How can I boost my security with home alarm systems?

Access control systems, motion sensors, windows sensors, Remote CCTV monitoring services, alarm systems for business

commercial alarm systems, home security alarms, and digital cameras are among the latest technologies being sold by technology companies to improve home security. Many are part of the “smart home” movement, which includes internet-connected doorbells, lights, and voice assistants, among other things. The majority of this falls under the umbrella of the internet, which is a broad term used in the IT sector (IoT)

Real home security, on the other hand, still contains more hardware elements than technological ones. It’s comforting to be able to examine camera photos electronically when one is away from their home and verify everything is in order. If there’s a burglar in the living room, on the other hand, the device has indeed failed. Instead of cameras, the money may have been better spent on, for instance, window locks.

Uniview CCTV IP Kit, 4CH NVR with 4 x 3MP Turret Camera, 2 TB HDD and Uniview CCTV IP Kit, 16CH NVR with 4x 3MP Turret Camera, 4 TB HDD are two examples of high-tech security choices. Whole-home security systems may also be professionally installed.

The entry-level Uniview CCTV IP Kit is offered directly by a home insurance company that believes that if its clients utilize monitoring devices, they would file fewer claims. It has a nifty function called “auto-arming,” which means it will turn on if other gadgets indicate no one is at home. That should be the case if you leave your smartphone at home and it is out of range of your wifi.

Of course, there are hundreds of smart cams with advanced functions like lens rotation and magnification. There are additional dangers to be aware of.

For example, you may be disclosing a sensitive personal data, which is why I try to stay away from Google services as much as possible. Some cameras may have default passwords that you should constantly update, or they may be easily hacked.

Alternatively, rather than searching for individual gadgets, you may purchase an integrated, extensible kit. You have the option of doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it for you. One significant benefit is that everything can be managed via a single smartphone app.

Uniview CCTV IP Kit, 16CH NVR with 4x 3MP Turret Camera, 4 TB HDD, for example, is compatible with smart locks as well as independent Amazon Alexa devices.

If you aim for alarm security installations or a Residential Fault Monitoring System, it should only record photos from your own property, such as your home and yard. Australia’s data protection rules – the Data Privacy Act 2018 – apply if it collects photographs of your neighbours’ houses, communal places, or the public street. According to the ICO, you must post signs indicating that CCTV is in use, manage data appropriately, and respond to respondent access requests (SARs) within a week. If you’ve taken pictures of your neighbours, they might ask to see them and request that you erase them. 

Viewers who have installed home security alarm systems are encouraged to share their thoughts in the comments section below.

Finally, speak with your local preventing crime officer as well as your home insurance company, who may provide savings if you install particular items. But, in the conclusion, only you can determine which strategy best suits your goals and budget.

 

ACT Police crime statistic show some alarming numbers for Burglaries in Canberra in 2017. 2702 offences were recorded across last year – up from 2392 in 2016. That’s a 13% rise.

The suburb of Kambah suffered 89 incidences alone and was the worst hit of all suburbs. Belconnen, Lyneham and Kingston were also popular targets with 89, 75 and 64 respectively. Some involved bizarre circumstances, such as this instance where the robber broke in through a roof.

If you are worried about burglary in your area of Canberra, there are a number of measures you can take to either prevent a the initial break in or cause the arrest of the perpetrator. Always locking windows and doors, leaving lights on and owning a dog are all well and good. However, the most effective measures is to equip your home or business with a security system. Sensors that can be tripped by thieves can either sound alarms that result in the burglar abandoning his cause or alert the authorities to report to your property and hopefully catch the person in action. Or, even the simple sight of a security camera on a property is sometimes enough to put an intruder off.

Whatever your budget, West-Tec Security has a solution to safeguard your Canberra property. Whether it be a full on security system or just a couple of CCTV cameras, we can work with you to protect your home, business, Government or educational institution and reduce the burglary rate in your area.

Click here for the Canberra Crime Statistics source.

In response to recent concerns surrounding the prevalence of Hikvision security cameras, due to the manufacturers Chinese Government ownership, the ABC ran a news report looking into the privacy and security risks of allowing so much Chinese owned technology in the Australian market.

The ABC found our recent article on the risks of using Hikvision products and got in touch. As a result, owner Kamal Chauhan appeared in the ABC report, adding commentary to the issue and reiterating West-Tec’s stance against installing Hikvision equipment.

You can watch the report here: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/banned-chinese-cameras-are-being-used-by-the/10239036

Transcript:

LEIGH SALES: Whenever you see a security camera on a street corner, a bus or even in your home, chances are they may have been made by a Chinese surveillance company.

In the US, the two big brands that make most of them, Hikvision and Dahua, are already banned due to allegations of foreign espionage.

7.30 can reveal, that here in Australia, cameras made by those firms are not only used in everyday locations, they’ve been found inside an Adelaide air force base and at the office of one of Australia’s intelligence agencies.
This report from Dylan Welch and producer Kyle Taylor.

DYLAN WELCH, REPORTER: Kamal is being watched.

He’s on his way to work, and he’s counting CCTV cameras.

KAMAL CHAUHAN, PRIVATE SECURITY CONSULTANT: I see cameras all around the university campus there. Street poles —

So, I’d say anywhere between 15–100 cameras easily, on the way to work.

Someone’s watching.

DYLAN WELCH: He’s keenly aware of how many eyes are on him.

Because he installs the cameras for a living.

KAMAL CHAUHAN: Predominantly I find they’re coming from China.

Because they are so much cheaper, they’re flooding the market.
DYLAN WELCH: On almost every corner of almost every street of Australia’s major cities, you will find a surveillance camera.

A substantial number of those are made in China

And the two big Chinese brands, are Hikvision and Dahua.

VOICEOVER: You don’t need to see my continued surveillance and precise automation with machine vision.

DYLAN WELCH: Hikvision is 42 per cent owned by the Chinese Government’s defence research arm.

VOICEOVER: At Hikvision, we are committed to unleashing the power of machine vision.

DYLAN WELCH: Dahua is privately owned, but cyber security expert, Fergus Hanson says that all Chinese companies, pose a risk.

FERGUS HANSON, AUS STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE: Because of Chinese laws, there’s a requirement to engage in espionage on behalf of the state.

DYLAN WELCH: And, both companies have had security flaws exposed.

Leading to fears some of the flaws may have been placed there, to help the Chinese Government spy.

FERGUS HANSON: You can remotely access them, so, for example, from China to another location around the world, and essentially see what that camera’s seeing.

The passwords are available online.

If they’re not properly configured, they provide all kinds of vulnerability.

So, just as a precaution, they’re not particularly secure cameras.

They provide, obviously vision in a whole bunch of sensitive locations, and China is really trying to set itself up as the number one country for cyber espionage and this is a key part of the platform.

DYLAN WELCH: Since last year, political concern about foreign interference in Australia, has been at fever pitch.

ANDREW HASTIE, MP: In Australia, it is clear that the Chinese Communist Party, is working to covertly interfere with our media and also influence our political processes.

GEORGE CHRISTENSEN, MP: We must put aside fear of lost trade and assess the slow creep of Chinese influence and ownership of our strategic assets.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, FORMER PM: The Australian people stand up.

DYLAN WELCH: The US has also been struggling with a response, to the growth of Chinese influence.

Last month, the US government banned its agencies from using surveillance cameras made by these same Chinese companies, as part of an annual defence purchasing bill.

It prohibits the use of risky technologies, produced by companies with links to the Chinese Communist Party.

Back home, we’ve uncovered evidence of the same Chinese cameras banned by the US, being used by Defence, a building that hosts an intelligence agency and several national security departments — state Government departments, education providers and local councils, at train stations, even in use at the ABC.

When we alerted these agencies, many were either unaware or unconcerned, about the potential security vulnerabilities.

Most appeared more concerned about our cameras.

We thought we’d be alright because we’re on public land.

Of all the cameras the ABC News found, perhaps the most worrying was the Hikvision camera, hanging at one of Australia’s most sensitive military facilities, RAAF Base Edinburgh in Adelaide.

Edinburgh is one of the centres of Australia’s military intelligence, aerial surveillance and electronic warfare.

As a result of our inquiries, Defence removed the Hikvision camera, and said it would also remove others they found.

FERGUS HANSON: It’s a real dereliction of duty, I think to have them in military bases or in anywhere where you’re going to have basically secure operations.

But even on the street, you’ve got the potential to inadvertently contribute towards Chinese espionage activity, by providing real-time information about the situation on the ground.

KAMAL CHAUHAN: That’s a Hikvision camera.

This one over here, another Hikvision camera.

DYLAN WELCH: Toby Walsh is a professor of artificial intelligence.

TOBY WALSH, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: There’s two things about the next generation cameras, one is the resolution, the ability to see you in difficult situations and the second is the software.

We’ve got image recognition, we can recognise people’s faces very easily now automatically, we can recognise people from their gait.

DYLAN WELCH: A leading surveillance website, IPBM, published a detailed account, earlier this year describing how Hikvision are using artificial technology to identify ethnic minorities in China.

In a statement, Hikvision said it has never conducted, nor will conduct, any espionage-related activities for any government in the world.

Dahua has also previously said the same thing.

It’s not just Chinese CCTV manufactures, that are accused of passing on the data they collect to the Chinese state.

This camera, that we’re filming on right now, is made by Dajiang Innovations, known as DJI.

If you’ve ever owned a consumer drone or heard one buzzing overhead, chances are, it was made by DJI.

Their control of the camera drone market globally, as such that two out of every three drones sold, are made by DJI.

And, they’ve also been accused of spying.

VOICEOVER: At DJI, we created the flying camera as you know it.

And, there’s a good chance that the drone videos you’ve seen online, were shot with one of our cameras.

DYLAN WELCH: The US military banned DJI drones after research found, they posed unacceptable cyber security risks.

TOBY WALSH: The fact there’s information leaking from the drones, they’re connected to the Internet, anything that’s connected to the Internet, you’ve got to think that data might leak to someone or the owners of the manufacture.

Even the GPS coordinates, tell you things about the world.

I would be very worried both about benevolence, there are people possibly in China, possibly in Russian and elsewhere, who would have evil intent, to try to take this information.

DYLAN WELCH: Australian government tenders revealed that DJI, have sold their camera drones to every part of the Australian defence force.

Air force Air Command, Army Forces Command, Navy Strategic Command and, perhaps most worryingly, the Army’s Special Operations Headquarters.

Last year, the Australian Defence force announced a temporary ban on military use of consumer drones, in response to the US army’s DJI prohibition.

After a 2-week risk assessment, they announced the drones were flying again, under new operating procedures.

A defence spokesperson declined to say what those new operating procedures are or how they use the drones, except to say they believe it is safe.

This video released by Defence last month, has been showing off their new DJI drones, at a training facility in Queensland.

Robi Sen, is a former US government security researcher, who now designs software to protect government and companies against the misuse of drones.

ROBI SEN, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER: Corporations have routinely told us that, for example, you cannot access our drones’ information.

DJI is a great example. And then we do.

Our company makes a product that essentially takes over these drones and devices and allows you to access the information and if we can do it, other people can do it.

And, other people have shown this.

DYLAN WELCH: We contacted DJI headquarters, in China several times for this story but received no response.

ROBI SEN: I’m still not satisfied with their security level response.

It’s still not up to snuff.

DYLAN WELCH: The same can be said for Hikvision and Dahua.

Security consultant, Kamal Chauhan says that he won’t be installing any more CCTV cameras, with links to the Chinese Government.

KAMAL CHAUHAN: No, definitely not. I’ll sell something else but not those cameras.

LEIGH SALES: Dylan Welch, reporting.

Hikvision has quickly risen to become the worlds largest supplier of surveillance technologies. Many security businesses across Australia provide and install Hikvision surveillance products, which also includes the Swann and Digiguard brands. You’ll find their cameras and monitoring equipment in homes, businesses and government institutions.

The concerning thing about Hikvision is that the company is owned by the Chinese government. Murmours continue to grow on theories that the products are providing the Chinese Government with our data. There is also a belief that the devices are designed to be easily hacked by HQ, potentially meaning that the Chinese Government could take control of any of their cameras if or when it desires.

There has not yet been any proof of malign practices by Hikvision and the company has defended themselves against the accusations.

Here at West-Tec we steer clear of Hikvision products and are always seeking to provide the best products for your requirements and privacy. If you are interested in having your Hikvision devices replaced with another brand, contact us.

According to a recent article on the Maitland Mercury, there has been a recent break-in wave across the Port Stephens-Hunter region, with Maitland being the hardest hit. During a 2 week period across March and April 19 homes were broken into, which was a 46% increase on the normal fortnightly average.

As a result, the Neighbourhood Watch and the Police are spruiking the benefits of installing home security systems for people who live in the area. CCTV cameras resulted in the capture of an offender at one particular unit block who had them installed after a number of robberies.

Security technology has developed significantly over recent years and you can now protect your property for a very reasonable price. If you are in an area, such as Maitland, that is going through a period of criminal activity, contact West-Tec to see how we may be able to help. See our home page or CCTV page our latest offers and information on our security systems.