We all like to think that we implement smart and effective home security measures, but unfortunately, there are vulnerabilities that we often overlook. It may be time to reevaluate your home security and beware of these common home security mistakes.
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As summer vacation draws to a close, back to school season is here again. If your children have started school, or will start school shortly, be sure to review and apply these school safety guidelines from the National Safety Council.
Proper safety precautions are crucial for the trip to and from school. You want to ensure that your kids arrive at school and return home in one piece.
Review family’s walking safety rules and practice walking to school with your child.
• Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When walking on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
• Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right, and left again to see if cars are coming. Proceed if the roadway is clear.
• Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and always cross streets at crosswalks or intersections.
• Stay alert and avoid distracted walking.
• Bike Riders
Teach your child the rules of the road and practice riding the bike route to school with your child.
• Ride bikes on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file.
• Come to a complete stop before crossing the street and, when clear, walk bikes across the street.
• Stay alert and avoid distracted riding.
• Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing.
• Bus Riders
Teach your children school bus safety rules and practice with them.
• Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
• Teach your children to stand 6 feet (or three giant steps) away from the curb.
• If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, teach him or her to walk on the side of the road until they are 10 feet ahead of the bus. Your child and the bus driver should always be able to see each other.
• Driving Your Child To School
Stay alert and avoid distracted driving.
• Obey school zone speed limits and follow your school’s drop-off procedure.
• Make eye contact with children who are crossing the street.
• Never pass a bus loading or unloading children.
• The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children – stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.
• Teen Drivers
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Fortunately, there are ways to decrease this risk.
• Crashes can be attributed to teens’ inexperience. Practice with new drivers every week, before and after they get their license.
• Set a good example by driving the way you want your teen to drive.
• Set up an agreement between you and your teen driver that helps define rules and expectations of both parties. As time goes on, responsibilities and restrictions can be adjusted accordingly. This is sometimes referred to as a Parent-Teen Agreement or New Driver Deal.
Many School-related injuries are completely preventable. Here are some ways to ensure your child’s safety at school.
Your child’s backpack should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
• Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to even distribute the weight on their shoulders.
• Don’t overstuff a backpack – Backpacks should weigh no more than 5% to 10% of your child’s body weight.
• Rolling backpacks should be used cautiously since they can create a trip hazard in crossed school hallways.
Playgrounds & Sports
• To reduce strangulation hazards on playgrounds, keep necklaces and jackets with drawstrings at home.
• A few bumps and bruises can be expected when your child plays sports, but head injuries should never be ignored.
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Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, cyber security is important and essential. You should always do your best to safeguard your personal data, but business travelers should take extra precaution as both personal and business data may be at risk. Before you leave, be sure to review and apply these smart cyber security tips.
Most devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets) have a security setting that enables you to lock your device using a PIN number or fingerprint ID. You should enable this on every device. In addition, you should change the PIN numbers you regularly use. Should your devices be temporarily misplaced or forgotten, this will be the first line of defense against a security breach.
Be Cautious Of Public Wi-Fi
If you are traveling abroad, the laws and regulations that govern cyber security are typically not the same as those in the United States. Although free Wi-Fi access can be very appealing, it can be particularly vulnerable to security issues.
Avoid any unencrypted Wi-Fi networks – ask the hotel about its security protocol before connecting. Be extra cautious using Internet cafes and free Wi-Fi hotspots. If you must use them, avoid accessing personal accounts or sensitive data while connected to that network.
If your phone has a setting which allows your device to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks as you pass through them, turn it off before you leave. It can be convenient when you are at home, but it is not something you should allow while traveling.
Disable Bluetooth Connectivity
Along with your Wi-Fi connectivity, you should also disable Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth signals can come from anywhere, and if left on, nearby assailants can connect to your phone and potentially hack into your device.
Minimize Location Sharing
When traveling, it may be tempting to share your experiences in real time on social networks. The problem with this is that it creates a security threat at home. Knowing where you are helps criminals determine that you’re not in your hotel room or at home, leaving these areas vulnerable to physical intrusion. Limit what you post online or save it until after you have returned home to minimize potential threats.
Install Anti-Virus Protection
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep personal and company information secure while traveling is to utilize anti-virus protection. Choose a trusted brand of security and be sure to regularly update this software as new versions become available.
Update Operating Systems
Much like anti-virus software, your operating system should be kept up-to-date. This also applies to apps on your phone, especially those which you use regularly to conduct financial or personal business.
Password management is ever important, so if you are going to travel, be sure to change all of the passwords you regularly use. If you must create a PIN for a safe or security box in a hotel room, make sure it’s unique and not something you commonly use. Don’t skimp on password creation either. Take the time to create something that will keep a criminal out of your personal property. Once you return home, you can changes all the passwords back.
In addition to these tips, you should also review the laws and regulations governing cyber security in each country you plan to visit. Be aware of your surroundings, networks, and devices to reduce the risk of cyber threats. Share your own cyber security tips with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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Summer is here and many of us are planning and going on vacations, leaving homes unoccupied and prime targets for burglars. Don’t be a victim – be sure your home is protected whether you are work or away on a trip. Here are a few simple ways to keep your home safe this summer and year-round.
Share your home safety hacks with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You can browse our stock of quality surveillance equipment and security cameras online at SecurityCamExpert.com. Contact us at 888-203-6294 to request a free quote or schedule a site survey.
Keep an eye on your pool and property with quality security cameras from SecurityCamExpert.com. Let us help you choose the right surveillance system to suit your needs and we can take care of the installation, too! To learn more about our products and services, please call 888-203-6294.
Nanny cams can give parents peace of mind when they’re away from home. They can be hidden or installed in plain sight to monitor the nanny and children’s activities and behaviors. While some see as it as helpful, others may see it as an invasion of privacy or an uncomfortable situation.
Of course, there are rules and regulations in place to combat these issues. Recording a video of anything that happens in your home is legal, however, you must have a legitimate reason for doing it. Monitoring your baby or caregiver falls into that category, but regardless of whether the surveillance camera is hidden or not, they must be located in public areas of the house such as the kitchen or living room. Video recording in areas where there is an expectation of privacy (such as the bathroom or your bedroom) is not permitted.
When it comes to audio recording, you must inform and get the consent of the person being recorded. Because of this, often times nanny cams do not record audio. If you do record a video with audio that has evidence of abuse, the footage would be inadmissible in court and you could be liable for breaking privacy laws.
With that said, if used appropriately and within legal limitations, nanny cams can be a useful tool for parents. If you are considering installing a nanny cam, here are some of the pros and cons.
Need help choosing the right nanny cam or surveillance system for you? Contact us at 888-203-6294 and we will be happy to discuss your options. You may also browse our stock of IP security cameras and other surveillance equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com.
Security cameras are not only reserved for residential or commercial properties. Aside from protecting your home or business, you can also keep an eye on your car and driving habits.
Dash cams are small security cameras that are installed on your dashboard. Depending on the type, you can monitor the road ahead, inside your car, or both. While these surveillance devices are not mandatory, their use in your own car can be rather beneficial. Some insurance companies offer discounts, you can gather useful video footage in the event of a car accident (whether involved or as a witness), and it can simply give you peace of mind.
If you’re looking to purchase a dash cam for your vehicle, here are a few things to look for:
For a great selection of quality HD and IP security cameras and surveillance equipment, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. To discuss your options, schedule a site survey, or request a FREE quote, please call 888-203-6294.
Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and thus, the unofficial start of the summer. Many people like to go on fun summer trips and vacations to relax and unwind from the daily stresses of life. Unfortunately, thieves know summertime is prime vacation time, meaning unoccupied homes ripe for invasion. However, if you prepare and enlist the proper security measures, you can put your mind at ease. Here are some things you should do to ensure your property (and you) are safe and secure.
Before You Leave
Preparations should begin before you even leave for your trip.
At The Airport
Airports are often busy and filled with people rushing to get around. You must keep a close eye on your luggage at all times, even once you board the plane.
While On Vacation
Once you’ve arrived at your destination safely, don’t put your guards down just yet.
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When was the last time you evaluated your home security? With summer, and likely a vacation or two, around the corner, now is a great to time reassess your home security measures and upgrade or improve them as needed.
A surprising amount of burglars enter homes through the front door, so be sure that all of your doors (especially the front door) are strong and secure. Inspect the door frame, ensure the hinges are protected, and if your door has a mail slot, make sure someone can’t reach through and unlock the door.
To further safeguard your doors and entryways, you can install a deadbolt and/or add a strike plate. You can even upgrade to smart locks or install a doorbell camera. And if you have any sliding glass doors, remember to reinforce them by using a window bar or dowel in the track. Or you can invest in a door sensor or glass break sensor, which will alert you if the door is opened or tampered with.
Another common entry point for burglars is windows. And unfortunately, window latches and locks can be flimsy and rather ineffective. To better secure your windows, install improved locks or key-operated levers, or implement window bars. You can even reinforce the glass with window security film and install window or glass break sensors. In addition, you can plant prickly bushes under first-floor windows, but be sure to keep them trimmed.
Lighting & Landscape
Intruders want to be as inconspicuous as possible, so why not shine a light on them? Outdoor lighting can help to keep burglars at bay. Light up your yard (front and back) and pathways and place lights near the garage or other outdoor structures. Motion-activated lighting, solar-powered lights and timers can be helpful as well.
While the lights help to prevent burglars from hiding in the darkness, maintaining your landscape plays an important role, too. Be sure that trees and shrubs are trimmed down to eliminate any hiding spots. If there are trees near windows, remove them or add extra security to those windows. And remember to put away stools, ladders, and other tools and lock your gates and sheds.
An attached garage offers another way to access your house. But even if it is detached, burglars know there’s likely good stuff stored in there. You should always lock all doors to the garage, both interior and exterior. Consider keeping your garage door opener in the house. That way, a burglar can’t steal it from your car. You may even consider upgrading to a smart garage door opener, which alerts you when the door is opened or closed and enables you to control it remotely.
Securing your home wireless network is also an important part of your overall home security. To keep hackers off your home network, be sure to secure your wireless router and enable WPA (Wi-Fi protected Access) or WPA2 encryption. You should also rename and hide your network, use a firewall, install antivirus and anti-malware protection, and always create strong passwords and change them periodically.
These days, you can find a home security system that suits your needs and budget. Depending on your unique situation, you may consider DIY versus professional installation, along with the upfront and monthly costs, and the different features offered.
If they are not part of your security system, you may want to install security cameras outdoors, indoors, or both. Some features to look for include remote access, motion detection, night vision, and Wi-Fi capability. If you need assistance, you can visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call us at 888-203-6294.
Your security is our priority. Contact us to learn more about our products and installation services, site surveys, or to request a FREE quote! You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Sounds like common sense, right? Indoor security cameras are tailored to indoor conditions, so using them outside would produce poor quality videos and images. And the same goes for outdoor cameras being used indoors – just don’t do it.
Direct sunlight can damage your camera overtime, decreasing its overall lifespan. In addition, it can wash out images, deeming your footage useless. Consider investing in outdoor housing that can protect your cameras and adjusting the angle of your camera so that the sunlight does not interfere with your images.
You want to be wary of weather conditions when installing outdoor cameras. Be sure to check the IP ratings of the cameras and any additional housing you may invest in. And, if possible, install your outdoor cameras under the eaves for added protection.
That is, unless you have a night vision camera. Cameras without night vision or a comparable feature will not produce any usable images in the dark.
When recording, you must inform others that they are under surveillance. The easiest way is to install a well-designed sign in a high traffic area so that it is seen by everyone. Be sure to check with local laws and ensure you are in compliance with all laws before implementing your surveillance system.
If your mounting equipment is not as sturdy, you decrease performance and safety and leave your equipment vulnerable to tampering or theft. Also, it should go without saying, but please do NOT attach your cameras to the gutter.
Again, this may sound like common sense but it must be said. While it may seem like there are no obstructions when you first install your cameras, sometimes natural elements can change that. For example, on a particularly windy day, a branch from a nearby tree may block your camera’s view. Be sure to consider all potential obstructions before settling on a location.
By doing so, you may invite others to hack, damage, or disable your camera system. In addition, exposed wires can pose a safety hazards for young children and adults.
Again, this makes it easier for intruders to hack, disable, or even steal your cameras. It helps to install your cameras high and out of reach, not only to prevent theft or vandalism, but to also get a better view of the area.
Of course the front door is an important place to monitor, but really, you should be watching all potential points of entry (ex. sliding doors, basement doors, windows).
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