Tag Archives: camera

Porch Pirates Now Part of the Holidays: Here’s How You Can Fight Back

It must be the holidays, because porch pirates are in the news again! In the same day, I heard about porch pirates in my part of the country (the Pacific Northwest) and Jersey City, where police are planting GPS tracking devices in boxes that look like Amazon deliveriesin order to catch thieves.

Porch piracy on the rise
Sadly, porch piracy is definitely increasing during the holiday season. One report released says 25.9 million Americans have had a package stolen during the holidays. That number was 23.5 million in 2015. And since Americans are doing more shopping online and will continue to do so, those “porch pirates” have plenty of booty to grab from front porches.

Ways to thwart thieves
Although you can insure packages in case they are stolen, what you really want is the package, right? That means you must take steps to thwart the pirates in the first place. Rather than risking packages getting delivered but never making their way to you, because someone absconded with them first, try these tips:

  • Use your home security system to see who is at your door and to unlock the door if it’s a package delivery. With the right home security setup, you can do this remotely—even while at work.
  • Choose to have your package delivered to a nearby Amazon locker, or have packages shipped to your local UPS store.
  • Have packages delivered to you at work or to a neighbor or family member who will be home when you’re not.
  • Look into getting your own P.O. Box at the post office.
  • Require a signature to confirm delivery.
  • Track packages while they’re en route and change the routing if you need to based on where you’ll be.

And now for the fun part…
The porch pirate topic isn’t all bad news. If you’d like to see someone get revenge on porch pirates, watch this 11 minute video of Mark Rober, a NASA engineer and YouTube star, doing just that. Rober spent 6 months designing and building a device that not only sprays glitter all over the thief when the booby-trapped package is opened, it also sprays fart spray and has four camera phones rigged to catch footage of the events while they unfold. Warning: If you watch the video, note that the thieves often use bad language when the booby trap goes off, although it’s all blanked out.

Porch pirates are now the new normal, but we can take steps to fight back…or maybe that NASA engineer will mass produce his booby trap, and we can put pirates off forever! We’ll only need a lot more glitter and fart spray…

Home Security Cameras 101: What You Might Want to Know About Keeping an Eye on Things

Are you shopping around for a home security system? If so, you’ll likely discover the home security cameras are an integral part of that setup. Whether you’re home or away, home security cameras can help you keep an eye on things—and keep your home secure.

If you’re new to home security and not sure yet what to expect from home security cameras, below is some basic information.

Your security cameras work when you’re home and when you’re away
First off, your cameras are working for you whether you’re home or not. Obviously, when you’re away from home, you want to be able to keep an eye on things, right? If a repairman will be at your house, your kids are home alone, or Fido has been finding a way to escape, your home security cameras can help you keep tabs on all of these activities because you can access the video stream from your smartphone or computer (as long as you have an Internet connection).

When you are home, your home security cameras are still working for you, showing you who is knocking at the door, letting you make sure your elderly mother-in-law is still safely ensconced in the sitting room, knowing the kids are keeping out of trouble, and more.

You can store recorded video
What if you had a break in at your house? What if your fishbowl was on the floor every night when you got home from work? What if your kids did something particularly funny in front of the camera? Your home security cameras don’t just do live streaming of what’s happening in real time—they can record video too, for playback later.

That video clip might just be how the police identify your burglar. Or by watching it repeatedly, you might discover how the cat is getting up to that high shelf where the fishbowl sits. And as for funny kids? Who doesn’t want to watch those hilarious antics over and over?

Videotaping can be triggered by motion detectors
Your cameras don’t have to record video constantly. You can set them up to turn on and start recording when there is movement, using motion detectors. This is also useful for indoor cameras that need a light in order to show what is happening: A motion sensor can turn on the light for the camera.

Home security cameras come in different types
When you’re choosing your home security system, you’ll likely have several kinds of home security cameras to choose from, all with different benefits. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the features you might want to have or at least be aware of:

  • Wireless security cameras can go anywhere because they are, well, wireless!
  • Dome security cameras can be mounted just about anywhere, and give you a 360 degree view.
  • Some cameras are better suited for indoors while others are better for outdoors because they work in low light—some even work in the dark.
  • Some have light sensors, and some have motion detection.
  • Your home security cameras can be WiFi protected so only you can access the videos.
  • Different kinds of mounts let you put cameras right where you need them, whether standing on a shelf, mounted to a wall or hanging from the ceiling.

That’s your home security cameras 101 lesson! We hope you find it useful, and that you find the perfect home security system for you!

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