Wednesday, March 15, 2017

4 Tax Deduction Tracking Tools for the Self Employed


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Around this time every year, self-employed business owners can be seen doing the following:
  • Digging around the car to find half torn, coffee stained receipts.
  • Yelling out “Dang it, I’ll just have to take the standard mileage deduction again!”
  • Trying to figure out which room in your home you actually worked the most in this year. It’s always the largest, right?
  • Scrolling through that latest and greatest expense-tracking app that was meant to help alleviate all of this hassle last year, only to find that it isn’t as ‘easy to use’ as was promised!  

Yes, every year we resolve to have a better plan and inevitably the plan seems to fail. Well, we’re here to tell you that you, the self employed business owner, are not alone. We’ve all been there… and done that.

And we’re also here to help by providing a list of 4 tools that will help you get organized and keep track of those tax deductions for next year! It’s never too late to try again.

4 great tax deduction tracking tools for the self employed...


1. Evernote

We love Evernote for staying organized! It’s one of our favorite tax deduction tracking tools! Here’s how tracking your taxes in Evernote works:
  1. Create a folder for the current year’s tax deductions.
  2. Throughout the year email or scan in any docs or receipts associated with deductions and save them in your new folder.
Next year you’ll have everything in digital format and all in one place and can easily ‘share’ the folder with your accountant or prepare your own taxes... if that’s your thing. Here’s a great blog series for keeping your tax docs organized using Evernote!

2. iTrail GPS Tracker

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Keeping track of your mileage for all those business-related road trips may be one of the most difficult things to do when it comes to self-employed tax deductions! To do it correctly requires meticulous mileage logging every day. In reality, most of us probably find ourselves guessing on this one each year because it can be too much hassle.

In this Yahoo Finance article, Joshua S. Barger, vice president of tax services at Foundation Financial Group in Manhattan, recommends keeping thorough documentation of travel mileage, medical expenses and meals-and-entertainment expenses -- the categories IRS auditors are most persnickety about monitoring. "Whatever miles you've driven for business purposes, you need to keep proper logs," Barger said. "You need to write down what the odometer is when you start and then you need to write it down when you get home."

What if we told you we have a solution that will save you hours and hours of time and could help you put a little more more money in your pocket around tax time? The iTrail Snap will help you track your mileage and quickly generate mileage reports to add to your evernote folder (mentioned above).
(Sample iTrail report)
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It’s a snap to deploy and runs off the battery of your automobile or truck. Move it from vehicle to vehicle in seconds. One tracking tool for multiple vehicle tracking.

Tracking milage on a whole fleet of vehicles? No problem. Our iTrail Convoy can handle it!

3. Mint.com

Let’s all face the music: It’s a very good idea to keep track of your finances in one place online. There are so many options to choose from for personal finance tracking today. You simply import and track all of your your accounts from investments to loans to banks accounts. It’s all in one place.

Our favorite personal finance site for tax deduction tracking is Mint. How do you use mint for tax deduction tracking? Simply add a ‘tax’ tag to any expenses related to taxes throughout the year. When it comes time to do taxes, just search for the ‘tax’ tag and all of those tagged expenses will be there on one page. Super easy and simple!

4. iDonatedit

Finally, we’ve found a great tax deduction tracking tool that will help you keep track of your donations! The iDonatedit app tracks and values your non-cash charitable donations. Track the date of donation, the charity, and the fair market value. Include a picture of your donated item to help you document your donation! You can easily email the donation report to yourself or your accountant around tax time.

We hope these self-employed tax deduction tracking tools help you in your resolve to do a much better job of keeping track of your taxes this year! For more information on using the iTrail products to track your vehicle or fleet mileage visit us online, email us at support@myitrail.com or give us a call at 800-590-4272!



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

4 Tools To Add To Your University Campus Security Plan This Year



campus safety for security experts



In last week’s blog post we gave parents and college age students our favorite tips and advice on how to stay safe on college campuses. It can be extremely difficult and scary as a parent of a college student to place the ‘all grown up’ son or daughter they’ve kept safe for 18 years into the hands of campus security. As campus security experts, it’s your job to help alleviate those fears and concerns and insure that those precious children will be safe. That is a high honor and a lofty task entrusted to you!


Today, all across America, university campuses are putting forth their best effort to do just that! Campus safety has become a top priority across the country and the statistics prove that it's working! That is why, this week, we want to help you, the campus safety expert, by providing a valuable list of tools that will aid in your important mission- our kids’ safety!


Here are KJB Security’s top 4 security tools to add to your security plan in 2017


Add Wi-Fi/ Cloud Hidden Camera Technology to your security plan..
In a recent article addressing Campus safety and security plans for 2017, research showed that 81% of American universities plan to increase security through technology (biometric access, surveillance cameras, kiosks, etc.).


Another recent article in Campus Safety Magazine supports this same conclusion.
“Continuing to drive change in the industry will be the use of the Cloud and how it is leveraged for delivery of services. Interaction with the Cloud and providing integration across different platforms will use APIs to build upon capabilities.”


Our new SG Home Automation Hidden Cameras are the perfect addition to bring your security plan into the new WI-FI / Cloud era. We offer remote live streaming over a wi-fi network and cloud storage! You can view real-time video remotely via our new SG Home app!


Add Covert Surveillance to your security plan…
Surveillance cameras in full view have been an integral tool for effective crime prevention on American university campuses for many years.

In 2017 we highly recommend you consider adding covert, hidden cameras to further strengthen and support your campus security efforts. Our Zone Shield DVRs combine customizable recording features with 24 hour surveillance. Place hidden cameras in everything from backpacks to wall clocks to work site buckets and provide an extra layer of protection to your campus.
You can find all of these products and more here on our website. If you decide to add hidden cameras to your security plan, make sure you are aware of state and local laws regarding hidden surveillance.


Add GPS Tracking to your security plan…

We recommend adding our latest iTrail GPS tracking devices to valuable assets on your university campus that were donated or purchased so you can know and track where your assets are at all times.


Some ideas around your campus for adding GPS Tracking:
  • Exhibitions or displays in the campus museum.
  • Expensive supplies in the science department, labs and research facilities.
  • Musical instruments.
  • Valuable materials in the university library.


Add Detection Devices to your security plan
As mentioned above, hidden camers are a great tool that can be used to protect students and campus assets. Unfortunately, when placed in the wrong hands, they can also be used for harm. We see news stories about finding hidden cameras planted in private spaces all too often. Stories such as this one are so disheartening, especially when the crime involves young college students.





For this reason we recommend adding detection devices to your security plan this year and doing regular surveillance sweeps of restrooms, locker rooms and dorm room areas. Our DD1200 pro hidden camera finder is the highest grade camera lens finder available and was designed specifically to remove hidden camera that other detectors cannot find.







We hope you will consider adding all of most of these effective security tools to your 2017 campus security plan. Call us at 615-620-1370 or 800-590-4272 and we’ll help you find and bundle the perfect campus security product package for your university!


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Campus Safety Tips for Parents and Students







In a world where school shootings are becoming an normalized danger of American life, parents are more aware of their need to know how to best protect their children. But what about the children who are transitioning to adulthood while away at college? How can parents know their kids will be safe while off at college?

The fact is, parents cannot assume their students’ campuses are safe based solely on the universities safety policies and procedures, though understanding what those procedures are is the first step.

Every year, Niche rates college campuses for their level of safety using their own rubric to evaluate it. The 2017 Safest College Campuses ranking, Niche says, is “based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges offer a safe and healthy environment with little or no campus crime, drugs, or alcohol usage” with Brigham Young University ranking as #1 Safest college.

BYU Campus
BYU
Campus Safety Magazine, however, refers to safe college ranking lists as irresponsible, stating, “We chose not to create this list, however, because we realized it would be a disservice to students and their parents. We came to the conclusion that ranking colleges as the “most safe” or “most dangerous” was impossible because there are too many variables (campus size, location, number of students, culture, etc.) for the comparisons to be fair or accurate. Instead, it would just mislead the general public.

They go on to say that most importantly, they realized that ranking colleges’ safety and security programs would actually make colleges more dangerous and reverse the progress made by victim advocates that have been working diligently to encourage colleges to report crime. For the full explanation of why they are opposed to the safety rankings of colleges, you can read their blog Publishing the ‘25 Most Dangerous Colleges in America’ List Is Irresponsible.

While we believe these list of questions as a great start, we know that your the best line of defense begins with personal safety. Your student is their own best security officer!

Here are a few steps and tools that can help students get a lock down on their own level of protection.


Minimal Investment & Easy


Pepperspray

Whistle

Buddy system: Make a commitment to yourself & your parents that you will not be alone in social situations, at night on campus, or walking to your car in the dark.

BYO Bottle: Don’t accept open container drinks from someone you don’t know. Bring your own beverage in a lidded bottle to ensure no one has slipped a pill into your drink.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Campus Escort Services

Moderate Investment & Effort


Charged Smart Phone with Video Capability: Having video capabilities allows you to help identify perpetrators after the fact, but can also help when deterring assailants. Tell them you have them on video and if they do anything, you will easily be able to prove it.

Download Campus Safe App: http://campussafe.com CampusSafe is a mobile safety & security app that will inform, report and assist your students & faculty.

Download a personal safety app, such as SafeTrek, which was developed for college students.

Portable GPS Tracker: Hand held trackers like iTrail Solo offer real time tracking and panic buttons. Let your support system know exactly where you are in case of emergency.

Lock box for belongings: Place your laptop, credit cards, and important documents in a locked compartment for safe keeping in your dorm. No one will steal what they cannot open!

Take a Free Self-Defense Class at a local police department — public services like police departments or recreation centers often offer free classes to learn how to defend yourself from attack.

Serious Investment & Highly Effective


Detection Device — Sweep your dorm or apartment for hidden cameras to assure your privacy is being respected.

Portable Hidden Camera: Hidden cameras come in all shapes, sizes, and objects. Here’s a fabulous backpack with a hidden camera.

GPS Tracker for Your Car: Real time location updates on your car.

Carry a Taser: Stun Guns can look like a flashlight but deliver a range of intensity from mild pain to intolerable. The stronger the charge, the more expensive the gun. ($25 - $100)

We’ve also created a FREE DOWNLOAD The Ultimate DIY Campus Safety Checklist for Parents and Students for you to use as you prepare for heading off to school.


Review this with your student and make sure they have the skills and tools needed to survive and thrive at their time in college!



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Avoiding Shrinkage and Other Embarrassing Problems for Store Managers


Loss Prevention for Retail Store Managers


THE PROBLEM

Are you embarrassed by the size of your, er, inventory? Tired of having to defend shrinkage, blaming it on the cold economy, or telling the boss its normally much bigger? 


In an industry where size and bottom lines absolutely matter, managers and loss prevention specialists must address the tiny elephant in the room: Inventory Shrinkage. 

Image provided courtesy of the National Retail Federation


LP professionals have been working diligently to find advancements in technology aimed at deterring crime in our industry, sometimes even before it happens – but as our techniques get more sophisticated, so too do the criminals.
 -Bob Moraca, NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention


The two main causes that account for approximately 75% of inventory shrinkage are shoplifting and employee theft! 

THE SOLUTION

Preventing loss is one of the most important goals of any sales, merchandising, or operations manager. According to the National Retail Federation in their 2016 research findings, the top 5 loss prevention methods used by loss prevention specialists, retail managers, store owners, and senior inventory managers are security alarms, digital video recorders, live costumer visible (CCTV) — live video streaming from video surveillance, Point of Sale data mining, and armored car deposit pickups. 


Image provided courtesy of the National Retail Federation



In the online publication SecurityMagazine.com, a recent article regarding asset protection states: 

Jack L. Hayes International is a loss prevention security consulting firm specializing in asset protection and safety. They are finding that retail loss is on the rise. The firm recently released its 28th Annual Retail Theft Survey that showed a steady rise in retail theft loss over the past decade.    
According to the findings, more than 1.2 million shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2015 by just 25 large retailers who recovered more than $200 million from these thieves.
 KJB Security Products, Inc. carries a variety of products that utilize the latest technology for retail loss prevention. We recommend protecting your inventory using DVRs or hidden cameras like the following: 

Digital Video Recorders (DVRs)

Hide cameras in the Inventory Room to make sure everyone is behaving themselves. 



Xtreme Life® 720P Night Vision Smoke Detector (Bottom View) -SC7200HD

Out of sight out of mind hidden surveillance has never been better. Our bottom view Smoke Detector Hidden Camera incorporates battery operated surveillance, HD video resolution, night vision and a built in DVR recording system.








Black Box Wi-Fi HD Camera and DVR - DVR1300W No other Black Box comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and over 1 year Standby or 28 hour continuous recording battery life. It is rugged and water resistant, and works great for both outdoor or indoor surveillance. It has a 60" stretch of PIR and camera cable giving it a longer video span, allowing for better hidden value. 

Ultra thin cables make it easy to hide this black box DVR! Put it in the ceiling tiles and set up camera lens in a hole in the tile. Hide it in a bucket, behind a rock, or in a plant. For iCloud storage, add the Extreme Life plus to this DVR for multiple hours of recording storage! Watch the recordings on your laptop and easily find the source of the drain! 

Buy this DVR for your retail store NOW! 

Now go forth, and feel proud about the size of your inventory! 

Read more about counter survellience products that help create a secure environment for your clients particularly in bathrooms, dressing rooms, and tanning salons from our blog entitled Top 5 Counter-Surveillance Devices.

keywords: Loss prevention, Retail Management, Sales, Operations, Inventory, Retail Sales, Audits, Merchandising, Theft prevention, Shoplifting, Inventory Shrinkage


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top 5 Counter-Surveillance Devices




Counter-survelliance, or “detection,” is a growing necessity in our ever-progressing digital world. More and more, news about hidden cameras, video surveillance, and spying is being revealed.

With the expose produced by Leah Remini about the control, abuse, and illegal surveillance practiced by the church of Scientology, we see the growing need to know if we are being watched or bugged. Our personal privacy is at stake.

Even just as recent as this Friday BuzzFeed released a document that the CIA created to brief Donald Trump on the spying that Russian has conducted and the “dossier” that they have collected regarding information that could be used against him. In other words, hidden cameras have allegedly recorded Trump’s "unsavory" behavior that could be used to blackmail him.

It’s no longer a spies-only trade, but rather a field about which even personal users need to have a general knowledge. Detection devices are used to detect signals such as Radio Frequencies (RF). Common RFs are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, CDMA, and GSM. Each individual RF runs and operates in its own RF range. This is how a detection device can pinpoint what type of RF it is detecting and therefore gives the user the understanding of what they have found.



  1. Who’s watching you? 


Locate hidden cameras or listening devices with the DD3150 Camera Finder with RF Detector from KJB Security. This detector can detect RF signals up to 30' away and can locate a camera lens from 3" to 30' away. It features a backlit LCD screen that displays battery status, signal strength, and alert indicators. Flashing LED lights and a built-in viewfinder further help to detect devices. The detector has three alert settings for when a device is detected, including visual, audible, and vibrating alerts. The built-in battery provides up to five hours of continuous use.

• Detects RF signals and camera lenses up to 30' away
• Visual, audible, and vibration alerts
• Built-in battery for up to five hours of continuous use


2. Who’s Bugging You? 



The KJB Security Products Credit Card Size Bug Detector is designed for continuous protection and body-worn applications. As a covert detection device with a slim card-style design, the detector is packed with professional features including an integrated antenna and the ability to detect a variety of radio transmitting devices. This unit has 4 different detection modes, which include Search, Sound, Vibro, and Sleep.

The search mode is a silent mode. In the sound mode, the Detector will produce a sound when transmission is detected. In the vibro mode, the device will vibrate when motion is detected and in the sleep mode, the unit will wake up every 3 seconds to check the environment. If there is an increased level of transmission, an alarm will sound and the unit will stay active as long as the transmission is present. The zero feature is used when you are zeroing in on a device, allowing you to press the zero button and the display will clear out and only show when the signal becomes stronger. Being no larger than a credit card, the detector is a powerful, yet discreet device.

• Detection of all kinds of active radio transmitting devices including digital signals
• 8-segment bar graph indicator for precise measuring of the radio field level and location of a bugging device
• Covert and does not attract people's attention when used or transported
• 4 Working Modes: Search, Sound, Vibro, and Sleep



3. A Clean Sweep!



The KJB Security Products DD801 SleuthGear Defender (Complete) is a comprehensive counter surveillance device. It detects wired and wireless cameras, wireless microphones, audio and video transmitter bugs, as well as visual detection of any hidden camera. The DD801 defender is the professional’s choice for protection against the advances in phone tapping. This SleuthGear defender helps corporate secrets remain a secret, sensitive financial data stay private, and keep proprietary information classified.

• Detects wired / wireless cameras, wireless mics, audio and video transmitter bugs, and hidden cameras
• Advanced technology helps protect against phone taps


4. No More Peeping Toms!


The removal of a hidden camera threat is made easier with this durable, professional grade camera lens finder. The Pro Finder Camera DD1200 is the highest grade camera lens finder available and was designed specifically to remove hidden camera that other detectors cannot find. The high powered adjustable LED's enable long and short range camera lens detection beyond what any other lens finder is capable.

• Detection of all types of hidden video cameras not depending on their working state
• Distance of detection between 2 and 10 meters
• IR filter for rejection of natural reflections
• Adjustable brightness with bargraph


5. Don’t Let ‘Em Steal Your Glory



The RF detection wand —RF Wireless Signal Detector Wand - DD12051— easily fits in user hand to conceal action while sweeping for bugs of different types. Perfect fit for both professional and novice users, simple to use, and allows operator to locate the source. Keep your conversations to yourself with the RF Detector wand.

 

• Physical attenuator provides ability to locate strong RF sources
• Highly sensitive to real signals without being affected by weak background radio waves
• Highly sensitive to real signals without being affected by weak background radio waves
• No sensitivity loss at battery discharge
• Low power indication
• Is able to detect modern communications, including GSM, 3G, 4G (LTE), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 2.44 and 5GHz








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