Archive for the ‘Video surveillance’ Category

Myth Busting: Security Cameras

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Security systems can be an immense help in keeping a person’s home or business safe and secure. They can help prevent crime, including burglary and vandalism. While security systems are a lot of help, many people hear incorrect “facts” about the product.

The technology available to us today can do some truly amazing things. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that employee theft costs employers between $20 billion and $40 billion a year. Surveillance cameras can help reduce this. However, many people choose not to use it because of what they have heard. Here are some common myths about security services.

Security Services Are Only for People Who Have a Lot of Money
It’s true, many wealthy people can afford to have security services in their homes. However, even if you aren’t the richest resident on your block, your personal items have value, too. You should never feel like your items aren’t important enough to protect, so purchasing a security system is a lot of help. And they’re not as expensive as people make them out to be.

Security Camera Systems Are Hard to Use
Many people think that security systems are hard to manage, but that isn’t the case. They’re easy to set up and can be viewed from inside your home on your computer, television, and even from your phone. Having it hooked up to your mobile device is great as you’re able to watch what’s happening from outside of your home. They’re simple to use, so the fear of them being too difficult to work with shouldn’t scare anyone away.

If Your Neighborhood Is Safe a Security Camera Isn’t Necessary
While you may think that your area is safe and secure, crime can happen anywhere. Sure, it is a shock when unexpected crime creeps up on you in your wholesome, family-friendly neighborhood, but it can happen. A security camera isn’t there to tell others that you don’t trust your surroundings; it’s there as a backup in case something were to happen. You want to do whatever you can to make sure your home is safe and protected.

Video security solutions are super helpful. They can prevent crime and stop other incidents in their tracks. While there are many myths, they all prove to be false and prove that security services are a smart idea no matter the circumstances.

Congratulations Rich Pharaoh!!

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Congratulations are in order for ARG Technician, Rich Pharaoh! He just became another one of our technicians that are BICSI certified for Fiber Optic Cabling IN250! Rich has years of knowledge in this industry and we are so glad to have him as part of our team!

 

4 Unexpected Ways Security Systems Are Helpful

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The rate of crime is constantly growing, which means many business owners choose to install different types of security systems in their stores. One of these security systems, closed circuit video surveillance systems, comes with its fair share of basic benefits. However, there are many others that you might not have thought of. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

You Can Monitor Your Space Anytime from Anywhere
In a world of constantly changing technology, video systems have to keep up. Nowadays, you can monitor your business directly from your phone or laptop. Many security systems offer you the ability to check in on what’s going on at your business when you’re not there. You can check in from anywhere at any time. Since cameras can be installed all around the business, there are multiple points of view from which you can find potential criminal activity. 

You Can Save Money With a System
Often, security system cameras are in plain sight. They’re usually placed in the corners of rooms, outside buildings, and in businesses’ back rooms. When a criminal enters the store and sees the camera, that’s usually enough to keep them from stealing anything. Making sure that it’s in plain sight can help prevent theft, which ultimately helps to save money. Plus, systems aren’t always as expensive as you think they might be. In fact, several companies will sell you a low cost, cloud-connected security camera with resolutions between 720 or 1080 pixels. 

A Camera Can Help in Court Cases
When you’re thinking about installing a security system, you might not be thinking about potential court cases. However, if someone does steal something or damage your property, there’s a chance that you could take them to court. If they are caught red-handed by the cameras, that’s an excellent source of proof to present in the courtroom. 

They Hold Your Employees Accountable
When your employees know that a camera is around, they’re less likely to steal anything or do things they’re not supposed to. With cameras, there is always the potential that “big brother” is watching your every move. If they do actually follow through with the plan to do something they shouldn’t, you can easily tell who did what. 

Video security services are great for catching people staling, but they are also useful in other ways. They help you save money, catch employees not doing the right thing, and provide evidence in potential court cases.

Why Schools Turn to the Use of Security Cameras

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communication solutionsMany school district leaders are looking into the installation of closed circuit video surveillance systems on their school’s properties. They are interested in doing so to keep their students safe, to monitor who comes in and goes out of the building, and to reduce any vandalism or crime that may be occurring. It’s one of many communication solutions that is there to help keep everyone safe and in line. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that employee theft can cost employers anywhere between $20 billion and $40 billion a year. The use of surveillance cameras can help.

According to the United States Department of Education, during the 2005 and 2006 school year, 86% of public schools said they had serious issues with crime and violence. That statistic was enough to set educators off and steer them toward closed-circuit television systems and other communication solutions.

Cameras may seem pricey, but district leaders strongly believe that it would be a way to cut back on violence and take the steps to eliminate crime. Even leaders that work in low-crime areas want the cameras as a way to prevent any future crime.

The use of security cameras isn’t the only thing that schools can do to help prevent unwanted guests and crime.

Schools around the country have taken extra steps to help keep their students and faculty safe. Schools will often times have their own on-campus security guard or police officer that is equipped to handle any situation that may come their way. They will also require a check-in and check-out for all visitors that come in and leave the building. Often times, this will require the visitor to identify themselves and even leave some additional personal information.

Schools often take note of any security protocol system, like security cameras, they have on their campus. If there are any repairs that need to be made to the camera, doorbells, or computer systems, they tend to focus on getting that fixed as quickly as possible.

It’s common for each school to have a security plan in place in case something were to go wrong. This plan is often reviewed throughout the school year to make any necessary adjustments or updates.

Schools around the country are using different security tactics and communication solutions to make sure that everyone inside of their buildings is safe at all times. Security cameras are just the first step to ensure that everyone can go to school feeling protected.

3 Reasons Your Retail Business Needs Remote Security Systems

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You may be familiar with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), one of the most popular alternatives to traditional telephone systems. This cloud-based business phone system is cheaper than a traditional phone system, and thanks to the Internet it offers a number of advanced features.

But did you know that you can use a similar technology to upgrade your retail business’s video security systems?

Say goodbye to grainy closed-circuit surveillance footage. Using the latest digital tools, your retail business can install affordable video security technology. If your business video surveillance hasn’t been updated in several years, then it’s time to learn more about the innovative new technology in use today.

Here’s why so many retail companies are choosing to install remote video security in their stores:

Help Eliminate Theft
As a business owner, you probably already know that having a video surveillance system can drastically reduce theft and losses. The very existence of security systems are good for discouraging thieves, but not all inventory loss comes from shoplifters and burglars. Today, employee theft is just as much of a problem.

With remote access cameras, not only will everyone who steps into your store know they are being monitored, but anyone who works for you will know their work environment is being monitored, too. And if the system is tripped or triggered, you can instantly see exactly who is in your place of business. You can do so from a phone, tablet, or laptop.

In addition to enhancing security, these remote cameras will also give you peace of mind. If you ever need to leave for an extended period of time, you can rest easy knowing you can check on your property at a moment’s notice.

Insurance Benefits
Another major benefit: many insurance companies will greatly approve of having a video monitoring and security system. They’re often considered an acceptable replacement for a guard in many security warranties for insurance purposes. Of course, each case will be different, but the best remote video surveillance systems will often meet your insurance requirements.

If you require an affordable alternative to having a security guard, then this can be the best way to cover your insurance company’s requirements.

Low Costs
As mentioned above, a video security system can be a low-cost replacement for a night guard. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying for the guard’s wages. Not only that, but thanks to the Internet and improved camera technology, retail video security has never been more affordable. Footage can be stored on hard drives or online, and cloud-based technology makes maintaining your security system a breeze.

Plus, because there are no tapes, these cameras can run 24/7 without the need for a break. That means you will have permanent security and evidence recording for as long as the system is there.

If you’re looking to improve security at your retail stores, then a digital video security system is the way to go. You’ll get the remote coverage that you need to keep everything safe and secure without breaking the bank in the process.

Need the best retail video surveillance Delaware has to offer? Contact ARG Communications to learn more about our business video security solutions.

Understanding Security: How Video Surveillance Systems Work And How They Can Help Your Business

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As a business owner, the safety of your business is one of your top priorities. The installation of security solutions such as video surveillance and audio surveillance may help guarantee that safety. By having remote access to a video surveillance system, you can help eliminate the possibility of theft, improve productivity, and reduce inventory losses by up to 80%.

But choosing to utilize video surveillance systems with a remote wireless internet access point is one thing, installing it is another. In other words, how does digital video security actually work?

Analog surveillance systems
There are two types of digital video security systems, among them analog surveillance systems and IP surveillance systems. Analog security cameras are the most common and are connected to a digital video recorder with the help of a lens and a digital signal processing chip.

The digital video recorder acts as a compressor, convertor, and storage area for the data recorded by the security cameras. Transmission cables connect the security cameras to the digital video recorder. The security camera passes on its digital recordings to the digital video recorder where it’s compressed and stored within a hard drive to be watched later.

Because it’s mostly the digital video recorder that works as the heart of this video surveillance system, this type of security system is considered one of the cheaper options available to business owners.

IP surveillance systems
Unlike the analog surveillance system, the IP system’s cameras each do the same amount of work as the digital video recorder. The IP camera can compress and convert the video information that’s recorded into a digital format that enables the information to be screened via an ethernet cable.

Because the IP cameras can convert the videos themselves into a digital format, they can additionally stream the recording online for the business owner to observe after an additional wireless access point setup. What does that mean in plain English? Once your new digital video surveillance system is installed, you can view your cameras in real time, on any device, and at any time.

Because of the way these systems are designed, the IP surveillance system is particularly easy to use and additional cameras can be added to the system should the user desire to place more cameras outside for protecting the property. However, IP surveillance systems tend to be more on the expensive side because each camera comes with its own web server that would otherwise come only with the digital video recorder on the analog system.

To reduce your business’s risk of being broken into or robbed, consider installing a security system with video surveillance. The visual recording will provide you with information regarding any intruder’s identity as well as their their potential license plate number. With this evidence, you can help the police catch your potential intruder and provide your employees with a peace of mind.

The Do’s and Don’t’s of CCTV Cameras: How to Get the Most Out Of Your Security

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When considering the security systems for your business, keep in mind that up to 80% of losses from theft can be prevented with surveillance camera equipment with remote access. Closed-circuit television systems not only provide a means with which to catch the act of theft in place, it can also prevent it and provide video evidence of a culprit to give to the police, should your business be robbed.

Simply having a noticeable camera can deter a would-be thief from pursuing their plans to ruin your business. The thief knows he has a chance to be caught on camera and thus could decide it’s simply not worth it. Therefore, closed circuit video surveillance systems could provide an essential preventative measure.

And in the event of your business being robbed, the use of CCTV footage can not only help you reclaim the assets you lost but may actually lead to the acquisition of more. Namely, the arrest and the conviction of the person who robbed you, leading to a safer work space for you and your employees, as well as other businesses who may not be as well-equipped as you. No matter how you look at it, high quality CCTV video surveillance is the safest and one of the most effective options. We’ve put together some of the important do’s and don’ts when considering installing a CCTV camera.

What To Do

    • Placement: Be sure to place the video security either on the roof or high on the wall, where it cannot be reached so that it lowers the chances of it being broken or tampered with. However, keeping it in plain sight is important too, as it shows any possible robber you have them on camera.
    • Night vision: Consider using cameras with infrared lights in order for the video to still be clear during the night. Should any robbery or break-ins occur after hours, the camera systems will still work effectively.
    • Weather: If your cameras are outside, systems that are weather-resistant and waterproof are recommended. Those that are not can break down and become useless.
  • Steady: Make sure that wherever you mount your cameras, they remain steady. If the vibrations from movement or similar things shakes the camera, it can distort the image badly.

What Not To Do

    • Wires: Do not leave any wires exposed. In addition to being more prone to wear and tear when out in the open, it can lead robbers to believe that cutting or tampering with the wires will disable the camera, thus making them confident about breaking into your business.
    • Exits: Make sure all of the ways into and out of your building are covered. A particularly clever robber can use the one exposed exit as a blind spot to break in and bypass the surveillance cameras.
    • Installation: Be sure to have your cameras installed by a professional technician. Improper installation can lead to any number of problems, from the screen being blurry to the cameras failing to turn on or record.
  • Wireless: Even if your video surveillance is wireless, all cameras have to be plugged into a power source. The wireless signal simply sends the video to a device, like a computer or mobile phone. The camera still needs corded power to function.

When choosing a reliable CCTV video surveillance system, a lot of points needs to be considered in order to ensure that they are installed properly and work to the best of their ability. When it comes to the safety of your business, you always want the best and safest. Hopefully, this list gave you a good idea as to what to look for when finding your own video security.

For more information on CCTV and other means of business security, visit ARG Communications

Your Video Surveillance Could Be Broadcasting Live Online Right Now

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cctvThe depths of the Internet are practically limitless, and full of bizarre and disturbing websites. Insecam, an unsecured webcam directory, is just one unsettling addition to the world wide web that could be broadcasting your video surveillance right now.

But how?

CCTV stands for closed-circuit television. And while “closed” insinuates privacy, oftentimes this is not the case. Since many of these CCTV systems are hooked up directly to the Internet in order to broadcast to multiple devices through the cloud, an indistinguishable number of streams could be broadcasting at this very second, if left unsecured.

Insecam has a database of approximately 5,000 unsecured webcam streams in the United States alone. Some of these streams were left completely unsecured, while others are protected with very simple passwords like “password1” or the name of the vicinity that is being monitored. Some establishments, like hotels and restaurants, have live webcams that are left intentionally unsecured, though this is ill-advised.

There are about 11 million meetings taking place in the U.S. every year, many of which are broadcast online for other departments or business locations to view. In many cases, sensitive information is discussed in these meetings. Finances, internal operations, or special projects should all be kept internalized until ready for public release. While you may not consider it in the short-term, there is a huge possibility of leaked information when using closed circuit video surveillance systems.

While it’s possible to purchase video security systems on your own, it takes more than just a user’s manual to figure out how to effectively secure your surveillance system. That’s why you should only trust a professional to install your CCTV systems with complex passwords that only you, your family, or your business executives have access to.

ARG Communications, a leading telecommunications provider in the greater Delaware area, employs certified professionals capable of making sure that your surveillance systems are protected from online hackers and databases like Insecam.

For video surveillance, VoIP, phone systems, network cabling, and more, contact ARG Communications at (302) 225-2000, or sign up using our online portal.

4 Tips to Follow For Better Retail Security

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video securityRetailers are always at high risk for shoplifting and employee theft. Recent statistics show that there are approximately 27 million shoplifters in the U.S. today. That means one in every 11 people could be a thief who steals from your store. And far too many storeowners are being forced to deal with the consequences: on average, these shoplifters say they’re caught only one out of every 48 times they steal.

Clearly, most retail locations need to improve their security solutions. As an owner, you may be overwhelmed by how to decrease the likelihood of theft. That’s why we’ve compiled these four tips to help you achieve better security in your retail location:

  1. Identify your weaknesses
    First off, you must identify the unique vulnerabilities of your business. Every store has them. In order to protect yourself and your merchandise, you need to give ample consideration to potential threats. These may include your specific location or demographics, the local crime rate, the security of your entrances and exits, keeping cash and inventory on site, the layout of your store, or how trustworthy your staff might be. Once you’ve identified these pitfalls, you can start fixing them.
  2. Add video surveillance
    Adding video security is one of the best investments you can make for your business. When you have closed circuit video surveillance systems, you’ll always be informed about everything that’s happening at your retail location, even when you aren’t physically there. You can even connect certain video security systems to your computer, smartphone, or tablet in order to monitor the goings-on in real time. In fact, having a remote-access video surveillance system can decrease theft and losses by up to 80% and will generally improve productivity among your staff. Whether theft occurs due to employee misconduct, fraudulent transactions, or consumer shoplifting, you’ll likely be ahead of the curve.
  3. Add lights and mirrors
    Not only do poorly lit stores not appeal to customers, but they look very inviting to shoplifters. Make sure that both the interior and exterior of your business are well-lit. There should be no dark walkways or spaces for thieves to hide. You should also strategically place convex mirrors in order to eliminate blind spots. Your employees should always have a clear view of all parts of the store and should feel safe both inside and outside your location.
  4. Use and display an alarm system
    In addition to having video security, you should also have a burglar alarm system in place. You should also display warning signs or stickers that alert potential customers that your business is protected. These should be placed prominently by entrances and on windows. Just having these stickers can act as theft-deterrents.

If you need the best security camera systems Philadelphia has to offer, contact us today to find out about your surveillance options. Let us help make your business safer and more productive.

Holiday Sales Times Means Increased Sales, As Well As Increased Losses from Employee Theft

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cctvBetween the months of October and January, retail stores see the largest volume of traffic for the entire year. The holiday gift-giving season has a lot to do with this. And while people are buying a lot of items, they’re also making many returns and exchanges.

While these months are heavy in sales, the holiday chaos also increases the number of losses. During this time, shoplifting also rises. Most retailers have a form of video security system to catch shoplifters, but the reality is that one of the biggest problems in business losses occur from behind the counter.

Employee theft costs employers between $20 billion and $40 billion every year and retail employees are the biggest culprits — especially those in the United States.

Dishonest employees are responsible for 28% of inventory losses worldwide, while shoplifters account for 39%. In the U.S., however, 43% of revenue is lost by employee theft.

Rather than pocketing items, employees are much more subtle when it comes to stealing from their employers. While some employees do take cash from the register or make off with an item from the shelves, they’re usually far more interested in handing out discounts.

At check out, an associate has the ability to modify prices, give discounts, or even void transactions into the register.

In many cases, they apply these discounts to items that they are buying for themselves, but they are also giving these discounts to friends, family, or other coworkers.

In this way, the losses are much harder to pinpoint. While the inventory may match up in the system, it is possible that so many discounts have been applied that the daily sales are much lower than what they would have been.

While many employers often wonder how this happens so frequently, the real question is why.

Many employers fail to conduct proper pre-employment screening, choose to give employees more freedom and less supervision in the storefront, as well as use point of sale systems that allow transactions to be easily manipulated.

Closed-circuit television systems, or CCTV, are security solutions that allow employers to view store activity in real-time, as well as access prior footage, and view the footage from anywhere. By supervising employees remotely, you are able to observe any dishonorable conduct.

Additionally, having CCTV in your store deters employees from theft. When they know that they’re being watched, they are less likely to steal or give unmarked discounts.

If you have a problem with shoplifting or employee theft, consider contacting ARG Communications for a quote on CCTV and other security solutions.