Social media is used to share a lot of things. It’s an easy way to let your friends and family see your latest photos, post news stories and other information that you’ve recently read, update a large group of people with just a few clicks and much more. However, you have to be careful about exactly what you share on social media sites and be aware of who can see the information that you post. Social media is incredibly powerful and some can use that power in negative ways.

Social Media and Security

It can seem like a great idea to post on Facebook & Twitter that you’re going to be out of the country for a few weeks on vacation. After all, you want your friends and family to know that they won’t be able to reach you and you’ll want to tell them all about your trip, right? However, sending that kind of information through email is much safer than posting it on social media Facebook or Twitter. Why? Because that information could easily be read by someone who isn’t exactly a trusted friend. While privacy settings on social media networks are generally quite good, there are a number of cases where these settings fail. Even if they don’t fail, most people have far more “friends” on social media networks than they do in real life. Many of these friends are just casual acquaintances or people you haven’t actually spoken to in years. How well do you really know them? Can you trust them? This is why it is important to be careful what you post.

You should also be careful with services such as Foursquare or Gowalla and other social media services that allow you to “check in” when you visit a location. Criminals can use this check in information to discover that you are in a different city, town or country and realize that you are not at home and that you likely won’t be home for quite some time. They could see this absence as the perfect time to break into your property.

Boris and Claudette McCubbin of Knoxville, Tennessee found this out the hard way when their home was broken into while they were on vacation. They had posted a lot of vacation information on Facebook. Someone had seen this and taken advantage.

“We posted when we were leaving, where we were going, what we were doing… We even posted when we would be back,” said Boris McCubbin. When the couple returned home, their house had been ransacked while they were away.

“Everything was in a shambles,” said McCubbin. “It looked like the burglars had installed themselves in our home while we were on our trip.”

If you’re home address is listed anywhere online, it can be quite easy for criminals to connect your social networking profiles to your exact address. For this reason it’s important to pay strict attention to what you post online and always think about who may see what you post. In addition to staying away from posting vacation details, you may also want to avoid posting photos of your home that could allow criminals to virtually “scout out” your location. Also, be careful when posting details about expensive items you own (electronic, jewelry, etc.) as these details and photos could tempt criminals.

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The Impact of Neighbourhood Crime

A break in, robbery or home invasion is a traumatic experience for the victim. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary where you can escape from the world. It’s supposed to be safe and when that safety is breached it is a difficult thing to deal with.

However, crime doesn’t just hurt the direct victims. It can negatively impact the entire community and surrounding neighbourhood as well. Recent statistics posted by showed that crime has a lasting effect on the community. Their information states that “people who are victimized within one mile of their home tend to move away from that neighbourhood” and that “businesses tend to leave high-crime areas.” This leads to further problems and even more crime.

Their statistics also show that “community members alienate themselves when they sense a threat of crime” and that “the more crime there is within a school district, the more below average student test performance becomes.”

These statements show how crime can impact every person in a neighbourhood. Both those directly effected by the crime and those who just happen to live in the same neighbourhood all suffer when crime is allowed to take place. Communities break down, people alienate themselves, businesses move, students suffer and people become more stressed and worried. 3/4 of survey respondents said that their “fear of crime increases every year.”

SafeTech Alarm Systems understands how devastating crime can be to the victims and to the community at large. We’ve been protecting people and property for more than 20 years and we have learned how to blend security technologies and tactics together in order to stop and catch criminals.

According to the aforementioned survey, a 10% decrease in property crime “adds 1.7% to the selling price of homes.” This shows that not only does investing in security technology provide peace of mind, but it also provides an economic benefit. Security technology from SafeTech Alarm Systems reduces the chance of a break and enter and, even if a crime is committed, the amount of property stolen is much less than in homes without security protection. A property that has no alarm system or security cameras typically sees 80% more loss of property than a location protected by security technology.

For more information, contact SafeTech Alarm Systems today.

Using your Cell Phone to Watch your Home

Modern cell phones are incredibly powerful tools. You can run a business from a smart phone. You can keep in touch with virtually anyone through social networks, email and calling. You can conduct international video calls. A smart phone can replace almost all of your general computing needs. But did you know that it can also protect your home?

In today’s fast-paced world, we are away from our homes more often and spend more time physically disconnected from our loved ones. Between traveling, commuting and various other activities it has become commonplace to live our lives through our smart phones and social media. Just because you’re away from home it doesn’t mean that you should need to worry about home security. Thankfully, you can monitor your home from your smart phone and give yourself peace of mind.

Internet-enabled security cameras make it possible to check in on your home at any time from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection. You’ll be able to check in to make sure everything is okay, no matter where you are. This isn’t just useful for keeping an eye on burglars either. You’ll be able to ensure that your children get home from school safely and monitor the actions of anyone who is working in your home (housekeepers, baby sitters, etc.) You’ll be able to know that your home is safe and that your family is protected at all times.

No matter what brand of smart phone you use or which smart phone operating system you are working with, there are a number of different applications that allow you to monitor your home security cameras. For iPhone users there is an app called “Security Cam.” If you’re using an Android phone, you could try “tinyCam Monitor PRO.” Windows Phone users can use “IP Cam Viewer” and Blackberry users have “Mobiscope.” This is just a small sampling of applications that will allow you to watch your home security cameras on your cellular phone. You can also view your cameras through an Internet browser as well, which works on just about every platform.

The loss prevention experts at SafeTech Alarm Systems can work with you to set up and install a security camera solution that can be easily monitored via an Internet connection. This will give you a secure way to keep an eye on your home, no matter where you are. Contact us for more information.

Regina Home Invasion Suspects Arrested

Regina police have arrested two suspects who were allegedly involved in two home invasions. There were Saskatchewan-wide warrants issued on the two prior to their arrest, which was made after police put out a request to the public seeking assistance The crimes took place in Regina’s North Central neighbourhood in mid-April. Police say that a total of five people were behind the two home invasions. The three other suspects had been arrested earlier.

The first home invasion took place when five people (four men and a woman) burst into a home that was occupied by three women. One of the women from the home was pushed inside a car and driven to another home nearby. Police said that the suspects assaulted the person who was living at the second home and then allowed the women they had taken earlier to leave.

The two recently-arrested suspects (27-year-old Ryan James Varley and 28-year-old Kristin Marie) appeared in court in late April. They are both facing two charges related to the home invasions: break and enter and commit kidnapping as well as break and enter and commit aggravated assault.

Home invasions are incredibly terrifying situations. Having an alarm system, security cameras and other home security tools can protect you from this dangerous and disturbing situation. You should also ensure that you secure all doors and windows. This includes having strong door and window frames, doors with secure dead bolt locks and windows with security bars. It is important to keep doors and windows securely locked even if you are currently at home. Finally, do not open your door for strangers, regardless of the situation. Criminals often use deceptive techniques to try to get you to open your door. Once you’ve unlocked the door or opened it slightly, it suddenly becomes much easier to enter your home.

For more information on how you can protect your home, your family and your property, please contact us today or visit our website.