Top 5 Wi-Fi Doorbell Cameras

In this age of smart phones, home hubs and app controlled heating; it’s not surprising to see the emergence of Wi-Fi doorbell cameras. We will do just about anything to keep our home and family secure, so are smart doorbells a worthy investment? We are going to look at the five most popular doorbell cameras in the UK and see what they offer.

 

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Price- £179.00 (Amazon 2019) Ring Website ring wifi doorbell

The Ring doorbell camera offers you 1080HD video, which is a pretty high resolution for a doorbell camera. It allows you to see, hear and speak to anyone that comes to your door from wherever you are. Ring provides instant mobile alerts and two way talk that you can answer from your mobile, tablet or PC. The Ring doorbell can be adapted to meet your needs; you can adjust the motion sensors. So if you own a cat that will be around your property, you won’t get an alert every time they move.

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 includes a quick release rechargeable battery, so you are able to charge it without having to take the whole thing off your front door. If you are worried about it being switched off for any period of time then we recommend you buy 2 batteries, so you always have power for your Wi-Fi doorbell camera.

The camera has a viewing range of 160 degrees and has adjustable motion zones. Don’t worry about having it outside in bad weather, as it can cope with temperatures as low as -5c and as high as 48.5c. it’s is also weather resistant meaning its fine getting rained on, snowed on or even hailed on. Ring will also connect to the Amazon Alexa, so you can see who’s at the door with an Echo Show or a Fire TV.

Ring is the most dominant presence in the Wi-Fi doorbell camera game, so you can be sure it’s the most advanced smart doorbell out there. However it does come with a rather large price tag. So it’s worth looking around to see what other doorbells are out there.

 

SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

Price- £100.97 (Amazon 2019) Skybell WebsiteSkybell wifi doorbell

The SkyBell offers almost exactly the same features as the Ring Wi-Fi doorbell. The small difference being that with Skybell you get a notification when someone rings the doorbell, as well as motion notifications.

The set up seems relatively simple, as you only use 4 screws to mount the Wi-Fi door bell and can use any existing doorbells power wires.

The Skybell also features 2 way audio, meaning you can have a conversation with whoever is at the door. The app allows multiple people to have accounts, so everyone that lives in your house can have view who has been to the front door. Even at night you will be able to see clearly who is at your front door in full colour night vision. Also, if you’ve not had chance to look at who’s been around your property all day, then there is an ‘Active History’ function that means you can review any missed visitors, any answered video calls and motion alerts.

One of the biggest differences between the Skybell and Ring is battery vs hard wired, with the Sky bell being wired in. Depending on the doorbell you currently have, you may find the battery controlled Wi-Fi doorbell a little easier to set up. However if leaving something that controls your home security on a battery worries you, then having it wired in is a selling point.

 

Vivint© Doorbell Camera™

Price- Available on Request Vivint Website

The Vivint Doorbell Camera is probably the most elegant looking Wi-Fi doorbell on the list; it has a thin, understated design meaning that it is considerably more subtle than a security camera and some of the other Wi-Fi doorbells. It’s also comes with the standard features of a Wi-Fi doorbell camera, notifications and video footage etc. The video quality is slightly lower than some other smart doorbells at 720p HD and has a night vision feature.

Vivint promotes a discreet way to secure your home and boasts that it will warn you before a person even rings on your doorbell. On their website its says;

“The minimalist design of Vivint Doorbell Camera mimics a regular doorbell to blend seamlessly with your home exterior and keep your entryway feeling like a meeting place, not a TSA checkpoint.”

So if you’re conscious of advertising that you have an expensive smart doorbell attached to your door, the Vivint might be for you. To be able to use a Vivint Doorbell camera you will need to invest in a Vivint smart home monitoring package and this will cost you extra in equipment and monthly fees. Installation is a bit more involved and requires a specially trained engineer to come to your house and set it up for you. They do not specifically state the price of the camera on their website, but if subtly is your thing then Vivint is definitely worth looking in to.

August Doorbell Cam

Price- £200 (August website 2019) August Website

 

August is a big player in the smart home security game. They are best known for their smart locks that allow you to open the front door with your phone. However they also have a Wi-Fi doorbell on the market, the August Doorbell Cam. The August can be wired in using the same connection of your current standard doorbell, so there is no need to rely on batteries. You can then set it up inside by using the USB dock provided.

 

August differs from other Wi-Fi doorbell cameras by not having a night vision feature, but instead including a full colour light that will illuminate anyone standing at the door. However like the others it allows you not only to live stream footage from your front door, but going back and review anything you missed. The camera will start recording when it senses movement, so you shouldn’t miss anything important.

The instillation of the August is a bit more involved than some of the other options, as you are required to mount brackets and use a drill, which if you are not DIY minded, could be a struggle for you.

 

Netvue Vuebell Doorbell

Price- £89.99 (Amazon 2019) Netvue Websitenetview wifi doorbell

Like all the other doorbell cameras the Vuebell doorbell comes with its own app, meaning you can check the video feed from anywhere. The doorbell itself includes HD cameras, 2-way audio and Night Vision. The Vuebell automatically detects unusual motions and alerts you by sending a notification to your phone. Or if you are out and someone rings the doorbell you can have a real-time two-way conversation with them.

The camera is pretty good, with a wide viewing angle of 185 degrees and a vertical viewing angle of 118 degrees, meaning that the entire area around your front door will be covered. Like most of the camera doorbells, it runs on Wi-Fi, with Vuebell you can have it up to 100 metres away from your wireless router. That means it doesn’t matter where it is in your home, the connection will not suffer from inference. The doorbell also has eight infrared LEDs that can help you see things even at night.  You can capture a clear photo at night within five meters.

The Netvue is a good piece of kit if you’re looking to keep the cost down. However you won’t be able to connect the Netvue with any other smart devices, such as a smart lock or another smart camera. The Netvue does also have a slightly budget look about it.

Video Storage Fees

 

What most of the makers of these Wi-Fi camera doorbells fail to mention is that if you want to keep the footage of your home then you will need to subscribe to a monthly storage plan. As hours and hours of video footage takes up a lot of storage space, it’s not possible to store it all on the doorbell itself. Most companies will store your footage on a cloud based server, some may offer you some sort of free cloud storage, while others offer you none at all.

Ring

 

The Ring Video Doorbell may be one of the most advanced cameras out there, but they offer no free storage. This means unless you open a live stream immediately after receiving a notification, you might miss what going on. For the motion based video to be stored you have to subscribe to a ‘Ring Protect Plan’. You can either pay £2.50 per month (£25 annually) for their Protect Basic Plan, which will store all live videos for up to 30 days. Or you can pay £8 per month (£80 annually) for the Protect Plus Program. This is useful if you have more than one Wi-Fi camera doorbell, as the plan covers unlimited Ring devices. You still only have 30 days’ worth of storage with this plan, but you do get an extended warranty and discounts in the Ring store.

 

Skybell

 

Skybell does not offer a storage plan of any sort. But it does offer free 7 day storage, so if you are looking for a WI-FI doorbell camera that can store footage for a long time, the Skybell is not for you.

 

Vivint

 

As with the price of the actual doorbell, Vivint are not advertising the price of their video storage plan. However on their website it says you get 30 days’ worth of video (which seems to be the standard) for a ‘fraction of the cost of most video storage solutions’.

 

August

 

August does offer various plans, the Free Basic Plan offer 24 hours of saved video history; this comes automatically with the doorbell so there is no need to sign up. They do offer a ‘Premium’ storage plan, which is around £4 a month or around £50 annually. This offers 30 days of saved video history and saved video clips of all activity captured. On both plans you can download and share saved videos and everyone that has the August app can use it.

Netvue

 

Netvue does not offer any free video storage; instead they offer three paid plans. The first is Ring Video Storage which is around £2 a month (or around £20 a year); this plan will record and save any doorbell rings and conversations on the cloud for future viewing for 30 days.

The second plan is around £6 a month (or £69.99 per year) and offers 14 days of 24/7 recording. This means your doorbell will be recording continuously and you can access and review the footage for up to 14 days.

The third is around £1 per month (or £19 per year) and you are able view 10 second of any event, this is available to watch for 30 days.

 

So, Should you buy one?

Buying a WI-FI doorbell is a good investment in the security of your home, especially if you want to be able to connect with people at your front door while you are away. However, you do need to consider how much you want to spend and how much you are willing to pay for the video storage. We hope this guide has been useful and make sure you check out our other blogs on home security.

Images from;
https://august.com/
https://en-uk.ring.com/
https://www.netvue.com/
https://www.vivint.com/

August Smart Lock Buying Guide

If you’ve done any research into smart locks or smart doorbells then it’s more than likely you’ve come across August. They are giants in this field of technology, matched only by the likes of Nest and Amazon. The company August Home is based in California and released its first smart lock the ‘August Smart Lock’ in 2013. Two years later they released a new wave of products, including the ‘August Smart Lock Pro + Connect’ their second generation of smart lock. They also started selling video door bells, and as of July 2018 August Home has sold over one million smart locks and cameras.

 

We are going to take a look at the products August Home have to offer and help you decide which product is right for you.

 

The Original- August Smart LockAugust Smart Lock

 

The original (and cheaper) version of the August smart lock, allows you to lock and unlock your door with your phone, while also giving keyless entry to family and guests. One major selling point of the August smart lock is that you don’t have to change your existing lock, it just attaches to the inside of your door, which also means you can use regular keys if needed. As with most smart locks these days, August had its own handy app, which allows you to see if your door is locked or unlocked and even alerts you if your door is ajar. The August Smart Lock works with accessories that August Home offer, such as the Smart Keypad and August Connect.

 

August Smart Lock Pro + ConnectThe Next Generation- August Smart Lock Pro + Connect

 

This newer (and more expensive) smart lock offers everything the original does, but also offers users connection to Siri, Alexa, and Google Home Assistant. Meaning if you have a larger smart home security system, the August Smart Lock Pro can integrate easily. You can also remotely control your lock from anywhere meaning you can lock and unlock the door wherever you are. Like with the original smart lock, your door will automatically unlock when it senses your phone in range, but with the Pro, you can also use your voice to unlock it via Siri and Alexa.

 

 

The Doorbell- August Doorbell Cam Pro

 

This does what is says on the tin (plus a little bit more). Essentially it’s a doorbell with a camera in it, so you can see who’s at the door before you answer it. But of course this being 2018, it comes with a lot more features than that! Via the app you can receive notifications when someone approaches your front door, no matter where you are. With the free Basic Video Recording subscription you can replay any video from the last 24 hours. It even offers full-colour HD at night, by using the built-in floodlight. So you don’t have to waste your time with grainy infrared night-time video. As with Augusts other products, they pride themselves on ease of installation. So the Doorbell Cam Pro uses the existing wiring that connects your standard doorbell and the included USB dock allows complete setup inside your home prior to installation.

 

Never miss a moment- Hindsight

 

As mentioned previously with the August Doorbell Cam Pro you get the basic recording subscription that allows you to view the past 24 hours of footage. If you would like to view footage from the last month then you can upgrade to the Premium for around £5 a month. Hindsight constantly monitors your doorway and captures the few seconds leading up to someone arriving on your doorstep. You then get an alert, letting you know that there has been some activity at your door.

 

August Smart KeypadNever hide a key again- August Smart Keypad

 

You never have to leave a key under the mat or under a plant pot again. With the August Smart Keypad you can unlock your door with secure codes. You can create unique entry codes to unlock your door without having to use a traditional key or smart phone. Meaning the August Smart Keypad is a better option for those with children, or older relatives that would struggle to use a key or smart phone. You can either have temporary codes that allow people access for a certain number of days or you can even set ‘recurring’ codes that only allow access for a specific time each week. Continuing the August tradition of products being easy to install, the Keypad is battery powered, so no need to wire anything. You just put in you 2 AAA batteries and stick it to the wall. Obviously the August Smart Keypad is compatible with all other August Home products, but works well as a standalone security measure.

 

Info from August.com

Best Indoor Security Cameras

Best indoor Security Camera

 

What is an IP camera?

 

An IP camera is a device that can transmit video data via the internet. You can us an IP camera to live stream the video they capture via, laptop, smart phone or any device connected to the internet. As long as the device is connected to the internet you can view the video from anywhere in the world. This means they make great indoor security cameras, as well as the fact that they’re not complicated to install and have no wiring costs.

 

Where to put you IP camera

 

There are only 2 things that affect where you put your indoor security camera, first thing is whether or not your IP camera needs to be plugged in. This can limit the places you can put it, as it needs to be in reach of a plug. The other consideration is how wide your cameras field of view is and how much of the room you want to cover. So before you drill it in anywhere, you need to check if you are seeing what you want to see.

 

Do you want a high quality picture?

 

The resolution on these IP cameras normally ranges from 720p to 1080p, the higher the number the clearer images you are going to get. A higher quality image does take up more storage, but you need to balance that with the need to have the crispest image possible. It depends if you want to be able to identify a burglar’s face, or just want to see what the kids are up to when you’re not there.

http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/ip-cameras/1405720/best-home-security-cameras-best-ip-security-camera-to-buy

 

What home security camera should you buy?

 

Nest Cam Indoor

You can’t seem to talk about home surveillance without talking about Nest; they dominate the market for home security cameras. Their cameras are some of the best out there, but also some of the most expensive. So what do you get when you spend almost £190 on an indoor security camera? Well for starters, it boasts an 8x zoom, and a whopping 130 degree field of view. Using the app, you can schedule when you want the camera to record, meaning you don’t waste your storage with hours of video of yourself wondering around your house. The Nest also has a talk and listen feature, so you can try to sooth your pet, if you see their anxious or make your kids jump, if they are misbehaving.  https://www.tomsguide.com/us/nest-cam,review-3049.html

 

https://www.asecurelife.com/amcrest-security-camera-reviews/

 

 

Blink Two Camera System

Blink has the advantage of being battery powered, so you can put it anywhere in your home, and move it day to day, depending on what you need it to capture. You might be worried that you will need to change the batteries frequently, but don’t. The Blink boasts a two year battery life and that’s for standard AA lithium batteries you can buy from the shop. Like most of the other IP cameras on this list, it has motion detection, meaning it only films when it senses movement, or you can check in live with an app. The camera has a 720p resolution and a 110 degree viewing angle, there are cameras out there with a better resolution, but 720p will still give you a HD picture quality. Because Blink is an amazon product, it’s made to work with Amazon Alexa, but it will also connect to other smart home devices. It’s not a bad camera for the price and its small, sleek design means it will fit subtly into your home. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blink-Home-Security-Detection-Included/dp/B01M7SSR5F/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1537351897&sr=8-5&keywords=blink

Belkin NetCam HD+ Wi-Fi Camera

The Belkin is relatively inexpensive compared to other cameras, although you do have to pay monthly to store the footage taken in your house. The camera resolution is 720p, which is at the lower end of the scale, but you still get a good quality image. The Belkin has a 95 degree field of view, which is not that much compared to others on the list. It does have night vision, so you can get a decent image in the dark (when most burglars tend to strike).

 

Canary Flex

The Flex isn’t badly priced at just under £200, but it lacks some of the finesse of other indoor security cameras. You don’t have to plug it in as it can run off a (rechargeable) battery. But the battery life is only 2 months, a lot less than other models on this list. It comes with a magnetic mount, which means the Flex is easily readjusted so you can test, which angle to use for the best view. The camera has a 720p resolution and a viewing angle of 113 degrees; this should be enough to cover the whole of an average sized room. The app is relatively easy to use, and puts your video clips which the Flex feels are most important. It does have an inferred night vison mode, but it’s been reported that the picture isn’t the best quality. The Canary Flex isn’t a bad camera for the price, but there are better IP cameras out there for roughly the same price.

https://www.cnet.com/uk/pictures/connected-cameras-for-a-safer-smart-home-pictures/5/

https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/canary-flex

 Amazon Cloud Cam

As with any Amazon product, you can be sure to get a good quality piece of kit with the Cloud Cam. It boasts all the features of the more expensive IP cameras such as, night vision, HD picture and two-way talk and audio recording. It also has a clever bit of technology that means it can distinguish animals from humans, so you don’t get false alarms. With the app you can divide your house into zones, and tell the Cloud Cam to ignore movement in an area of your home that is busy. For example, if you leave your dog in the kitchen while you’re at work, you can deactivate that area. The Cloud Cam has a 1080p resolution and a 120 degree viewing angle, both of which aren’t bad for the price at around £110. You do have to pay £6 a month for video storage, but this isn’t unusual for these types of home security cameras.

https://www.cnet.com/reviews/amazon-cloud-cam-review/

 

 

Canary All-in-One

If you are looking for an entire home security system as well as a camera, you might want to look at the Canary all-in-one. It not only includes a camera, but a smoke detector, air quality detector a 90 decibel alarm. The camera itself has 1080p resolution and a 147 degree field of view. You do have to plug the Canary into the wall, which can be annoying depending on where you want to put it. Like some others on this list, the Canary has a two way speaker system so you can sooth pets or try to ward off intruders. It sells for around £158 which isn’t too expensive, but you do have to consider the cost of storing your footage, which is about £10 a month. Canary claim that the All-In-one is ‘constantly learning’, and adjusts to your preferences. It knows when you’re around and will ‘auto arm’ when you leave the house. It can even tell the difference between your regular activity and ‘unusual’ activity in your home.

Is Your Information Safe on Facebook?

You may have seen in the news recently that Facebook has come under fire for letting Cambridge Analytica harvest user’s data without their permission. The scary thing is that you may have been caught up in this without knowing, as users downloading apps have ‘allowed’ the app to gain data from their friends as well as themselves. If you are still unsure if you have allowed an app permission, think  back to the last time you did a ‘personality quiz’ or ‘what will my face look like in 30 years’ and to get your result the app asked to have permission to see your info? Well if you clicked yes to that, your data may have been harvested.

Now it’s a bit scary knowing that information about you could have been used without your permission. So what can you do about it? Well some people are calling for everyone to delete Facebook completely. However of you don’t want to something that radical then you can always check your privacy settings. We will show you how to do both.

How to delete your Facebook account

If you are a frequent Facebook user then you have probably used it to log in to other apps and services, which will be affected once you delete your account. First thing to do is figure out what apps you have connected to Facebook; you can do this by going to Settings then Apps, then make a list of the apps and websites that you will still want to use after you delete your account. You will need to log in to each of these apps, and visit their settings page and find the option is disconnect from Facebook. Each of the settings will be different in each app or website, so you may have to do a little more research on each app or website to be able to disconnect it from Facebook.

Secondly it may be worth downloading and saving all the pictures and videos you have ever posted to Facebook. You can do this on the desktop version of Facebook by heading to Settings and on the first page, there should be an option to Download a copy of your Facebook data. Once you’ve followed the instructions Facebook will then send you an email containing a downloadable file.

Now the big decisions really come in, you have two options when it comes to quitting Facebook;

  • Permanently delete your account
  • Deactivate your account

Now permanently deleting your account is IRREVERSIBLE. All your data including; photos, videos, friends, apps, games and like will be erased. Your profile will no longer exist, and if you have a change of heart and want back in, you will need to sign up for Facebook as a new user.

You can ‘deactivate your account’ which is a less permanent. This essentially freezes your account, meaning you can restore it to the same state, if you are sucked back in to the Facebook world. With this option you can also still use Facebook messenger.

If you are worried about your data being used then your best option is to permanently delete your account. Facebook will try and stop you from quitting, but if you are determined then just keep going! Just go to this page to start the process.

Changing or modifying App settings on Facebook

 If deleting your whole account is a bit too radical for you, then you can delete or modify any apps that are linked to your account. You can access these by going to Settings and selecting the Apps. You can hover over the app that you want to delete or modify and either click delete or edit. If you want to delete the app…press delete. However if you want to review the settings for the app and make any changes you feel are needed you need to click edit. You can change who can see that you use this app, as well as who can see any posts that the app makes on your behalf. Scroll down the screen further, and you may be able to turn off other settings, such as whether the app can post certain information on your behalf. Make sure you click save after you’ve made the changes. Annoyingly the only way you can make sure that the app deletes any information about you they already have, is to send an email or visit their website, depending on which app you are dealing with.

What to do next….

Hopefully you can now feel a little more secure with your information on Facebook; however it is still not recommended that you have any personal information posted publicly. Make sure there are never any pictures with your address, date of birth or bank details posted to any social media and you should never share bank details with people you don’t know over social media. For more information on the Facebook data breach mentioned in this blog then please visit the BBC page

 

Info From;

www.cnet.com/news/facebook-cambridge-analytica-data-mining-and-trump-what-you-need-to-know/

www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-delete-your-facebook-account-once-and-for-all/

Shop Safely this Black Friday

How do you shop safely online this Black Friday?

 

Shopping safely and securely online

As technology progresses, more items than ever before are available to buy online, from clothing and food to plane tickets and hotel rooms. With an infinite number of choices online, all available from the comfort of your own home and without the hustle and bustle of crowds in a shop, online shopping is a convenient and easy alternative to shopping in-store. However, before you embark on an online shopping spree, ensure you are aware of the security risks when shopping online and how to protect yourself. While you don’t have to be concerned about pick pockets while shopping online, there are still malicious hackers looking to steal personal data and financial information. Follow our savvy online shopping guide and you can shop online with confidence.

  1. Make sure you’re buying from a real online shop

It is vital to always shop using familiar websites which have received good reviews from previous customers. Malicious hackers are known for setting up fake shopping websites to either infect your computer with viruses and malware, or to steal your payment information during the ‘checkout’ process. Hackers can use your information for identity theft and credit card fraud.

How to spot a fake online shop:

  • A peculiar URL – for example, if the shop is called very-cheap-shoes.com the chances of the website being genuine are very slim.
  • Strange contact information – most online shops will have their own business email, for example customerservices@boohoo.com as opposed to boohoocustomerservices@hotmail.com.
  • Very low prices – If the online shop is selling an expensive product for less than half the retail price, it is most likely a scam.
  • Bad language – A reputable company will hire a copywriter to ensure all content on the website is written with no mistakes. Any grammar or spelling mistakes are a huge warning sign.
  • Bad design – Online shops, especially those in the fashion industry, take pride in their modern and sleek website design. If a website is designed badly and is hard to use, it could possibly be a scam.

 

  1. Is it a secure site?

When shopping online, make sure to check the website has SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption installed. You will know a website has this by checking that the URL begins with https:// instead of http://, and a small lock symbol should appear in the URL bar.

 

  1. Use strong passwords

It is common for people to use multiple online shopping sites for different products, this will often require making multiple accounts storing personal and financial details.  It is important to ensure the passwords for these accounts are not the same as this is a huge security risk. We advise the use of password generators to create long complex passwords which are almost impossible for hackers to crack.

 

  1. Check your bank for irregular activity

For those who frequently shop online on multiple websites, it can be difficult to keep track of the transactions made, therefore we advise shoppers to keep a personal record of what has been purchased, which website you used and how much money was spent.

Don’t wait for your monthly statements to check your bank transactions, make sure to check either online or in store regularly in order to increase your chance of spotting fraudulent activity or purchases you didn’t make promptly. It is vital you notify your bank of any fraudulent activity immediately in order to secure your account and receive any money you didn’t spend back into your account.

 

  1. Protect your PC

It is extremely important to have an effective antivirus system on your device, as this is the most basic form of protection when using online services. Installing malware protection will scan incoming and outgoing traffic to your device in attempts to detect any potential malware.

 

  1. Beware of scams

There are various phishing emails circulating advertising deals and offers which appear, and most often are, too good to be true. It is often during holiday times when scammers send out viruses and malware concealed as a gift or inclusive offer. Scam emails can be so well designed that they often have higher click rates than legitimate emails from real businesses. In order to outsmart scams we advise shoppers not to open emails from companies they do not recognize or haven’t previously used.

As well as email scams, online shoppers should beware of clicking on advertisements or links on social media websites and around the web. Often pop up websites will advertise attractive deals, however it is important to carry out research to determine if the advert is genuine and has genuine customers, or if it is a scam.

  1. Avoid using debit card

When online shopping, it is advisable to use credit cards or services such as PayPal, as opposed to debit cards.  Debit cards are riskier to use due to them being linked to your bank account, and are at a higher risk of exposing personal information if hacked. Credit cards offer shoppers more protection and less liability if card details are stolen.

  1. Stay private

Wi-Fi has become a daily part of modern life, however it does have limitations. It is important to never shop online using a public or open Wi-Fi which isn’t password protected, as this could allow a hacker to hijack all your traffic, allowing them to track all your activity while you are shopping, including your passwords, emails, addresses, personal and financial information. We recommend avoiding public hotspots when online shopping, as these are most likely unsecured.

  1. Be smart about apps

While mobile phone apps are a convenient method of online shopping, there are various deceptive apps on the market which have been made to steal your information. Ensure to only download apps from reliable sources such as the Apple App Store or Android Market. When using an app for shopping pay attention to the permissions the app asks for. If the app asks to access information such as your contacts, or any other suspicious activity, it is best to avoid it.

  1. Don’t give extra information

Most online shops will only require payment information and shipping information. If a store asks for extra information such as your date of birth, National Insurance Number or any other suspicious details, be wary of using such websites, as they could be attempting to steal personal information.

Online shopping has become increasingly popular and also a growing concern among security experts. Various methods of protection have been introduced to help increase security of online shoppers, from two-factor authentication to improved protection software’s, so we’re optimistic the future of online shopping could be more secure.

We hope that this blog has given you some great tips to protect your next online shopping spree and is a reminder that it’s not just your home security you need to be savvy about. Check out some of our other blogs for other security tips you may not have thought of.

Home security for children 

Telephone scams

Sources:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373130,00.asp

https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/online-shopping-security-tips/

https://www.safewise.com/blog/10-cybersecurity-tips-for-online-shopping/

Is your baby monitor safe?

Baby monitor security: Who else is watching?

Smart baby monitors are useful devices for busy parents wanting to keep an eye on their little one whilst he or she is sleeping, yet as more devices are able to connect to the internet, there is a higher risk of a security breach. As we become increasingly dependent on apps and the internet, many parents may consider a smart baby monitor which allows you to use your smartphone as a baby monitor so they can monitor their child remotely, however, how secure are these devises; who else could be watching?

Hackers crawl the web in search of unsecured cameras in order to exploit them. This could be for criminal gain or for their enjoyment, either way there are measures that can be taken to offer protection from this activity.

How to keep you baby monitor safe from hackers

Updates

One of the first things you should do when you purchase a baby monitor is to register the monitor; this assures your device will be updated with the latest firmware. Most manufacturers will update a devices firmware in order to fix a security issue or other technical problems, so it is recommended you check for updates regularly.

Restricted

It is advisable to restrict any remote viewing and access to the baby monitor when it isn’t required. While using the internet –connected features of a baby monitor is exciting and offers smart methods of motoring your child, leaving these connections active could make it easier for a hacker to gain access to the baby monitor and to breach your devices security.

Strong passwords

Many hackers will search for open cameras, or those which has a weak and generic default password, therefore it is vital users set strong password for access to the camera, even if they are not prompted to change it initially. Remember to change your password at least once a year in order to reduce your risk of a security breach.

Secure your network

Securing your home network such as the wireless router will help prevent hackers making their way into your home network, and all the devices connected to it. If you are worried about the security of your home network, and your personal data, then it is vital to increase the security by setting a strong password.

As a parent your child’s security is a priority, therefore if you have concerns about the privacy and security of a baby monitor, we recommend looking into the privacy settings and contact the manufacturers on how to increase the security. Following these precautions, if you are still worried about the security of your baby monitor, consider using a non-internet-connected device or an audio only monitor.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-r-miller/baby-monitors-whos-really_b_8244842.html

http://www.madeformums.com/news-and-gossip/how-to-keep-your-baby-monitor-safe-from-hackers/36235.html

https://www.engadget.com/2016/09/20/how-to-protect-your-baby-monitor-from-being-hacked/

Staying Secure Online

Protect your online privacy

Passwords

Passwords are your first defence against hackers; therefore it is important to ensure that you use what is considered a strong password as poor passwords can leave people and businesses vulnerable to online crime such as identity theft, fraud and extortion.

Creating a strong password

  • Use upper and lower case letters
  • Use three words or more
  • Include a symbol
  • Include numbers

Look around and pick three random words such as ‘pen’, ‘cactus’ and ‘chair’. Put these words together and swap some of the letters for numbers and symbols like this: p3nCac+u5cha!r. The longer the password the harder it would be for someone to crack!

What to avoid…

When creating a password you should avoid using the following:

  • Pet’s name
  • Other family members’ name
  • Current partner’s name
  • Child’s name
  • Something related to your favourite sports team
  • Date of birth
  • Favourite holiday
  • Significant dates
  • Place of birth
  • Number sequences

Use Social Media safely

Social Media is a fun way of staying in touch with your friends and family especially those who live far away and is an easy way of sharing what you are up to. However this information can be used by criminals to commit online crimes such as identity theft or hacking. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram or a blog, you need to be sure what you are posting isn’t going to increase the risk to your online safety.

Tips to using social media safely

  • Make sure you know exactly what you’re sharing and who you’re sharing it with. Check your privacy settings.
  • Don’t share any holiday plans or details of your current location online. This information could be used by a burglar to pinpoint when you won’t be at home.
  • Don’t upload photos of items of high value on any type of open forum such as birthday or Christmas presents. A burglar could use this information as their shopping list.

Spotting common internet scams…

The internet is a wealth of information, products and services which the majority of us will access without issue, although there are criminals who take advantage of this and will use online anonymity to deceive internet users and steal if there is an opportunity.

Phishing

“Phishing scams are when fraudsters send malicious fake emails, social network posts and texts to tempt you in or try to gain your trust to take your sensitive information and/or money.” (Cyber Streetwise)

Advice: If something seems too good to be true, then it usually is! So if you are in doubt about an email or online deal, delete it!

More information about phishing and other related scams can be found on the Action Fraud website.

Hacking

“Cyber criminals will try to hack your computer/tablet/smartphone to gain access to your systems and sensitive information in order to commit fraud and other crimes.” (Cyber Streetwise)

Advice:

  • Always use strong passwords.
  • Install antivirus software on all devices.
  • Use firewalls at home and your business.

All information used in this blog has been sourced from Cyber Streetwise. For further information visit www.cyberstreetwise.com