Monthly Archives: July 2013

Aaron Hernandez and GPS Devices

American football player Aaron Hernandez was recently arrested on suspicion of murder. Since his arrest, details of this crime have been public news. Without rehashing the entire story here, I do want to explore one aspect, which caught my eye and even stirred a bit of public debate over tracking technology and its place in our daily lives.

Tracking Technology Provides Evidence Against Aaron Hernandez Of the NFL

Hernandez is accused of murdering an acquaintance by the name of Odin Lloyd who was a semi-professional football player for a Boston team. Through records recovered since his death, it’s been discovered that Odin actually sent a text message to his sister to verify that she was aware that he’d left a location with Hernandez who picked him up in a car just after 2:30a. The message, itself, seemed to suggest that the victim sensed danger on the horizon with Hernandez.

In addition to the text message, GPS tracking on Hernandez’s phone places him in the vicinity of where the victim’s body was discovered at the same time that investigators believe he was killed. GPS data from the phone does not make this an open and shut case, but officials did believe the evidence to be enough to add to the suspicion of Hernandez’s involvement in the victim’s death. Since the suspected timeline of events, more information has been released to the public and a number of conversations on social media sites have revolved around the possibilities of GPS technology present in most late generation mobile devices.

What Is GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Originally developed by the U.S. Military for tracking operations, GPS has been available for consumer use for just over a decade. With 28 space satellites currently in orbit, the system can pinpoint the exact location of a person or an object in possession of a receiver that communicates with these strategically placed satellites.

Why Would Anyone Need a Separate GPS Device?

In addition to GPS receivers being installed in cars or purchased as peripheral devices to assist drivers with navigation, this technology is also common in mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. This leads some to question why they would need to purchase an additional device to be used for tracking and personal security. Well, the answer to that is simple, GPS devices created specifically for security can be more effective primarily because of how they are used.

For example, someone using a SecuraTrac SecuraPAL GPS Child Tracking Device for personal security is likely to place the receiver somewhere where it will not be easily detected by a criminal or lost. Doing so, of course, takes into consideration the possibility of abduction or being involved in an event where a cellphone might be lost, stolen or damaged. A SecuraTrac SecuraPAL device is much smaller and may be safely concealed in a pocket or backpack…or even worn on the wrist, and may go undetected by a criminal long enough for a victim to be located. And don’t let the word ‘child’ fool you; this tracking device provides protection to adults and pets, too.

Personal GPS devices also have other safety features, such as:

  • The ability to pinpoint a location on demand
  • A faster response time in terms of communicating a location via text message or email (no need to go through a mobile carrier in order to have access to such highly time-sensitive and important data)
  • Devices like SecuraTrac can even offer directions to a location, which is particularly helpful if someone wearing the receiver is in an unfamiliar area or country
  • A panic button to can be depressed at any time a person wearing the device senses that they are in danger (a message detailing their location is then immediately sent by text and by email)

So, while cars and cellphones may be equipped with GPS technology, devices created specifically for personal security are best recommended for those interested in such. More information and a variety of GPS tracking devices can be found on our main page under Child Safety as well as under GPS & Tracking.

Aren’t These Devices Too Intrusive?

A common concern about GPS tracking often relates to privacy concerns. When information about GPS and its use in the Hernandez arrest first broke, several members of Twitter shared that they prefer to keep the GPS on their phones turned off in order to prevent their movements from being traced on a daily basis. Journalist Roland S. Martin, however, offered a different take. Not only does he purposely leave his GPS devices on at all times, but he shared on his Twitter feed that he even goes a step further by using plastic to pay for his purchases at all times just to provide another trail of evidence should his steps ever need to be retraced. According to him, in his line of work, one can never be too cautious.

Join the Conversation

How do you feel about GPS tracking, in general? Has this technology ever been useful to you? Do you have concerns about tracking devices, in general?

Clearance Center – Save Money on Home Security Devices

On Black Friday every year, we rise before the roosters, line the ever-stretching exteriors of massive department stores and wait- somehow patiently- for jam-packed online shopping carts. Is it because prices truly are at their absolute lowest for that one day a year?

I think that we scale the shelves of our favorite stores to find that one deal. That one purchase that seems it was tailor-made for us. It’s the last pair of jeans hiding beneath the 15 tangled pairs above it with the 70% Off sticker. It’s the Power Drill with the destroyed box that just got marked down 20% because of the carelessness of your fellow shoppers. Are you with me? The best part of saving money isn’t saving cash- it’s finding a deal that magically appears for you and you alone.

Like that 70% Off pair of jeans, there is an often overlooked section of HomeSecurityStore.com that might hold the deal on home security and surveillance equipment that you have been looking for.

Home Security Store’s Clearance Center is located on the home page (homesecuritystore.com), about half-way down and on the far right of your computer screen. Items are marked down up to 75% off and to be frank- there are some unbelievable deals in this section.

For example, DSC alarm owners who are ready to expand their system can find a brand new Alpha keypad with wireless receiver marked down. Adding keypads makes your alarm system more efficient. Instead of always having to walk all the way to the garage or front door to arm/disarm your home alarm system, install a keypad in your bedroom. It reduces those annoying moments when you realize you haven’t activated the alarm before bed and allows you to enjoy the added safety of a panic button being only inches away- should an emergency arise.

Did you know that carbon monoxide is not only colorless, odorless and tasteless but toxic to humans and animals when heavily concentrated? Keep your house monitored with a wireless carbon monoxide detector, currently marked at 40% off! This sensor detector connects to a RISCO Group wireless alarm system and integrates right into your alarm system.

Do you have empty channels on your home security DVR and want to put them to good use for a fair price? Currently in the Clearance Center is a beautifully designed Outdoor Infrared Security Camera that shoots at 420 TV Lines and picks up visuals from up to 80 feet away in total darkness! Why wouldn’t you Increase your outdoor security for a descent price? Other featured items in the clearance center include a keyless door entry lock and a wireless audio baby monitor.

The Home Security Store Clearance Center was created for home and business owners with the need to protect their families and employees on a budget. Find your deal today. To browse the Clearance Center, click this link: Home Security Store Clearance Center.

We love and admire your feedback. For questions, comments and concerns, please feel free to use the open space below to start a conversation about home security!

Smart Home, Smart Phone

What do your home and your mobile phone have in common? Both can be modified for your daily comfort and convenience. And both can be programmed to increase your safety. In fact, these two can often work together in delivering all of these benefits to you. What I’m talking about, of course, are the ways in which your home’s security and automation devices can be used to interact with your smartphone and vice versa.

 

A New Frontier In Home Automation

In previous blog posts, we’ve introduced you to some of the best DIY gadgets and devices that can assist you in creating a smart home. A few such examples include keyless entry systems, remote controlled lighting kits and video intercoms. Each of these help to automate the home environment in an effort to save you time and create a most comfortable ambient experience that you’ll never want to leave.

 

A New Frontier in Home Security

We’ve also introduced you to some pretty new and very smart security devices that can also be controlled via your smartphone. Devices like Lorex Vantage Stream Wireless Network Camera offer you peace of mind and safety whether you are at home or away. While plenty of smart devices are available in our main store, we wanted to take a moment to update you on even more ways in which a simple do-it-yourself installation can increase your use of modern home technology, while working to keep your property and family safe at the same time. And, of course, all of this can be accomplished right from the palm of your hand!

 

From One Touchscreen to Another

Honeywell makes a very smart touchscreen device, which allows users to operate an alarm system, surveillance cameras, lighting and more. Whether touching icons on-screen or remotely accessing the unit from a smartphone’s screen, the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch-Screen Keypad with built-in WiFi offers end users a wide range of automation and home security functions. The device can even be used as a digital picture frame for photos stored on an SD card. From setting a thermostat to arming and disarming an alarm system, devices like this one offer home owners simplicity and the convenience of installing a single device in order to centralize security and home automation controls, while also allowing the same unit to communicate with smartphone technology. Literally, this device turns your smartphone into a virtual keypad for your home security system as well as your home automation devices.

 

Smartphone Apps for Better Home Security

If the whole idea of remotely controlling your home via smartphone sounds complicated to you, we assure you that it isn’t. Along with security manufacturers and mobile phone developers, app developers are also working very hard to create smooth, hassle-free remote interaction with smart homes. In fact, you can visit your app store right now and find a variety of applications created for this purpose. For example, SuperLivePro and other apps by developer Peng Antai allow users to remotely view surveillance footage from devices like the LTS All-In-One 8 Channel DVR with built in 10-inch LCD monitor. We are not in any way affiliated with this app, but merely highlight it as one example of many that are available for smart home and smart phone automation.

 

What Might the Future Hold?

So, as you can see, home security and automation technologies are able to communicate with mobile technologies in ways that were only a part of our collective imaginations just a few decades ago. Most of us cannot even begin to imagine the things that we’ll be able to do with smart home and smart phone technology in the future, but one thing’s for sure…Home Security Store will keep a close eye on this emerging market and we will continue to bring you the best devices and technology made available to the DIY sector. And, of course, we’ll always provide you with the best technical support to assure that you get the most out of your installations at all times.

As these technologies continue to merge, we can also expect public interest to grow. For some home security vendors, this interest prompts a rise in price– both for equipment and labor. Be assured, however, that Home Security Store will always present you with reasonable DIY options so that you can enjoy the best in home automation and security without breaking the bank.

 

What’s On Your Mind?

What types of gadgets, applications and devices do you use for home automation and security? Which ones would you most recommend to our readers? What is your level of satisfaction with these items? Are there products or applications that you’d like to have access to which you currently do not?

 

Tell us what you think about the marriage of smart homes, smartphones and home security, in general. Your comments are the lifeblood of this blog and we hope that you’ll take this opportunity to share your thoughts with us in the special section reserved just for you below.

Money Saving Security Tips

$1. That’s all it takes to own a security system. Shocked? So was I the first time I was introduced to Burglary Deterrents. Home security equipment does not have to be expensive, but to outsmart a burglar you have to get in to their individual thought patterns to know which kinds of burglar deterrents will and won’t work.

It’s important to remember that burglars are still people- usually just a little more desperate people. They still have fears and understand consequences, which is why burglar deterrents work. But as I always preach, your first line of defense – the warning signs outside of a home- are the most important line of defense when it comes to preventing the breach of privacy we all find disgusting.

Picture this: A burglar has planned to rob you, simply because he sees an expensive car in the driveway. He approaches the side gate and sees a “WARNING: 24 HOUR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE” sign on the gate (sold for $1 here at Home Security Store). What goes through his head in that moment? I’m no psychologist, but I’m sure he now has to make a choice. He will either: A) Take the chance that it is just a sign and still try break in, or B) Walk away before he/she gets wrapped up in the long arm of the law. Can you see how intimidating a simple sign can be in deterring burglary?

What you really have to worry about is violent burglars. Violent people in general rarely put the consequences of their actions under a microscope because they feel above the law or immortal. So in a violent burglar’s mind- when that choice of ‘keep going’ or ‘turn back’ comes up, chances are they are going to keep going. There are still burglary deterrents other than signs on decals that drive even troubled burglars in the opposite direction.

For example: Our Fake TV Light. This tiny square device shoots a Mock-TV light on to a wall in your living room giving the impression that somebody is still awake and watching television inside a home. The Fake TV device also saves on energy costs and after testing it I can confidently recommend it. It legitimately looks like a television light- flickers and all. Another option is a Dummy Camera. One look in to the lens of a dummy camera and that choice for a burglar becomes a lot harder because burglars fear 2 things above all else: 1) Being Seen and 2) Being Heard.

Another viable option is driveway lights. If you haven’t picked up on my repetition yet, what I’m basically telling you to do is HIT THEM WITH FEAR! It’s the only way to get them to think about their pending crime and consequence!

There is always the option to upgrade to an actual home security system. If a burglar still wants to break in, it doesn’t hurt to have a blaring alarm system and a direct connection with a central monitoring station. It also doesn’t hurt to have incriminating video evidence of your perp. But sometimes, in the best of circumstances, $1 just might be enough.

The Next Step In Spy Gear

Until recently, I always had this blockade in my brain when it came to writing about spy gear. See, you want to bring out the best in a product, but you don’t want to lie about it. I’ve seen some pretty impressive spy gear enter our doors and quickly exit to our customers, spy gear that takes great imagination to create. But even with these groundbreaking and excitingly innovative products, the question still rang in my head: Can I truly call any of these ‘The Best?’

So I went with the process of elimination to find Home Security Store’s greatest spy camera. That list was narrowed down to about 10 products. Suddenly I realized, I have to ask a different question: What is missing from home security spy gear? We have high-resolution cameras, brilliant mediums for them to hide in (clock radios, sunglasses, etc.), large storage spaces for footage and even night-vision. But something is still missing.

As fate would have it, the answer was delivered to Home Security Store’s doorstep a few weeks ago. It is safe to say that we’ve turned a corner in the spy camera world and even the home security world in general. No more setting up cameras around the house and scrolling through hours of meaningless, uneventful footage. No more waiting for something to happen..

Imagine a spy camera system that sends your video footage directly to your phone, tablet or computer- as it happens. That’s what the SleuthGear ZoneShield Hidden Camera System is all about.

Let’s start with the disguises. We carry 7 different disguises for the Spy Cameras, all of which will fit in any corner of your home. We’re talking every day appliances that are normal home fixtures from bedrooms to kitchens. Here are the disguises: Hidden Camera Smoke Detector, Hidden Camera Digital Picture Frame, Hidden Camera Clock Radio (some models w/ Night-Vision), Hidden Camera Wall Clock, Hidden Camera Oscillating Fan (w/ Night-Vision), Hidden Camera Air Purifier and the SleuthGear Zone Shield Hidden Camera iPod Dock w/ Night-Vision.

In each of these well-crafted disguises is a high quality camera that shoots in color at 500 TV Lines (TVL), or 720×480 pixel resolution. High Quality Camera? Check.

Here’s what makes this system unique. With each camera (excluding add-ons) you receive a Quad Receiver. The Quad receiver captures, stores and relays footage to mobile devices.

For example, you have the option to record to an SD card (up to 32GB) or directly to a computer to save even more footage. Each receiver comes with a unique web link, which you just type in to your internet address bar (for Internet Explorer or Chrome) and Shazam! With an internet connection, immediately you’re looking at live footage of your bedroom, kitchen or den. For an iPhone or iPad, simply download the Free “EZ-SEE” App and your video will show up there.

The receiver also relays to a home monitor, should you want to look-in on the living room while you’re in the bedroom. The regular quad receiver feeds a monitor via RCA cables- and just so there’s no confusion, these Quad Receivers are virtually DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). If you want to combine the DVR and monitor experience in to one device, the alternative to a simple Quad Receiver is the Quad LCD Receiver, which is no bigger than a tablet. That’s a full hidden camera home security system- literally- right in the palm of your hands.

Just like most home security camera systems, you don’t have to stop with one camera. Each receiver supports up to 4 of them and we stock Zone Shield Hidden Cameras individually as add-ons. Also- the Receivers can record all 4 channels at once and the App and computer web link will feed you all 4 of them live.

Thankfully, the blockade has vanished from my brain. It is clear that this is top-notch spy equipment and I’m not afraid to write about the stellar capability of it. The power of the human imagination and how it can be used to protect all of us has come to fruition with the SleuthGear Zone Shield Hidden Camera System.