Defense Against Crime

01/03/2019

What to do when strangers move into your house!


After two long weeks away on vacation, you’re finally home. It was a great trip, but now

"She says she's got squatters rights."

you’re at the front door of your residence. You open your front door and take a step inside. Then you notice that something’s wrong. The lights are on, but you don’t have a timer rigged up. There’s a half a box of pizza and some drinks on your coffee table and a bath towel draped over the back of your lazy-boy. You’re hit with a jolt of adrenaline — a burglar’s been in your home. Before you can react, a guy wanders into the room. He’s wearing your favorite bathrobe. “Who are you?” he asks.

You scan the apartment. Yes, this is your place. Your stuff’s all here, but it’s being used by someone else. Friend, you’ve got yourself a squatter.  The squatter may not be a cute little girl who ate your porridge, sat in your chairs, and slept in your bed.

Your home is where you should feel safe. It is where you let your guard down and perform your most personal routines. It is where you are most vulnerable. So what if someone broke into your house and was hiding somewhere? It’s the stuff of urban legends, but the following stories are anything but fictional.

Squat happens

Think this is an urban myth .. it is not. It happens. You can actually google stories of this. Perhaps you heard the story of A Washington state man made that made a startling discovery when he arrived at his home a few weeks ago.

Davis Wahlman, of Green Lake, said that when he got to his house he found a couple of lights on and his bathroom window screen in his tub, but said nothing strange dawned on him until he heard some noises coming from his attic the next morning.

“I am kind of jolted out of bed,” Wahlman said. “I hear rummaging around above me, which I know is the attic so I’m like ‘That’s kind of weird.'”

Wahlman tried to figure out what in fact was going on and noticed a light that was on in his office space. The door was locked and when he knocked, he got no response. He then heard a woman’s voice coming from the room.

“‘Jimmy? Is that you, Jimmy?'” Wahlman explained. “I’m like ‘No, it’s not Jimmy. Who is this and why are you in my house?'”

One of the residents of my subdivision had something similar to this happen to him. He came home to find someone sleeping in his home.

Now you think, that’s OK I’ll just call the police…and get them out.  Not so quick.

If police find squatters, there’s not a whole lot they can do. Police uphold criminal law. Squatting is a civil crime. Civil law is worked out in the courts. Once police has determined that a squatter has established some sort of tenancy, the issue becomes a civil matter. By settling into a home in a generally respectable manner, a squatter can create the appearance of tenants’ rights. This appearance alone can confound an easy rousting of squatters.

What is a squatter?

Squatters are people who move into abandoned, foreclosed, or otherwise unoccupied homes or premises. Generally, under United States law, the owners can have a squatter evicted for violating loitering or trespassing laws unless the squatters can establish that they have tenants’ rights or can gain adverse possession due to the property having been completely abandoned by the owner. Other countries have similar laws, although you should seek specific legal advice dependent on where you are. If you suspect you have squatters in your neighborhood contact the police and the homeowners, but stay calm and let the authorities deal with the situation.

What the squat can you do?

  1. Identify the signs of squatting – Keep an eye out on your neighbor’s if they are away or abandoned houses in your neighborhood.
  2. Evaluate the Situation – try to determine if those people have a legal right to be there. You can just calmly talk to them.
  3. Speak to your neighbors – see if anyone else in the neighborhood as additional information.
  4. Know the laws in your city and state regarding abandoned property – as mentioned above getting rid of squatters may not be straightforward. Know what legal steps are available to you to remove squatters. Do not take the removal process upon yourself.
  5. How to deal with squatters
    1. Contact the Police
    2. Contact the property owner, if it is not your home
    3. Determine your grounds for action – depending on what they did in your home you may have lots to do.
  6. To Reduce your chances of getting squatters
    1. Have a Home Alarm
    2. Have Internal and external Cameras
    3. Have your Neighbors watch your house when you are going to be away for a while
    4. Let the Police know you will be out of town and who has access to your house

Resources:

 

PepperEyes Self-Defense, Safety and Security Store is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. PepperEyes.com is a division of Onyx Knight Enterprises.

29/01/2019

Tips to Secure Your Security Cameras


If you haven’t read or seen the interesting stories in the media of Home Security the-best-home-security-cameras-of-2018-gear-patrol-lead-fullCameras or laptop camera’s being hacked, then you should do an internet search and read the stories. More and more people are buying them, and you’ve probably seen the stories of citizens using them to catch thieves in action, but just who else is using your camera to watch your home or business? If you have a home security camera, please take the time to read this article and make corrective steps to protect your residence or building from being looked at by the wrong eyes.

If Possible, Update Your Camera’s Firmware

Some of the current IP (Internet Protocol) security cameras feature user-upgradeable firmware. If a security vulnerability is found, the IP security camera manufacturer will often fix the vulnerability by issuing a firmware update. Usually, you can update your camera’s firmware from the admin console through a web browser. If you are not sure how to do it, you can usually look on the manufacturer’s web site or see if there is a YouTube video that will provide the instructions.

You should check your IP security camera manufacturer’s website annually for updated firmware so that you can make sure the version you are using doesn’t contain an unpatched vulnerability that could be exploited by hackers and online voyeurs.

Complement Your Computer Protection with Anti-Malware Programs

The best safety tip that Windows users usually listen to is “to install and maintain the updates the antivirus on your computer”. This is a good tip, but an anti-virus is unable to detect all kinds of virtual threat. Therefore, you should compliment for one protection tool against malware and perform periodic scans using anti-malware tools. Having those programs installed, you will not only protect yourself from malicious files and websites but also be able to identify and remove the viruses that are endangering the proper functioning of your computer.

Keep Your Security Cameras Local

If you don’t want your home security camera feeds to end up on the internet, then don’t ever connect them to the internet. There are several websites that allow you to connect your DIY (Do it Yourself) security camera to a website so that you can check them from anywhere, and so might anyone else. So be careful

If privacy is your main priority then you should keep your security cameras on a local network and assign them non-routable internal IP addresses (i.e 192.168.0.5 or something similar). Even with non-routable IP addresses, your cameras could still be exposed by camera software that sets up port forwarding or uses UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) to expose your cameras to the internet. Check your IP camera’s manufacturer’s website to see if it is possible to set up your security cameras in local-only mode.

Please note this is different than using a security service like CPI or like services as those services ‘should’ be secure.

Assign Strong Passwords to Your Cameras

Many IP cameras don’t have password protection turned on by default. However, some people forget to add password protection after the initial setup and end up leaving the cameras wide open for all to access, or even worse it has a weak default password.

Some security cameras offer at least some form of basic user login It may not be super robust, but at least it is better than nothing at all. Protect your camera feeds with a username and a  password and make sure to change it on a regular schedule.

Some of you may not change the default password of WiFi monitoring systems after purchase. This is extremely dangerous. I remember when my WIFI was set up my provider, the password was set up to be my home phone number. How secure is that? Thus, you should change the default password and choose a stronger one. It is better to combine letters, both upper and lower cases, numbers and symbols. The more complicated a passwords, the more difficult it is to be guessed. Be sure you can remember what it is, or store it in a secure location. Website and youtube videos on  tips about how to hack IP security camera passwords can also give you clues for creating a stronger password and camera defense, which is hard to be hacked

Rename the Default Admin Account and Set a New Admin Password

Your secure camera’s default admin name (adm1n) and password (p@ssword), set by the manufacturer, is usually available by visiting their website and going to the support section for your camera model. If you haven’t changed the admin name and password then even the most novice hacker can look up the default login information and view and share your feeds or take control of your camera.

If Your Camera Is Wireless, Turn on WPA2 Encryption

If your camera is wirelessly capable, you should only join it to a WPA2-encrypted wireless (or later) network so that wireless eavesdroppers can’t connect to it and access your video feeds.

This may include using WPA2-AES (or later) encryption method, changing a stronger password for the home router, changing the default SSID name, turning off guest networking and more things you can think of.

Don’t Place IP Cameras Where They Don’t Belong

Don’t put an IP security camera inside areas of your house where you wouldn’t feel featurephotocomfortable being seen by strangers, like your bedroom. Even if you think you’ve secured your cameras in every way possible, there is always the possibility of getting blind-sided by a Zero-Day vulnerability that hasn’t been found by your manufacturer yet.  Think of the commercial where the home security company is talking to the robber entering the client’s home… ever ponder what else that see?

Disconnect Your Webcam When You are Not Using It

It may seem absurd, but since hackers developed malware able to see us and hear through the webcams and microphones you have to take some drastic measures.

The application Webcam On-Off is developed especially for those who have laptops or computers with a built-in webcam. You can turn off your webcam whenever you want. This application avoids any kind of problems derived from the possible invasion of your webcam. You can also purchase laptop lens covers that slide over your webcam and aren’t software dependent.

Alternatively, I’ve know student to just use black duct tape to cover their laptop lenses.  When there is a need to use your computer webcam, you can simply remove the piece of tape and put it back after you use it. A good tip to leave no adhesive residue on the lens is to use the adhesive in conjunction with a piece of paper.

You can also simply disconnect the USB webcams desktops, or disable it in the BIOS or operating system. The latter methods may also be useful to disable the microphone on desktops and laptops as well.

Purchase a WiFi Camera from a Trusted Source

When you are choosing a new wireless security camera system, there are quite a few sources for you to choose from. You can find various wireless security cameras buying sites, like Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and some trusted company websites, where you can see a versatile CCTV camera brand. Always remember to choose a reliable one with good customer service and great customer reviews.

Secure Your Outdoor Home Security Camera

Installing your outdoor home camera in a safe, comfortable place is also an important point, but often ignored by most people and those popular safety guidelines online. Outdoor security camera damage does happen in daily life. Imagine a stray baseball, or hailstorm.

Make sure you select the best and secure location for your security camera. This mainly includes 2 things: preventing your camera from being stolen by burglars, and protecting it from harsh weather, like heavy rain, intense cold, and heat. Although many wireless surveillance cameras are waterproof, it is better for you to choose a comfortable place, and also a secret one in case of burglars, for installation. It’s easy for a burglar to know you have a camera, approach it from a blind spot and damage it.

PepperEyes.com Self-Defense Products Store is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information on the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.  =Victor Swindell

24/12/2018

Tis the Season .. to be Careful


Too many of my readers, the Christmas and winter holiday season will mean family, vacation travel, or lots of time away from your residence. This is just the opportunity a burglar is looking for. However, there are some security tips that you can do to lower your chances of having your residence targeted by those on the naughty list.

  • Secure your Windows – If you run exterior Christmas light extension cords through your window, the windows may not close securely enough. This may provide a burglar a means if entry. We suggest using exterior outlets and outdoor extension cords for your Christmas lights. There are some that have timers on them so that they come on and turn off at certain times. If you are going to be away from your residence for an extended period, please check to be sure all your doors and windows are locked. Speaking of windows- Don’t provide a view of your presents to anyone who can just look in your window.
  • Secure your Garage door – Your garage door is very vulnerable to burglars. If you only have the standard security mechanism that comes with most garage doors, you can use a padlock on the interior when the door rod slides into the hole. That means it is very important to lock your entry door into your home from the garage. In addition, have motion sensitive security lights installed around the exterior of your garage.
  • Secure your phone– Do not have a message on your voicemail telling people you are not home. Please don’t have your name on your mailbox giving your name, and allowing a clever thief to look up your number and call you to see if you are home. There are several options you can do, 1) turn off the ringer to your home phone as a constantly ringing telephone can signal burglars that you are not at home. If you have the option to forward your calls to your location, you may do that.
  • Don’t Advertise in the Trash – How many times after Christmas morning have you driven by homes and know what they got because they put the boxes to their new ‘Watz-it’ in the trash. Breakdown/tear up the boxes and recycle them. In addition, n you can keep them stored in a safe place until the garbage collectors are due to call.

  • Update your home Inventory – if you get a new TV, computer or something valuable – record it in your home inventory.
  • Use your home alarms – If you have an alarm system installed, TURN IT ON whenever you leave, or go to sleep

See also:

https://peppereyes.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/dont-let-the-grinch-steal-your-christmas/

https://peppereyes.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/the-barking-dog-security-system/

PepperEyes.com Self-Defense Products Store is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information on the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option – Victor Swindell

10/12/2018

Law Enforcement Christmas Safety Tips


blkfriday2As Christmas shopping season approaches, your local Police Department wishes to assure you and your neighbors that we are taking measures to combat and prevent the types of criminal activity which occur this time each year. We also wish to stress the importance of citizens doing their part to protect themselves by not presenting opportunities for criminals to ruin your holiday.

Where ever possible, additional officers will be on high-visibility patrol around shopping areas, banks, and the like. They will also be available to provide bank escorts for businesses that request them.

A particular problem this time of year is theft from automobiles and residential burglaries. These are the most preventable crimes. If citizens remove the opportunity, the crime is less likely to occur, and some types cannot occur at all.

At Home:

  • Make sure to keep doors and windows locked, even if you are home.
  • When you are not home, leave your radio on low on talk radio.
  • If you have home security cameras, with motion sensors, see if you can also program a lamp to turn on at night when motion is detected. Set it to turn on a minute later.
  • Turn on outside lights at night, motion sensor lights are great.
  • Report persons or vehicles roaming your neighborhood, day or night so police may check them. They may be simply looking at Christmas lights, or they may be “casing” houses to burglarize.
  • Place your tree where the gifts will be less visible from outside. Thieves like window-shopping through your windows.
  • After Christmas, don’t put the empty boxes out on the curb. This makes it easy for burglars to decide which houses to burglarize (ie: new computers, TVs, electronics, video games…). Break down boxes and put them in the trash, making sure to save all paperwork. Also, remember many electronic devices require original boxes for warranty repair.
  • Immediately make an inventory listing the model and serial numbers of new items (and old ones if you haven’t already) and engrave personal markings on them

If Leaving Home (On a trip or just for a little while):

  • Make it look like you are still there.
  • If you have an Alarm System – USE IT –
  • If you can monitor your home remotely – DO IT
  • Timers on exterior lights, interior lights, and TVs will help make it look like you are home. Don’t leave an answering machine message saying you are gone, in fact turning it off would be better. If you have the call forwarding option on your phone use that.
  • Double check Locks on all doors and windows, including second floors and garages. The doors should have dead-bolts; key locks for windows are also available.
  • Have a Trusted Neighbor pick up mail, papers, and ads put out your trash can, and park in your driveway. Give them emergency and cell numbers to reach you.
  • Call the police department to request a periodic residence check (“Keep-A-Check”) while you are away.
  • When you return, look around outside first. If you see any evidence of a break-in, do not go inside. Go to a neighbor’s house and call the police. The burglars could still be inside.

While Shopping or Going Out: 

  • Secure valuables out of sight in your trunk. BUT, Be aware that many cars now have fold-down seats or a remote trunk release inside the car. These conveniences make your trunk vulnerable to thieves willing to break a window.
  • If at a mall or a shopping center, periodically go to the car and lock away purchases so they will not “disappear” when you put them down trying-on clothes or at the food court.
  • Safeguard your purse, wallet, bank cards, and personal information. Identity thieves thrive in this environment.
    • Keep close tabs on your children while shopping. With so many people it is easy for them to become lost. Make sure they
  • Know their full name, your full name, address, phone, and your cell or pager number to reach you if you get separated.
    insist children hold your hand in parking lots. Drivers won’t see them if they run ahead or behind you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings going to your car, going into and out of your house, and while at the ATM.

DON’T DRINK and DRIVE

SantaCoupon

 

PepperEyes.com Self-Defense Products Store is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information on the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option

Victor Swindell

06/12/2018

Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Your Christmas


In my last article, I said gave tips for the Christmas shoppers. In this article, I’m going to cover keeping your gifts and personal property safe.  Lot of us window shop during the holidays, including criminals. The difference is that while you’re looking thru store for things to buy, criminals may be looking in your windows for stuff to steal.  While we may have our minds set on Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men, we often become careless and susceptible to theft and other crime.

The following advice is from the Law Enforcement agencies which can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season. The same advice that I gave in the home invasion series still applies. If you are doing that stuff, you are in good shape.

  • ALWAYS Lock your doors and windows, even if you are leaving home for a quick trip to the neighbors, or need to run to the corner store for a few minutes. A thief only needs opportunity.
  • If you are going to be away from home for hours, days or weeks, have a neighbor or family member watch your house or check it out from time to time. Remember to put your mail and newspapers on hold.
  • If you are going away on vacation please ask your local law enforcement to check your house as you will be out of town
  • Make sure to set your home alarm every time you leave the house.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic random digital timer.
  • If you have a digital personal assistant (Alexa, Google home) see if they have a security skill you can set.
  • Leave a radio, or other music devices (on Talk Radio) or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • make sure that large displays of Christmas presents are not visible through the windows and doors of your home.  This provides thieves a motive to rob you.
  • Be cautious where you ‘Hide’ your presents, thieves know to look in storage rooms as well this time of year.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other decorations, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher, please remember to shake it the 1st of each month.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
  • Never place wrapping paper in or near your fireplace.
  • Be careful when answering your door.  Criminals also like to take advantage of this season to prey on those who are unsuspecting and generous
    • Be aware of Greeks bearing gifts. Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts as a means to get you to open your door.
      • Consider installing a doorbell camera that allows you to talk to the person without opening your door.
    • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during this time of year by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
    • If you are approached by a beggar (er fundraiser), ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.  Most cities require a special license.
    • Your safest bet is to pick your own charities or just donate to a recognized charitable organization.HolidayCoupon

 

PepperEyes.com Self-Defense Products is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. – Victor Swindell

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