How to Conveniently Secure Your Home

Symbol of the house and stick the key in the keyholeSecuring your home is very important. Not only do you want to be safe when you spend time at home but when you are not there all your valuable possessions need to be kept secure from theft. It is therefore important to keep your valuables and the people you love safe inside your house. You can achieve this by ensuring your doors have proper locks installed by a licensed locksmith such as Fusion Locksmiths in Sydney, NSW.

But how about securing your home conveniently? There are many different types of locks you can use for your house. Most people opt for using a deadlatch but those with more expendable cash choose for a more advanced smart lock. This is where true convenience can really present itself.

Smart locks are definitely the most best locks to use in terms of user friendly features but of course are more expensive when compared to a standard lock.

Check out some convenient security features that smart locks offer:

  • Voice Activation:

Smart locks with the option of voice activation allow you to open and lock your door just by talking it. How futuristic! This cool feature also ensures that no one else can open your door unless his or her voice is encoded with the lock.

  • Geo Fencing:

Some smart door locks include a geo-fencing feature that enables you not to leave the house premises without physically locking the doors. It works by creating a perimeter around the house and using your exact GPS location, when you leave the specific perimeter, the lock automatically locks itself. Open doors can also be programmed to close themselves too using this technology. Such features put the smart lock leaps and bounds ahead of standard locks and thus make them more effective and convenient.

Standard locks on the other hand are also effective in their own right with their own pros. The standard locks for instance are always going to be cheaper in price as compared to an advanced smart lock and will do the job of securing your place just fine. Some standard locks have more features than others thus offering more security provisions. Generally there are various locks to choose from and this will depend on the cost and amount of money you have to spend.

Most customers are only concerned with price and may seek the cheapest option. However doing so is not always the best option. Instead think of your budget and compare what locks are offering below and above your budget. Sometimes you may find that you can get a cheaper lock that provides the same features and security that a more expensive model does. While other times you may learn that by spending just a little bit extra you can gain many features that you would have missed out on otherwise.

Card Payments Security

Most purchases are made by use of credit cards. Whether shopping online or physical shopping, credit cards offer an easy payment option instead of carrying cash. Credit cards are also advantageous as they offer universal payments in any part of the world.

However, credit cards pose several threats, with credit card fraud topping the list. There have been several high-profile breaches that have exposed user card details.

When using your card, it is always important to be alert and conducting safe card activities to avoid fraud. Below are some tips to keep yourself safe.

Secure Online Transactions

Online shopping is a current trend in the digital era. People can now make purchases online without the need to avail yourself at store physically. However, their various ways that you can lose your credit card information to cyber criminals. When shopping, always ensure that the page is secure.

This can be verified by checking for “HTTPS” connects to the address bar of your browser. HTPPS are secure pages as compared to HTTP pages. Also, a secure page will contain a small lock icon on the start of the web address on the browser. The lock confirms a digital security certificate that can encrypt your data on end-to-end communications. It is also wise not to send your credit information over emails as it can be phished.

Investing in a Prepaid Card

Prepaid cards are necessary when you want to separate online transactions and daily credit card transactions. A prepaid card is available online or retailers for a fair fee. A pre-determined amount of money is set before purchasing anything online.

There are several advantages to using this cards including safeguarding your money should it be compromised. Unlike standard credit cards where a cybercriminal can use your card for unlimited transactions, a prepaid card will protect you from such. In some financial institutions or banks, they may provide you with a temporary card number to purchase online that can be used once.

Safeguarding Your Card

Some retailers will usually store your card information with your approval for future transactions. Storing multiple card information may result in a security breach that may expose client’s card information.

Always ensure that your retailer doesn’t store your card details and insist on entering card details every time you make a purchase. It is also imperative to use different passwords when making online transactions. Do not ever use same passwords used for your emails or other accounts.

It is also logical not to input your card details in the vicinity of others as other may have bad intentions. Finally, should you lose your card it is always advisable to contact your bank immediately for assistance?

Regular Card Statements

Although banks and other financial institutes have an elaborate monitoring system to detect fraud or irregular activities in your account efficiently, it doesn’t hurt to check your account regularly. This can be done through regular card statements to check for irregularities or overcharges that you may have incurred. Once you notice anything suspicious, you can immediately contact your bank for further help.

Tips for home security

You have been working hard and you have earned a vacation so why not relax and sleep the day away? Perhaps it’s because you are worried about the safety of your belongings at home. You wonder if you have taken the necessary precautions to secure your home and are nervous about the possible nightmare you’d be returning to.

The good news is you are not alone; plenty of people have a fear of being burglarized while away on vacation. The even better news is that there are a few things you can do to put your mind at ease before you leave for paradise.

Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on things. Get to know your neighbors and build a good relationship with people, it could save your life and belongings. They don’t have to stand at their windows with binoculars all day nor do you have to ask them to go out of their way to look after your place but they can help make the house a little more occupied by picking up your mail and you can repay them in kind when they go away.

– Install light timers that mimic your regular patterns. Some people have been known to go the extra mile and install timers for their TVs, radios and/or lamps to sell the illusion further. The best tip would be to have a variety of timers to throw off anyone who might be watching.

Avoid posting that you are going on vacation and any details that may allow burglars to keep tabs on you via social media as this is likely to encourage home invasion and robberies. Take many great photos but refrain from posting them until your return.

Maintain your regular mowing/shoveling schedule. An unkempt lawn or snowy driveway is a tell-tale sign that no one’s home. Unless you are paying a company, ask a neighbor’s kid, family or friend to help you with the upkeep.

Do not leave the spare key where you normally would. It is one thing to have a key laying around when everybody else is coming and going and another when the house is empty. Flowerpots and rocks are no longer as inconspicuous as they used to be and will result in a walk-in rather than a break-in. Instead, leave the key with a trusted neighbor or family member and pick it up on your way back.

Switch on all your alarms and alert the security company of your travel plans. Invest in surveillance and when you can peel yourself away from the relaxation, check your camera feed. Also, leave the contacts of where you are going to be staying with neighbors so they can notify you immediately if something happens.

If all the above fails to put your mind at ease or simply nothing works for you, get a house sitter. This is definitely one of the more expensive options but you may get lucky and have a relative do it for free.

DIY Security Tips for Protecting Your Home from Burglars

Although you think you have secured your home, there’s always space for improvement. The only way to notice the possible threats that need to be improved or removed, you need to start thinking as a thieve.

Walk outside your house and observe. Do you notice something burglars might see as a weakness and use it? If yes, improve what you see as a weakness or remove it. However, if you don’t know how to start thinking as a thieve, relax because we’re here to help! We’ve collected the best DIY security tips to help you protect your home. Read carefully and apply them starting today.

Hide, fix or Remove Your Home’s Weaknesses

Hide all the wires and prevent thieves from disabling your security system. They usually look for wiring so they can cut it and enter your home without having to worry about the security system. Make sure you hide the wiring well. However, don’t forget to fix all the weaknesses like cracks or broken doors in your house the thieves may use to enter your home.

Avoid turning yourself into a burglars’ assistant

Remove everything from your house exterior or patio/backyard/front yard that burglars might use as a tool to enter your home. You wouldn’t want to contribute in your possible home robbery.

Avoid leaving package boxes in front of your home

Leaving package boxes from technology devices might lead thieves that you have expensive electronic devices at home. Avoid leaving them in front of our home and always throw them directly in the trash.

Keep your garden furniture safe

If you thought burglars are a threat only to the inside of your home, you’ve thought wrong. Keep your garden furniture safe as well. If you can, always pack your furniture pieces inside your house and prevent them from being stolen.

Car keys are your handy alarm

If you hear a strange noise in your garage or somewhere else in or around your house, you can always press your car keys and create noise. It will scare burglars. It’s a smart idea to sleep with your car keys beneath your pillow and use them as a handy alarm.

Keep the doors and windows secure – they should be your priority

According to statistics, improving door and window security prevents 34% thieves entering a property. Some of them will try to use the back door, so you might consider keeping all doors secure. According to the same statistics, secured back door prevents 22% burglars to enter a property. You can also add DIY security gadgets like installing a homemade security alarm. However, keep in mind that you need to secure the windows as well. Replace the old waisted ones with new burglar-resistant glass.

Adopt a dog and keep it outside the house

We all know that animals are our best friends. However, some of them are also a good security for our home. Adopt a dog from an animal shelter instead of buying one (not to save money, but to save a dog) and get your new best friend. It will protect your property as good as any alarm system (keep the alarm system as well). And don’t forget to build a house for your new best friend.

Data Security Measures in Business

For any business organization, data security is of great importance. Companies store a range of data from financial records to client’s information that is considered relevant to the business. Any security breach of data may cause severe damage to the business. There are various steps that a business can take to secure valuable data from internet burglars.

Off-Site Data Storage

As an organization grows, so does its data handling needs. This increases the risk of potential theft for critical and sensitive data. Most thieves will break into your business premises to steal sensitive data such as financial records, client’s information or employee identification information.

To ensure that your data well secured, it is recommended to have an external storage facility away from your business. With a few caveats to consider, such as ensuring maximum security to your off-site storage, the most important factor is how data will be able to be retrieved from the site to your place of work.

This can be done by secure layers to receive and send data through SSL or other secure encryption layers. Should there be more critical data to secure than the rest, ensure that there is a dedicated line for doing so? Finally, it is always important to put trusted people to access the data.

Secure Server Rooms

Server rooms have become an important commodity for businesses over the last couple of years. They store important data for your business and should be well secured. The server rooms also ensure that there is proper flow of data in the business. With these important aspects, any business should safeguard the server room by properly locking and restricting movement to the premises. Dedicated surveillance should be considered to monitor movements. A business should consider putting up other security features in the server rooms such as mounted server racks.

Printer Protection

Printers are important equipment in any business today. The problem with most people or business is that they don’t realize printers are a major security concern. Printers are built with a limited memory on board that stores information to be printed. Consequently, scanned documents and printed documents may be temporarily be saved in the memory. Cybercriminal can easily retrieve such information if the printer is a poorly secured.

To secure your printer, it is recommended that you disabled printer sharing and used wired LAN connection in your place of business. You can also opt for printers that automatically deletes its data once finished printing. This ensures more security for your printer.

Strong Digital Security

Data leakages may start from simple mistakes such as poor employee’s password to log in from important information. A server room or an offsite data storage unit may be properly secured, but if data can be leaked through simple logins, then it’s all in vain. Ensure that employees use secure passwords that are often changed to increase security. Other measures include locking workstations and encrypting data. All digital and physical data should be handled with care and provide a strong protective layer for all data.

How to Protect Yourself from Cyber Criminals

With the advent of new and advanced technology, life has become more convenient for all of us. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exclude the life of cyber criminals.

Cyber criminals are becoming craftier day by day, and it’s our job to be vigilant and educated on how we can protect ourselves.

Here are some helpful tips:

Make your passwords complicated and hard to guess

Protect your passwords with your life. Make it so that it’s something that only you would know. A good idea would be to come up with a sentence and then use the first letters of that sentence as the password.

Yours and Yours Alone

As much as possible, do not share your passwords with anyone – not even with your closest friends and relatives. Even if you’re absolutely sure that they would never use it against you, there’s no saying that they wouldn’t mistakenly give it to someone else, or maybe write it on a piece of paper and leave it lying around.

Keep an Eye on Your Finances

Get into the habit of regularly checking your financial accounts. Sometimes, cyber criminals will steal from you little by little so you wouldn’t notice right away. Keep your guard up at all times to prevent this from happening.

Don’t Believe the Pop-Ups

If a window pops up seemingly out of nowhere asking you for your username and password, do not give it. Go to the official website instead. These pop-ups are most likely scammers posing as actual websites, tricking you into giving your username and password.

Avoid Sketchy Websites

If the website looks like it was cheaply made and is riddled with ads, then most likely that website will give your computer a virus. Stick to the well-known websites to ensure your computer’s safety.

Keep Your Secrets In Hard To Reach Places

If you want to list down your passwords and keep them in a device, it’s best if you hide them in a decision that’s not connected to the internet. Maybe you have an old and obsolete cell phone lying around – that would be a great place to keep your passwords, as no hacker would be able to gain access to it.

Split It Up

If you have some important files saved on your computer, it would be a good idea to make a copy of it and store that second copy somewhere else too. That way, if your computer catches a virus and gets all its data deleted, you’d still have a copy of those files safely hidden.

Security lighting essentials

Lighting is one of the fundamental things in life which most people take for granted. It is an undeniable fact that crimes committed during the night are much more than those committed during the day. From this simple observation, it is evident to deduce that security and lighting level have a direct correlation.

Unfortunately, we only have 12 hours of dayligh and the rest 12 hours are dark times. These are the times you should think of how you can effectively make them brighter. The simplest thing to do is to use lighting system to illuminate your compound.

You can either use solar powered lighting system or ones which are powered by electricity. However, to ensure you are always on the safe side, you ought to have two parallel sources of energy. Since electricity is readily available, we shall assume it is our primary source of lighting power.

On top of electric energy, you can either have a portable or stand-alone generator depending on the scope of the areas you want to light up. Portable home generators are not big and have small power Watt, but non-portable generators are large and can supply power to many devices and cover a wider area.

Another best backup power source is the solar system. There are solar lights which are designed to use either solar energy or electricity. In the same way, a generator has an auto switch which restarts the generator immediately the electric power goes off; the dual lights works on the same principles.

If you do not have such lamps, then you can also install inverters in your home to ensure that the direct power from the solar panel is converted to an alternating current which can be used by electric lights. However, most of the current solar panels have inbuilt converters, and you just need to plug and switch on the power to use solar energy on electrical items.

Major security light categories:

1. Flood lights.

These are the bright lights which are aimed to illuminate a wider area, and they are mostly mounted on top of a structure and point downwards.

2. Post luminaries.

These are lighting systems which are designed to be installed on a post and provide lighting from the top height of the post.

3. Roadway lights.

These are meant to light all the pathways around the compound, and they need not be brilliant.

4. Landscape lighting.

These lights are intended to light up the general area of the home compound particularly the garden as well as the flower section.

5. Surface mounted lights.

These are lighting systems which are meant to be fixed around or in the house and mostly enhance the beauty around the respective area.

How to control your lights for maximum benefits.

1. Use of dimmers.

These are electrical auxiliary pieces of equipment which control the level of lighting depending on the degree of opaqueness sensed by the dimmer. They are efficient energy saver devices.

2. Motion detector equipment.

These are pieces of equipment which turn on the light only when movement or motion is detected. Majority of these lights also sense the changes in energy level in their surrounding environment and thus no matter how slow the person tries to move to make the least noise; the light will sense the change in energy level and light up the area.

3. Time switches.

Most intruders first seek to get a pattern of how things happen in a particular place so that they can know when the best time to intrude is. With time switches, your home lighting schedule cannot be monitored as they automatically turn the lights off and on at random intervals.

4. Photocells.

These are best installed in backup lights. An intruder may gain access to your light system and switches off the lights. However, if you have photocells in another backup line, they will immediately turn on upon sensing darkness. This catches the intruder very unaware, and there are high chances that he/she will abandon the ill motive intended and flee.

Conclusion.

To ensure your security lights are protected you can take the following precautionary measures.

  • Mount the lights high above the ground.
  • Cover the lamps with wire mesh or polycarbonate.
  • Use mirrors or reflective aluminum plates to direct light to the proposed area.
  • Ensure that no one can access the wiring system and the meter box without authority.