In a rapidly expanding and innovating world we want things to be simpler and faster, this includes how we pay for items. RFID which stands for Radio-frequency identification is commonly found in the form of a chip in all manner of contactless payment systems, it’s also not just found in our bank cards, but our passports, driving licences, implanted into livestock and pets and many more items. Contactless cards along with other identification items use the RFID feature in a signal tag that is easily picked up by an electronic reader making transactions quick and easy.
In modern society where ease and speed are now crucial focal points, have we forgotten about how this impacts our identification security and monetary theft? These chips contain personal information as well as giving us direct and convenient access to up to £30 directly from our bank accounts in the form of contactless payments. For an avid user of contactless payments this simple purchasing process initially sounded great and I did not even think about the risk in security when happily paying for items with just a quick touch of my card.
Even with all the positives of contactless payment there is unfortunately a downside, and this comes in terms of criminals being able to access not just your data but your personal identification. This in itself opens up questions on personal information non-consent and privacy, but for now I’m going to focus on contactless cards and question ‘how easy it for your card is to be used by anyone else?’.
The first problem is: unlike non-contactless cards they can be stolen and used instantly by anyone, with just a tap of the card to make £30 payments but this does involve someone actually physically stealing your card from you. So as long as you are careful with your purse/wallet etc and cards this is unlikely to happen.
The second more worrying problem is the new wave of electronic pick-pocketing, by an electronic card reader through radio frequency.
It begs the question of how easy it is to be a victim of digital pickpockets especially when they don’t even need your physical card. This also applies to personal details, identity theft and can extend to key cards as well as bank details.
With the use of hand-hold specially designed ‘RFID readers’ and an encryption tool, your card, personal information can be copied or ‘Skimmed’ from a fairly short proximity of where you are standing, the information is then downloaded and used onto blank cards or to access your bank account and personal details can be forwarded or used by fraudsters.
Readers can be brought online, or apps downloaded and within a matter of seconds and a six inch radius of where your card is, using radio frequency thieves can pick up your data and start making transactions. Researching this multi sites came up advertising these readers or even advising what the best apps to get which slightly shocked me at how easy it was to get hold of and do.
So how can you safeguard against this?
The most effective solutions seem to be RFID pouches or sleeves sometime classed as wallets. The pouches/sleeves are made out of coated plastic that reflects a card reader's ability to access your information. In some options they detail that they contain a metallic foil inside lining that effectively blocks scanning attempts.
All of the different sleeves/pouches etc state they prevent electronic pick-pocketing as discussed above, protecting your ID & credit card information by blocking high-tech hijacking scanning equipment waves. This prevents theft, fraud, data loss and also privacy breaches.
The pouches come in a variety of sizes to include cards as well as key cards and electronic car keys, they are a very lightweight and thin which you can slide your card to easily, instantly blocking the signal and protecting all of your data. As soon as you slide your card out of the pouch it is ready to use again and you can buy them in multipacks for all of yours cards.
Apart from the security safety aspect, your cards just slot in the pouches for ease of use and can fit in your wallet. Prices on pouches can range from £5 upwards depending on how many and type and can come in a few different sizes. For peace of mine especially when travelling these work, are fairly inexpensive, non-obtrusive and convenient to use, a win, win situation I think, and I will be purchasing some asap.
Through history there have been some pretty prolific burglars, stealing everything from jewellery, art, cars and recently mobile phones out of people's hands on the streets.
Hollywood movies writers love a classic robbery to bring to life The Heroes v Villains story, my favourites are Jason Statham's 'The Bank Job' (2008), stealing from a bank vault to secure the images of Princess Margaret from the hands of a blackmailer and Michael Mann's 'Public Enemies' (2009), set in the 1930's to take down the notorious American gangster John Dillinger that evaded FBI agent Melvin Purvis.
But why? What makes a thief tick? What makes a person go into a jewellery shop, deliberately confuse the attendant and slip jewellery into their bag as was the trait of the infamous Doris Payne, posing as a wealthy shopper searching for an upgraded engagement ring and slipping 1 or 2 rings into her bag. She was eventually caught in October 2017 and sentenced aged 83 for only 2 years, after nearly 70 years of stealing an estimated $2M using this tactic.
'Diamond Doris', was arrested in October 2017 for attempting to steal a $2000 necklace from the Von Maur concession in Walmart. She pleaded guilty for larceny but said 'I don't regret stealing, I only regret getting caught'.
4 types of thief you should be aware of:
1. The Opportunistic Thief
These are the thieves that lurk, they watch for any opportunity to swipe all things left unattended.
2. 'The Distractors' That Work in Pairs
These pair or groups of people will often begin talking to the person who opens the door to them while the other goes around the back of the property to sneak in the back and steal whatever they can. Gangs of people have recently been targeting areas in Manchester with a female posing to take questions with a clipboard, when the door is open a gang of armed men have appeared behind her and forced entry to the property.
3. Moped Muggings
A steep increase in this type of theft has been reported recently to the police in cities across the UK, The Met Police reported 16,158 moped thefts in 12 months in 2017. The thieves who use stolen mopeds, working in pairs they find victims, mount the pavements and quickly grab mobile phones, bags and have even delivered acid attacks. They are awful, they change lives and leave people feeling vulnerable and in some cases severely injured.
4. The Professional Thief
These are the people who know what they are doing, have a specific list of items needed by clients for them to steal or know what value is placed on items and will easily sell on the black market.
When thinking about increasing security to your property ask yourself questions to think like a thief
To understand a thief and how you or your property might be at risk, you have to first think like a thief. As an apprentice security engineer you are taught to question your surroundings like a thief, looking at ways you might access the property, what tools you might need to break-in and understand your surroundings. By doing this exercise each time you can create a robust security analysis of the property and provide the best security solutions for your customer.
White Horse Fire and Security Ltd
We're here to help you get the best protection for you and your home, give our team a call to arrange a free proposal. Our team install wireless burglar alarms, home surveillance cameras with crystal clear night vision and 24 hour monitoring via the smart phone app. We also install and maintain door access control systems integrated with fire alarms and can provide bespoke automated gates for private driveways with GSM intercom system for secure entrances.
Call our team today to discuss your security requirements - 01235 413823 or if you are buying a property off plan and have access to the architecture plans we can also work with these. Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free proposal.
The thief, as will become apparent, was a special type of thief. This thief was an artist of theft. Other thieves merely stole everything that was not nailed down, but this thief stole the nails as well.”
What does it take to secure the UK’s most affluent home estates?
Providing the ultimate security system for royalty, political leaders, A-list celebrities and large, privately owned estates is a fascinating business and one which draws on specialised expertise from all areas of the security and lifestyle management services. It takes our breath away when we arrive at one of the stunning UK estates, sometimes steeped in historical importance and new contemporary luxury homes.
Protecting rare car collections, pool houses, art galleries, spas, luxury goods, fine jewellery, family heirlooms are some of the areas which need bespoke security measures. For clients who have such things, security plays an essential part of living for each member of the family and staff, with tight protocol to immediately act on any breach of security.
But what are the premier estate, security must haves?...
We asked Kevin Watkins, Director and Founder of Ardagh Consulting who offer a premier estate and bespoke concierge service. Having worked for the Royal Household, he and his team are no strangers to working with stringent security systems both in the UK and worldwide.
“So Kevin, what are today’s premier estate owner, security must haves?”
“Working from the outside in, automated gates are a must. They not only let you control who comes onto your estate they also help you reduce the risk of burglary by restricting people from being able to see your valuable estate assets such as cars, statues, garden sculptures and equipment etc. Next is a robust cctv and alarm system, good reputable locks, then you need to install panic alarms which link directly to the emergency services or a security company. Then you'd need at least one strong room etc...”
Is it important to integrate the security systems into their lifestyle?
How do you keep clients safe whilst they're away from home?
“Well where to start?..if they're not being personally escorted, there are so many ways, but staying in tune with the latest wearable technologies and digital tracking devices is a very important strand of what we can offer our clients. We work with a host of excellent businesses and agencies to give our clients the very best and latest in remote security. For instance, our female clients tend to have a very small digital tracker and personal alarm in their handbags, so the police or security agency can locate the client and handbag in the event of a theft or more extreme - kidnapping. As you can see we offer our clients a very wide range of bespoke concierge services to suit their individual needs.”
Kevin, thanks so much for your time to explore the world of premier estate, concierge service.
If you have any home estate security questions or concerns please get in touch with White Horse Fire and Security Ltd.
Join us on Twitter @whitehorsealarm for more great security tips and advice.
Blog written with great detail and finesse by the brilliant Laura Hubbard from Tirrolds Marketing.
When designing your brand new home it’s important to consider any security systems you may need so they can be incorporated in the design stage of your new home build.
When you think of home security, you don’t need to think like MI5 or the FBI. Instead, follow these 5 simple security rules to create a beautiful home that has the perfect balance of design, privacy and security. We want to help you create a new home that is a welcoming place for family and an unappealing option for intruders.
Follow our 5 simple security rules when constructing your perfect home:
1 Securing your perimeters
Security designs should firstly look at securing the very edge of your land or plot. Make sure your land is protected with a strong, well maintained perimeter wall. Consider a local stone wall or tall, close-board fence around your entire perimeter to put off anyone looking for an easy entrance into your grounds. These walls can be monitored by CCTV cameras for added protection. Make sure any gates are tall enough for people not to be able to look into your grounds, and are made from strong wood or metal. There are lots on the market to choose to complement any home design. For added protection choose an elegant, high-grade automated gate which can be controlled digitally from the comfort of your car as you arrive home.
2 Noisy landscaping and visible security systems
Well thought out landscaping is probably the last thing on your mind when building the house of your dreams but it helps a new build fit into it's surroundings and add the wow factor as people arrive at your home. When deciding on your landscaping materials, always use gravel or similar as it creates a noticeable noise which can give you warning when an unexpected visitor is walking or driving towards your home.
UK Police advise that having a visible home burglar alarm and CCTV system can act as a deterrent and reduce your risk of burglar. These can be wireless or hardwired so speak to a reputable security company and they will talk through the options before you finalise your designs.
Keep your home well lit with security lighting which comes on when motion is detected. For a taste of luxury, install a lutron garden lighting system and will be able to digitally control your garden lighting and dimming whilst energy saving.
3 Loveable, lockable doors and windows
There are some lovely new door and window designs on the market so whether you’re choosing something simple and elegant or old and re-claimed, make sure your doors and windows have a robust locking system fitted.
Many new, contemporary homes are designed using floor to ceiling sheets of glass to give the home a bright and airy feel. This can make homes more vulnerable as assets can be easier to see from outside your property. Consider fitting internal blinds, a one-way glass or frosted glass option so you can enjoy the added light and view of your garden, whilst blocking people from looking into certain parts of your home.
4 Smart home security
With the increasing use of smart phones and devices in our daily lives, consider how smart do you want your home to be? We’ve mentioned some automated ideas above which help increase your home security such as, Gate Automation, CCTV, home intruder/burglar alarm etc and these can all be controlled via an app on your phone and tablet. You can monitor your home whilst you’re away, it’s that easy. Smart homes, add to your lifestyle and give you the peace of mind that your home is in safe hands.
5 Insurance specification is key
Always check your home insurance policy and adhere to all the security specification stated. For instance, your insurance company may ONLY payout in the case of a burglary if your cars are always kept in the garage and jewellery might only be protected if kept in a personal safe. The specification might also only protect you if you have a fully and regularly maintained home intruder/burglary alarm system. Be sure to read through your documents and keep checking the latest regulation as these can change from time to time.
A clear security system brief for your designers and builders will help keep costs on track and all contractors understand exactly what you’re looking for in your new home build.
Let us help you, for a FREE no obligation quote for all your new home requirements, please call us on: 01865 951755 or simply book your perfect quotation slot on our live calendar here.
Join us for more great security tips and advice @whitehorsealarm
It’s that time of year when we all dig out our beach bags, charge our kindles and dust off our holiday gym kit and golf clubs. Your summer holiday is something you look forward to for months, you’ve told everyone where you’re going and how stunning the place is, you can’t wait. The flights are booked, travel insurance sorted, airport parking and car insurance booked, currency ordered and your mobile contract is holiday ready, but did you think about what you’re leaving behind?..
Sure the cat will go to the cattery and Janet from next door will water the plants and take any packages whilst you’re away but how can you keep your home, safe when you’re not there?....
Think safe and try our crime prevention tips before you head off on your summer holiday!
Customers right now are also taking advantage of our annual maintenance package that ensures your alarm is in tip-top condition year round, why not get in touch for more information?..
Call Helen today to arrange a FREE quote: 01865 951755 www.burglarandcctvoxford.co.uk
"Wishing you a very sunny holiday building great memories!"
White Horse Fire & Security Ltd
Helpful tips and advice for anyone thinking about protecting their home...
For most people, home is where the heart is. It’s where we raise family, entertain friends and is a relaxing place to come back to after a long day at work. The "door's always open" lifestyle is one we Brits love to share with friends and family. Although with residential crime on the rise we need to get better at locking our front door when we leave. But how many people still leave a key under the flowerpot - just in case?!
Safeguarding your home can be changing lifelong habits and not making it easy for the 'baddies'. Why not go the whole hog and protect your home and belongings with a robust, yet subtle security system which can help you continue to enjoy that feeling of home every time you step inside your front door.
Over 15,800 crimes were reported in the Thames Valley during March 2017! Police.uk
Those who have been a victim of crime at home often feel a sense of loss for the comfort home can bring, so here are some tips for making the first step to finding the best security package to protect your home:
Do I need a home security system?
Firstly, changing any unsecure bad habits can help keep your home protected. Keeping your gates locked, garden fences is good condition and your property well lit etc greatly reduces your chances of being burgled which is great news, and very easy to implement. Having a visible burglar alarm is recognised by the police as acting as a deterrent against residential crime and a simple security system can help ward off unwanted visitors too. It’s also worth considering the peace of mind a security system can bring to you and your family whilst you’re at home, on holiday or away on business.
Take a look at the Police website for the crime map in your area, not to scare you but to become more aware of any potential risks in your area and to better equip your decision making. There are also some more great tips on keeping your property more secure.
For those with large properties a security system can help protect everything within your boundaries including your: motor home, paddocks, out buildings, car garages and studios etc. A close, trusted neighbour or housekeeper can be very handy when you’re away to help keep a close eye on your property and for some this is all the peace of mind they need. However, if you don’t have anyone who can do this for you a security system might just be the perfect answer. With modern technology now there’s no need to have large ugly cameras everywhere and miles of untidy cabling either. Security cameras and fittings can be discrete, wireless and monitored via an easy to use app on your mobile or table, which covers every inch of your home and grounds.
What security system do I need?
A home intruder alarm is a great start to securing your home and sensors can be set up at your front door, side gates, back door, basement entries, gates and also within the home and any outbuildings. CCTV can give you 24/7 cover of your home giving the peace of mind that any abnormal behaviour will be captured on your cameras. White Horse Fire & Security offer residential clients a clever mobile/tablet app so you can monitor your home digitally 24/7. For larger properties and estates, an automated gate can offer you a secure way to restrict who has access to enter your driveway. There are a number of unique designs on the market to fit your style of property and they can be managed and monitored remotely. These 3 systems are commonly used together to secure the smallest and largest of houses around the UK.
How to compare your top 3 shortlisted security companies
Once you have shorlisted your top 3 companies, compare them on paper and make sure they tick all your security and personal needs. Here are a few things to check for when tallying up pros/cons and cost:
You should have everything you need now to choose the right security company and security system to secure your home. White Horse Fire & Security, like all good security companies, are fully SSAIB certified, offer a 24/7 support line to call whatever time of day or night. We also offer 24hr monitoring with police response if you need this.
Take a look at what our wonderful customers think of us from our 5 star review on Google.
If you’d like to speak to someone about finding the perfect security system for your home,
call Helen today: 01865 951755
Commercial Security - 5 ways to secure your business
Having a security system in place not only protects your commercial property, it also helps safeguard staff whilst in the workplace and after they have left for the day. For businesses up and down the country, we’d recommend working with a local security company who can find the best security solutions, with minimal disruption to you and your staff.
Whether you have had a security breach in the past or are looking to install a robust system into your commercial premises for peace of mind White Horse Fire & Security have put together 5 ways to secure your business:
Whatever your commercial security needs, a good security company can help protect your premises and help safeguard your staff. White Horse Fire and Security are SSAIB Certified for 24hr police response and we are here for you 24/7. We offer a 5 year guarantee and no call out charge with our maintenance package.
Call Helen today to arrange a FREE quote: 01865 951755 www.burglarandcctvoxford.co.uk
Sam Williams, Marketing Manager. Lover of technology, fly fishing and travelling. Proud owner of 'Pickle' the sausage dog.