Home Security Blog.

Home Invasions are increasing at an alarming rate. Thieves are getting bolder and more violent. They are planning their attacks and realize thier intended victims will be caught unaware and surprised. Remember, his actions are well planned and he knows you are not expecting what he has planned for you. Surprise is his best weapon.

Police departments are constantly telling people NOT TO open your door to an unannounced delivery or supposed repairman. Yet it seems this caution by the police is being ignored by many people. Let’s take a look at some of the tricks invaders like to use.

GAS LEAK INSPECTION

A person dressed in a hard hat and maybe forged ID tag will come to your door and say they have been called. There is a gas leak in the neighborhood. I need to come in and inspect your home to make sure there isn’t a leak.

In reality, gas companies don’t check for gas leaks in your home unless you’ve called them. Thier duties only are to inspect and repair the gas lines in the ground throughout your area, not in your home. Stop and think about it. If there was a gas leak in your home, believe me, you would smell it. Gas companies put special ingredients into the gas so you will smell any gas leak.

FLOWER SMALL PACKAGE DELIVERY

Flowers are hard to resist. If someone tries to deliver flowers or a small package don’t let them in. They do not have to come into your house to deliver a small package. You will know about any large package to be delivered and brought into your home. Large deliveries are always planned. If the person is insistant for you to open your door, especially if there is no special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, etc. this should give you cause for concern. Call the police immediately.

ELECTRIC COMPANY REPAIRMAN

There in no reason for an electric company repairman to ask to come into your home. Their responsibility is only to work on the power lines outside of your home. If you had a problem in your home you have called a licensed electrician. Know the electrician you called and ask for his identification when he arrives. If there is a question as to who he really is don’t call the phone number he gives you. Look up the company’s number in the phone book to confirm his identity. All electricians have to be licensed and carry the proper identifcation with them.

ALARM REPAIRMAN

Most pople that have an alarm system have a sign posted in front of thier home. This is a warning to a would be criminal that you are protected by a security system. Some invaders will see this sign and pose as an alarm repairman. They will tell you thay are here to do preventative maitenance on your system and want to check to make sure it’s operating properly. Don’t believe them. These calls are usually planned ahead of time. Every alarm repairman is required to be licenced by the state he is working in. They ALL have to cary a picture ID an have gone through a security check by his company and state licensing commission. Again, don’t cnfirm his identity by the number he gives you.

Have all emergency numbers posted somewhere in your home with easy access. Have your doctor, alarm company, spouses work numbers, cell phones, gas, water, and electric comapnies number listed.


Posted on March 29th, 2008 at 11:10 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,Home Security,Home Security Systems,protecting valuables - Comment (1)

This time of the year identity theft is at it’s height. More people are filing their tax returns online. If you stop to think about it, your return has all the information needed to steal your identity. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to be sure this information is secure.

If your computer does not update your spyware daily, I recommend you install this feature before sending out your tax return on-line. It’s usually very simple and takes just a minute or two. My computer up-dates at 3am in the morning every day. You can set the time for your computer to up-date at any time you like. If you don’t have any protective spyware , you can download several different programs at a nominal fee. There are many free spyware programs available as well. Do some research, and decide which one best meets your needs. Talk to your friends or a computer center to see which one they recommend. I use AVG Spyware and have very pleased with it, and it’s free.

Windows Internet Explorer 7 browser also has a feature to keep your identity safer.

I talked about phishing in an earlier post. It’s when you are scammed into providing your personal data to an individual or company that are supposedly helping you. These emails usually tell you your account has been breached and they need this information to protect you. What they are actually doing is collecting your information to steal your identity. Before disclosing personal information, check out the company or website . Be sure they are legitimate as well as “a secure” website. If you feel you’ve sent your information to a fake, phishing, website report it immediately to the appropriate institutions. Such as: IRS , FTC , Federal Trade Commission and an organization called the Anti-Phishing Group. If you have used a credit card, call and cancel it. This will minimize any damage that might have been done.

You should also change your passwords on all your online accounts if you feel you’ve been compromised. Especially accounts related to any of your financial information.

A good program to download is Windows Defender. This program was originally called Windows Spyware and is a free Microsoft program. It reviews and protects against possible unwanted software.

The best defense against identity theft on the computer is educating yourself on ways people steal your identity and the programs available to protect yourself. It is important you up-date your security programs routinely.


Posted on March 20th, 2008 at 05:13 by Alex Smith in computer security,Email Security,Identity theft,security services - Comments (0)

Most people give the information a person needs to steal their identity without knowing it. Leaving documents around or throwing them in the trash is an example. Here are a few tips to safegaurd your idenity information.

* Buy a shredder. You can purchase one very inexpensively at any discount store. They simply fit over a trash can and will shred paper documents as well as the “old” credit card. First rule of thumb, shred all personal documents. Even those unsolicited credit applications your receive .

* Protect your social security and driver’s license numbers. Don’t give them out to someone you don’t know. Your driver’s license numer can be just as dangerous to give out as your social security number. This number tags you to your identity. That’s why all wotk and credit applications ask for it. If fact, it’s best not to carry your social security card with you. Remit it to memory. Don’t have these printed on your checks.

* Never give out personal information over the phone, internet or mail before you know who you are dealing with.

* Protect any of your passwords. Don’t use an obvious password like your birthday, street address, some numbers of your social security card or mother’s maiden name. If you have forgotten your password, be suspicious of any website you click on to have them email it back to you.

* Remember, even your residence may not be a safe place to keep personal documents. This especially true if you have a roomate, employ outside domestic help, do a lot of entertaining, or work done in your home.

* A lot of links on the internet are “trogan Horses.” Never click on any unsolicited email link. Use only a website address you know. Have a “firewall”, spyware or antivirus software added to your computer. I have all three on my computer. Some antivrus programs, such as AVG, are free and very good. Use a program that always up-dates your software. They can automatically do this daily even at a time you don’t use your computer.
*The government has a great site for additional information. If you need to file a complaint for some type of identity or would like more information, check this site.


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