Beware Summer Party Poopers

photo_2025_20061011Burglary statistics provided by Yale state that domestic burglaries rise by 63% during the winter months, particularly January which is considered the peak time for opportunist thieves. While these findings carry evidential weight, this does not mean that people should now consider themselves secure from domestic crime.

Summer represents gleeful abandon, blistering sunshine and late nights of garden leisure but consider this – while you’re drinking wine outside in the evening glow, a burglar may be packing away the contents of your living room. The heat gives people an excuse to fling open windows and promote airflow but by doing so they are also offering extra points of entry to their property.

If you are planning on spending the evening in the garden (regardless of who may be joining you), take the time to close your ground floor windows; particularly at the front of the property. Keep your doors locked the same as you would any other time of year and don’t broadcast the fact that you are all gathering in the garden in an overt fashion.

photo_686_20051213If you have a particularly large garden area and simple gateway access from the front of the property, a burglar may see an opportunity to slip in unnoticed and then make their escape through the front door. Prestige Security Solutions have noticed a number of news stories popping up nationally which indicate that summer burglaries are no rarity, as a quick Google search will inform you.

Additionally, while it might seem safe to unplug those timer plugs from your lamps – maybe consider when you are and aren’t going to be home this summer. The days may be lasting longer but surely this means many people will be out enjoying the weather late into the evening…

Prestige Security Solutions are happy to advise on any queries you may have about our current solutions. Give our Leicester office a ring on 0116 278 5278 or click here to get in touch via our website.

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Top 3 Cyber Hacks of the 21st Century

watermarkWhile digital security is not our forte, we still sustain an invested interest in the changing tide of modern domestic security. Compare your domestic life to 20 years ago; chances are if you had a computer it was likely a basic Windows or Mac with limited access to the internet (if at all). Thanks to the flourishing advancements of the digital age, we all take a very different approach to daily life. Social media, digital entertainment, shopping and business now dominate via the internet thus giving crooks a whole new avenue to explore.

The efforts of cyber crime will often make international press, often highlighting the inadequacies of corporate security. Here are our top 3 biggest security breaches of the 21st century…

  • Heartland Payment Security – 2008

This US based credit company (Fortune 1000) suffered a near catastrophic security breach in early 2008 at the hands of three expert hackers. Lead by Albert Gonzalez, the Cuban-American masterminded a breach which exposed 134 million credit cards via SQL Injection Spyware. Once the data was received it allowed the hackers to make counterfeit cards as the data included that which appears on the magnetic strip. You can rest easy for Gonzalez is now enjoying 20 years in federal prison.

  • PlayStation Network Hack – 2011

This was a real wake up call for Sony and an unfortunate pretence of what would happen again at their film division years later. PS3 owners awoke on April 20th, 2011 to find all 77 million accounts hacked including full names, passwords, addresses, purchase history and of course… 12 million credit card numbers. Luckily, PSN allowed you to use your credit card without saving the data for later access so only 12 million members had financial data stolen. Gamers rushed out in droves to cancel their cards leaving PSN offline for a month and losing millions in the process. Thankfully, PSN has been fairly stable since.

  • Epsilon – 2011

Barely a month before the aforementioned PSN hack, marketing e-mail provider Epsilon fell ill to hackers leading to the loss of millions of names and e-mail addresses across 108 retail stores. Thankfully, despite the large scale hack – credit card details were not accessed. The security implication comes from the large scale detail theft which meant hackers could invest these names and addresses into phishing scams and identity theft. Epsilon didn’t go without a financial loss of their own as they took an estimated $4 billion hit. Lock your details up tight people!

Have you ever been impacted by a similar event? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Fight Fraud, Choose Safe

fraudWhile it’s important to feel comfortable and safe in your own home, sometimes complacence can let us down. Those who appear to be offering us a safe alternative may actually be veiling a threat to your security, which is why it’s always important to investigate the legitimacy of those we let in our personal space. Of course friends and family don’t fall under this rule but employing the services of a business or sole trader means taking a methodical caution.

Prestige Security Solutions have built a strong reputation in the Leicester area and we invite you to leave your feedback on our Facebook and Twitter. By liberating customer feedback into a public space, companies like us can survive and strive on the kindness of your words. It’s true that word of mouth is still an imperative part of any burgeoning business but this is only elevated by the open spread of social media.

We are reiterating this stance of legitimacy in light of a North West news report stating numerous elderly residents had been targeted by a fraudulent individual pretending to be from a security service. This is morally abhorrent in more ways than one, not only does it breach the trust of most vulnerable but it also rouses suspicion towards people in our profession. It’s our vocation to provide the Leicester area with legitimate, secure solutions to their safety needs, NEVER to take advantage of them for financial gain or theft.

If you are concerned about security in your area and would like to discuss a solution with us please give us a ring on 0116 278 5278.

As you may already know, we also specialise in Roller Shutters and Insulated Roller Garage Doors.

Don’t give them the opportunity

thiefOfficial crime records in England and Wales are at their lowest for nearly two decades. At the same time the number of people in prison has soared to a new and expensive total of about 85,000 people in the UK. Some people might see these two facts as related but it is doubtful. One of the biggest reasons for diminishing crime records has been the simple fact that it is much harder to successfully break and enter into a vehicle built within the last decade because of the security features of modern vehicles. Another reason is surveillance cameras – the UK is the camera-snuck-in-places-you wouldn’t-believe centre of the developed world. Thieves look foolish when their full attempts at breaking and entering are shown on film. And yet another reason is secure doors, windows and adjoining garages.

Underlying all this there is another story and it is partly to do with where we have arrived now in terms of our possessions. There was a time when if you had a good garden spade stolen, or a wheelbarrow disappeared which you were accustomed to leaning against the side of your otherwise rather full garage, you would report the theft. But a lot of people do not report such thefts. Most people realise that from an insurance point of view it is not worth doing it (because they have an excess amount to pay on the claim of £100 or upwards) and from the point of view of catching the criminal it is not worth it, because they realise it is just opportunity crime, carried out on the spur of the moment normally. And some people feel they may be wasting police crime if the item stolen is a long-loved but reasonably old garden spade.

It is with this realisation that people turn increasingly to securing their own homes as best they can – and the weakest links in the home, where opportunistic intruders are concerned are the ground floor windows and the garage doors; that is, after they have readily unlocked the door to your well-stocked garden shed. At Prestige Secure Solutions, we are in business to make sure your homes are impregnable by all such means; we also make it very clear to people who might be interested that this is a secure house – it is not worth trying your luck on this premises. Which makes for happy and secure customers.

For more news and information from Prestige Security Solutions please like us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

CCTV in the home – too far?

Sir Bernard Hogan-HoweIn a controversial press release, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has urged families and business owners to begin installing CCTV at eye level inside their properties.  The reasoning for this somewhat extreme yet methodical move is to assist the police in identifying intruders.

The eye level positioning of your camera will allow the police to use facial recognition software by matching up your shots to images of criminals take during arrests. The chief noted that many people position their CCTV far too high and this is the biggest shortcoming in camera security. Facial recognition software is also said to have greatly improved in the last year.

There have been a lot of conflicted feelings about this with more liberal voices claiming that such measures are essentially turning the public into an extension of the police.  Prestige Security Solutions believe that CCTV is an effective and smart means of domestic security that offers an ideal deterrent outside your property. It shows you are conscious about security and at the right height can be very efficient at providing a clear shot of your intruder.

Understandably, not everyone will want to arm their homes to the teeth with surveillance technology. We are already surrounded by cameras in our computers, phones, tablets and game consoles but will one more hurt? Still, it’s a subjective issue and one we’re keen to hear your opinions on.

Are we getting closer to George Orwell’s fearsome vision in 1984 or is this a wise step in the right direction?

For more news from Prestige Security Solutions please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Animal Hijinks – Woodpeckers, Weasels and Garage Doors

The team at Prestige Security Solutions have been rather taken aback by this unbelievable piece of amateur photography (click me to see image). It got us thinking about security and the threat of animals in a domestic environment. Before we discuss potential safety measures you can take to protect your garage from unwanted ‘visitors’, let’s lighten up and admire this photograph (thanks to the Leicester Mercury for reporting this!).

A man and his wife were apparently out walking in Hornchurch Country Park in East London when they both heard a rather piercing squawk from nearby. Mr Le-May who took the photo said he “feared the worst” but soon realised he was in the presence of a hitchhiking weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker. It’s quite honestly one of the most surreal images we’ve ever seen of UK wildlife and has rightly stirred a minor web phenomenon.

It’s quite baffling how the weasel managed to land so gracefully on the woodpeckers back in the first place, let alone maintain flight for some time afterward. His photography distracted the weasel and it soon landed safely, only to scurry off into the grass. Better yet, it wouldn’t be the internet without some irreverent photo editing taking advantage of the hilarious situation. As you can see below, somebody has planted Vladmir Putin taking a ride on its back… alongside a stormtrooper and Gandalf… while chasing the infamous bubble run girl.

out of hand

Anyway, with that oddity out the way, let’s get back to business. Our insulated roller garage doors provide the optimum security to prevent your garages from draught and intrusion. We offer multiple colour finishes alongside fully automated internal and external control to help you access with efficient haste. Get in touch here

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Lock Your Net Up Tight

securityPrestige Security Solutions may deal primarily with domestic protection in the tangible world but our interests are first and foremost – security. This includes digital protection, an aspect of daily life important to much of the developed world. It’s easy to get complacent and simply think that our computer or smart-phone will never come under an external threat but you can never be too sure.

Taking measures to secure your digital life should be a priority and to help you get the most from your computer and internet security – follow these simple tips.

  • Install Premium Antivirus

Virus protection software such as AVG Free and Norton Trial are great for free, temporary measures but if you truly care about your computer’s safety a paid subscription is advised. These shall scan your computer for threats automatically (you can set how often) and remove anything insidious off your machine. They also typically include anti-malware and anti-spyware measures so no peeping Tom or nasty Norris can have their way with your data.

  • Change Your Passwords Regularly

This should be a no brainer but the number of people who keep their password as something pathetic like ‘password’ and never change it are most at threat. Web services are constantly being hacked these days (just look at the PlayStation Network or Ebay over the past few years!) with user’s data stolen nearly every time. The only way to ensure that they can’t access your details on these services is with a strong password that you change regularly (we recommend monthly). Put numbers, symbols and capitals in there to keep them guessing and never use the same password for more than one account.

  • Don’t Save Passwords On Your Computer

Every time you log into a website or service using modern web browsers, chances are it’ll offer you the chance to ‘save password’. This is a convienient tool that auto fills the log in bar so you don’t have to remember your password. Kind of cruel really as not only does it leave you to forget your password but also allows everyone else to log in as you. Ignore this feature, no – banish it! Remember your passwords and don’t get lazy. Who knows where your laptop will end up or who will be using it.

For more tips from Prestige Security Solutions please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.