Home Security Blog.

As we are becoming a more “cash free” society, the crime of Identity Theft is increasing at an alarming rate. The criminals are also getting more sophisticated in their means to accquire your personal information. Identity Theft is a serious crime and can damage your credit without you knowing it. Getting your credit restored can be costly and it take s a long time to correct the damage done by Identity Theft.

The first line of defense is to know some of the many ways people steal your identity:
* If you see anyone going through a dumpster or someone’s trash, report it immediately. They may be looking for discarded bills, credit applications, or anything that might have any personal information on it.
*Do not give any information to someone calling you or emailing you trying to “up-date” your account informatiom. Banks and credit card companies do not do this. They already have your information.
*Be careful where you use your credit card. Some shady merchants may have a systen that duplicates your credit card infomation as you use your card. This is called “skimming.” This can occur on items you purchase over the internet as well. “Caveat empore”, let the buyer beware.
* Report immediately any bill that you were suppose to receive but it hasn’t arrive when you expected it. Criminals will take them out of your mail box to obtain your information. Don’t leave personal information in your desk or file cabinet at work.
* Another ploy is to put in a change of address form to another location to re-route your mail.
*They can steal your wallet or purse. Call your credit card companies and cancel your card. Also, report to the three major credit bureaus immediately. They can block anyone from changing or adding to your accounts. There is a toll free number for each bureau and when you report to them they are required by law to send you a “free” credit report.

The three main credit bureaus are:
Equifax 1-800-525-6285
Experian 1-888 397-3742
TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

You can obtain more information from the government by calling a toll free number 1-877-438-4338 or logonto their website.

Posted on February 27th, 2008 at 07:11 by Alex Smith in computer security,Email Security,Identity theft,security services - Comments (0)

I was just looking at The National Neighborhood Watch website. It has a lot of resources which can help a neighborhood establish a neigborhood watch program. Forming a solid neighborhood watch in your area is the first defense against crime. Keeping the program active once it is established is imperative.

Unfortunately we live in a society where people don’t know who lives 2 0r 3 doors on either side of them or even their next door neighbors. While in the Security Alarm Industry, I heard over and over again , ” I don’t need an alarm system because we have a neigborhood watch program”. Most of the time , an inactive neighborhood watch program results in a burglar stealing items from the neighbor’s home unnoticed. We are a busy society and people don’t feel they have the time or desire to get involved with their neighbors. Having a close knit neighborhood makes it safer for everyone.

It was once said that there are three kinds of people, those that make things happen, those that never make things happen and those that don’t even know what’s happening. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch program in your area, start one. If you have one, become active in it. Remember the saying, “there’s safety in numbers”.

Make it your task to know ALL the people on your block including the children. Report anything out of the ordinary. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Yes, it takes some of your time, but being active in your community will pay off many times over.

You can order materials and information to form your area program from The National Neighborhood Watch Organization.

Posted on February 18th, 2008 at 16:39 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,Home Security,warning signs - Comments (0)

Choosing the right security alarm system and company for your home can be very confusing. In some market areas, there can be numerous alarm companys listed in the yellow pages. Here is some informatiom to consider in choosing which security alarm system will meet the needs of your family.

The company is the first and most important consideration:

* Is the company a local company that will be in business for the duration of your ownership or is it a national company in business for years. Ask how long they have been in business. I have seen some alarm companies go out of business and leave their customers without protection. Ask if the company you are reviewing is a dealership or the parent company. Some dealerships have different policies than the parent company.

* The personnel is as equally important. You need to ask if the company: Does background checks on ALL employees. What kind of training is given/required by the installers. Do they keep up with the latest technology and how it is implemented into existing securitiy alarm systems.

* Most states require the alarm company to be licensed. This means every person working for the company must be licensed. Ask to see the salesperson and technician’s license before the sale and installation.

* Ask how the system will be monitored. Is it their own monitoring company or do they contract with another company. Understanding how the monitoring company handles an emergency is extremely important.

* Good planning of your system must be addressed. An alarm sytem is not a “one size fits all”. Each family and home are different and it should fit into the family’s lifestyle . Ease of operation should be a concern. If it’s too difficult to operate it won’t get used.

* Ask your friends about their company and system. Do they receive fast and reliable service. Did they feel comfortable with the technicians that installed or repaired their system.

* Be careful about any “long term” contract they might require. If you are unhappy with the company or the system after installation, they could have you obligated with a non-cancellation contract. Getting out of the contract could be very expensive. Ask about their warranties.

* Get two or three quotes to compare the equipment as well as the prices. Be sure you understand what equipment you are getting. A good alarm representative could spend as much as 2 to 3 hours to design your system. This means looking at both the outside and inside of your home.

Topwebsite lists four of the best alarm companies.

Posted on February 15th, 2008 at 21:52 by Alex Smith in Home Security - Comments (0)

More and more Americans are purchasing vacation homes. In most cases, this means it is vacant a good portion of the year. What can you do to keep your property secure?

Many alarm companies, especially ADT, are now providing a way to protect and monitor your property almost any where in the world!

The systems have several video cameras integrated into the security system. These cameras can be full color or even infa-red. That can video record your property in poor lighting conditions. Many users are getting these sophistcated systems for their main residence as well.

These cameras can be set so any movement will start the DVR, (Digital Video Recorder), recording the event. Many DVR’s will keep this information stored for several weeks or months. The DVR can also send this information to your home, work, cell phone via the internet. It also can send an alert signal to any of these locations the instant an ocurrence is happening. When you hear this “alert signal” you will be able to view your property as the occurence is taking place .

You can observe your property at any time from work or any other remote location that has an internet connection. Now you can see if your chilldren have returned safely home from school. Know who’s ringing your door bell without opening your door. The applications are unlimited. Imagine, being able to check in on your main residence as well as your vacation property from home or work.

An ADT Security Professional will design a custom system to meet your needs.

Posted on February 8th, 2008 at 09:52 by Alex Smith in ADT home security,Home Security - Comments (3)

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