Spending time with loved ones, presents, the end of the year – There’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to the holidays. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. There’s often an increase in package thefts and scams during the holidays. Luckily, if you play it smart, you can avoid becoming a victim. Here are some holiday scams to look out for this year.
Fake Shipping Notifications Be aware of what you order and take note of sender address, typos, and such. These emails may contain attachments or links which may potentially download malware on your computer or steal your personal information. Like any attachments in your inbox, proceed with caution.
E-Cards If you receive an electronic holiday card, be sure that you can easily identify who it’s from and that you do not have to enter any additional information to access the card. While they seem like a nice sentiment, it could be a ploy to steal your information.
Letters From Santa There are companies that provide personalized letters from Santa, however, there are also scammers who mimic these services to steal your personal information. If you are thinking of using a company, check with the bbb.org first to see if they are legitimate.
Temporary Holiday Jobs If you’re looking for a temp job to gain extra income during the holidays, be sure to apply in person or go to the retailer’s main website. There are listings out there that may require you to share personal information online or even pay for a job lead. If you encounter any of these, consider it a red flag and look elsewhere.
Unusual Forms Of Payment Avoid anyone who asks you to pay with prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These forms of payment cannot be traced nor reversed. Use a credit card (they offer better fraud protection than debit cards) on a secure website. And always look for “https” in the web address (as the “s” is for “secure”) and the lock symbol.
Social Media Gift Exchange If it sounds too good to be true, more often than not, it is. This gift exchange promises 36 gifts in return if you buy one gift. But according to the BBB it is a variation of the pyramid scam and is illegal.
Phony Websites & Apps More and more people are opting for convenience by shopping online or through phone apps. Unfortunately, this makes shoppers more susceptible to fake websites and fake apps. Just because it’s marked with an Amazon or EBay logo doesn’t mean that it’s real. For online shopping, watch out for URLs with the names of popular brands along with extra words.
Bogus Charities Before donating, be sure the charity is real and you are using the proper donating method. Around the holidays, there are scam artists who send emails for fake charities or viral promos. Try these resources to ensure that you safely donate to the charities of your choice: Give.org, Charity Watch, or Internal Revenue Service.
Promotional Emails Pay close attention when you receive any promotional emails. If it is not from a trusted retailer, avoid clicking any links within the email if you open it.
Gift Card Scams There are thieves who copy the numbers off of gift cards in stores and call the number to check if the card is activated. Once it is, they spend the value online and the gift recipient is left with nothing. Also, never buy discounted gift cards online. The seller will keep your money and use the gift card as well.
Package Theft It’s likely that you’ve seen package theft all over the news since the beginning of holiday season. To prevent this, require a signature for your deliveries. If no one will be home during drop off time, arrange to have your package held at the nearest service location for you to pick up at a later time.
We hope these tips help to keep you safe this holiday season. If you have any other pointers, share them with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Want to secure your home or business? Shop our selection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance equipment, parts, accessories, and more at SecurityCamExpert.com. Inquire about our free CCTV quotes, sight surveys, installation, and other services by calling 1-888-203-6294.
The holidays are here, which means it’s time for things like holiday shopping and family vacations. Unfortunately, this also means it is the best time for burglars to strike. You want to protect your home and the expensive gifts under your tree, but you can’t be home all the time. Lucky for you, security cameras can be. These security camera features will help you get the most of out of your home surveillance system.
Motion sensing technology is extremely important in identifying suspicious or unusual behavior. Without motion sensors, your surveillance would need to be on 24/7, which can waste precious power and storage space on mundane recordings. Motion sensors allow your system to kick into action as needed. Mobile alerts are usually offered in conjunction with this technology. Aside from motion sensors, audio sensing takes your security system much further by alerting you or recording when sounds are detected around the security camera.
With two-way audio, you can communicate with people who may be in or outside of your home.
Investing in a security camera with speakers enables communication between you and whoever may be near your camera. For example, if someone is knocking at your door and you’re not home, you can instantly communicate with them through your connected device. Or if someone has broken into your home, you can alert them that they are being recorded and that authorities are en route.
Field Of View
The field of view depends on what you value more – detail or wide view. A camera with a narrower field of view will obviously capture less, however, it will offer more detail. A wide field of view makes the camera seem farther away but offers more viewing range without having to reposition or angle the camera (think panoramic view). Knowing where you want to place your security cameras will help you understand which field of view will work best.
Video quality has greatly improved over the years. These days, most security cameras come with 720p resolution as the standard, and go as high as 1080p resolution for recording and streaming. But before you go ahead and splurge on that high definition security camera, you must first be sure that your Internet connection can handle it (1080p feeds can use up lots of bandwidth).
You can go wired or wireless, depending on your personal preference and what your environment allows. Wired solutions simply need an outlet, and possibly extension cords, depending on the location. Other security cameras offer PoE capabilities, and some are battery operated.
Low light security cameras can make the most with a faint hint of light. The technology works to create a brighter image with discernible details, however, without a light source, the camera will not work. Most cameras with this technology will emit their own near-infrared energy while remaining relatively inconspicuous.
Thermal imaging, on the other hand, does not depend on light. Instead, it uses heat to monitor an area. While thermal imaging can work in total darkness, it does lack fine details and color.
Cloud vs. Local Storage
Surveillance storage is an important aspect of security systems. Without archived videos of an incident, you have no evidence to prove that a perpetrator did anything wrong. With local storage, your footage is saved directly to a nearby storage drive. Sometimes this is built into your DVR or NVR, other times you may have an external hard drive. The downfall to this type of storage is that you may run out of space quickly, especially if you do not have a motion detection feature.
Cloud storage is relatively unlimited (in the sense of availability), however, you may be charged fees depending on the Cloud service. Also, cloud storage usually dumps old footage after a specified amount of time, so if you would like to keep your video clips, you will have to offload it from your cloud account to your local drive or another cloud account.
Now that you know what to look for in your home security cameras, feel free to shop our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 1-888-203-6294 to speak with a representative directly. And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest!