Security footage can destroy your privacy PDF Print E-mail
News - Aktueel
Friday, 12 December 2014 13:42
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What is going to happen back home is a grave concern for everybody going away on holiday this December. Make sure you know the ins and outs of the security technology you’re using. If not, it could do your privacy more harm than good.

CCTV technology has become more available to homeowners. These cameras can also be linked to your cell phone, so you can capture photos of intruders even when you are away on holiday.


An image of a kitchen with a dog climbing into its shelter

However, early in November it became known that private footage in homes was broadcast to a world wide audience from CCTV cameras and baby monitors. The Insecam website had collected the streaming footage from over 73 000 internet protocol cameras whose owners haven’t changed their default passwords.

On the Insecam website, it states: “The purpose of the site is to show the importance of settings and changing the security settings on internet cameras.”

“Sometimes administrators (possible you too) forget to change a default password, such as ‘admin:admin’ or ‘admin:12345′, on security surveillance systems, online cameras or DVR. Such online cameras are available for all internet users.”


Somebody’s lounge and kitchen area

Images
On Insecam’s website you could see the images that thousands of such cameras recorded in kitchens, shops, malls and bedrooms of countries all over the world, including South Africa.

Later in November the Insecam website announced that all automatically collected cameras were removed from the site and only filtered cameras were shown, so that none of the cameras on Insecam invade anybody's private life. There seemed to be no more recordings of cameras in South Africa.

The site stated that any camera will be removed immediately upon e-mail complaint, but that users can remove their own camera from the website by changing the camera’s password.


Whatever you do in your lounge, will be visible to the world

Tell
This is just one example where dabbling with technology you’re not familiar with, can make you more unsecure. The shriek of a good burglar alarm might often be enough to send would-be burglars running. It can also be linked to an armed response service.

Many people rather opt for house sitters this holiday season, and it still is a good idea to tell your neighbours that you are going to be away. Give them your contact details so they can let you know when problems crop up.

However, don’t blatantly advertise the fact that you are on holiday to everyone. Don’t, for example, leave your return date on your answering machine or even on social media.

According to Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, something you really must do if you have recently moved or will be moving into a new home this summer is to change the locks on all the gates and outside doors.

Research shows that 75% of new owners do not do this, even though it represents the most basic threat to security. Just think how many people might have keys to the front door of a 20 or 30-year old home.


A baby room

Alarm
Barry says that security lights are strong crime deterrents because burglars usually prefer to operate in darkness. It is relatively easy to rig additional outside lights with movement sensors so they will put intruders “in the spotlight” and possibly also trigger your burglar alarm.

Handy and easy-to-use timers can be put on existing outdoor lights as well as indoor lights and can even be used to turn the TV or radio on and off.

Another form of security system is the infra-red perimeter beam that helps you detect intruders before they even reach the house. Such beam systems can be linked to your alarm system and will be set off when a beam is interrupted by someone passing through it.

The big thing is to learn how to operate your security equipment. Barry says it is a good idea to make a checklist of what needs to be done to activate your security systems and to keep practising. 

 

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