are being smart about it. Refrain from posting those vacation photos as it clearly tells others that you are away from home, making your property a prime target. Instead, be sure your profiles are not public and wait to post those vacation pictures until after you have returned home.

Do you have any other home security tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For an affordable, quality home security system, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294! We are happy to provide you with a free quote, schedule a site survey, or assist you with any questions you may have.

Halloween Safety & Security Tips

Halloween is almost here, and this year it falls in the middle of the week. That makes your commute home a bit trickier as children may be roaming the streets already. And although it’s always important to watch for pedestrians, it is especially crucial on Halloween.

Aside from being safe on the road, it’s imperative to mind your children and your home. Here are some Halloween security tips to help you enjoy a safe and happy Halloween.

Trick-Or-Treating
Although going door to door collecting candy and treats from strangers is a Halloween tradition, it poses safety risks.

  • Check All Treats Before Eating – All treats should be inspected by adults before children eat them. To be safe, toss anything that looks tampered with and anything that doesn’t come in a pre-wrapped package.
  • Light Up The Night – Make sure your children are easily visible with flashlights, glow sticks, or even reflective tape. To make it easier, try using transparent bags for your children’s treats and toss a glow stick in there. That way, your kids have one less thing to carry and they are still easily visible.
  • Consider An Alternative – If you would rather your children not go trick-or-treating, you may want to consider an alternative such as a haunted house or hayride. Or you can visit friends or family so that you need not worry about what they get in their bag.
  • Host your own Halloween – Or you can simply host your own Halloween event at your home. This way, you are in the comfort of your own home and can keep an eye on your children and guests.

A Night On The Town
Leaving a porch light on when you leave for the night may not be the best idea. On Halloween, that is commonly known as a sign to come knocking for treats, and thus, people will soon realize that no one is home. Here are some ways you can protect your home while you are out.

Lights
Be sure to keep your home well lit. This will deter potential intruders or pranksters as it will appear as if someone is home and still awake. Outdoor lighting will eliminate shadows and hiding places.

Security System
Engage your security system if you have one. If you do not, now would be a great time to invest in a solid home security camera system.

  • Settings – Review your camera settings and adjust accordingly. Keep your cameras focused on potential entryways (doors, windows), but you may also want a view of the streets and other areas around your home – pranksters may attack from any or all sides.
  • Timers – Make use of light timers if you have them. Set timers to have specific rooms light up every now and then. For example, leave the living room light and television on but have the kitchen light turn on and off occasionally so it appears that someone is getting up for a snack.
  • Arm Your Security System – Sometimes we may forget so it’s worth the reminder to set the alarm and lock your doors and windows before you leave.

Cell Phones
For most of us, cell phones act as our lifeline and have become essentials alongside our wallets and keys. If your child does not have a cell phone and will not be with you on Halloween, be sure you have the phone number for the supervising adult or someone who will be accompanying your child. You may even let your child borrow your phone for the night so that you have a way of keeping in contact.

  • Charge It – Whether it’s your own phone or your child’s or both, be sure that all phones are fully charged before heading out. If your child is going out without you, you may want to check the signal reception where he/she may be.
  • Check Your Security System – Your security system most likely enables remote viewing via an app or device, and should alert you of any suspicious activity. If alerts are not enabled, be sure to check in periodically.

Staying In
Although we may hate to imagine that persons with bad intentions may target us on Halloween, it is always a possibility. If you’d like, you can leave a bowl of candy on the porch with a sign that tells children how many they can take and that they are under surveillance. If you sit on the porch and hand out candy, keep your cell phone close and sit with a friend or family member (safety in numbers).

In addition to the aforementioned security tips, it is always in your best interest to use common sense on Halloween and every day. Make sure children stay away from strange neighborhoods and that they know they should not go inside someone’s home. If possible, travel with a group for maximum safety.

Do you have any other Halloween safety tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Invest in an affordable security camera system to protect your home. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection or call 888-203-6294 to discuss your options.

Cyber Security Awareness For Consumers

Cyber security is extremely important, especially in this day and age, which is why October is recognized as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Without the proper safeguards in place, your identity and personal data are at risk. Here are some cyber security tips to help raise awareness and protect you from cybercriminals.

Watch What You Share
Cybercriminals are using more advanced tactics to gain information. Attacks are designed based on extensive research of the information you share online. Cybercriminals scour social media for various personal details, from workplace and job titles to friends and activities. They use this information to manipulate unsuspecting victims, a tactic known as social engineering.

Examine Your URLs
Pay close attention to URLs. As mentioned, criminals are using smarter approaches. They use branded emails with logos and fonts that look like legitimate retailers to get you to click on malicious links.

To safeguard against these scams and avoid being redirected to a fake site, always type the retailer’s address into your browser. And always make sure the site begins with https:// (as opposed to http://). The “s” stands for secure and makes a big difference in your online safety.

Secure Payment Methods
Whenever you enter your credit or debit card details into an online form, you are susceptible to interception from cyber criminals. Dodge these risks by setting up a dedicated online shopping account with strict credit and overdraft limits, and with only enough money to buy what you need.

Listen To Your Suspicions
Trust your instinct. If it seems suspicious, don’t use it. Make sure you are keeping track of the retailers you are expecting shipments from. If you receive an email that contains tracking information from a courier service or retailer you have not used, do not open it. It will likely contain a tracking URL which is a malicious link in disguise. And the same goes for attachments as these could contain malicious code. To err on the safe side, manually type the courier service website into your browser.

Fallen Victim? Take Immediate Action
If you think you may have fallen victim to cyber crime, act fast!

  • Report It To The Police
    Many cases go unreported every year, lending to the success rate of these cyber crimes. By reporting it to police, you can aid cyber criminal investigations help to shut down these operations for good.
  • Report It To Your Bank
    As soon as you notice unusual account behavior or suspect something may be wrong, contact your bank and have your card cancelled immediately. In some cases, depending on the circumstance, you may be able to reverse the fraudulent charges and recover your money.
  • Report It To The Business
    The business you thought you were buying from would benefit from knowing they are being impersonated online as you may not be the only victim. The business has the resources to track down the perpetrators and is likely familiar with the processes of getting suspicious websites blacklisted or shut down.
  • Do Not Negotiate
    Ransomware attacks usually involve locking you out of your PC and asking for a ransom (in untraceable currencies like Bitcoin) to regain control. If you give in and pay the ransom, you will be identified as a soft target and they will be back.

Do you have any cyber security tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For your security cameras and CCTV video surveillance needs, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com today! Call 888-203-6294 to request a free quote or schedule a site survey.

Protect Your IP Surveillance System

These days, IP security cameras are much easier to use and are more commonly utilized for home security. Whether home owners want to watch their property or their pets, IP security cameras seem to be the surveillance solution of choice.

Unfortunately, these home security systems are often targeted by hackers and bots. To better safeguard your IP cameras and privacy, check out these helpful IP security camera tips.

Update Firmware
Modern IP security cameras provide user-upgradeable firmware. When a security vulnerability is found, the manufacturer will fix it by issuing a firmware update. If your cameras are operating with an older version, they may be vulnerable to exploitation from hackers or online voyeurs. Always be sure that your firmware is up to date and routinely check for updates to protect your system.

Keep Cameras Local
The concept is simple – If you are worried about your live feed ending up on the internet, do not connect your cameras to the internet.

To protect your privacy, keep your security cameras on a local network and assign them non-routable internal IP addresses (ex. 192.168.0.5 or the like). But even then, your cameras may still be exposed by camera software that sets up port forwarding or uses UPNP to expose your cameras to the internet. Make sure your cameras are set up on local-only mode – consult your installer or check the manufacturer’s website to learn how.

Assign Passwords To Cameras
All too often, users forget to add password protection on their IP cameras, and sadly, this is not usually turned on by default. Without this, IP cameras are left wide open and vulnerable.

Luckily, most cameras offer at least some form of basic authentication, and although it may not be much, it is better than nothing. Remember to protect your cameras by assigning a username and strong password and changing it periodically.

Change Defaults
We cannot stress this enough – Always, always, ALWAYS change the default usernames and password for your devices. In case you didn’t know, the default admin name and password for your IP camera is usually available on the manufacturer’s website in the support section. That said, if you don’t change these defaults, anyone could potentially access your security system, view your feeds, and control your cameras.

WPA2 Encryption
If you’re using a wireless camera, you should only connect it to a WPA2-encrypted wireless network. This will minimize the risk of wireless eavesdroppers connecting to your network and accessing your video feeds.

Be Mindful Of Locations
Don’t place IP security cameras in areas of your home that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with strangers seeing. Regardless of the security measures to protect your camera feeds, there is always a possibility of getting blind-sided by a Zero-Day vulnerability that hasn’t been found by the manufacturer yet.

Share your own tips and experiences with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. For a wide selection of IP security cameras and more, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!

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