Home Security Includes Virtual Security

The advent of the internet has been a boon for businesses, consumers, and families. It makes the world smaller and more accessible, makes shopping easier, makes information more accessible. In short, it connects you to the world around you at the click of a button, from the comfort of a living room chair or the desk in your office. It also changes home security, as getting into your home, in a figurative sense, has gotten easier as well. We do not need to fear the dangers of technology, however. We just need to adapt to deal with them. Taking stock of your virtual home and family security is an important step in establishing a complete home and family protection plan.

Some Basic Tips for Virtual Security

Your computer is your property, part of your home. You may have private documents or simply treasured memories stored their, but you should protect it as you do the rest of your home. Make sure your computer has antivirus software and firewall technology to prevent hackers from gaining access to your hard drive and stealing information. All antivirus software needs to be continuously updated, so set your computer to automatically accept updates at a convenient time.

Make sure your internet browser is secure as well. Internet sites can run automatic programs that both place things on your computer and take things from it. An easy fix is to disable JavaScript for all sites except those you visit most regularly.

Never open spam, just delete it.

Stay away from anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing sites for music and video. Some of these sites can leave you incredibly vulnerable to having viruses or spyware implanted on your hard drive.

Stay up to date on internet scams and stay away from them. These can cost you lots of time, headache, and money.

Virtual Security for Kids

Kids are perhaps most vulnerable to the dangers posed by the virtual revolution. They are often more adept at navigating the internet than their parents, but they do not often have the judgment or presence of mind to know if they are putting themselves or the family at risk. As such, a parent’s main priority with regards to his or her child’s virtual security is to be vigilant and know what they are doing, as well as to establish a set of ground rules. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Be Informed. Stay up to date on trends such as social networking so that you are literate enough to fully understand potential dangers.

Make sure your kids are informed. Keep them aware of potential dangers and the seriousness of the internet.

Use parental controls available on your browser to restrict access to dangerous or inappropriate sites.
Do not let your children use a credit card number or give out their address, name, age or other personal information on the internet without your supervision. Do not let children enter chat rooms or create accounts on social networking sites without your permission and supervision.

Keep the computer in a common space in the house to monitor its use.

Remote View Your Home Security Cameras While Away From Home

So you have installed a home security camera system at your home, or are planning to install one. That is great news, because you can start using your camera system to prevent problems as well as provide evidence if vandalism or theft occurs. But if you are currently in the market for a home security camera system, then you might want to consider some of the added features that are available. Many home security camera systems can provide you the ability to view your cameras while you are away from home over the internet. But it is important to look for certain things when you are considering a remotely viewable home security camera system.

The most important thing to consider when you are selecting a remote-viewable security camera system is the security of your system on the network. It is important to ensure that the system you have selected has the ability to set up a password protected user account, so that you can ensure that you will be the only one that has access to your system. After all, you don’t want someone else being able to watch you on your cameras.

Next, you should consider your internet connection…do you have a static IP address or dynamic IP address internet connection? If you do not know the answer to that question, then it is very likely that you have a dynamic IP address, because static IP addresses cost more on a monthly basis from your internet service provider. It is important to know this when selecting a home security camera system, because if you can avoid having to pay an extra $10-30 per month for a static IP address, then you can save a great deal of money in the long-run. So when you are selecting a remote viewable home security camera system or DVR, be sure to ask if it will work with a dynamic IP address. Most of the systems on the market will not work with a dynamic IP address, which is why our Alnet Systems PC-Based DVR Cards have become very popular for home security camera installations. This system has built-in support for the dynamic IP addresses, so that you can view your cameras remotely, without having to pay an extra monthly fee to your internet service provider.

Finally, look at the remote viewing options that the home security camera system or DVR offers you. The remote viewing ability of standalone and PC-based DVRs vary widely from basic Internet Explorer-ONLY remote viewing through a web browser, to more advanced PC-Client remote viewing that offer full-resolution access to your cameras, and even Windows Mobile PDA phone and Windows Mobile Smartphone remote viewing, like with our Alnet Systems PC-Based home security camera systems. With the PDA phone and Smartphone remote viewing, you are even able to connect in to view your live and pre-recorded video right from your cell phone, so that next time you are on the train and stressing out about whether or not you shut the garage door, you can know for sure in seconds.

The decision to install home security cameras is becoming an easy one in today’s society…but ensure when you do, that you select a system that can work for your needs. Consider the costs and remote viewing capabilities at the same time, because a cheaper DVR can sometimes cost you more in internet connection costs over the long run, while providing lower-quality recording at the same time. Let the remote access allow you to have better peace of mind, and stay more connected with your largest investment, your home.

Home Security and Facebook

Can home security start with Facebook? With almost 500+ million users, Facebook (whether we like it or not) has become a huge part of people’s lives. Even I find myself on Facebook, updating my profile and checking up on what my friends are up to. Connecting with other people has never been easier. Live status updates, tagged pictures, recent activity, etc. let’s anyone and everyone know what is going on with your life. Thus, in order to promote home security and safety, we must watch what we post on Facebook.

Facebook’s recent development of allowing creators of applications access to contact information of users who install the developer’s apps has been questioned by many security experts. This contact information includes your address and mobile number. Graham Cluley, Sophos security expert, says “It won’t take long for scammers to take advantage of this new facility, to use for their own criminal ends.” Although Facebook claims that these apps can only have access to your information if you allow them to do so, it can be hard to distinguish from safe apps and spam apps because there are just too many. An alarm system may prevent intruders from breaking and entering your home, but what’s to stop “shady app developers” from SMS spamming or providing this information to telemarketing companies.

However, the problem does not end there with massive spamming. Fraud and burglars are also in issue when you are posting personal information about yourself along with your home address and cell phone number. Think about how welcoming you sound to a burglar when you post this status on Facebook: “Out of the country for the month…” It is almost as if you are inviting someone to enter your house while you are gone. Or, if you are posting that you are currently somewhere other than your home? Do not let other people know that your home is not occupied. This type of information should not be available for the general public or at least kept to a minimal.

The general information about yourself that is posted on your Facebook can also be troublesome. Credit card companies and banks ask security questions such as where you were born, what high school you went to, your birthday, etc. and these can easily be found in the info section of your profile. These facts are valuable – fraudsters can pick up all these little pieces of information and quickly put them together which puts you and your family at risk. Fortunately, Facebook has privacy settings to hide these facts about you for nobody to see but yourself. If you have not done so already, edit your settings and prevent your profile from becoming vulnerable.

The message here is simple: Do not post personal information on Facebook or any other social media outlets. Consider what type of updates you are putting up on Facebook or Twitter. These sites create fun social networks that connect friends and businesses but social media safety should be the top priority and private information should be kept on the down low.