Wednesday, March 13, 2019

5 Tips to Get the Best Video From Your Hidden Camera Smoke Detector


Most actual smoke detectors are placed just above a doorway as you enter or exit a room. however this might not be the best place for a hidden camera smoke detector as the subject of interest could walk through the door so quickly that they do not trigger the camera's PIR sensor. Instead consider placing the smoke detector above a window or closet door in the back of the room. This will allow the PIR sensor time to fully activate the camera and the intruder will be walking toward the hidden camera instead of away from it. 

Bottom View Smoke Detector Camera
This model of hidden camera has a hidden camera pointed out the bottom of the detector body. If this unit is mounted on the ceiling it will capture what is directly below. This means that a subject walking through a doorway will have the top of their head in view but not their face. Consider mounting a bottom view smoke detector camera on a wall, opposite of the doorway you suspect the subject will use. In this position the camera will capture all of the doorway and most of the floor to ceiling space of an average room with 9 foot high ceilings.

Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling














Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on wall
















Side View Smoke Detector Camera
In this model of hidden camera the camera is mounted on the side of the detector body with the camera tilted slightly downward. Mount it on ceiling for an angle that will capture most of the floor space of a medium sized room as well as about 4-6 feet above the floor. When monitoring a long hallway consider having more than one hidden camera smoke detector mounted every 10-12 feet. This allows the subject to be captured on video in multiple positions and allows the PIR sensor on the additional camera to be triggered just as the subject is leaving the first camera's field of view.
Side view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling
















Pick the Best Camera for the Space While a smoke detector is a pretty ordinary object to have in most spaces, in some spaces it might draw attention. For example it would be unusual to see a smoke detector mounted in a carport, a better choice would be the Cable Box Camera or even the Birdhouse Camera.

Monitoring Busy PlacesNo matter how much life a hidden camera battery might have, if the camera is being constantly activated by ordinary coming and going in a busy spot the battery will wear down quickly, possibly in less than a day. While you can check video recorded when the camera was active, no more video will be recorded until the battery can be recharged. Our hidden cameras that plug into an AC outlet are the best choice for this kind of surveillance. Another option is to take advantage of the Scheduled Recording option in the SG Home app. If you know when the person you are monitoring will be in the area you can set the camera to only wake to the PIR during that time, thus saving battery life.

Channel Your Inner Wile E. CoyoteThat rascally coyote never gave up chasing the Roadrunner. While we don't suggest tying an anvil to your hidden camera we DO suggest not giving up the first time if it doesn't capture the problem. Surveillance is as much an art as a science. You may need to adjust your camera placement, be prepared to schedule its recording time or be ready to check the memory card multiple times during the day. If climbing up a ladder to retrieve video from an SD card would draw attention to the hidden camera itself then monitor your video from your smart phone. You can even subscribe to our Cloud Recording and have access to downloaded video for a longer period of time without having to return to the camera at all.

Finally, remember that hidden cameras sometimes tell us good news. If after choosing your camera, carefully selecting its placement, and diligently checking its recording you discover that the suspicious behavior you originally noticed is actually quite innocent then consider it a good day. Breathe a sigh of relief and store your camera in a safe place for the next time you suspect a Road Runner has been sneaking around your cave.

Camera Placement Dos and Don'ts Checklist:
• DON'T place a camera near a doorway or other area that the subject would quickly walk by without triggering the camera

• DO make sure the camera fits into the use of the room and will not draw attention to itself 

• DO make sure the camera is plugged in for monitoring busy areas just as a business' entry lobby

• DON'T mount a side view camera on a wall. 

• DO be prepared to adjust your cameras placement at the beginning of your surveillance


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Protect Your Organization from Spying Threats



Cameras are everywhere, from Ring to facial recognition that unlocks your smartphone. People are being conditioned to be on camera even when they don't want to be. Corporations and institutions are seeing their private spaces invaded also, particularly as intellectual property is increasingly under threat of being stolen. In 2016 the FBI reported a 53% increase in the number of corporate espionage cases being investigated.

Institutions blind to the growing number intrusion of cameras and recording devices risk competing with their own stolen intellectual property. Certain international players see corporate espionage as a growth strategy, not just a short term means to an end. Many institutions think only of securing their IP in cyberspace and ignore the real threat lurking in their boardrooms, recruiter offices, or break rooms. One only needs to look at the latest headlines involving the intended theft of T-Mobile's robot technology via secretly collected pictures. With the growth of internet connected devices it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the employee microwave is silently streaming project details to a murky competitor.
  
However taking steps to secure your organization beyond cyber threats has a payoff: Scanning areas where your employees work with international partners will reveal any surreptitious recording devices. Training your employees to utilize detection devices puts them at the front lines of being able to detect and stop a theft before it happens.

All you need to begin a complete surveillance detection protocol are a set of comprehensive tools:

  • Cameras are easily scanned for with a handheld lens detector that confirms the presence of a hidden camera whether or not it's in operation.
  • Handheld detection devices can scan for hidden GPS trackers,  listening and video transmitting devices. Meeting in a new space? Many of these are small enough to carry with you and do a quick scan before a meeting begins.
  • Spectrum analyzers serve the needs of the largest institutions and government offices. Equipped with the ability to scan all transmitting frequencies, these devices quickly become go-to tools to guard against privacy invasion.

Recently a customer came to us concerned that private conversations were being compromised after a chance meeting with a presumed potential client at an out-of-town trade show. The new client seemed to know exact details of our customer's itinerary as well as other private conversations. Evidence mounted that this 'new client' was trying to determine who else our customer was establishing business relationships with, even during after hours meetings. After investing in a handheld detection device and an afternoon of practicing scanning with our customer service team, our customer discovered a hidden tracker on a vehicle used for business as well as listening devices in the office space. Finding these hidden devices allowed our customer to bring law enforcement into the matter and stop the unwanted surveillance threat.

Protecting your organization from spying threats should be a multi-pronged approach. Once your institution has implemented a regular surveillance detection scanning plan both employees and outside partners will feel secure that outside surveillance is not jeopardizing trade information. Employees will be free to work without fear of having their efforts undermined by secret audio and video surveillance. And IP protection teams will have more time and resources to devote to catching slippery cyber opportunists.

Essentially protecting your institution's physical space from spying threats increases protection of ALL space from spying threats.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe During the Holidays



Top 5 tips for Keeping Your Home Safe
during the Holidays

You’re not alone if you are traveling this Holiday Season. November is upon us and like you lots of people have travel plans approaching from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. In 2017, we had record-breaking travel from November through December, the busiest months for long-distance trips every year. Increasing numbers of homes are left unattended every year during the holidays.

Enjoy a worry-free trip this holiday. Follow these few tips to keep your home secure while you’re away this season.

1. Keep Up with Home Maintenance. Don’t leave a calling card for potential intruders. Nothing tips them off more than mail, packages or newspapers piling up, overgrown landscape, or snow in the driveway. Make sure you arrange for these few things to be taken care of while you are away. Have a friend pick them up or have your mail or newspapers stopped all together. This news report of a home invasion tells how the thief knew no one was home by the newspapers in the driveway. Don’t fall victim to this simple mistake.

2. Make it look like someone is home. You may have heard this one before, but we often forget it in our time of hustle and bustle to get on the road. Simply adding a timer to your lights to turn on at a certain time can make it look like someone is home. Our outdoor version can double as outside hidden security. Having a dark home is a dead ringer you aren’t there. You don’t need to channel your inner Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, to make your space look occupied. Some other tricks are leaving a pair of shoes by the door, keeping a TV on or keeping a car in the driveway.

3. Lock Up. It’s obvious, but sometimes we forget. A large number of home invasions happen through unlocked entry. Take an extra walk through your home to make sure all the windows and doors are locked while you are away. Lock up or move any valuables out of sight. Also make sure you don’t have any spare keys hidden in obvious places outside your home.

4. Home Security. Whether it’s a dog, alarm system or video surveillance, you will know when someone has entered your home. Our covert video surveillance is disguised in your everyday objects that get overlooked in most circumstances. You can arm yourself with a standalone DVR, WiFi or cloud storage camera. WiFi and Cloud cameras have the ability of notifying you when they detect movement in the area of view. With FREE apps, you can check-in with live streaming, recording and play back options at anytime from anywhere you get a signal. And if your home is broken into while you’re away, you can notify the authorities and have clear evidence of the perpetrator to take to law enforcement.

5. Keep your plans off Social Media. In a high technological society, we tend to overshare. We check-in and post from everywhere. Don’t put your holiday travel schedule in print for everyone to see because that information is widely accessed. Keep a close friend or neighbor in the loop, they can check on your place while you are gone. You don’t need to share right away, if you take any pictures or have any fun experience, post them when you return.



Thursday, November 01, 2018

KJB Explains to Good Morning America How To Avoid Hidden Cameras On Vacation


Security expert Chad Kozlowski shares tips after a couple claim they found a hidden camera in their cruise ship stateroom. Watch the segment from Good Morning America:


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How Our Choice of Cloud Servers Make Your Video Secure


How Our Choice of Cloud Servers
Make Your Video Secure


In a day and age where anything can be hacked within a few strokes of a keyboard, privacy and security are of the utmost importance when it comes to your information. In 2018 alone, there were hundreds of cyberattacks affecting hundreds of millions of people globally. As the leading pioneers in Hidden Surveillance and Security, we wanted to be able to provide an ultra-secure hidden surveillance cloud video recording system with a multi-layer password protection to hinder any chance of tampering. After years in the making, a few developers later, our vision for a cloud video recording system came to fruition. SG Home Cloud is the first covert video cloud system and proudly launched in August of 2018. 

Building a data infrastructure on local servers is very expensive to start from scratch. It takes a lot of money, expertise, security, machines, housing and manpower to keep systems current and up to task that’s when a business has to decide what option is right for them. That’s why we and millions of others have cut costs and left that to cloud computing services hosted offsite and accessed through the internet. There are a lot of cloud solutions out there from foreign to domestic. The first thing we required was a domestic server that provided a powerful, flexible and secure cloud computing solution for everyone. Data breaches were a problem we found with foreign servers. Being in the industry we are, we’ve seen and sampled a lot of the smart home products that are made in China, such as thermostats, lock keypads, doorbells and cameras that are vulnerable to cyberattacks. These App based products are using foreign wireless or peer-to-peer networks that are easy to manipulate, expose your private information and gain access to your private networks.

The main five cloud platform solutions to choose from were, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Alibaba Cloud. We decided to go with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has been leading the way since 2004 in the Cloud Computing Industry and holds a 35% Market Share. While other companies have gotten into the game and are close in comparison, everyone’s requirements are different, their services don’t always provide the quality and flexibility you need for your organization. Amazon provides all encompassed web services to millions of clients including individuals, companies and governments worldwide. It’s easy to make adjustments to our infrastructure; we have the ability to upgrade or downgrade as needed to stay in the forefront of our industry and pay only for what we are using. This allows for us to provide an easy accessible and affordable cloud camera subscription without all the extra overhead costs. Amazon Web Services puts cloud security as its’ highest priority. Their data centers and network structure were built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations such as the CIA, FBI and other foreign agencies and governments. In addition, the built in app multi-layer account protection in our App, Amazon Web Services hosting increases our defense of your protected data. 

We wanted to build something that had an extra line of security for our app login, cameras and storage files to minimize the prospect of your information getting into the hands of cybercriminals. Your SG Home Cloud videos are stored with complete autonomy, no one is reviewing footage, unless you’ve shared access with another user your footage is for your eyes only, the servers only have a record of the usernames and history, and the actual footage is unavailable. If your subscription lapses or you discontinue service, all your stored cloud data is erased. We felt this would give our customers peace of mind, knowing you won’t have to worry about your information or videos exchanging hands.


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