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Video Surveillance, Surveillance, Monitoring, Access Control, Security, Liquid Video Technologies, Greenville South Carolina

Video Surveillance and the Evolving Needs

Video Surveillance and the Evolving Needs of the End-User: Update, Integrate, Analyze, Act

Video surveillance has long been a critical component of facility management and security plans, and it is only expected to grow. Being able to use this video surveillance footage in relatively new and helpful ways is becoming more and more important.

The Global Video Surveillance Storage market generated $28.52 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow by 18 percent by 2023. With so many resources being devoted to storing video data, it will be more crucial than ever to maximize returns on that investment by increasing capabilities to use that stored video. Based on the massive amounts of data gathered by surveillance technologies, it is becoming increasingly possible to take informed action grounded in analysis of the information gathered.

Demand for these capabilities is increasing and the market is responding with more innovative video surveillance technology than ever. End-users expect their technologies to protect and optimize their businesses and facilities; however, the path to this transformation is a two-way street. The technologies to support the users’ desired needs exist. It is a matter of investment and proper implementation to arrive at a place of optimization for facility security and operations.

Updating Systems: The First Step

When discussing the improvement of end-user experiences, updating outdated technologies may seem like a rudimentary and even obvious step. However, many facilities still rely on simpler systems such as analog cameras that keep footage only for a limited period of time. A video camera is no longer just a static piece of equipment meant to be monitored in real time. They also do not take the step that many have come to expect of providing actionable insights based on data gathered.

Thirty cameras, during a 24-hour period, throughout 30 days, will record 21,600 hours of video. That is a massive amount of data that goes nowhere and is essentially useless with a ‘traditional’ video surveillance system. There is a real and valuable return to be made in the form of insights that can be gathered from all this data to understanding where customers linger, how to improve workflow and increased security capabilities. These insights can even be monetized for interested parties, such as brands selling products in a store, thereby helping the facility’s bottom line. Updating outdated video surveillance equipment is the first step to unlocking the potential of integration and analytics.

Next Up: Systems Integration

Once systems are updated, it becomes possible to unlock the next steps in the optimization of a facility, resulting in increased overall security and better day-to-day operations.  Integration with other building and security systems such as lighting, HVAC and access control allow for a more complete picture of the “pulse” of the building. It also improves the experience and comfort of occupants, staff and patrons.

Let’s take lighting, for example. There are several ways that lighting and video surveillance can work together—the simple replacement of regular light bulbs with LED bulbs can improve visibility for video surveillance systems, while also driving down energy costs. Add in motion-sensor technology, and the lights and cameras can work to deter intruders and capture their image more effectively for law enforcement. By making these changes, it is no longer on the facility manager to look at grainy, poorly lit footage to try and decipher what is going on in the event of an incident. By integrating lighting and video surveillance, the facility manager is empowered to work smarter, not harder with a basis in intelligent data they can rely on.

Analytics, Security and Operations

The ability to analyze endless hours of video footage in a realistic and intelligent way has completely changed the game. Being able to define search parameters when reviewing footage can turn an hours-long review process into one that takes minutes, saving precious time in the event of an incident and allowing personnel to make the best use of their resources. For example, knowing the gender or clothing color of someone they are hoping to identify and being able to search footage accordingly can shave hours off a search.

By integrating analytics with other systems, such as access control, users can gain insight into things like the flow of occupants through a space and who is attempting to access restricted areas. In addition, these technologies can learn patterns and establish what is the norm for the facility they protect.  When something outside of their learned patterns occurs, such as someone trying to access a building after hours, they can detect it and relay that information, as well.

Security has never been the only use for video surveillance. As analytics are being more widely implemented, operational intelligence gathering has also been affected. Some of the most important uses for video surveillance are improving sales or customer service, examining and managing employee productivity and analyzing customer behavior and patterns. Analytics increase the ability of users to examine traffic flow, wait times, the efficiency of retail floor plans and much more. This information can then be utilized to address vulnerabilities and improve the operations of the facility.

Building on existing video surveillance systems (or implementing them from scratch) gives employees the support from technology they have come to expect in other areas of their life. By prioritizing upgrades and layering in integration and analytic technology, facilities can increase productivity, safety and efficiency, while also seeing significant ROI in the form of valuable, usable data, streamlined operations and a better overall experience. Technology is the first line of defense in many cases, but it can also be a support, enabling security and operations professionals to do their job more effectively and with the knowledge that their actions are driven by data.

Article Provided By: SecurityMagazine

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

 

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Drones Stealing Sensitive Data

Drones Stealing Sensitive Data

DHS warns of Chinese-made drones stealing sensitive data

  • Drones contain components that can steal sensitive data and share on a server accessed beyond the company itself.
  • An industry analysis has revealed that nearly 80% of the drones used in the US and Canada are from DJI, which is headquartered in Shenzhen, China.

The US Department of Homeland Security warns that Chinese-made drones might be sharing sensitive flight data to its manufacturers on a server accessible to the Chinese government.

Contents of the alert

The US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has warned that drones are a “potential risk to an organization’s information” and that it contains components that can steal sensitive data and share on a server accessed beyond the company itself.

“Those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities,” the alert read, CNN reported.

Which drone manufacturers are suspect?

The alert did not specify any manufacturer. However, industry analysis has revealed that nearly 80% of the drones used in the US and Canada are from DJI, which is headquartered in Shenzhen, China.

Key takeaway

Users are warned to be cautious while purchasing drones from China and to take security measures like turning off the device’s internet connection and removing secure digital cards to avoid data theft.

 

By:  Ryan Stewart

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

 

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Cyber-Crime Gang Busted

Cyber-Crime Gang Busted

GozNym cyber-crime gang which stole millions busted

 

An international crime gang which used malware to steal $100m (£77m) from more than 40,000 victims has been dismantled.

A complex police operation conducted investigations in the US, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The gang infected computers with GozNym malware, which captured online banking details to access bank accounts.

The gang was put together from criminals who advertised their skills on online forums.

The details of the operation were revealed at the headquarters of the European police agency Europol in The Hague.

It said that the investigation was unprecedented, especially in terms of cross-border co-operation.

Cyber-crime service

Ten members of the network have been charged in Pittsburgh, US on a range of offenses, including stealing money and laundering those funds using the US and foreign bank accounts.

Five Russian nationals remain on the run, including one who developed the GozNym malware and oversaw its development and management, including leasing it to other cyber-criminals.

Various other gang members now face prosecution in other countries, including:

  • The leader of the network, along with his technical assistant, faces charges in Georgia
  • Another member, whose role was to take over different bank accounts, has been extradited to the US from Bulgaria to face trial
  • A gang member who encrypted GozNym malware to make sure it was not detected on networks faces prosecution in Moldova
  • Two more face charges in Germany for money-laundering

Among the victims were small businesses, law firms, international corporations, and non-profit organizations.

Cyber-Crime Gang Busted

Europol said it was a great example of cross-border co-operation | Image copyright Getty IMAGES

One of the things that the operation has highlighted is how common the selling of nefarious cyber-skills has become, says Prof Alan Woodward, a computer scientist from University of Surrey.

“The developers of this malware advertised their ‘product’ so that other criminals could use their service to conduct banking fraud.

“What is known as ‘crime as a service’ has been a growing feature in recent years, allowing organized crime gangs to switch from their traditional haunts of drugs to much more lucrative cyber-crime.”

What is GozNym?

It is a hybrid of two other pieces of malware, Nymaim, and Gozi.

The first of these is what is known as a “dropper”, software that is designed to sneak other malware on to a device and install it. Up until 2015, Nymaim was used primarily to get ransomware on to devices.

Gozi has been around since 2007. Over the years it has resurfaced with new techniques, all aimed at stealing financial information. It was used in concerted attacks on US banks.

Combining the two created what one expert called a “double-headed monster”.

Presentational grey line

Analysis: Anna Holligan, BBC Hague correspondent

Cyber-Crime Gang Busted

Scott Brady said the case represented a “milestone” in the fight against international cybercrime

 

Unsuspecting citizens thought they were clicking a simple link – instead, they gave hackers access to their most intimate details.

US attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady stood alongside prosecutors and cyber-crime fighters from five other nations inside Europol’s high-security headquarters, to announce the takedown of what he described as a “global conspiracy”.

The suspected ringleader used GozNym malware and contracted different cyber-crime services – hard to detect bulletproof hosting platforms, money mules and spammers – to control more than 41,000 computers and enable cyber-thieves to steal and whitewash an estimated $100m from victims’ bank accounts.

Gang members in four countries have been charged – a coup for cyber-crime fighters who say the discovery of this sophisticated scam demonstrates the borderless nature of cyber-crime and need for cross border co-operation to detect and disrupt these networks.

 

By: Jane Wakefield

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

 

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Cyber Leak: Are You Protected

Cyber Leak: Are You Protected

Hackers publish personal data on thousands of US police officers and federal agents

 

A hacker group has breached several FBI-affiliated websites and uploaded their contents to the web, including dozens of files containing the personal information of thousands of federal agents and law enforcement officers, TechCrunch has learned.

The hackers breached three sites associated with the FBI National Academy Association, a coalition of different chapters across the U.S. promoting federal and law enforcement leadership and training located at the FBI training academy in Quantico, VA. The hackers exploited flaws on at least three of the organization’s chapter websites — which we’re not naming — and downloaded the contents of each web server.

The hackers then put the data up for download on their own website, which we’re also not naming nor linking to given the sensitivity of the data.

The spreadsheets contained about 4,000 unique records after duplicates were removed, including member names, a mix of personal and government email addresses, job titles, phone numbers and their postal addresses. The FBINAA could not be reached for comment outside of business hours. If we hear back, we’ll update.

TechCrunch spoke to one of the hackers, who didn’t identify his or her name, through an encrypted chat late Friday.

“We hacked more than 1,000 sites,” said the hacker. “Now we are structuring all the data, and soon they will be sold. I think something else will publish from the list of hacked government sites.” We asked if the hacker was worried that the files they put up for download would put federal agents and law enforcement at risk. “Probably, yes,” the hacker said.

The hacker claimed to have “over a million data” [sic] on employees across several U.S. federal agencies and public service organizations.

It’s not uncommon for data to be stolen and sold in hacker forums and in marketplaces on the dark web, but the hackers said they would offer the data for free to show that they had something “interesting.”

Unprompted, the hacker sent a link to another FBINAA chapter website they claimed to have hacked. When we opened the page in a Tor browser session, the website had been defaced — prominently displaying a screenshot of the encrypted chat moments earlier.

The hacker — one of more than ten, they said — used public exploits, indicating that many of the websites they hit weren’t up-to-date and had outdated plugins.

In the encrypted chat, the hacker also provided evidence of other breached websites, including a subdomain belonging to manufacturing giant Foxconn. One of the links provided did not need a username or a password but revealed the back-end to a Lotus-based webmail system containing thousands of employee records, including email addresses and phone numbers.

Their end goal: “Experience and money,” the hacker said.

 

By: Zack Whittaker

 

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

 

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Keeping Kids Safe Online

Keeping Kids Safe Online

“Here Be Dragons”, Keeping Kids Safe Online

Sitting here this morning sipping my coffee, I watched fascinated as my 5-year-old daughter set up a VPN connection on her iPad while munching on her breakfast out of absent-minded necessity.

It dawned on me that, while daughter has managed to puzzle out how to route around geofencing issues that many adults can’t grasp, her safety online is never something to take for granted. I have encountered parents that allow their kids to access the Internet without controls beyond “don’t do X” — which we all know is as effective as holding up gauze in front of semi and hoping for the best (hat tip to Robin Williams).

More parents need to be made aware that on the tubes of the Internet, “here be dragons.”

First and foremost for keeping your kids safe online is that you need to wrap your head around a poignant fact. iThingers and their ilk are NOT babysitters. Please get this clear in your mind. Yes, I have been known to use these as child suppression devices for long car rides but, we need to be honest with ourselves. Far too often they become surrogates and this needs to stop. When I was kid my folks would plonk me down in front of the massive black and white television with faux wood finish so I could watch one of the three channels. Too a large extent this became the forerunner of the modern digital iBabysitter.

These days I can’t walk into a restaurant without seeing some family engrossed in their respective devices oblivious of the world around them, let alone each other. Set boundaries for usage. Do not let these devices be a substitute parent or a distraction and be sure to regulate what is being done online for both you and your child.

I have had conversations about what is the best software to install on a system to monitor a child’s activity with many parents. Often that is a conversation borne out of fear of the unknown. Non-technical parents outnumber the technically savvy ones by an order of magnitude and we can’t forget this fact. There are numerous choices out there that you can install on your computer but, the software package that is frequently overlooked is common sense.

All kidding aside, there seems to a precondition in modern society to offload and outsource responsibility. Kids are curious and they will click links and talk to folks online without the understanding that there are bad actors out there. It is incumbent upon us, the adults, to address that situation through education. Talk with your kids so that they understand what the issues are that they need to be aware of when they’re online. More importantly, if you as a parent aren’t aware of the dangers that are online you need to avail yourself of the information.

This is by no means that only choice out there but, it is a good starting point. The Internet is a marvelous collection of information but, as with anything that is the product of a hive mind, there is a dark side. Parents and kids need to take the time to arm themselves with the education to help guard against perils of the online world.

If you don’t know, ask. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

 

Keeping Kids Safe Online By:  

 

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

 

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Cyber Culture

Organizational Approach to Cyber Culture

Organizational Approach to Cyber Culture

Predictions aren’t easy, especially in the chaotic world of cybersecurity. The threat landscape is ever-growing, all thanks to offensive and defensive technologies and nation-state attacks emerging at a fanatic pace with advanced scope and sophistication. The following post emphasizes how one can improve a company’s cyber security culture.

What is a security culture? A facet of the broader corporate culture, it encourages employees to make decisions and fulfill day-to-day duties – while adhering to the organization’s ongoing security policies. By using security best-practices, employees can mitigate cyber risks and improve compliance with even the most severe regulations. A security culture, however, is a healthy mix of knowledge and follow-through.

Why it’s essential to build a healthy security culture?

Do you know what an organization’s culture requires the most? Care and feeding on a daily basis; with security emerging as a critical issue, business owners are investing heavily in promoting a security-aware culture. Now, do you think a sustainable security culture is just a single event? Definitely not! When a security culture is sustainable, chances are it transforms security from a one-time event into a lifecycle that generates security returns forever.

What makes a sustainable security culture? It’s based on four features: It must be deliberate and disruptive. Second, it has to be engaging and fun. Third, it turns out to be rewarding. Fourth, it provides a great return on investment.

Most important of all, a sustainable security culture has to be persistent. Don’t consider it as a one-time investment – it’s embedded in everything you do.

What follows are several tips that can improve a company’s security culture:

Make security accessible

Security constraints and skill shortages are some of the biggest challenges. It’s a common, but misleading, belief that only the most senior executives should handle security.  That’s not the case at all. Instead, everyone should own a company’s security solution and culture.

While this might seem difficult, it’s not impossible. All you need to do is incorporate security at the highest level of your existing environment. Moreover, keep updating software, corporate policies and make sure that security remains a non-negotiable agreement for a lifetime. This means those who have (CISO, CSO) in their titles won’t be the only ones with clear access to security. Access and responsibility is from C-level execs – all the way down to individual managers.

Train employees

Many people may find cybersecurity training quite labor intensive. However, if we view cybersecurity training in the long-term, it’s not so! The good news is there’s a variety of training available – from traditional PowerPoint presentations conducted by an IT team member to more modern options. Another interesting way to foster a security-centric culture is by conducting role-playing games. For example, let employees review security-related cases and decide how to solve specific problems in alignment with your company’s security policy. Using this approach makes learning in a fun, yet practical way to follow security policy – without posing any risk to the organization.

Secure executive support

There is no harm in seeking executive support to create a successful cyber culture. This eventually helps boost profitability to a great extent. In addition, when building support – try to set realistic expectations.

Ask employees to report incidents

Communication is key to success. A company is more like a community of employees that ends up being socially responsible. Here, management should encourage employees to report not just full-fledged incidents, but even the smallest suspicious activities encountered throughout the day. By getting employees on board with reporting, you’ll increase the rate of spotting cybersecurity issues – and hopefully reduce the chance of serious incidents.

Building a strong security culture takes work. As the old expression goes: “Slow and steady always wins the race”. –This means you must continuously promote cybersecurity awareness. Approach information security with the same level of engagement and responsibility as you would with financial and other corporate risks.

Final thoughts

Incorporating an effective security culture can positively change how an organization approaches it. Keep in mind that change takes time, so expecting employees to become pen-testing Ninjas or experts who can write secure code while they sleep is a waste of time. But with the right process and attitude, you’ll eventually get there.

So it’s time to brush up your defense skills that embrace and reward the adoption of good cyber security behavior.

What kind of security culture do you have? 

by Vikash Chaudhary

 

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

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Is your technology spying on you?

Is your technology spying on you?

Google Says Unlisted, Built-In Microphone on Nest Devices Wasn’t Supposed to Be ‘Secret’

 

It’s barely two months into 2019, but Nest has already had a bit of a year. After some hacking scares involving its line of home security cameras, Nest’s latest headache involves its modular Nest Secure security system. More specifically, a microphone that customers weren’t aware was included in the base device. And while Google admits it messed up, it’s definitely not convincing users the company has their best interest at heart.

Google, which owns Nest, announced earlier this month it was adding Google Assistant support for the Nest Guard—one of three products that make up its Nest Secure system. Overall, you’d think that’s a helpful feature but Google’s failure to disclose the Guard hub had a built-in microphone detracts from any benefit and has led to plenty of criticism of the company’s intent on Twitter.

 

When Nest Secure was announced back in 2017, the microphone was suspiciously absent from any tech specs for the product. And while you could technically issue voice commands to enable and disable the alarm, it required owners to have a separate Google Home device.

“The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs,” a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo. “That was an error on our part.”

So have Nest Secure owners been unwittingly spied on all this time? Google says no. “The microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.”

As for why the microphone was included in the first place, Google said it’s common for security systems to use microphones for features that rely on picking up different sounds. It also said the company “included the mic on the device so that [it] can potentially offer additional features to our users in the future, such as the ability to detect broken glass.”

All of that makes sense, but it’s unsettling in the wake of Nest’s recent privacy and security issues. A California family recently received false warnings through their Nest camera that North Korean missiles were about to strike, while last year, a woman was told through her cam that a man was going to kidnap her baby.

Google has since tried to urge Nest users to practice better security, including turning on 2FA and reseting potentially compromised passwords. But these efforts, while good in theory, put the onus on consumers when it wouldn’t be that difficult for Google to build better security into its products in the first place. Plus, it doesn’t help frazzled Nest users trust Google when it can’t be trusted to fully disclose the tech in its products to begin with.

[Business Insider]

 

Avoiding Online Shopping Scams

Avoiding Online Shopping Scams

The Internet has made it simple and seamless to visit an online retail store, browse through its goods by the dozen, add one or two products of your choice to a shopping cart, and click to buy.

But with simplicity comes bigger challenges. One of the top issues of online shopping is its security concerns. So far this year, over one thousand shoppers in Australia alone have already reported cases of online shopping scams, and 56.6 percent of these cases come with huge financial loss, according to a report by Scam Watch.

As the Internet becomes our everyday tool to trade and gossip and consume content, we can’t stop buying and selling online, even though we are at risk of getting ripped off by get-rich-quick swindlers. However, we can do a lot to prevent our monies and our items from being hijacked.

This article offers eight actionable tips for smart online shopping. These tips are categorized into two sections:

  • Prevention tips—how not to get scammed while shopping online, and

  • After the incident tips—what to do after you’ve been scammed.

Let’s look at each of these sections more closely.

How to Avoid Online Shopping Scams

Start by answering these four questions:

Is the site secured?

The next time you visit an e-commerce store, the first security check to do is flick your eyes over to the address bar on the upper left side of the web page. Examine the URL of the page. Is it an HTTP or HTTPS?

HTTPS means any information you enter into the site (e.g., username and password, financial or credit card details) will be encrypted and protected from interception or eavesdropping by malicious parties.

Unfortunately, many phishing sites can appear safe simply because they use HTTPS. In this case, your information will still be encrypted, but it doesn’t matter if you’re submitting it to a phishing or scam site that happens to use HTTPS. Your data is falling into the wrong hands regardless.

So in addition to checking for HTTPS, you should see if the company name is included in the URL. This can help you determine if the site is actually operated by the company and isn’t an imposter or scam site.  Not all sites use the type of technology that results in their verified identity information being displayed in the address bar and this isn’t 100 percent foolproof regardless, so check your gut. If something seems “off,” walk away.

Is the site reliable?

You don’t want to do business with unreliable websites—sites that house multitudes of hackers and cyber criminals or that sell bogus products and swindle users. You want to deal with reliable sites. But how can you tell if a site is reliable?

You review it. Before you buy anything from an online retail store, first run a background check on it. Or more realistically, Google it. See if other shoppers have used it, and critically review their feedback. There are several review sites out there, but a great place to start is the Better Business Bureau. When conducting the review, smart shoppers pay attention to the answers to the following questions:

  • Do your peers buy from the site?

  • What has their experience been so far?

  • Is the experience good or bad?

You, too, should focus on these key questions. They’ll help protect you from being scammed as you shop on the Internet.

Is the offer too good to be true?

Fake e-commerce sites promote offers that are just too good to be true. They’re not just giving out discounts. It’s not a promo season. The site will put out an incredibly great sale that’s just too good to be true.

For example, if you are shopping for a laptop computer that’s within the range of $700 to $1000 and you come across an e-commerce store that boasts the low price of only $150, then that’s a too-good-to-be-true offer. Steer clear of it. The people behind the site want to capitalize on the price to separate you from your hard-earned money.

Are contact details on the site real?

You might want to check the contact details of the site you are shopping on. As a rule of thumb, almost all businesses have their contact details—particularly their e-mail address, address, and phone number—on the “Contact” page on their site. You can use that information to confirm whether the retail store is genuine or fake.

How? Well, you don’t want to drive miles away to confirm their office address, but you can easily look up their phone number in the reverse phone lookup directory to identify their location, ascertain the name of number owner, and compare the information you’ve found with what you see on their contact page.

If there is a match, that doesn’t guarantee the site is real since the scammer might have copied the contact info from the real website, but if the information doesn’t match, you immediately know not to trust the site, or at least do some more investigating. In this way, this strategy can be a quick way to rule out questionable sites.

Again, be sure to watch out for other signs of a scam site. Remember to look for red flags, such as bad grammar or misspelled words.

What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed.

As you can see from the previous section, it can be difficult to completely avoid the scam sites. No matter how vigilant you are, you may find yourself in a tough situation.

  • Did you order something, but you haven’t received the item you bought?

  • Were you overcharged for an order?

  • Are there additional charges on your invoice that you did not approve?

In this section, we offer some actionable tips for what to do after you have been scammed online.

Call your bank or Credit Card Company immediately.

If you have been erroneously charged, call your bank or credit card company immediately. Let them know what happened, so they can take the necessary actions to protect your future finances.

Your bank can put a hold on your account, your debit card, and any checks. Your credit card company can freeze your card. Many finance companies also offer fraud protection, which covers certain charges made without your consent, but you have to report the errors promptly.

File a complaint (if you bought from a marketplace).

Next, file a complaint if you made the purchase in a marketplace, such as eBay or Amazon. Most of the online marketplaces are reputable, so they’ll help you to investigate the culprit and retrieve your stolen money or receive the product accordingly.

Even freelancing sites have policies in place to protect their users from fraud. For example, a friend who offered a service to a client on Fiverr notified the company after the client refused to pay for the services rendered. After Fiverr investigated the claim, the company immediately deleted the fake client’s account. The contractor didn’t get his money, but at least justice was served.

Get your money back.

Some online shoppers completely lose hope, thinking that they’ll never get their money back after they have been scammed. While it is difficult to get your money returned to you after you’ve been ripped off online, there are some chances to get your money back.

For example, if you ordered a product from an e-commerce retail store using your PayPal account and your order hasn’t been delivered, PayPal Buyer Protection can cover you. However, there are limits to what they can do. If a scammer set up a convincing clone of the PayPal payment form that just extracted your bank details, you will not enjoy the PayPal Buyer Protection. Keep this in mind anytime you’re shopping online.

One more thing to remember is a benefit of using credit cards versus debit cards. As mentioned earlier, both banks and credit card companies have certain protections in place against fraud. However, if the fraud occurred in your bank account, it’s likely the funds will be withdrawn from your account when the order goes through and you will have to wait to be reimbursed. A credit card can act a little like a buffer – an extra step between the fraudulent charge and you actually having to pay – and many cards offer some type of purchase protection for situations like this.

File a police report.

Above all of these, you should also consider filing a police report if you have been scammed while shopping online. You need to file a police report for several reasons:

  • You’re increasing your chances of getting your money back. Involving security personnel in the search to uncover the thief who stole your money, assuming the money was stolen from your bank account, is good for you. You’ve just been robbed online. Reporting the case to the authorities will intensify the search for the culprits, which will increase your chances of getting your stolen money back.

  • Your bank or credit card company will likely need a copy of the police report.In some instances, your bank and/or credit card agency will request a copy of the police report you’ve filed. So don’t wait. Call your local police immediately with the non-emergency number, not 9-1-1, and report the case to the computer-related crimes division.

It’s about taking decisive action.

Conclusion

It’s exciting to order stuff online as you recline comfortably on your couch, but the experience can be devastating when a fake seller steals your money.

You can help avoid getting scammed by performing the basic checks mentioned above, like looking for HTTPS and other identifying information about the vendor or checking reviews other buyers’ reviews. As mentioned throughout this piece though, none of these actions is foolproof, so if you find yourself a victim of online shopping fraud, take immediate action by calling your bank/credit card company immediately and filing a police report.

With these tips, you can stress less as you shop online, but remember there is no way to stay 100 percent safe from scams. Fortunately, the more careful you are, the more likely you will be to spot and avoid these scams.

Avoiding Online Shopping Scamsby Valerie Malecha

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

If you would like liquidvideotechnologies.com to discuss developing your Home SecuritySystem, Networking, Access ControlFire, IT consultant or PCI Compliance, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at deveren@liquidvideotechnologies.com.

Video Games that Use Security Cameras in Gameplay

It may be hard to believe, but video games have been with us for almost 50 years now. Coincidentally, that is about the same time CCTV cameras have been around with both technologies starting to come into their own in the 1970s. The 2 technologies didn’t actually crossover until the mid-1980s when graphics and gameplay options became sophisticated enough to incorporate an actual gameplay use for CCTV cameras. So, let’s take a look at some of the games that actually found a way to work surveillance cameras into how the game was played.

METAL GEAR – 1987 – NES, MSX – by Konami

The granddaddy of the spy game genre, Metal Gear, was like an 8-bit amalgam of the films “Rambo” and “Escape from New York”. In the game, you play as Solid Snake, a military spy trying to take out an evil dictator located in a bunker complex in the jungle, as well as his doomsday weapon, a walking tank called the Metal Gear. The game has a top down, birds eye view perspective. The game was also one of the first to require stealth, meaning the player had to sneak around the game undetected rather than going out guns-a-blazing, in order to survive.

How CCTV was used in the game:

The first of many games to actually incorporate CCTV cameras heavily in a game. Essentially, the cameras were either fixed in one location or moving back and forth on tracks.

In the original 8-bit Metal Gear games, cameras could not be avoided by walking under them. Instead, the player must hide behind a wall or “equip” the cardboard box before it moved over him. And in certain areas, you had to access a CCTV monitor to show you where enemies lie in waiting in adjacent rooms.

NIGHT TRAP – 1991 – Sega

One of the more bizarre footnotes on game history, Night Trap, a B movie style horror/comedy game was one the first CD based console games. Appearing first on the SEGA CD platform, the disc format (still a new technology at the time) allowed for very compressed, primitive FMV (Full Motion Video). Night Trap is the first game where the ENTIRE game is viewed through the lens of hidden security cameras. Though practically unplayable by today’s standards, this game was groundbreaking and quite controversial for its time… being one of the games that directly led to the video game content rating system.

How CCTV is used in the game:

You’re an undercover SWAT team that’s monitoring a monster-ridden house where a slumber party of sorority girls is taking place. This is happening in eight different locations, but only one camera can be viewed at a time. When Vampires (called “Augers”) invade the house, the player has to find them and use traps to capture them.

Goldeneye 007 – N64 – 1998 by Rareware / Nintendo

A game that was originally intended to be a 1996 N64 launch title was an adaptation of the 1996 “reboot” of James Bond franchise, “GOLDENEYE”. However, the game’s development dragged on for over 2 years. It was worth well the wait. Garnering near universal praise and adulation for its realistic first-person spy shooter mechanics and addictive multiplayer mode, the game went on to sell an incredible 6 million copies.

How CCTV was used in the game:

In Goldeneye007, cameras have a 3-dimensional line of sight. If you appear in front of them, they will trigger an alarm which will send soldiers to your location. Cameras can be shot down (which can be done through windows as well as from long distances), allowing you to move freely through an area. Also, it’s possible to access certain security cameras in certain enemy complexes which allow you to see rooms that lay ahead of you, then plan your strategies ahead of time.

Metal Gear Solid – PS1 – 1998 – by Konami

Coming about 10 years after the original Metal Gear game for the NES and MSX came on the scene, Metal Gear Solid shook up the gaming industry in 1998 by taking its sci-fi espionage story and giving it an unprecedentedly cinematic feel for the late 90’s. This sequel/remake took the gameplay options so far beyond its original incarnation that it felt like a completely different entity, despite sharing characters, stories, gameplay, and themes in common.

How CCTV was used in the game:

Like it’s predecessor, Security Cameras in this game become a constant object of avoidance, but unlike the original, they can be avoided by hiding underneath them. And like Goldeneye, your character can occasionally access the cameras to avoid later obstacles.

Manhunt – 2003 – PS2 – Rockstar Games

This game, created by the team behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise, is a controversial urban horror-centric game that, unlike many of the games listed here actually uses security cameras as part of the plot.

How CCTV is used in the game:

Notorious for it’s violent imagery, this game uses it’s CCTV cameras as both a plot device and as a visual aesthetic. The plot involves a “Snuff Film” director that sends a death row inmate into an abandoned neighborhood to kill his way through gangs in order to satisfy his “audience”, which is being filmed by “thousands” of CCTV cameras located there. At specific violent parts of the game, the visual aesthetic switches to a gritty, static-filled, but convincing analog video look.

Watch Dogs – 2014 – PS3/4 Xbox 360/One – by Ubisoft

The newest and most ambitious game on this list, Watch Dogs is a 3rd person, open world / mission-based tech action-adventure game where players can freely roam the open world of a near-future version Chicago but can progress by completing missions.

How CCTV is used in the game:

The game centers on a hacker and ex-criminal bent avenging his family, using his hacking skills and smartphone to connect to the city infrastructure operating system called ctOS (CenTral Operating System). This allows you to access, monitor and hack everything the city… including manipulating traffic lights, finding information in suspects, and accessing over 25,000 security cameras all over the city in order to stop your enemies.

What makes this game different from past games that utilize CCTV networks is that your access point to cameras or anything else in the game is a cell phone, which immediately makes it feel incredibly modern.

Article Provided by: Security Camera King

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

If you would like liquidvideotechnologies.com to discuss developing your Home Security System, Networking, Access Control, Fire, IT consultant or PCI Compliance, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at deveren@liquidvideotechnologies.com.

Solar Powered Camera

Solar Powered Security Camera Buyer’s Guide: Top 8 things you need to know

Your security needs shouldn’t compromise in front of geographically challenging environments.

And that’s where the solar security cameras come in. A solar powered security camera can be used to monitor the off-grid places or remote areas where running cables would be impossible or overly expensive, such as the constructions sites, barns, farms, rural houses, etc.

Next, we’ll break down all you need to know about solar powered WiFi security cameras and help you navigate the best option for your surveillance application.

What Are Solar Powered Security Cameras

Solar security cameras, or solar panel security cameras, use the solar panel to get power and require no electric sources or cablings. By utilizing the solar power, you can get the best from natural resources to charge and run the solar powered security cameras systems, without subscription charges or monthly fees. Normally, a self-sufficient wireless solar security camera system is sold in bundles, including a solar panel and a solar security camera with rechargeable batteries. Or you can also buy a DIY solar powered security camera and use a solar panel to power your camera.

Taking 2 solar powered wire-free security camera, for example, it comes with a rechargeable battery and offers a customized solar panel (requires a separate purchase) for your options to get non-stop power.

One of the TOP benefits, is that you can install a solar-powered WiFi security camera anywhere you wish. In rainy or foggy days, the solar security cameras can still work as normal – sufficient sunlight is absolutely the best! As more and more consumers like you resort to a “green” security solution, you may catch sight of the solar powered security cameras scattering everywhere when you look up.

How Do Solar Security Cameras Work

Solar powered security cameras use high-grade solar panels to capture the sun’s rays and convert the sunlight into direct current (DC).

Afterward, an inverter will change the direct current to alternating current (AC), which can be utilized to power solar security IP cameras and batteries for continued use. When the sunlight is not available, the solar powered security cameras can still get power from the rechargeable batteries which stores excess electrical power generated by the solar panel.

Watch out: in contrast with the common belief, solar cameras can also generate electricity in rainy or cloudy days, since visible light can also get through rain and clouds.

But undoubtedly, the efficiency of solar powered surveillance cameras will decrease on rainy or cloudy days, so maximum direct sunlight is conducive for the solar-powered CCTV security cameras to achieve the best performance. And since the outdoor solar powered security cameras come with the weatherproof design, you don’t need to worry about them on rainy days. Indeed, the occasional rain might be a blessing – free cleaning of your solar panel for security cameras!

Government Incentives for Solar Powered WiFi Security Cameras

The solar security cameras, with a self-renewing and clean power source, are gaining increasing attention and popularity as the public are becoming more environmentally conscious nowadays. To encourage the adoption of solar power technology, the government of many countries, such as US, UK, Canada, etc., are offering incentives (tax credits, rebates, FIT program, etc.) for installed solar, like solar cameras.

Thanks to the solar incentives, statistics show that the price for solar, including solar-powered wireless security camera systems, has decreased by 70% while the number of installed solar has increased by 6,000% from 2005 to 2014. Given the fact that solar powered security cameras are bound to be an irreversible tide, it is best to buy solar powered wireless home security cameras now to catch up with the market trend. Besides, the solar security cameras for your home/business can also help reduce the insurance and provide proofs when you need to lodge claims.

Top 6 Benefits of Solar Powered Security Cameras

Now, let’s look into the advantages of solar powered security cameras to see what you can expect from them.

1. Flexible Locations

A solar powered security camera requires no cables and power grid to work. So it can be used in various surveillance applications, such as remote sites or geographically challenging environments. The typical sites where you can install a solar powered surveillance camera include, but are not limited to your vacation houses, sheds, construction sites, vineyards, farms, barns, boats, warehouses, RVs, etc.

2. Easy to Install & Move

The DIY solar powered wireless security cameras are fast to install in any locations you desire, as you don’t need to run any messy cables or drill holes, which is quite a cost-effective security option. You also have the freedom to move your solar security cameras as the project advances or completes or when you move to another place.

Better yet, you can easily move your solar security cameras when a project advances or completes and take your solar IP cameras to a new site.

Video Transcription

The solar security camera is highly portable and flexible, with no cords, no wiring, and no drilling. You can place it indoors and outdoors as you like, such as the front door, backyard, nursery room, a temporary construction site, etc.

3. Environmental-Friendly

Powered by the renewable sunlight, the solar cameras won’t destroy the environment or cause any pollution as the waste and disposable batteries do.

What’s more, creating an infrastructure to support traditional surveillance systems can be disruptive. Solar powered surveillance cameras require no infrastructure and can allow such areas as wetlands to be preserved.

4. Day & Night Monitoring

As explained above, the solar-powered wireless security IP cameras can be powered by the rechargeable batteries at night when sunlight is not available. And the WiFi solar security cameras of some reputable brands are packed with starlight sensors that can provide brilliant color night vision — a big leap compared with other security cameras.

Below is the color night vision image captured by the wireless solar-powered surveillance camera with movement sensor.

Solar Powered Security Cameras

5. Easy to Scale

The solar-powered security cameras also come as a flexible and scalable solution if you would like to add 2 or 3 more cameras later. In virtue of the security camera viewer, you can also watch a live viewing of multiple solar IP cameras simultaneously on your smartphone.

6. Long Lifespan of Solar Powered Security Cameras

Most manufacturers of solar panels offer a 25-year standard warranty, which means the solar panel for security cameras can still produce no less than 80% power after 25 years and it also requires little maintenance.

What to Consider When Buying Solar Powered Security Cameras

During your selection process of best solar powered security cameras, here are some key factors you shouldn’t definitely miss.

1. How Much Electricity Can the Solar Panel for Security Cameras Produce

The amount of electricity a solar panel for solar security cameras can generate is determined by the size and efficiency of the panel, the amount of sunlight, etc. A typical solar panel can produce around 265 watts of power. More efficient panels might be more expensive. And the amount of sunlight a panel can get has much to do with your location.

To get maximum sunlight for your outdoor solar powered security camera systems, place your solar panel towards the sun’s position at noon to get the most of the natural resources. Also keep your solar panel away from possible obstacles, such as the shade created by a nearby tree or bush.

2. What Battery Size Do Your Solar Powered Security Cameras Need

The rechargeable batteries are used to power your solar power security cameras in case the sunlight is not available.

To ensure you have adequate power to support your wireless solar powered security cameras, the batteries need to be at least 10 times the capacity of the maximum output of the solar panel. Otherwise, the batteries for solar security cameras might be damaged due to overcharging.

The shortcut to save such trouble of selecting batteries for your solar powered security cameras is to buy a solar IP camera with rechargeable batteries included. And if you’d like to add a battery back-up for your solar powered surveillance cameras, you may directly consult the camera sellers about the recommended models.

3. Where Will the Solar Security Cameras Save Footage

The solar-powered security cameras with SD card might be good options if you prefer to record motion-activated videos locally with no subscription fees. You can also easily playback and manage the videos of wireless solar powered surveillance cameras with movement sensors saved on memory card via your phones.

Another alternative is to store the videos of solar security cameras on the cloud service, from which you can access your data from anywhere on a mobile device that has an Internet connection.

4. Do You Have WiFi in the Place Where Wireless Solar Security Cameras Are Installed

The WiFi solar powered security cameras with motion sensor can send you instant alerts when there is an Internet connection. You can also watch a live viewing of the solar-powered wireless home security cameras on your smartphone.

Worry not if the monitoring place has no network!

The solar-powered security cameras with SD card (slot) can still record motion detection events onboard even there is no WiFi/Internet. But if you want to watch a live feed of your WiFi solar powered security camera or receive instant alerts, the Internet connection is a must.

Article Provided By: Reolink

Liquid Video Technologies Logo, Security, Video Surveillance, Greenville South Carolina

If you would like liquidvideotechnologies.com to discuss developing your Home Security System, Networking, Access Control, Fire, IT consultant or PCI Compliance, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at deveren@liquidvideotechnologies.com.

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