Electronics and personal safety

1 05 2012

Today, everyone has a Facebook account, MySpace, Twitter, etc. etc. etc. and unfortunately there are many that are ignorant as to the predators that exist that will do anything to infiltrate someones privacy and/or safety. Even with our cell phones, there are applications that will identify and sometimes show exactly where you are located when you post a picture or social update. Remember, if you decide to place a location to your update:
-others can identify where you are located at that time
-others know you are not home

If you update your social page with where you are at, you then tell others that you are not home. This now makes your home vulnerable for attack, which has happened many times to others:
-A female boasted about her excitement regarding an upcoming concert
-She noted the date of the concert and their (her and her boyfriend/husband)
-The date came and a “threat” did the easy math:
(Concert location was no less than an hour away, they were going to have dinner before the concert by the concert hall, concert was no less than 3 hours, it would take another hour to return = 6-7 hours free rob time!)
-Threats robbed the home
-Occupants came back
-Found their home robbed
Luckily the couple had surveillence cameras on the inside of their home. After reviewing the footage, the female posted a screen capture of the threats that were inside her home.
-One of her friends commented that “she had seen that person before, on her friends list”
-The female checked her friends list and it turns out that the threat was someone that went to school with her in the 3rd or 4th grade.
-The female had a private account where only her friends could see her status updates.

Lessons to learn:
People change and some people you may have on your friends list from years past, could have turned out to be less than trustworthy as life went on
-Anything that touches the internet lives forever and you cannot take things back.
-Anything that you post with pictures could give away your location, family location, friends location, etc. Keep their information private as well as your own.





Personal Protection with electronics

3 04 2012

Today, everyone has a Facebook account, MySpace, Twitter, etc. etc. etc. and unfortunately there are many that are ignorant as to the predators that exist that will do anything to infiltrate someones privacy and/or safety. Even with our cell phones, there are applications that will identify and sometimes show exactly where you are located when you post a picture or social update. Remember, if you decide to place a location to your update:
-others can identify where you are located at that time
-others know you are not home

If you update your social page with where you are at, you then tell others that you are not home. This now makes your home vulnerable for attack, which has happened many times to others:
-A female boasted about her excitement regarding an upcoming concert
-She noted the date of the concert and their (her and her boyfriend/husband)
-The date came and a “threat” did the easy math:
(Concert location was no less than an hour away, they were going to have dinner before the concert by the concert hall, concert was no less than 3 hours, it would take another hour to return = 6-7 hours free rob time!)
-Threats robbed the home
-Occupants came back
-Found their home robbed
Luckily the couple had surveillance cameras on the inside of their home. After reviewing the footage, the female posted a screen capture of the threats that were inside her home.
-One of her friends commented that “she had seen that person before, on her friends list”
-The female checked her friends list and it turns out that the threat was someone that went to school with her in the 3rd or 4th grade.
-The female had a private account where only her friends could see her status updates.

Lessons to learn:
-People change and some people you may have on your friends list from years past, could have turned out to be less than trustworthy as life went on
-Have surveillance cameras on the inside as well as the outside of the home
-Dont broadcast when you will  be away from home
-Don’t broadcast if you are alone
-Setting your location on a social network is just as bad as putting your exact address up for everyone to see

Be smart about what you post, what pictures you broadcast and your updates. You never know when someone is looking and what they are capable of. Be safe





Technology and GPS safety

28 03 2012

Technology and GPS Safety
Technology today helps us in so many various ways and makes our lives easier. Even our phones are becoming smarter and smarter. With technology we should also become aware of the safety issues related to that technology. Most do not think about the safety issues related to the technology we have and use daily, only because they have been lucky enough not to have it affect them personally.

With computers: Most people know to have anti-virus software on their computer if they plan on using the internet. If the person owning the computer were to go to a website or open an email attachment that contained a virus they could contaminate their computer but also could affect other peoples’ computers as well (if part of a LAN or if the virus attacks others on your friends list).

With cell phones: Most people understand that they could also contaminate their phones by going online and opening emails. Today, with the threats that exist, it is even more important to be careful and safety conscious. There is technology that exists that allows others to tap into your phone and listen to your conversation; not the conversation that you are having on the phone, but the conversation that you are having while your phone is close by, not in use.

With that same technology, it is even possible for someone to tap into your camera while your phone is on. With that technology, that person would be able to see what is around and possibly where you are located. There are many possible ways that a threat could find you, wait for you and attack. .

With this technology one should be worried about getting set up: having someone tap into the phone to listen to the person’s likes, dislikes, problems that affect them currently etc. With that the threat could come into their lives and become their “friends” and the victim would have no idea that “friend” already knows too much about their life.

Technology is not only what you carry but what you may use daily: GPS in your vehicle. Some vehicles may have the GPS built into it but most people use the GPS that can be mounted inside the vehicle. A GPS definitely makes our lives easier daily, so we don’t get lost as easy. As with everything, technology can fail also.

Safety concerns with the GPS: Location Input

For the ease of use, some people may put “HOME” into the GPS to find it easily. The bad part about that is if a threat/thief were to steal that GPS, they would then know where you live. If you put “MOM HOME” now they would know where your Mom lives.

Solution: If you have to put anything into the GPS to make it easier for you (convenience is desired when you constantly go towards the same location using the GPS) either breaking it down to letters or “code-words” or make the location in the area of the location desired.

In other words: if you were to program your mother’s house into the GPS and her address is 1234 Smith Street, you could program MH (Mom’s House) or use her first name (Glenda) and you could program in 1250 Smith Street.  This way if the GPS was ever stolen, it would only bring them in the area of the home but not directly to it. The same idea works great for your home as well.

If a threat were to enter your vehicle, power up your GPS and retrieve your address under “HOME” and then shut the GPS off, you would have no idea that anyone was inside your vehicle at all unless something was missing. Now that a threat has your address, they can now go to your home because (if your vehicle was at work) they know you are not at home.

Another scenario is if you were at a sports game: if someone were to get your information for home they could easily go to your home and do whatever they wanted to (steal, vandalize etc.) because they would have a rough estimate as to how long it takes for you to get home from the arena and about what time the game would be letting out. That gives a threat as much time as possible to achieve their desired result.

How would someone know you have a GPS? Especially if you take it down and hide it every time you leave the vehicle? If you use the suction cup mount it will leave a ring. If you do not wipe the ring marks off of the window or dashboard anyone walking by would be able to tell you own a GPS.

Technology is a great tool to use and it makes all of our lives easier but if you do not believe that something horrible could happen to you, then you will eventually become a victim yourself. A little prevention can go a long way. It is not paranoia it is proactive towards one’s own personal safety. Be safe and remain aware.