Many homeowners and family heads are increasingly concerned about home security. Crime rates continue to go up everywhere, and more and more persons are worried about gun crimes, home invasions, and burglary. It’s a sad fact that a person cannot be safe while inside their own home.
It’s not pure paranoia that makes someone concerned about their own personal property and home security for their family. Not only are crimes on the rise, but violent crimes are increasing as well. And what is truly disturbing is that many crimes are committed by persons who seem to get younger and younger every year. There seems to be no respect taught for someone else’s property and possessions. If someone wants something, they just reach out and take it – without any concern for whether or not they hurt someone else in the process. So if you’re concerned about home security for you and your family, what can you do? Should you just get a gun and surround your property with barbed wire? Do you need to be suspicious of every person jogging down your street?
Chances are you don’t need to go to those extremes. There are many simple strategies to increase your own home security without bringing a gun into the house or turning your house into a fortress. Sometimes common sense solutions are all that’s needed for one’s home security.
Being aware of your surroundings and of strangers on your street is a good idea. If you see someone in your neighbor’s yard and it doesn’t look as if they belong there, and especially if you know your neighbor are not home, then you should consider calling the police. Part of your own home security is letting potential thieves know that your block is well observed. It also helps to make sure the city is keeping the streetlights in good repair and that they are working properly. Light is also important for your own home security, so be sure that your outside lights are working as well. Installing a light over the garage and near the entrances of your house are very important steps. Any home security expert will tell you how important that proper lighting is to home security.
It’s also important to be careful of unwanted visitors when considering your own home security. Be wary of persons that identify themselves as city workers, utility workers, or anyone else that wants to come into your home or onto your property. All utility workers will have identification badges with their pictures, but don’t even assume that this is enough to identify them. Before letting them in, call the utility company and confirm the visit. There have been many unfortunate instances of con artists and criminals forcing their way into a home by using this type of approach.
So yes, there are many reasons to be worried about home security. But if you use these common sense approaches, you can lessen your risk of crime greatly.
By 2000, a new type of threat was infecting our beloved computing devices–spyware.
With the dotcom bubble bursting and spewing financial losses all over everyone (yuck), you’d think that spyware wouldn’t be such a big deal. But it was new. And new is always interesting. Oh, and it meant that more money would be made. Long live capitalism!
I could just regurgitate the “History of Spyware” articles on the Net but instead I’ll quote a Lavasoft support page. Lavasoft is a Swedish based company founded (by Germans) in 1999 and was one of the first companies in the history of Internet security to produce antispyware software. Theirs is named Ad-Aware. They are still one of the best around.
“Virtually everyone with a computer has now heard of spyware, but where and when did it rear its ugly head for the first time? Here is a little history…
The word ‘spyware’ was used for the first time publicly in October 1995. It popped up on Usenet (a distributed Internet discussion system in which users post e-mail like messages) in an article aimed at Microsoft’s business model. In the years that followed though, spyware often referred to ‘snoop equipment’ such as tiny, hidden cameras. It re-appeared in a news release for a personal firewall product in early 2000, marking the beginning of the modern usage of the word.
In 1999, Steve Gibson of Gibson Research detected advertising software on his computer and suspected it was actually stealing his confidential information. The so-called adware had been covertly installed and was difficult to remove, so he decided to counter-attack and develop the first ever anti-spyware program, OptOut.
That’s where Lavasoft picked up and Gibson left off. He went on to other projects and Lavasoft became a pioneer in the anti-spyware industry with its signature free, downloadable product Ad-Aware. Lavasoft’s paid products soon followed and it is now the anti-spyware provider for 300 million computer users worldwide today.”
In the history of Internet security, spyware and its ugly little sister, adware, also fall under the malware heading if they have malicious intent.
It all started with pop up windows. Oh sure, they were novel and harmless at first. We stared in awe at our monitors at the shiny ads. But then another one popped up, then another, and another.
And then we started to wonder if these things were breeding. My monitor became a pop up petri dish! For those old enough to remember the most popular Star Trek episode of all time, “The Trouble With Tribbles”, was starting to feel very familiar. These annoying things persist today and all kinds of software has been made to block them.
Microsoft (who incidentally is part of the New World Order, I’m just not sure how yet) released the infamous Internet Explorer web browser. Then, in their infinite wisdom, they created the BHO, Browser Helper Object.
This fancy feature allowed other programs to do anything the browser could do such as install a virus or infect your PC with spyware. Usually a program did this by presenting you with a pop up window and tricked you into clicking on it. Then, BAM, now you need antispyware software.
Have you seen the pop ups that look like official Windows messages like this?
Yeah, you shouldn’t click on that–it’s spyware. It probably won’t be this obvious though.
Technically, in the history of Internet security, these early spyware threats were adware. They didn’t necessarily do bad things; they just try to sell you something most of the time.
But where there’s smoke, there’s fire and some unseemly types just couldn’t resist using pop ups to infect you with something nasty along the way. The history of Internet security is full of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nowadays, we have drive by installs. All you have to do is VISIT a site to get infected. Great, huh? They just get better and better.
Spyware doesn’t usually replicate itself like a virus. It’s main purpose is to, well, spy on you. But it goes further than that. Spyware can and does the following:
change your home page
re-direct you to gambling or porn sites
change privacy and security settings
install dozens of bookmarks or shortcuts you didn’t ask for
logs the web sites you visit for the purpose of presenting targeted ads to you
uses up many of your system’s resources
steal your user and password info for banking and merchants
lots of other unwanted stuff
Vivint Incorporated has been doing business since 1999 providing services to over 500,000 satisfied customers. Vivint Security System is just one of the products that they offer. They also provide home energy solutions and they are one of the largest home automation companies operating throughout North America and Canada.
The Vivint Incorporated Mission
Their mission is to offer simple and affordable home automation and security systems. They have put together products that work together to not only provide safety and security but improve energy efficiency in the home. This is accomplished by combining the Vivint security system and the Vivint Go! Control panel with technology most homeowners already have.
The homeowner can install the basic Vivint Security system then build upon it of mix and match their other products when they are ready. Their smart technology enhances security, increases energy efficiency and creates simple and affordable home automation solutions for their costumers. Help save the planet and save money on your monthly utility bill with their energy package
Simple & Affordable
In the end the homeowner can have a home automation system that will simplify their life as well as save them time and money. With the Vivint Go! Control panel their streamlined network of products easily connects the home’s security, HVAC, lighting, small appliances, video and more. The customer can monitor and activate any of the connected systems from anywhere in the world.
For one low fee the customer will receive:
Door & Window Sensors
Lamp & Small Appliance Control
Energy Efficient Flourescent Light Bulbs
Auto Door Lock
Their satisfied customers have remarked on how easy-to-use the wireless, touch screen control panel is and how impressed they have been with the customer service and world class monitoring system. If the alarm is tripped by an intruder the homeowner is contacted immediately through their two way voice feature on the panel.
Another great feature of the Vivint Security System is that it is completely wireless. They don’t utilize phone lines which are easy for intruders to cut, everything communicates by using cell signals. In the event an intruder should cut off the utilities the alarm will still go off. In one instance an intruder had broken into a home and triggered the alarm. While the alarm was sounding the intruder pulled the panel off the wall. To his dismay the alarm continued to sound.
Customers have also noted that they liked the ability to build their own package. They also liked the freedom to add or subtract products to create their own personal package tailored to the specific needs of their home.
Anyone who wants to have a home that is a fully automated smart home that is also safe, secure and energy efficient should look into the Vivint line of home automation products. Vivint customers have given their company, customer service and products high reviews.
There’s a good reason as to why you should have your chosen home security products in mind before you start shopping, and that’s because there really is no end to the number of products and gadgets you can purchase. If you have an unlimited budget and an understanding spouse, then by all means, go for it. But for most people, being in a home security products store can be like a kid in a candy store – your eyes get big, you start drooling, and then next thing you know you walk out of there with far too many things you don’t need.
To keep you from making that mistake, here is a basic list of the most commonly chosen home security products on the market and their use.
An alarm system is pretty straightforward; you hook it up to doors and windows and then it either uses a wire or a wireless signal that connects to the keypad. When the alarm is activated, anything that breaks that signal causes the alarm to be tripped.
Some persons on a limited budget or who live in apartments where they can’t install this type of home security product still have many options open to them. Standalone alarms come in a variety of models. For example, there are some that you attach to a door or window and which use a signal between two pieces. If that signal is broken by someone opening the window or door, an alarm is sounded. There is also another type called a doorstop alarm; this looks something like a regular doorstop with a little “tongue” that slide partway under the door, with an alarm mechanism behind it. If the door is opened just a little bit, it will hit that alarm mechanism and cause it to be sounded. These types of small, inexpensive home security products are great options for those who don’t want to invest a lot of money or who may be intimated by complete alarm systems.
Closed circuit cameras are fast becoming very commonly used home security products, as they are becoming more and more affordable. They are easy to install and can be wired or send a wireless signal to virtually any VCR or DVR, or can send a signal to an internet address so that you can log on and view the live feed. Anyone interested in keeping an eye on their home when they’re not away will appreciate this type of home security product, especially if you have children or elderly relatives that are home while you’re at work and need that extra monitoring.
Some have even found that fake cameras work great as home security products. They come with a wire and a little red light that makes them look very real. Of course, they’re not as good as a real alarm as they serve little purpose if someone does actually break in, but can still be a deterrent to any would-be thief.
Having a remote security camera at your disposal for surveillance at your home and/or place of business is a product of the desire to be in control of everything in our lives at the same moment. To know instantly that it was a raccoon that set off your alarm system and not an intruder is instantly gratifying to the homeowner who really values remote security cameras.
Where to Install Them
Supermarkets, discount stores and casinos all have employees and customers on remote security cameras because they all are constantly moving around and potentially all are involved in security situations. The ability to follow the subject in any direction will prove to be invaluable in many situations, not only to record the illegal activity, but in many cases, stop it before it happens.
Why To Install Them
Business owners love video monitoring services and remote security cameras because they allow them to monitor illegal activities such as shoplifting, vandalism, burglaries, and employee theft. By doing so, many businesses get as much as a 30% discount on insurance premiums. They also benefit from the knowledge that, because many of the crimes do not happen, they are potentially saving substantial dollars.
The fact that most remote security cameras are able to rotate a certain number of degrees gives the owner the ability to cover a room completely, leaving no dead spots. The alternative would be to install five or six fixed remote security cameras to cover a complete area where crime is most likely to occur.
Security at Home
Just about anywhere you live these days, crime is happening in your neighborhood. The big question is, will it happen at your house or somebody’s house down the street?
In the computer age we live in, almost everyone has a computer at home that can be used as a personal security tool. Just buy remote security cameras that transmit images to your computer. These remote security cameras should be strategically placed in locations like trees, poles, over the garage, over the front door, over the back door, and near property lines to be most effective.
By spending a little more money, you can get hand-made remote security cameras that look like birds and squirrels. Some people feel the cameras have more of a deterrent effect if the cameras can be seen. They should be placed in a manner that protects them from the weather and, by using your ladder, be accessible to clean and perform maintenance on.
There could be any number of reasons why someone would want to use home security surveillance for their private residence. It could be that you suspect someone that works for you is stealing. Or maybe you’re concerned about your teenager’s comings and goings while you’re at work. Or crime is up in your neighborhood. Whatever the reason, home security surveillance has its positive benefits and its drawbacks as well. Let’s explore just a few of these here, and then you can be better prepared to decide if this investment is for you.
First, note that there are typically two types of home security surveillance videos. One is recorded to a video tape or DVD, and you play it back at your leisure or watch it on a monitor while it’s being recorded. Another broadcasts the video to a website while it records.
The advantage of one over the other is that the website broadcast can be viewed anywhere that there’s an internet connection. If you’re considering home security surveillance because you suspect your teenager is doing something he or she shouldn’t when you’re at work, you can log in, watch the broadcast, and then call home and tell them to get off the couch and get their chores done, or to send their friends home, or to put that bag of chips back in the cupboard.
You can also do this if you have a nanny or babysitter watching your children when you’re away. In cases like this, you want to just log in quickly and check on things, rather than needing to actually save recordings of the video. Of course, not many choose this type of home security surveillance, but it’s interesting that many daycare centers and nursing homes are now offering it as part of their pricing. Parents can watch their children when they’re at work and you can be assured that your elderly parent or relative is not being harmed while you’re away.
The other type of home security surveillance that records the video to a tape or DVD is best used if you suspect someone is stealing or vandalizing your property. You may not be able to monitor your property twenty-four hours per day, and of course not while you sleep, but buy using this type of home security surveillance, you are able to have a recording in case you need to call the police or show up in court.
Of course, you want to be sure that you’re not using your home security surveillance to do anything illegal or that might unnecessarily bother the neighbors. Don’t be taping their yard or their activities. And definitely don’t tape someone in your house without their knowledge if they were to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. There have been many cases of persons being sued because they used home security surveillance in this way. Not only might you face monetary fines, you could actually go to jail depending on who you taped and what you do with the tapes afterward.
The current trends in both the consumer and business markets shows that the days of web connectivity requiring a physical connection are just about numbered as smartphones, laptops and games consoles all harness the power of Wi-Fi and 3G in order to allow users of a perambulatory bent to take a stroll around their homes or to any corner of the country and still enjoy broadband speeds for net access, downloads and even VoIP calling. With the prevalence of Wi-Fi networks within homes and at places of work there are obviously security issues to confront. This is compounded by the fact that smartphones increasingly store private data of a sensitive nature and leaving them with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled will give cybercriminals a gateway through which serious damage can be done.
Anyone who has ever used a wireless network will know that there are security options in place to keep it out of harm`s way. However, it is necessary to make sure that these are set up correctly in order to ensure that casual hijackers do not compromise your network. If you have a wireless router at home you should be able to alter the security settings from within your web browser of choice. By default most manufacturers offer WEP and WPA encryption on wireless connection.
WEP stands for Wireless Equivalent Privacy and is more than a decade old. WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access and is the more modern of the two, but it still has its origins in 2003. The latter lets you enter your own chosen passphrase which you can share with your family and friends who want to access your network. Of course while it is more difficult to hack this type of encrypted network by brute force, a third party might also be able to guess your password if you make it overly obvious. For this reason it is necessary to think of either a cleverly conceived password that will be difficult to guess or otherwise create a random string of letters and numbers. As long as you leave your code available inside your home then anyone wandering past in the street will not be able to guess it but anyone who you would like to have access to your connection can benefit.
Of course neither of these encryption processes is infallible, but in essence they are designed to keep your connection secure from casual opportunists rather than those who are insistent and knowledgeable enough to make a serious assault against your network. At the other end you might also consider installing security software on any PC or device which is connected to your Wi-Fi network. This will allow you respite from direct attacks via firewalls and antivirus software, keeping your data safe and retaining the integrity of your network. Securing your wireless network need not be expensive or complex and there are plenty of tools out there to make sure that you can protect yourself.
If you wish to learn all that you can about home security, this is your chance. With this sort of important decision, you should not settle for less than you need. All you need is the proper knowledge to take control of securing your home. Keep reading if you want to explore your options.
Have your dog protect the spare key. This works with a dog that stays outside or a dog with a pet door. Simply affix a spare key to the collar of the animal. You’ll always have a backup plan if you lose your key!
The materials of your home should be fire resistant. This give your home an extra protection layer. Lowering or eliminating the risk of a fire is an extremely important home security strategy because a fire can cause extreme destruction very quickly.
Shut off phone ringers inside the home if you’re going to be gone for quite a while. A ringing phone that goes unanswered may signal to a burglar that nobody is home.
Is your garage used for storage? Consider removing those items and keeping your car there instead. It will be far more secure against thieves. Protect your car from vandals by keeping it in the garage. This can also keep people from knowing your schedule.
Compared to city dwellers, you might feel more safe in your rural home. The risk is still there, so a home security system is vital. Still, there are those who are of the opinion that rural properties are less of a temptation to burglars.
Skylights could be a problem for the safety of your home. While they are an excellent source of natural light, they are also an easy way for thieves to enter your home. Make sure that you use safety hardware when the skylights are installed and maintained.
Use your wall spaces to hide your valuables. You don’t need to cut out segments of your walls by the way. Your home should have a few pre-cut areas that can be used. Perhaps you can use an old electricity socket as a place to hide your valuables.
Don’t put your spare keys under floor mats or plants. While you may feel that you are keeping yourself safe by allowing a way in for yourself, you are also allowing everyone else to visit whenever they want. Burglars are well aware of these hiding places. Try having your trustworthy neighbors hold spare keys.
If you’ve just gotten a home, replace every lock. You don’t really know the people you purchased the house from or all the folks they shared keys with, so don’t place too much trust in the old locks. And, other people could have lived in the home previously to them as well.
Before allowing anyone into your home, check their references carefully. It wouldn’t hurt to also perform a background check. There is no way of knowing whether or not service people are honest, so you should not give them keys to your home.
You want the security company to actually come to your house and install the system according to your needs. Everyone has specific needs and wants when dealing with the security of their house, belongings and family. If you’ve found a company that can tailor a system to you, you can receive the greatest amount of security to make you feel much more comfortable.
The areas outside your home should be kept well lit. Thieves prefer to work in darkness. Install lights in areas where intruders might come. Some examples include first story windows, garages, doorways and porches.
Anytime you come home and notice that the door is open whenever you are quite certain you closed it, don’t enter on your own to investigate. This can be quite dangerous because the burglar may still be on your property. The best thing to do is call the police and wait for them to arrive before doing anything else.
Get a paper shredder. Thieves often find the trash cans to be a gold mine of pertinent information about potential victims. If paper shredders don’t fit into your budget, you can manually rip up important documents yourself.
Don’t give anyone an opportunity to see inside your garage in order to ward off robbers. If your garage door has windows, make sure they have a frosted coating. This is easy to find at any major hardware store, and installation is a breeze. Don’t leave the door unlocked for a long time, either.
If you lose your house keys often, you might want to install a keyless entry system. Instead, key-less key code locks can work just as well. They are fairly simple to install, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing so yourself, you can ask your home security company about it.
Don’t use your birth date as the password for your security alarm. People can easily access your birth date in order to gain entry to your home. Use a number you can remember through some trick of memory known only to you, making it difficult for someone else to figure it out.
You need to use this information in order to use it in the realm of home security. It’s time to put that knowledge to work. Follow the advice presented here to keep your family secure starting right now.
The idea behind having a home security sign posted on your residence is that burglars tend to shy away from homes that include safety signs in their front yard, in addition to stickers on doors and windows, which read that the house alarm is present to warn would-be intruders. It is likely that most of the thieves realized that some homes only have a home security without an alarm It it is still possible they are still going through the house as a target.
Often times a home security sign will give an indication of coming from a professional alarm company, and most of the time was right. But there are some funny out there, which gives pause intruders. There is one who read for it would be intruders whom the home is protected for three days a week by a big snake. It is left to the imagination of the prospective intruder to find out which three. Other examples, such as a home security sign read that the house was guarded by Smith & Wesson, implying that the owner has a gun in it.
However, despite the fact that there were signs all over the house saying that there is an alarm system, a thief who is determined to get into your house might be willing to take a chance. When they finally break into your home and the alarm no sound from them may take some comfort that you probably do not have alarms. Although there are instances where the silent alarm was tripped and the immediate arrival of law enforcement officers may come as a shock when he realized the sign telling the truth.
Do you know anything about home security systems? If you feel lost, then you should keep reading to find out more information. This could be an expensive investment and it could mean the safety of you and your family, so go ahead and read more.
Be sure that your home is always occupied. Timers can be used to turn lights and televisions on and off when required. This way, your house will always look occupied. This will help to deter burglars.
Home security systems offer other triggering features besides having an alarm sound. Modern systems are often capable of detecting any open door or window and announcing that fact. This is a good way to know if your small child has opened a door or closed it.
It’s important to shop around before you settle on the right security system for your home. Prices can be very different from one product to another. Get at least 3 quotes from security system companies and compare features and services as well as monthly costs.
Do not tell anyone that you are going on vacation out of your friend circle. This can indicate that your home will be free and vulnerable during the time.
If you’re going on a trip for an extended period of time, switch the ringer off on all home phones. If the phone rings when you are away, burglars will know there’s nobody home, making the house vulnerable to a break-in when you are out.
Do not open your door for strangers. People try many ways to convince others to open up their doors so that they can commit burglary or worse. Be sure that everyone in your home knows not to open the door to strangers and unexpected visitors.
Check with your local law enforcement agency about home protection plans. There are lots of different programs, like home inspections, that will help you take the proper steps to make sure your home adequately protected. Speak with the police in your area to see if they have these things.
Use the spaces in your home’s walls to store valuables. You don’t have to cut pieces out of the walls. There are many places in your home that are pre-cut and available. Unused electrical sockets can be great for hiding expensive jewelry.
Don’t give outside people the ability to see into your home. Although large windows in your home can provide your home with a lot of light, they can also provide burglars with an excellent view of the inside of your home. Be sure to put curtains on your front-facing windows so people can’t see your valuable belongings.
When choosing an alarm system, consider one that offers protection for more than just your doors. All of your windows are possible entry points for a thief too. Attach an alarm to every one of them, and make sure all entry points are monitored. This will make your family safer.
Be certain your wires are hidden, if you have installed a security system in your home. Exposed wires make it easy for an intruder to cut them and disable the alarm. Make it hard for a burglar to avoid your detection. This way, you will be safer.
Remove and replace any wood that is not up to par. Anyone who wants to get into your home can easily pry away rotted wood and slip right into your home. Replace rotted wood with fresh wood to make your home safer.
Change the locks on any new place you move into. Although it’s normal for owners / tenants to surrender their keys when they leave, there’s no way of knowing who else might have copies. You can change the locks yourself if you’re feeling really industrious.
After learning more, what are your thoughts on security systems for your home? When you know more, the more likely you are to make a smart choice when deciding security issues. Keep the tips that you’ve read in mind as you get started with your choice today.