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Police Have Now Entered the Age of Social Networking

July 1, 2014
social networking and police
Organizations can no longer ignore social media, and police departments are no exception. In fact, there have been a number of high-profile cases in the news recently where police have used social networking as a tool to a catch a criminal or get its community involved.

Building Trust and Goodwill

Police departments often have social programs in place that help them connect with the community. These efforts help to build goodwill and trust, and help to avoid the disconnect that can sometimes occur between law enforcement and the people it is charged with protecting. Today, police have better access to their communities than ever through tools like Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps the neatest aspect of the police using social media is that they can actually reach people who would not otherwise pay attention by disseminating information that goes viral.

Social Media Departments

A recent survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police found that more than 96 percent of all police departments surveyed were using social media in some manner. Additionally, 80 percent of those departments indicated that those efforts helped solve and prevent crimes, and more than 73 percent indicated that they already had or had plans in place for an internal department that did nothing but specialize in social media and the various resources within that domain.


Traditionally, it has been very difficult for police departments to receive worthwhile feedback from their constituents. Communicating with the police can be intimidating and inconvenient, and a lone voice offering a suggestion or criticism is rarely heard. Today, however, police use blogs, Twitter and even forums in Ask Me Anything formats to answer questions and receive criticism. When a criticism or suggestion has an entire community behind it, then it becomes very difficult to ignore.

Solving Crimes

Although it has not reached the Supreme Court yet, there is legal precedent in the United States to suggest that a person no longer has a right to privacy for any information shared via a social channel online. This extends to information shared with the belief that the channel was private, such as posting a photo on a Facebook page that is only accessible by family and friends. There is a lot of evidence that can be used to solve crimes floating around on services like Facebook, and if police can get just one person who has access to provide them with that information, then they have a legal right to it.

Getting Creative

Police can also be proactive about acquiring that kind of information, and so-called stings can extend to the online arena. For instance, it is legal for police to create a false online persona, befriend an alleged criminal and then use that friendship to acquire the evidence needed to prosecute. Some departments have also used social networking as a deterrent for crimes. Traditionally, police departments would publish the names of people who solicited prostitutes in the newspaper. Since that is no longer effective, some departments have turned to publishing those names and photos via Twitter.

Tips for Avoiding Shark Attacks

June 15, 2014
Shark Attack
We shudder every time a new report comes out that someone else has been bitten – or worse — by a shark. As devastating as shark attacks are, they’re also quite rare. Oceana reports that the odds of being attacked by a shark are one in over 11 million. In fact, you have a better chance of dying from drowning or getting involved in an accident on the way to the beach. There are more reported fatalities from getting hit in the head with a coconut than there are from being bitten by a shark.

That said, no one wants to gamble that they won’t be that one out of 11 million people who come face-to-face with a shark. The good news is there are things we can do to lessen our chances.

1. Avoid swimming during early morning, early evening and nighttime hours. These are the times sharks are most active.
2. Stay out of the water if you’re bleeding. This includes bleeding from a fresh wound or if you’re menstruating. Sharks can detect blood in the water from over a mile away.
3. Keep away from fishing boats. Freshly caught fish bleed, as do live bait.
4. Don’t swim alone. Sharks are statistically less likely to attack groups of people. Also, if you’re alone and you do get attacked, you have less of a chance of getting the help you need.
5. Don’t swim in murky waters. Sharks are more likely to mistake you for their natural prey, and you’ll be less likely to see them coming.
6. Take all metallic items off before you enter the water, especially jewelry. Light-catching surfaces attract a shark’s attention.
7. Wear dark swimwear. Sharks can only distinguish between light and dark and light-colored swimwear outlines your body and makes you easier for them to see.
8. Stay out of the water if there are large groups of dolphins or seabirds present. They’re attracted to the same prey sharks are. That means if the dolphins and birds are getting a meal, sharks are likely to show up for one, too. In addition, dolphins themselves can be prey to large sharks.
9. Leave the water if you see fish and turtles behaving erratically. They may be doing so because a shark is nearby.
10. Stay away from swimming at the mouth of rivers after a heavy rainfall. The rain sweeps freshwater fish and other animals out to sea, attracting hungry sharks.
11. Try to avoid splashing excessively. Splashing imitates the sounds and movements a prey in distress makes.

As a home security company, we’re interested in you continued safety, even away from home. If you see a shark near you, remain calm. Only defend yourself if you sense an attack is unavoidable. If it is, prepare to fight back. Keep your eyes trained on him. Hit him in the nose, eyes and gills. Avoid using your bare hands and feet if possible. If you are bitten, fight aggressively. While some sharks attack twice, many won’t. Seek help immediately but remain calm and resist panicking.

​​Wedding Safety Tips For The Modern World

June 10, 2014
wedding safety tips
Weddings and receptions are classic ways of cementing and celebrating a newly married couple’s life together. From upbeat music to cutting the cake, the day is filled with excitement, laughter and friends. However, there is a dark side to this celebration. Criminals and wedding crashers often take advantage of distracted guests and the married couple themselves by stealing gifts or breaking into homes. Follow a few safety tips to keep this perfect day as wonderful as possible.

Arrange A House Sitter

Although your guests are the only ones who know about your wedding details, your entire neighborhood could know the ceremony’s set date. Knowing that you’ll be out of the house all day, criminals find this information perfect for a lucrative robbery. Designate a house sitter for the entire wedding day. To make it even safer, notify your security company that a house sitter is the only person present. If an issue arises, the company knows the situation is serious.

Pick Location Carefully

Well before your wedding day, select your ceremony and reception locations carefully. You want a secure area, such as a fenced-in space, to avoid any issues with unwanted characters. Security is especially important for urban events. Cities often have close quarters with unwanted people nearby. With locked doors and security measures in place, you can have a safe wedding without anyone showing up unannounced. Consider having the wedding and reception in the same location to keep everyone safely within one building or property.

Inevitable Wedding Crashers

There may be an unwanted guest trying to sneak in, whether to meet with other people or to actually steal from the event. Be aware of who is at your reception. If a person looks unfamiliar, have them escorted out immediately. For a safer event, hire a bouncer or large security guard to keep crashers out. They may appear to be harmless, but you don’t want to take a risk on your special day.

No Gift Table

The gift table is a magnet for thieves. From loose gift cards to lucrative appliances, this table doesn’t even need to be part of the event anymore. Ask guests to ship or bring their gifts to the home before the ceremony. They’ll be safely with the house sitter. If guests want to bring money as their gift, plan on touring all the reception tables to receive the envelopes personally.

Keep Social Media Chatter Quiet

You may want to document all of your festivities on social media, but avoid posting pictures and updates until after the date. Although your home is secure, your bridesmaids and groomsmen could have empty homes. If thieves know that people aren’t home, they can easily strip a house clean of all valuables. Keep all of your guests safe with social media updates that are posted the next day.

By being selectively private with event information and smart about receiving gifts, you can avoid wedding theft. Keep your eyes open for any issues all day or even designate a friend to be on guard. You want everyone to be safe and happy as you embark on your new journey with your spouse.