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Peace of Mind Vol 1-38: Avoiding Common Scams

Stay Safe Shopping Online

online-shopping-scamsOnline stores offer a convenient, easy-to-use and generally safe way to shop. This is why online shopping grows in popularity each year. However, it’s important to note that you’ll still need to take some precautions when purchasing items online.
First of all, you should always take note of which website you are on and ensure that this is the website you actually mean to visit. Criminals sometimes purchase domain names that are similar to official online stores in hopes of catching some people unaware. Misspellings and other variations can be used to trick someone into giving their payment information to the wrong people. These fradulent sites often look very convincing, so pay close attention. In the same sense, do some research into a company before you enter your credit card information on their website. Large, well-known retailers likely won’t steal your information but a smaller, unknown merchant just might. Before you give anyone your financial information, make sure you know who they are and that you have verified that they can be trusted.
You will also need to make sure that your computer’s security software is up to date. Some malicious programs track any information you enter into your web browser, including credit card information and website passwords. This is why it is so important to regularly check your computer for malware, spyware and viruses and to keep these security programs current.
If you are shopping via online auction sites or online classified websites, you will need to take several other precautions. First of all, if a deal found online seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of someone who is selling items at very low prices or selling items that would be incredibly difficult to find in your area. Ask several questions about the item beforehand and if something seems wrong about the situation, trust your instincts. If you are shopping on a website that allows customers to rate the sellers, check out all feedback that has been left for the seller and look for any red flags.
If you are able to meet the seller in person in order to inspect the item before you pay for it, you should probably do so. However, when meeting someone in person you should not go alone. You should also always meet in a public place where other people will be around, such as a food court, busy coffee shop or other similar location. There are many instances of people setting up in person meetings in order to rob potential buyers of their money.
Before you buy from any online retailer, make sure that you check their privacy policy to verify how they will use your information. You will also want to check to make sure their payment system is secure and that the website itself is stable, safe and free of pop-ups or any other types of spyware.
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Peace of Mind Vol 1-37: Make A New Year’s Resolution To Improve Security

In 2012 Resolve To Improve Security

2012_goldIf you haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution yet, consider improving your security as your goal for 2012. Keeping your home, business, belongings and family safe is a great way to kick off the new year!
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There are many easy ways to improve the security of your home or business. One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your property safe is to install proper lighting in key locations. Criminals often wait for darkness and they try to avoid being seen while they commit their crimes. Lightning eliminates this factor and makes it much more difficult for someone to break into your home, garage or office unseen. Motion-activated lighting is a great investment that will improve your security a great deal. These lights turn on whenever motion is detected nearby. Consider installing motion-sensitive lights in areas where criminals may try to hide, such as over your garage door. Not only will the lights make it easier to see potential intruders, but they could also scare some burglars away.
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You should consider installing lighting above all entry points, including all windows and doors. These lights can be motion-activated as well. Placing lights around the perimeter of your property as well as near your driveway and walkway is also a good idea. Lights near a walkway will allow you to see if anyone is hiding in wait for you when you get home. They will also illuminate your walkway which will make it easier for you to avoid tripping hazards.
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Another key to improving your security that would greatly help your 2012 resolution to stay safe is installing strong locks on all of your doors and windows. Exterior doors should always be locked with a high quality deadbolt. Deadbolts make your doors much more difficult to penetrate than other types of locks. Adding a security chain helps as well. Make sure that all of your windows lock properly. Remember that the door or window is only as strong as its weakest point. Door jams, hinges and window frames should all be reinforced. The strongest lock in the world won’t help you if your door can be easily removed from the hinges. Don’t forget to secure your garage door as well. Not only are valuables frequently kept in the garage, but criminals often break into garages to find tools (hammers, shovels, etc.) that can be used to help them break into the rest of your house.
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If you don’t already have a home security system or a business security system installed, 2012 is the time to get one. Security technology is more powerful, more user-friendly and more affordable than ever before. Security Systems with 24-hour monitoring features can protect your home or business at all times and immediately alert you and the appropriate authorities if a break-in takes place. More information on alarm system monitoring is available here.
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One of the best ways to protect your property and to deter criminals is to install security cameras. Surveillance cameras make it possible for you to watch your property at all times. It is even possible to keep track of what’s going on in your home or office via your smartphone! This means you can literally be anywhere in the world but still have the peace of mind that your home is safe. More on security cameras.
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Peace of Mind Vol 1-39: Canada’s Most Dangerous Cities

The Most Dangerous Cities In Canada

Home SecurityMacLean’s magazine has released their annual report on the Most Dangerous Cities in Canada.
The report outlines the most dangerous cities as well as the safest cities in the country. It ranks cities based on a number of characteristics and the cities are broken down into a number of categories, including aggravated assault, robbery, homicide, breaking and entering, auto theft and sexual assault. The magazine also ranks the cities overall. The report was released in December 2011 and it uses 2010 statistics.
Prince George, British Columbia is the most dangerous city in Canada according to the ranking. It ranks number one in both violent crime and non-violent crime. The second most dangerous city in the country is also located in British Columbia: Victoria, BC. While Victoria is listed as second overall, it ranks fourth in violent crime and sixth in non-violent crime.
The safest city in the country is Caledon, Ontario. It ranks 100th overall in crime. It’s rate of non-violent crime is 100th as well and the city’s rate of violent crime is ranked 86th in the counrty.
The city you are most likely to suffer an aggravated assault in in Saskatoon, Saskatchwean followed by Regina, Saskatchewan. The report names Saskatchewan the “most dangerous province in Canada.” The most dangerous city in terms of robbery is Winnipeg, Manitoba. The city had 2000 robberies in 2010 and the odds of being a victim were 1 in 342. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Quebec, Regina, Saskatchwan and Victoria, British Columbia round out the top five cities in Canada where the most robberies occur.
Canada’s most dangerous city in terms of homicide was Prince George, BC and you are most likely to have your car stolen in Joliette, Quebec and the most dangerous city in terms of sexual assault is Saint John, New Brunswick.
You are most likely to have your home broken into in Belleville, Ontario. This city has the highest rate of breaking and entering in Canada. The second highest rate of breaking and entering is in Prince George, BC. Langley Township, BC, Chilliwak, BC and Kelowna, BC are the final three cities in the top five. The city with the fewest number of breaking and entering cases is South Simcoe, Ontario.
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Peace of Mind Vol 1-40: Fightning Crime With Coffee Sleeves

Fighting Crime With Coffee Sleeves

Crime Prevention TipsCan coffee be used to prevent crime? Halifax Regional Police believes that it can.
The police, along with Dalhousie University and Coburg Coffee in downtown Halifax have launched a pilot program that will see police warning and crime prevention tips listed on coffee sleeves. The goal is to get important messages out in a unique way that people will notice.
“I’ve been challenged with new and innovative ways to get crime-prevention messages out to the public” said Supt. Don Spicer, HRM public-safety officer. “We find brochures have simply become white noise and they get very little attention.”
The sleeves also have the Halifax Regional Police website address and Twitter feed listed on them as well as the phone number for Dalhousie University Security. Dalhousie and the police will split the cost of the sleeves. A similar campaign has been done in the past in Eugene, Oregon.
Crime prevention and safety tips listed on the sleeves include tips on changing behaviour to prevent breaking and entering and motor vehicle theft as well as information on liquor-related offences. The police also share tips and issue warnings on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If the coffee sleeve plan is successful, the police plan to expand the idea to different areas.
Knowledge is incredibly important when you are dealing with crime prevention. Specific information on breaking news (such as a new scam or crime trend or a rash of break-ins in your neighbourhood) as well as general information on crime prevention are both vital tools in the fight against criminals. Being able to deliver this information in a convenient, easy-to-understand and excessible manner is key.
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Peace of Mind Vol 1-41: What To Do After A Break-In

Toronto Barber Shot & Killed

malverntowncentreA barber in his 30s has been shot and killed in Toronto’s east end.
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Chris Thompson was shot several times while cutting a customer’s hair at the “Cut Creator” barbershop in Malvern Town Centre on Tapscott Road in Toronto.
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“There’s no doubt this was a very cool, cold-blooded crime,” said Det.-Sgt. Dan Nielsen. “The shooter was very discriminating. There was no other people shot. It’s very clear that he was targeting Chris.”
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“We don’t know why he was targeted.”
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Toronto Police released security footage of the murder a few days after it occurred. They hope that the footage will allow the public to help them identify the killer who appears on the video. There is no video from inside the barbershop, but cameras outside show the killer walking up to the barbershop outside. He drops a bag to the ground in front of the shop, pulls out a shotgun and enters.
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Later he is seen leaving the barbershop, putting the gun back in the bag and running from the scene.
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“The video is shot from a distance, but you can see his clothing, his stature and how he moves,” Nielsen said.
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Security cameras are incredibly powerful tools for law enforcement officials. In many cases, security camera footage is one of the first pieces of evidence that police ask for when arriving at the scene of a crime. Police often use footage to identify an individual at a place and time and to determine exactly what happened at a crime scene. This leads to a conviction.
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There are a number of different types of security cameras and different types work best in different locations and situations. If you’re looking to install security cameras in your home or business and you are wondering which cameras will work best for you, please contact us today and we can set you up with the right camera for your needs.
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Peace of Mind Vol 1-42: Stopping Employee Theft

Serial Robber Arrested in BC

A 36-year-old man from Burnaby, British Columbia is facing 27 charges in relation to a series of armed robberies. The nine robberies took place over the past two months in Burnaby and Richmond, British Columbia. All of the crimes occurred at currency exchanges or financial institutions.
The man has been charged with 11 counts of robbery, nine counts of wearing a disguise in the commission of an indictable offence and seven counts of using an imitation firearm in the commission of an indictable offence.
He was caught after Richmond RCMP were notified of an attempted robbery in progress. The man allegedly tried to enter a currency exchange business through the rear door with a weapon and the authorities were called. Police in the area saw the man fleeing the premises and he was arrested.
Both Burnaby and Richmond police had been looking for the man. The two police forces recognized that there were similarities between the four robberies in Burnaby and the five that took place in Richmond and realized that the same person could be responsible.
“Burnaby and Richmond RCMP investigators quickly realized they could both be looking for the same suspect – the suspect description was similar, though he took pains to disguise his features, and there were similarities in the way the crimes were committed,” said Sgt. Peter Thiessen in a press release.
In each robbery, the man walked into the institution wearing a mask. He threatened those inside with a knife or a fake gun and demanded cash. The man has been remanded in custody until he returns to court later in February.
The man was not known to police before these robberies.
Business owners can protect their offices from crime and provide assistance to law enforcement officials by installing security systems and video surveillance cameras in their businesses. Not only to security cameras work as a deterrent, but they also provide detailed and very credible evidence to law enforcement officials. For information on which cameras will work best for you, please contact us today and we can set you up with the right security camera system for your needs.
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Peace of Mind Vol 1-43: The Modern Security System

VoIP, Touchscreens, Smart Phone Access & More: The Modern Security System

Home SecurityLike most technology, security systems technology rapidly changes and improves. In some cases, consumers adjust their lifestyles to incorporate new technology. However, in most cases technology adapts to meet the changing needs of consumers. Alarm systems and security technology is no different.
SafeTech Alarm Systems has been protecting people and property for over 20 years and we pride ourselves on offering new technology that clients want. Lifestyles have changed over the last few years and more and more consumers are looking for alarm systems and security services that meet today’s modern lifestyles. The modern alarm system has adapted to these needs and your next security system could likely include a touchscreen keypad, smartphone access and VoIP communication.
More and more customers are dropping traditional landlines and using only mobile phones. Consumers are also switching to VoIP (voice over IP) services and therefore they looking for alarm systems that communicate through VoIP rather than through traditional phone lines.
Touchscreen smartphones such as those from Apple, Google and Microsoft have also influenced security technology. Touchscreen keypads are incredibly popular today. Rather than having a static keypad with a series of buttons, more and more alarm systems are using multi-function touchscreen keypads. Not only do these keypads look more aesthetically-pleasing than ever before, but they are also more intuitive, more powerful and easier to use.
Customers are used to using touchscreens on smart phones, bank ATMs, self-serve check out lines, gas stations and in a number of other places. It simply makes sense to have touchscreens on alarm systems as well. The graphical interface makes it easier than ever to use your alarm system and this puts more power in the hands of the user, where it belongs.
Touchscreens make it easy to perform a variety of functions and this gives you more control over exactly how you alarm system functions. Everything from setting the alarm to changing your security code can now be done in an easy, intuitive and accessible manner.
And you don’t have to be at home to control and monitor your alarm system any longer. Smartphones, laptops and mobile Internet access now make it possible for you to arm your security system, view images and video from your security cameras, turn off lights and other devices and be alerted when your alarm or motion detectors are activated no matter where you are.
For more information on alarm systems and security technology, please contact SafeTech Alarm Systems today.
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