Avoid a Lock-Out Scenario in the Summer

It’s safe to say Summer has officially started here in Toronto!

While temperatures will no doubt continue to soar, we’d like to remind you to never leave your kids or pets unattended in the car. We’re sure you’ve all heard about cases where this scenario had fatal consequences. It isn’t the easiest subject to blog about, but it’s important to address nonetheless with summer now in full swing.

Even if you think your errand will only take a minute, leaving your beloved child or pet unattended in your vehicle  is quite unsafe. As an emergency locksmith services provider for the GTA, we’ve seen this countless times and we’ve often had to help people who accidentally locked their pet or child in the car. 

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How to find the best locksmith in Toronto for your specific home security needs

Many people are unaware of the fact that different locksmiths specialize in different tasks. Some install door locks, some disengage locked doors, and some do a whole range of things. But most often, when a customer needs a locksmith, they need one in a hurry. 

Most locksmiths work through a company rather than independently, and each company specializes in something different. If your situation is urgent, make sure you call a locksmith from a company that can handle emergency situations and offers emergency locksmith services in a timely manner. The standard wait time is around a half hour. 

If you’ve chosen a reputable Toronto locksmith, they will stay at the emergency site until the problem is solved. Up your chances of finding a reputable locksmith by completing a general search in your area, and once you’ve found a possible choice, look for customer feedback. Many positive reviews or a high average rating are good signs. 

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Super-Secure Bag keeps Money Safe for Physical Transfers 

There’s been an innovative breakthrough in the world of money transportation and it comes in the form of something surprisingly simple. A new multi-lock money bag has been created to securely transport coins and banknotes. The groundbreaking design of the bag can be tracked and registered electronically if it’s stolen or misplaced, bringing it up to snuff with international qualifications. This new feature has many frequent travellers breathing a sigh of relief.

The creator of the bag, the Ministry of Interior’s Private Security Business Department, has begun upgrading its tech systems and encouraging surrounding communities to implement strategies to keep their money and valuables safe. The department has also begun to either improve or remove the obsolete parts of each security system

The money bag itself comes equipped with a GPS and RFID to allow for its promised trackability, as well as an alarm that can be triggered by unexpected attacks. If an attack occurs, the operations sector will receive an urgent alert and promptly take action as well as other appropriate measures.

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Household security has improved greatly in recent years, creating devices with a wider reach and eliminating the extra costs that came with setup and monthly dues. While it can be difficult to choose between so many great options, some are better than others, and we’re going to show you which systems are best for keeping your home safe. 

Netatmo Welcome comes complete with monitors, sensors, and microphones, and can be linked to your smartphone for remote control. Installing it by your front door is your best bet for picking up unusual sounds and movements. It even has a facial recognition feature and visually records all activity on its chip, which can be reached through the smart device you’ve linked it to as long as your home’s internet connection is up and running. This impressive little machine currently sells for $199. 

If you’re looking for an all-in-one system like the Netatmo Welcome but with more to offer, consider purchasing the Canary. It has all the same features as the Welcome, plus a local intruder alarm, night vision function, a motion sensor, and a sensitive thermometer. The Canary can hold recorded footage for up to one month, and pieces of that footage can be stored in separate places if necessary. This device currently sells for $179, which is an even better deal than the former. 

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Maintaining your Home in the Summertime for maximum Safety

During the hot and humid months of summer, it’s important to keep your home cool and protected. If you’re wondering how exactly to do it, take a look at our tips and tricks to make your house the haven it’s intended to be, no matter what the weather. 

Start your home safety procedures in the kitchen. Your fridge’s water dispenser should undergo a filter change two or three times a year minimum, and while you do that, the ice box should be scraped down to improve its ice-making ability and extend its lifespan. 

Make your way to the bathrooms in your house next. Throw away and replace any expired medications and lotions you keep in your bathrooms. Refill your first aid kit with bandages, gauze, and antibacterial ointment as well. Dispose of these things in a safe place, not in your kitchen garbage bin. 

The most important places in the home to maintain are the living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Wipe off fans and dust-collecting objects sitting in these rooms, and test each lightbulb to ensure all lights are in working condition. All damaged window screens should be patched up or repaired to prevent insects and airborne debris from flying in. Early summer is also the perfect time to repaint rooms that need it. Finally, consider setting up a high-quality security system to prevent home burglary. 

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It can be tough to find the perfect lock for your door, even if you know which category it falls under. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of door lock types complete with their functions and characteristics to make your lock shopping experience a breeze. 

The first type is the yale lock. With its smooth-edged cylindrical barrel, this lock works best with wooden doors, and only the barrel will need replacing if you need to switch out your lock or modify your keys. The lock’s posterior will include a traditional night latch, deadbolt drawback, deadlock night latch, standard night latch, or modernized night latch. 

A sash lock can be used for wooden doors as well as aluminum ones. It includes a handle that activates the latch when pressure is applied, and the deadbolt is then locked with a key. This type of lock comes in a less expensive three-lever version, a moderately expensive five-lever version, and a highly-priced five-lever BS3621 version. 

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Having a baby is exciting, and oftentimes, it’s all parents can think about. But it’s easy to miss things while creating a baby-friendly home environment if you don’t know everything to protect your child from. If you’re curious, you came to the right place - we have plenty of tips. 

Clear the floors of small objects children could choke or step on, and keep cooking and cleaning products in elevated or locked storage spaces. Avoid using tablecloths, as children can use them to stand up and knock things off the table. If you have a sharp-edged or glass coffee table, it’s best to remove it or replace it with a steady circular one and supervise the items you place on it. Keep your dishwasher locked as well so your child can’t get their hands on poisonous dish cleaning materials. 

Child locks and outlet plugs are great for keeping children out of lower cupboards and preventing them from interacting with power sockets. Find a way to soften sharp corners and edges, like detachable cushions, to keep your child’s hands and fingers safe. If you have any heavy pieces of furniture that could topple over with a small pull, buy products to secure them. 

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Few homeowners think to safeguards their sheds, but if you have important items in yours, it’s important to protect it from unnecessary damage and potential theft. In this article, we’ll go over a few cheap and effective ways to keep your shed in good shape. 

Before anything else, check your shed for structural strength. If you see any signs of rot or any loose parts, replace them as soon as possible. Seal up any detrimental punctures you find, keep your yard gates closed and locked when not in use, and consider putting tall bushes or spiked plants near your shed to ward off thieves. 

Replace your lock every few years, opting for a heavy duty padlock, electronic keypad, or hasp and staple to keep your shed securely locked. If you have an air conditioning unit in your shed, buy a tool that binds the unit to the shed’s outer wall so a thief cannot remove it and climb inside. Ensuring there are no easy entryways makes your shed an unlikely target for a burglar. 

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A new product has appeared on the US market as a result of BullGuard’s 2016 purchase of Dojo-Labs. 

The team began developing this product three years ago, though it didn’t reach its current oval design, accurate warning system, and smart app connection until 2015. By then, the company allowed interested consumers to pre-order the product. 

Dojo-Labs failed to meets its mid-March shipping goal, and once BullGuard gained ownership of the startup, it assured customers that it would quickly begin shipping the Dojo home security system. It took nine months for that promise to finally be carried out, and only in the US. 

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As summer approaches, so does the need to secure your mobile devices. Going on vacation should be about the experience, but keep in mind that your digital information could be stolen if you’re not careful. 

If you plan to use social media apps or lend your device to your young kids to play games on, use the screen pinning option from the security menu to protect your phone’s information. If you’re going over the border, turn your devices off to avoid them being hijacked. 

Update your device’s software and delete apps you use infrequently before you leave, and turn off your device’s WiFi and Bluetooth functions when you don’t need them. While you’re on vacation, try to stick to using your hotel room’s WiFi or a private network you can safely access. Using WiFi hotspots that don’t have encryption can allow hackers into your devices, but if you must use one, avoid opening up sites or programs that contain personal information while you’re connected. 

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Summer is the ideal time for traveling, and although you’ll want to focus on your vacation while you’re gone, it’s important to secure your home before you leave. Fortunately, recent advances in technology make protecting and checking on your home a breeze. 

Break and enters happen three times every minute in the US, but you can prevent yourself from becoming one of those statistics by using the high-speed network offered by US Cellular to control your home’s lights, alarm system, and smart devices through the new iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S8. 

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After the bombing that killed twenty-two and injured several others, Ariana Grande concertgoers have accused Manchester Arena’s security of being insufficient. 

A male suicide bomber acted independently as fans were exiting the arena after the concert ended, setting off the explosive in the building’s foyer. Some claimed to have seen smoke, glass, and loose nails on the floor accompanied by a combustive scent, and every unharmed person left the venue as quickly as possible. 

Several fans have spoken out about the poor security at Manchester Arena. One woman from the Czech Republic claimed that security guards for the Ariana Grande concert only prevented people from entering with water bottles, rather than checking their bags or coats for other potentially harmful objects. 

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Homeowners should take some precautions this summer to avoid possible theft while on holidays or out of the house for long periods of time. There are many things you can do to secure your home and the things in it.

Use suitable locks - like rim latches and deadlocks - for all exterior doors and windows, and engage these locks every time you leave the house for more than a few minutes. For added security, you can set up an alarm system, which will also lower your insurance payments.

Store any loose keys in a hidden place, and try to avoid putting valuable into large dressers or visible drawers, as thieves will likely look in these places first. Lock up all outdoor machinery to make things more difficult for potential burglars, and take pictures of your possessions to have in case they are stolen.

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Image: F-Secure.com

The tech company F-Secure has developed a security device that has the functions of both a router and advanced software. This device, called SENSE, puts up a shield for all the electronics in your home.

Many people think they only need to protect their computers from potential hackers, but in reality, every device you own that connects to the internet is at risk. A router is the best way to do this. The SENSE is a rhombus-shaped standard model router that contains a system compatible with Windows and Android and runs as fast as 1750Mbit/s.

To link it to your existing router, it comes with an Ethernet plug-in. It has been programmed to prevent hacking attempts and virus plantation by recording all of the household’s online activity. The SENSE comes with an app that gives the user licenses, updates, and remote control of the system. This model’s future functions will include parental
controls, guest Wi-Fi security, and VPN.

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The home security systems ADT, AT&T, and Comcast XFINITY are currently experiencing viral issues, including multi-user WiFi networks and faulty sensors. These issues could be attributed to IoT’s poor security as of late.

Fortunately, hackers cannot overtake these security systems through use of the internet; they need to be within close proximity of that particular system to have any effect. In other words, if you have one of these buggy security systems, you should be safe as long as hackers aren’t lurking outside your property.

If a hacker does gain access to one of the systems, they can shut off sensors and cameras or connect the house’s router to another network. The makers of the affected devices have been notified, and all three claimed to have fixed the problems their products were having.

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Image: Engadget.com

The new device “Lighthouse” is just one of several security cameras equipped with advanced functions like artificial intelligence recognition. It records all activity inside the house it watches over, taking note of who enters and exits at what time of day. If you have a family pet, not to worry - it can even tell humans and animals apart.

Lighthouse answers to voice commands with video clips of the activity you want to see, which is taken in with a 1080p RGB camera. The device also includes a 3D sensor and emergency alarm that goes off when it detects unusual movement. For accurate identification, it can also recognize and tell the difference between human faces.

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With city inhabitants relying on locksmiths to help them get out of dire situations, these locksmiths need to be reputable. But recently, the residents of Minnesota have had unsettling and potentially dangerous encounters with the head locksmith from Metro Lockout.

When Sue Heroff called Todd Shiber of the otherwise trusted company to fix her car tire, he demanded she stay inside as he completed the task, going so far as to prod her with his jack handle. Heroff grew fearful very quickly, afraid Shiber would hurt her.

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The 23,000 customers who purchased digital lottery tickets from Edmonton’s Full House Lottery from February 23rd to May 2nd are being warned that the names and addresses on their credit cards may have been stolen by hackers who infiltrated the website.

Not only are these ticket buyers affected, but the over 5000 that purchased house raffle tickets are also at risk. This occurrence followed a similar credit card information exposure on February 22nd, and nearly one month before that, a separate incident allowed hackers to see a digital list of past ticket buyers.

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When we think mobile security, we think smartphones. Since these mini computers have become such an essential part of our everyday lives, it’s no wonder that personal security, in relation to these devices, has become such a major concern. Recent news even revealed that Android has officially beat out Windows as the most used system in relation to Internet use!

Tablets have also taken on a greater role in many people’s homes and/or businesses. Since we still don’t use tablets as much as our smartphones, we often don’t pay enough attention to their security features and we would all do well to brush up on the cybersecurity elements of these devices.

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Cognitive Systems, a Waterloo-based security company founded in 2014, has recently developed something that could revolutionize the way we protect our homes. The device is called Aura, and it detects intruders by monitoring the movements of the beings inside the house.

Before this, only cameras, sensors, and a few microphones were available to the public for domicile security, but they need to be strategically placed, and even the newest ones aren’t all that advanced. What separates Aura from other products is the way in which it senses motion. You can install it in your bathroom and have no privacy concerns.

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Senior citizens often prefer to maintain their independence for as long as possible, but living alone can put them in a dangerous spot if an emergency occurs. A great way to ensure your senior family member’s safety is to set up an automatic security system for their home.

Some security systems can detect empty rooms and switch off lights or running devices, keeping the residence safe and energy-conservative. They can also notify homeowners when there are potential threats outside the house or when guests exit the building.

Surveillance cameras are extremely useful for checking on the home, inside and out. They can be connected to your smartphone so you can see the footage remotely and ensure the seniors in your life are safe.

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The majority of bike thefts unsurprisingly occur in public places, and you could be the next victim. To protect your bike, follow these locking tips to ensure your bike’s security every time.

Register your bike with your city as soon as you can. You’ll receive a labelled sticker to attach to the frame, which helps ward off potential thieves and distinguish your bike from others if it ever goes missing.

When you go to park your bike, choose a safe location with good lighting; bike racks and grounded posts near stores are good options. Make sure to bring the bike’s frame the nearest it can get to the post you’re locking it to. Secure your bike with at least two locks, preferably a cable lock and a small U-lock, for added protection. Picking one lock is hard enough, so it’s unlikely someone will try to pick two.

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After decades of cracking codes and cracking jokes, Phil “Drill Bits” Hobbs died in his hometown of Meriden. He dedicated his life to picking locks, making people smile, and teaching them about religion, having started Phil’s Lockshop and joining the First Assembly of God.

Born in the town of Maine, he went to Farmington High School and broke the state’s pole vault record, maintaining his status for over a decade. He wasn’t limited to just track and field, however, playing football and softball before eventually serving in the army. Post-war, Hobbs finally turned his focus to locksmithing.

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Excitement among software hackers is palpable upon the introduction of several new shortcuts that allow access to Microsoft Windows computers, though owners of said computers are understandably concerned.

It seems that The Shadow Brokers, a popular group in the hacker community, is responsible for seizing these hacks from the NSA, whose workers are required to tear holes in software for spying purposes.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened. The first round of hacks was leaked by the same group in August 2016. This second hit, however, may well be the most detrimental hit to the NSA that we know of.

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Imagine this Situation:Locked out of your home or car, you are in a pickle and call the first locksmith you come across in a google search. But this could be both a bad and expensive idea.

In fact, you could have just called a rogue locksmith and there’s no way of knowing that until they show up.

It has unfortunately happened where homeowners or car owners are taken advantage of and have had to pay hundreds to access their home.

The Lesson? Beware of prices that look too good to be true. What may happen is a locksmith will inform you that the price has gone up because it will take longer than expected.

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