Tuesday, October 22, 2019

How Two Step Password Protection Keeps You Safe From Hackers


Recent news stories about less expensive cameras sold by Amazon being hacked should be a wake-up call to anyone trying to buy a hidden camera. A consumer watchdog group revealed that “certain cheap IP cameras found on Amazon can easily let hackers into users' homes.” Most of the less expensive cameras use single step password protection or no password protection at all.

The hidden camera buyer may not even understand the difference until a hacker has already watched them for several days via their security cameras. That hacker now knows their morning routine, when someone is at home or not, and possibly even the security code to a house alarm.

The difference between single step vs. two step password protection
Single step protection means that a snoop or a spy only has to guess one password, usually the one protecting your user account, to gain access to the camera. Two step protection means that the user account has a password - and the camera ALSO has a password. Once the user sets the password for the camera it is yours and yours alone. Not even tech support for most camera manufacturers can access your camera's password.

Some basic password tips
Don’t use any personal information, birthdays, anniversaries, children’s names or “your regular password”. Using a standard password for everything may seem easy but if it is found out, then every account that you used that password on is compromised. Also, popular but easy to guess are favorite sports teams, bands or college names. Strange combinations of swear words may seem to be safe but still are not as secure as you may think. The best passwords include a capitol letter and a lower case letter and at least 1 number and a character such as @,#,* etc.

Investing in a two step password protected camera

The SleuthGear line of cameras features the SG Home DVR; a memory card based hidden camera with Wi-Fi local and remote view, and the SG Home CVR; a cloud based hidden camera system that also offers live and remote view and recording via Wi-Fi using our SG Home app. Not only is the SG Home app use a U.S. based password protected server; the app and camera together require two passwords to be set. The process to set up this two-step password protection is simple and straightforward.  


Monday, September 23, 2019

Don't Let A Foreign Government Ruin Your Morning




This morning the kids were running late, the bus was running early, and you ran out of time to make a quick call to your mom in her new assisted living center.

Finally at your desk, you log in to the remote view camera you installed when she moved in – but instead of seeing your mom's cheerful living room you see a black screen. No picture, no live feed. The camera just stopped working. Looks like the cheap camera you chose has a peace-of-mind cost that you weren't planning on.

KJB uses Amazon Web Servers (AWS) for our line of IP remote view cameras. These servers are all based in the United States. All SleuthGear cameras use AWS to provide live remote view and recording. Unlike less expensive cameras, SleuthGear cameras use a two stage log in and a required password. This two stage authentication protects your videos from getting into the wrong hands, not only from your device but also from the servers housing your videos. Amazon Web Servers require any person using their server to have that dedicated password. Yes the two step authentication can be a bit more complicated set up – but do you want that video of Mom in her new apartment available for strangers to easily hack?

Speaking of your mom's new apartment let's get back to that blank screen. Recently the remote feed from IP cameras similar to SleuthGear was suddenly shut down by the foreign governments housing those servers with no explanation. Individuals using those cameras were left without a live feed and questioned if their recorded videos had been hacked. But customers using KJB's SleuthGear Hidden Cameras reported no such interruption. Amazon Web Servers were not affected.

KJB Security does not make short term security products. We've been in the hidden and remote camera business for twenty years. We back our products with America based tech support and take your peace-of-mind seriously.

Want to see a step by step guide to set up our Amazon Web Server based SleuthGear cameras? For Android users click here, iOS users click here.



Thursday, August 15, 2019



3 Tips for Selling Your Customers DIY Hidden Cameras

While hidden camera designers can be very inventive when hiding a video camera inside a household object, they may not be as imaginative as a DIYer! Read up on our tips for showing off a hidden camera to the DIY audience:

• Make sure the DIY customer knows about the battery life of the camera if applicable and how placement might affect that. High traffic areas will run down battery life causing disappointment for the uninformed DIY customer.

• Educate the DIY customer about the difference between a stand alone DVR and a wi-fi camera. When the customer buys a hidden camera kit to “reverse engineer” an object in their home they may NOT think about how easy it is to go back and retrieve the recorded footage. Explain that a DVR hidden camera captures hidden video on an onboard memory card. While there is no need to set up this stand-alone DVR camera onto a household wi-fi network the customer also will not be able to view the footage remotely or retrieve it without returning to where the camera is placed. A wi-fi enable hidden video camera will allow the user to view the footage remotely possibly making returning for the camera irrelevant.

• Encourage the DIY hidden camera customer to be creative! Think about objects peculiar to their office or home that would work as good hidden video decoys. Are they concerned about neglect at their doggie day spa? Then consider adding a pinhole hidden camera to a food bowl or dog treat container. Do they run a skating rink or arcade and suspect some skaters have figured out how to hack the change machine? Then a DIY project placing a hidden camera in an arcade prize might be the ticket to changing that bad behavior.


Understanding the limits and benefits of a hidden camera along with creating a camera unique to the space it is monitoring are key steps to a successful DIY undercover operation.  


Tuesday, June 04, 2019

5 Simple Steps to Protect Your Car from Theft or Vandalism



As the mercury in the thermometer climbs it seems like reports of petty crimes involving vehicles climb with it. It's also the time of year when the summer rush causes us to forget the most basic common sense approach to keeping our car and items inside safe. But all it takes is a few minutes to stop and think about these 5 ways to keep your car safe and not start your summer off with a police report:


1. Lock the doors. If you don’t have a keychain remote with a convenient button that locks all the doors just take the time to check. Also make sure your sun roof, moon roof, and windows are rolled up and closed. Don't make it easy to reach into an unlocked car and take a handful of CDS, a Bluetooth speaker or even a handful of change. Even if you run into a store for just two seconds, leaving the car running or unlocked is asking for trouble. Although keyless entry makes your car a little more secure, in the event you forget all of this lock-it-up advice, invest in a GPS tracker. In the worst case scenario, you can track your car in real time until the police get there.


2. Keep valuables out of sight. Your GPS navigation unit is great, you may want to hold on to it. If it's a portable navigation system, place it in the glove box, center console or the trunk. The same goes for any item that is not mounted to something. Let's be honest, your purse is not safe tucked under the seat. It's safe in the locked trunk. 


3. Park in well-lit areas. Even if you have to walk a little farther you should park where your car is safe. Petty thieves are looking for an easy target and a car sitting in a well lit area is not it. Good lighting also makes it easier for criminal activity to be recorded by nearby security cameras.


4. Don't advertise the nice stuff you keep in the car. Don't give your neighbors a chance to talk about your new stereo system by playing it loudly. You never know who might be listening. The same goes for advertising the kind of phone you have by placing its logo on your back window. You might as well say, “yep, I have an expensive phone, want to take a look?”


5. Put a hidden camera in or near your car. This way even if someone does break in you will have a video record of it. Hidden cameras like the Cell Phone Holder Camera are less likely to be stolen. It looks like a typical, cheap, dash-mounted plastic phone holder but it will capture the the person who decides to root around in your unlocked car. Another possibility is the Car Charger Hidden Camera. It's not only great for catching criminals who stop by your driveway at night it's also an easy way to find out if your mechanic really did swipe the change out of your console.


Thursday, May 09, 2019

Is a Smart Phone App the same as a Detection Device?



Is a Smart Phone App the same as a Detection Device?
As the news cycle shows recent stories of spying threats in hotel rooms and rental houses many developers are touting smart phone apps as an option for scanning a space for hidden bugs or video cameras. But how effective are these apps? We took a look and discovered some key differences between common 'detection' apps and the average handheld detection device.

Magnetic Field Sensor
Most of the smart phone apps require your phone to have a magnetic field sensor or they will not work. The magnetic field sensor is similar to what is found in a stud finder or compass app and not all phones come equipped with it. Handheld detectors like a camera finder or an RF signal detector do not require any additional technology to work with the exception of batteries.

Detection from a distance
The smart phone apps did find hidden camera lens and RF signals but only when the user was really close to the hidden camera or hidden bug.  The camera lens detection option on the apps we tried caused the smart phone's light to flash slowly in order to reflect off of the hidden lens. The light from the phone managed to reflect on the lens when the distance between the hidden camera and the smart phone was closed to about 15 inches apart. Trying a basic handheld detection device like a Spy Finder or a Hidden Camera RF Detector the flashing LEDs on the detection devices picked up the hidden lens from about 15 feet away.

Sensitivity Adjustment
The smart phone apps did not offer much ability to change the sensitivity of detection. The magnetic field sensor did do a good job finding electronics but it found all of them. So a camera hidden in a picture was easy to locate. A camera hidden in a clock radio was masked by all the other electronics inside. Likewise, the apps that detected RF signals picked up signals for everything from a wireless mouse to the hidden video transmitter. Using a Wireless Camera Detector we were able to narrow the sensitivity and focus on areas that were most likely  to have a hidden camera or listening device.

Our Take Away
Smart phone apps are a viable solution for a one time scan of a very small, bare, space. But for even an average sized space, like a hotel room, it would take a fair amount of patience and time to scan the entire area. Even then a camera or hidden bug inside a clock or electronic device could be missed due to the interference from non spying electronics. For users traveling frequently or users concerned about spying outside of hidden camera or bugs such as GPS trackers, a handheld detection device could be a good investment.


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