Security Safety And Small Business

Home Security Camera System

Home security camera systems are becoming increasingly popular as price and ease of use continue to improve. Homeowners and Business owners can benefit from using the systems.

Homeowners utilize home security camera systems for several reasons. Safety is one of them. Monitoring the safety of family members, especially small children and aging or elderly members, the safety of pets and the safety of personal property give homeowner’s serious reasons to implement home security camera systems.

Systems for the monitoring of pets and small children are quite easy and inexpensive to set up when only a small area is to be monitored. For instance, monitoring the nursery or the room where a pet spends time while homeowners are at work can be done with a computer and a camera that sells for under $20.

Parents can easily see when and how well an infant is sleeping, what kind of care the infant receives when awake and what kind of daily routine is being followed.

Pet owners can check on pets, monitoring activity and behavior and know instantly if a pet becomes ill or is harmed in some way.

Grown children can use a home security camera system to monitor elderly parents who wish to live alone and maintain as much independence as possible yet could easily suffer accident or health issues.

Homeowners using a home security camera system can add a layer of protection regarding personal property while saving as much as 20 percent on homeowner’s insurance.

Small business owners can benefit in several ways by using a home security camera system. Business offices and buildings can be monitored for damage via accident, intrusion or even employee theft.

Security camera systems are available in all sizes, from easy to hide to easy to miss. Often the best home security camera system utilizes a combination of sizes and types of camera. Hidden cameras can be placed to monitor certain areas of the office, especially those containing sensitive information.

Larger, easy to recognize cameras can be placed in highly visible locations to deter break-ins, theft and vandalism.
Home security camera systems come in wireless and wired styles. Wired systems are usually installed by contractors or security service providers during the construction of the home or building.

Wireless systems can be installed anytime after construction and almost anywhere. The systems are easily upgraded to include more cameras or more capabilities.

Optional add-ons for home security camera systems include motion sensors, smoke sensors, temperature change sensors and more.

Monitoring of a home security camera system can often be done by cell phone, computer, and other hand held electronics and by television. Homeowners can save camera images digitally or on recording equipment such as a DVD or VCR.
Homeowners who wish to do so can subscribe to monitoring services those automatically alert authorities when alarms are triggered.

The purchase of a home security camera system gives homeowners a way to monitor the safety and security of loved ones, pets and property. Most insurance companies award discounts of up to 20% on homes where a security system is in place.

Added Security may Lower Insurance Rates for Home and Business Owners

One thing that many home and business owners neglect to check when establishing security measures for their homes and businesses is whether or not the standards being established will actually work to lower their insurance rates. Just as many companies reward safe drivers and drivers who own cars with GPS tracking enabled, they also reward home owners that take logical and practical steps to reduce the vulnerability of the homes to invasion as well as other security risks such as fire.

This is one question you should ask the security expert that assesses your home or business for security measures and upgrades as he should be able to give you a ‘heads up’ when it comes to this sort of information and which insurance companies prize these sorts of upgrades more heavily. The bottom line is that the experts keep up with this type of information in order to encourage hesitant buyers to make the purchase. In all fairness toe the experts; the fact remains that much of the costs involved in these security measures can be recovered through the discounts that are applied to the insurance costs.

One thing that may be worth mentioning is that in some cases, the savings translate into enough money to cover the monthly monitoring fees that the security services charge. When compared to the insurance savings, the peace of mind that is involved in providing these added security measures to your home or business is well worth any additional costs in most cases. This is particularly true if ever the time comes when these things pay off by protecting your family or employees as these security measures are designed to do.

Insurance companies are well aware that property is not only damaged due to theft but in many cases possessions are taken away from homeowners, never to be recovered. Some of these possessions are priceless in value, as dollar signs do not begin to touch their significance. However, by taking preventative measures to protect your belongings, most insurance companies will find you a more acceptable risk simply for taking the small step of hiring a monitored security company.

Other things you can do when it comes to the safety and security of your home or business include getting a new roof that is fire resistant, installing a fire extinguishing system, offering courses on fire safety (to employees), and installing fire barriers in larger companies that should work to protect some of the building even when all of the building cannot be protected.

Upgrading the electrical services in your home or business can also help you save money on your insurance as it reduces yet another fire risk. Fire is one of the greatest damaging forces that the average business will experience as far as structural risks goes and one that is in many cases preventable by taking certain measures. There is very little that can actually be done to protect a business or home from the ravages of flood or tornadoes so there is little hope available for lowering the price of your insurance premiums by seeking to defend against these types of damage.

In many cases, small steps can net big rewards when insurance companies sees the combined total of your efforts to protect your home or business not only from invasion but also the dangers that often arise from within. Protecting the structure of your home or office is only a small part of the security efforts that should be implemented by taking the steps to do just that often make a big impression on big business and will result in savings for you down the road.

Remember always that prevention is the best cure and insurance companies know this as well as you know it. For this reason, they are willing, in many cases, to reward those who take this information to heart and act upon it. Check with your insurance company and see if your new security measures for your home and business will actually cost less in the long run than you may have originally thought.

Call the Cops. There’s a Criminal in my Computer!

A common plot of Hollywood thrillers is the “Don’t Answer the Phone” device. In this kind of movie, the babysitter is aware that there is a maniac about to come to kill her or the children. The big moment comes when she gets a phone call from the police who say “The calls are coming from inside the house!” Pretty scary stuff.

But we have a modern day version of “the maniac is inside the house”. The maniacs are actually hiding in the house but not in the closet, not in the basement, not in the attic but in the computer! And it isn’t just happening to an occasional unfortunate victim. These kinds of crimes are happening to thousands of people every day, people like you and me. It’s called cyber crime and it’s an epidemic that law enforcement is putting all the skill and detective work they can muster to try to control.

When you hear a phrase like “cyber crime”, it makes you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator as a heartless android out to create chaos. But cyber criminals are far more elusive than Arnold. They could be any one in your neighborhood or halfway around the world. They don’t need a key to your back door or a tunnel under your house to get in. Cyber criminals can take up residence inside our computers and quietly commit crimes as we sit there enjoying our YouTube selections or having an IM chat with Aunt Edna.

The problem is not that our legal system has not done a good job of defining crimes committed using the internet as crimes. The legal community has all the laws on the books that they need to stop these criminals. The problem comes with finding the criminals and even know when a crime is being committed. But despite the elusive nature of cyber criminals, some of the kinds of crimes that can be committed directly over the internet are pretty scary including…

* Identity theft.
* Fraud.
* Embezzling hundreds, maybe thousands from your bank account.
* Hijacking an elderly person’s Social Security checks.
* Cyber seduction of youth and even children.
* Unauthorized access to your financial information which they can sell to other cyber criminals.
* The downloading of computer viruses and other destructive software that can damage your computer.
* Cyber terrorism.

Amazingly, most of this kind of crime can be happening inside your computer without you ever knowing it is there. The key to success for cyber criminals are these little programs sometimes called “spybots”. A spybot is a tiny program that can take up residence in your computer by hiding in your internet system with cookies and other content that you download when you are surfing the web. These programs can then capture and record your keystrokes and send them back to the cyber crimanl who can capture your secure information from that data. Or they can watch your cyber surfing and learn where you go to help cyber criminals figure out better ways to commit their crimes.

Cyber crime is something we hope our law enforcement professionals will eventually learn how to stop. But because cyber criminals can be anywhere in the world, stay on the run and even change electronic locations of their “headquarters” without ever betraying their physical location or who they are, it’s a amazingly difficult job for our law informant professionals to learn how to find these criminals and to capture them and put them away.

We can help by being ever vigilant about our computers. There are programs we can install that can “lock the front door” of our computers. The two top names in this kind of software are Norton and McAfee but there are dozens more that can do the job just as well. The good news is that these programs can simultaneously watch our emails, monitor for spybots and keep our computer clean of viruses and other internet surprises that can cause so much damage.

So just as we work with neighborhood watch and put locks on our doors even though there are police in our neighborhoods, we have to view cyber crime as a problem that everybody has to work together to stop. By making sure your computer is protected, you take one more victim out of the cycle. And that helps everybody in our quest for a safer internet. 745

Your Network Security Breached? Hire a Computer Forensic Expert

We often see Hollywood movies using the term “hack” into extremes. Most often in crime and action thrillers it gets pretty much blamed for anything. It may make other people paranoid in using their computers but professionals are aware that most of them are impossible.

Company owners are very confident in their security systems. Unfortunately most offenders are the employees themselves. Who can better cause a breach of security other than someone who knows the about the company’s network.
Once this situation arises, you can opt to hire a forensic expert.

Before you call for a computer forensic expert or company what do you do? You can also play a part in making sure that the situation will be addressed properly. Its common knowledge that once is tampered or damaged it will be inadmissible in the court of law. Before the investigation commences you can help make sure that there is evidence in the computer.

What to do in a computer crime scene

First you have to make sure that the computer system involved is not used. Leave the computer system the way it is either on or off. If the computer is turned off with the standard shutdown mode, data can be lost. Turning it on the other hand changes the slack file space, temporary files and caches. This causes the data to become altered. If the evidence is anyway tampered it will be accepted in the court of law.

Do not send your IT personnel to handle the matter. They may be able to collect data but they do not have knowledge in evidence techniques. They may be able to collect data but this will also change the information at hand.

Computer forensics do not just collect data but they also preserve and thoroughly examine the computer and its contents while following standard legal procedures in handling evidence. Any evidence must comply with the standards of the law so that it will be accepted in court.

If you already have the data but you are not sure if it does contain evidence you can call a computer forensic expert or company. Some companies offer a quick analysis to know if the computer system has indeed been used for a criminal act. They can collect the data on site while others require you to ship the hard drive to them.

The hard drive can be taken out by an IT employee, put in an antistatic bag, taped securely, bubble wrapped, placed in a box then shipped. You may have to call the company first before you ship them.

Letting your IT personnel make a preliminary investigation will change the data. If there is evidence found in the said computer then it has already been tampered with and cannot be used in the court. Computer forensic experts are both trained in the technical matters computer science and standard legal procedures required in court.

Computer forensic experts hire by the hour and the total costs will depend on the nature of your case. After collecting and examining the said data, the analyst will make a report. They can also be used as expert witnesses if it leads to a litigation and prosecution.

It’s important to think first thoroughly about the situation rather estimating future costs. Hiring outside experts is considerably less than the internal costs that will caused by the problem.

The Advantages of Monitored Home and Business Security

There is an old saying that you can never have too much protection. While a few years ago few Americans realized just how true this sentiment was, times are changing. As a result Americans who once thought the need for added home or business security was something that should be reserved for the fabulously wealthy are beginning to discover that the wealthy are no longer the only ones needing protection in this country.

Sadly enough, the middle class is becoming the more widely targeted group by those who would bring harm to property or possessions. For this reason, it is now more important than ever before to insure that your home and business has adequate security measures in place in the event that the unthinkable happens. There are few better ways in which to secure your business and home better than having a monitored security service that is available to the average middle income family. Some small companies can absorb the expense of security personnel though in many cases it is not as cost effective as obtaining a simple monitoring service for their security needs would be in the first place.

In fact, the number one advantage to having a monitored security service for your home and/or business is the fact that it is often more security than is currently present in the average household. This means that some security is far better than no security in the big picture. Even if you opt to install a security system for your home, how effective will it really be without being monitored?

The monitoring service fee is the one setback that most people feel when it comes securing their homes and businesses and yet the monitoring service is what makes this work to the advantage of home and business owners. One thing you may want to consider in order to offset the monitoring fees each month is checking with your home or business insurance policy and seeing if you can get a reduction in fees for taking extra security measures. Some insurance companies will reward this proactive stance when it comes to security and at times it can almost completely offset the fees.

Another advantage to monitored home and business security is the fact that there is someone to assist with security needs 24/7. This means days, nights, and holidays, your home is being watched and guarded by someone with your best interests at heart. Seriously if there are a rash of break ins in properties that are protected by your service it would definitely be bad for business. They have a vested interest in keeping your home safe from invasion or at the very least ending the situation as quickly as possible should the unthinkable occur.

For those who need a very distinct advantage, the costs incurred by monitoring services are significantly less than those that would be required in order to hire security personnel in order to secure your home or business twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Don’t forget the additional expenses of overtime and holidays. These things add up rather quickly and are far greater, expense wise, than the average household or small business could or should absorb. Check your budget and decide for yourself if a monitored security service for your home and business might be exactly what is needed in order to get the security your family and employees deserve.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Forensics

Computer forensics has become an important of litigation. Computers have become an important part of your lives. This does not exclude criminals who have the technical know how of hacking into computer network systems. Electronic evidence has played a role in court but obtaining can be difficult.

There have been issues of authenticity concerned with this type of evidence. Nonetheless it still used today with the help of legal standards to make them admissible in court. Computer forensics is beneficial but it also has disadvantages.

Computers are the most dominant form of technology. It has been used in variety of purposes which has made digital and electronic evidence important. However there are still setbacks to this field.

Pros and Cons

The exchange of information is taking place everyday over the internet. Although this may be convenient for us, it can also pose as an opportunity for criminals. Phishing, corporate fraud, intellectual property disputes, theft, breach of contract and asset recovery are some of the situations wherein computer forensics can be used.

Apart from the technical aspect, legal issues are also involved. Computer forensic analysts make their investigation in such a way that the electronic evidence will be admissible in court.

There are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to computer forensics. This field is relatively new and criminal matters usually dealt with physical evidences. This makes electronic evidence something very new. Fortunately it has been a helpful tool wherein important data needed for a case that has been lost, deleted or damaged can be retrieved.

Computer forensics’ main advantage is its ability to search and analyze a mountain of data quickly and efficiently. They can search keywords in a hard drive in different languages which is beneficial since cyber crimes can easily cross borders through the internet.

Valuable data that has been lost and deleted by offenders can be retrieved which becomes substantial evidence in court. Legal professionals are able to produce data in court that were previously impossible.

The first setback when using electronic or digital evidence is making it admissible in court. Data can be easily modified. Analyst must be bale to fully comply with standards of evidence required in the court of law. The computer forensic analyst must show that the data is tampered.

His or her own investigation must also be fully documented and accounted for. Computer forensics must also training of legal standard procedures when handling evidence.

The main disadvantage is the cost of when retrieving data. Computer forensic experts hire per hour. Analysis and reporting of data can take as long as 15 hours but it will also depend on the nature of the case. Another one is that when retrieving data, analyst may inadvertently disclose privilege documents.

Legal practitioners involved in the case must also have knowledge of computer forensics. If not they will not be able to cross examine an expert witness. This also applies to the judge, solicitors and barristers. Computer forensics is still fairly new and some may not understand it. The analyst must be able to communicate his findings in a way that everyone will understand.

Although computer forensics has its disadvantage, this can be solved by the party involved. Evidence on the other hand can only be captured once. The use of computers and the rise of cyber crimes also call for an equally high the method of stopping it.

Document Security? – Why?

Why should document security be so important to me? What exactly is it anyway? These are just a couple of questions you might have when someone mentions document security to you. With today’s technology, thieves are getting smarter and attacking both large and small businesses.

Where it used to only be financial institutions, security firms, and those working on government contracts that had to worry about document security, now it involves everyone. Even if you don’t own a company, document security is important to you as an individual.

Ever hear the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Well in today’s world, your trash is treasure to identity thieves, con men, corporate spies, forgers, blackmailers, and others. What you throw in the trash can get you ripped off.

Identity thieves today can find information on documents, bills, canceled checks, and other items that you throw away. Sometimes they use that information to apply for credit cards in your name and other times they can simply use technology to make a duplicate of the credit card you already have. Most stores don’t even check ID when taking a credit card, so once a duplicate is made, they are in business.

Con men need only to learn a little bit about you in order to cook up some scheme involving you. The personal information in your letters, bills, and other documents can give them all they need to con you into believing they are someone other than who they really are. The personal information they obtained from your documents enhances their story to make it believable.

Forgers enjoy the documents you throw away even more, since you probably signed some of them and they now have a copy of your signature. However, copying your signature is not the only definition of forgery. They can take canceled checks and make a new checkbook with all the proper numbers. They can forge other documents and do a lot more damage than you might think.

Corporations make big money. Not everyone who works for or runs a corporation can be trusted to be ethical, as we have seen with all the recent scandals involving big corporations. Some corporations use spies to learn what their competitors are up to. This is so common today, that some don’t even think it is unethical. They see it as a business necessity.

That means document security for your corporation is now a business necessity you have to take very seriously, if you haven’t already done so. Your competitors may not hesitate to obtain documents from your company in any way possible. They may use bribes, go through the trash, have the trash hauled to them directly, or simply sneak in and take them.

This is not just some stuff from a spy novel. Corporate spies get paid big money for the information they can get from the documents they can steal or “find”. You have to take document security seriously, especially where your plans will only be successful if kept secret until you can legally protect them. If it involves intellectual property, document security is even more important.

Don’t think this leaves you out if you only own a small business. If your ideas are patentable, copyrightable, or trademarkable, then your document security is important as well.

Even if you don’t plan to patent, copyright, or trademark anything, your financial document security is still very important. A thief knows as a small business owner, you probably don’t have very good security for your documents. Some thieves especially target small businesses because they are much easier targets.

Well, now that you know document security is important for various reasons, what do you do about it. How can you be sure you have a good plan for document security and document disposal?

There are several options for you, each depends on your specific circumstances. There are companies that are specifically in the business of document security for large and small businesses. They actually come to your business and do all the shredding and document disposal. This is one of the most convenient ways of being sure your documents are destroyed properly.

Is document disposal all I need to know about document security? The answer is no that is only the beginning. It all depends on what type of company you run.

Do you allow your employees to take sensitive documents home with them? Do you allow them to photocopy anything they want with no record of what they copied? If you are a financial institution, do you use new Pantograph methods for your documents? Many of the old Pantograph methods no longer stop today’s thieves from copying your sensitive financial documents.

There is a lot more to document security than just shredding documents and disposing of the material securely. I plan to address more of those methods in future articles about document security. In this article I just wanted you to see that everyone needs to take document security seriously.

The Meeting Planner’s Online Advantage: The 8 Most Important Features Of Automated Systems

8 features of online registration systems which will improve your events TODAY:

1. Automated
Many systems include over 15 standard email communications that can be customized, personalized and automated. Data is automatically collected in a database and at your fingertips for an unlimited number of reports; and downloadable in six different formats.

2. Integrated
Online events are easily integrated with ad hoc emails via built-in mail systems, online surveys, donations and membership and subscription management systems, creating a one-stop shop for all kinds of online services.

3. Flexible
Everything you create in an automated system can be customized to your company or organization’s look and feel for a streamlined, consistent image through the entire process. Plus, your data is accessible to you in any number of formats through extensive custom and cross-event reporting functions.

4. Web-based
Why is this so important? Using a web-based system means that you, your co-workers, your vendors – anyone can be granted access to all or parts of your event information – instantly and in real-time – from any computer with Internet access. Essential for mobile professionals like you.

5. Easy-to-use
This may seem like a no brainer, but make sure you “test drive” any system prior to making a purchase. If possible, attend a live demonstration of any product you are considering, and/or open a trial account to test their service yourself.

6. Supported
The support team needs to be accessible, responsive and knowledgeable before, during and after your event. We just mentioned taking the system for a test drive. Along with that you should have access to technical support to answer any questions you have as you try out the system.

7. Secure
Make sure your data is protected. Ask if the system is hacker-safe. If it complies with Visa security requirements. Have they ever had a security breach of any kind?. The company should exceed all “standard” security measures – even those mandated by government and university customers.

8. Fast & stable
A good registration system is hosted on state of the art equipment, which makes response times minimal. System down time is also important – don’t settle for anything less than 98% “up time” or better.

Cyber Smarts For The Online Shopper

Online shopping malls, the newest shopping destinations in the face of the planet composed of 100% electronic goods and shoppers. It may look quite novel for most people but enter unprepared and you just might find yourself ripped off must faster than in the real world.

It’s true, being somewhat new to most of us and thus populated with relatively wide eyed naive people; the internet is fast becoming a melting pot for crooks, thieves and criminals out for easy targets. The absence of any sort of internet police also doesn’t help.

Nevertheless, knowing nothing about the complexities of cyberspace doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re weaponless against these kinds of people. Armed with a bit of cyber smarts, you can even pass for a local in this electronic frontier.

Cyber Smarts Start at Home
Nobody goes into the wilderness without some sort of survival kit, which is why you must be equipped with the basic tools and weapons before making your first foray into this world. Here’s what your Cyber switch knife should contain and what they are for:

Anti-virus: Against online Viruses that may corrupt your files and make your computer
vulnerable to other malicious software.
Anti-Spyware: Protection against software that could monitor your online transactions
and hack personal data from your computer.
Firewall: Your computer’s security guard against intrusions from outside your network.

With these three basic tools, you can improve your online security a lot and make it much safer to shop online.

Know who you Deal With
The advent of online shopping has made it a lot harder for people to verify who they are dealing with. One thing most people forget to do before going on an online shopping spree is to check the credibility and reliability of the online store. Remember unlike a shopping mall in the real world which may have cost millions of dollars to build, online shopping malls can be built for as low as a hundred dollars maybe even less. Moreover, anyone can build these sites for whatever purposes they might have.

For this reason, do a little background check before paying for the products. Does the website contact information include an address and a customer service contact number? If not, chances are the store is not a legitimate one. You can also look up Better Business Bureau to cross check the address written on the website.

Minimizing Risk
It wouldn’t hurt too to use low risk cards for online transactions. For this reason use credits cards with low maximum withdrawable balances. This way, if someone gets through and hacks your account, you will only lose a small amount of money. Refrain from using debit cards for your online transactions too as debit cards have less protection against fraud.

Likewise, stay away from online stores that ask for your social security number as a prerequisite or requirement before making an online purchase, this is because online merchants do not need this information to process a sale. Moreover, refrain from sending sensitive information to merchants asking for your bank account number and password. Some of the letters they may send might look official but keep in mind that passwords are never meant to be shared.

Electronic Guards
Make sure that the site is secure. You can check this by looking if the RL has an s after http. The presence of this letter means the site is encrypted and thus all information that passes through will be protected. Moreover, check if the website has a padlock or key icon, an open padlock or a broken key symbolizes an unsecured site vice versa.

Security Safety And Small Business

When I log onto the computer for the first time each day I have a security feature that tells me if there are issues that need to be addressed. The issue could be something as small as downloading a new update or performing a routine scan. The system can even alert me if an attack on my system has been launched and then prevents it.

Every business needs security. For brick and mortar stores that typically means either a security guard and/or motion sensing alarms. For online business it means software solutions that eliminate spyware, adware and multiple viruses. The solutions go further than providing anti-virus protection and firewall features.

It may amaze you, but attacks on small businesses are much more prevalent than large businesses. Why? Primarily because the small business owner does not think of themselves as being target worthy. After all, they are small, so the thinking insists a larger business is more desirable for hacking purposes.

Larger businesses understand the need for security and hackers have come to recognize that larger businesses do not make attractive targets because they work hard to keep their information secure. Some of the more sophisticated hackers have developed their own software that will continuously scan the Internet to find a vulnerable site. Once discovered, this is the type of site the hacker will explore. If it’s not a big business with multiple safeguards in place then it will be a smaller target that is more vulnerable.

With the wide acceptance of lap top computers in wi-fi hot zones there is a lot of business being done on the go. However, in a wi-fi hot zone the signal for your computer (and its contents) is not sent via a protected line, but by radio waves. These waves can be much easier to intercept and used to a hacker’s advantage. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection can help secure your on-the-go business correspondence and transactions.

Many motels and hotels provide free Internet connections (usually wi-fi) so be careful using this as well. Interestingly there are some motels that provide an Internet based computer for their guests to use. Many times that computer is in a common area where anyone can view what you are looking at. Most motels do provide a system that seeks to erase any sites you have visited for your protection, but you should be careful if others can observe the sites or password keystrokes you may be using.

This may sound a little like a James Bond movie and it may seem as though this article is designed with scare tactics in mind, but when it comes to the security of your business and related transactions you should always err on the side of caution.

It takes just one active hacking to damage your computer and potentially compromise the interests of past and present customers. Those customers deserve to have their information guarded and simple online precautions and applicable software can be very helpful in curbing potential problems while maintaining the greatest possible up time.

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