Security Problems with Cheap Smart Doorbells Set Alarms Ringing

pic courtesy of Marjan Blan Instagram: @marjanblan, doorbell, broken doorbell, access control, Thinking of buying yourself a Smart Doorbell as a gift this Christmas? It’s a good idea, they’re rally handy devices to have, but beware of low quality products.

If you really want to treat yourself don’t scrimp and invest in the best quality goods you can afford. And that’s not just the advice coming from the marketing department! Surveys of good bought online from such retailers as eBay and Amazon discovered that many goods which are in the “affordable” end of the pool come with multiple security risks which could put your home and data in more danger than you ever would have had if you’d just stick to a good old fashioned Yale or mortis lock.

The devices which were reviewed weren’t just inferior products, they included goods which sent photos, usernames, passwords, GPS data and emails back to the manufacturer, all for no discernible reason. This is all data it’s necessary to input into the device for it to work properly, but you certainly don’t want it being shared unfiltered and unbeknownst to you with anyone.

Which? and NCC Group bought 11 video doorbells on the most popular sales platforms. Despite all looking very similar to one-another they were from a range of manufacturers, and all had prices which were remarkably competitive when compared to well known brands such as Amazon Ring or Nest on Google Home. Read more

The Origin Of Home Security Systems

Marie Van Brittan Brown, home security system, security, Did you know that the first home security system was invented by a nurse way back in 1966?
Marie Van Brittan Brown was a nurse in Queens, NYC, consequently she worked irregular hours in an area which, at the time was a target for crime. However, despite having a high crime rate the police couldn’t always be relied upon and the first 911 emergency switchboard wasn’t introduced to the United States until 1968, and it was in Alabama, not much use to a lady in New York! If you had an emergency first you had to find a phone, since not many homes had their own telephones installed back then, find the number for the local police station, and call up and ask for assistance. (It’s worth noting that the UK had its own emergency number, 999, from the 1930s.)

Mrs Van Brittan Brown started off by drilling three holes in her front door, one for tall people, one for average height people, and the last so she could see kids. Rather than go to the door every time someone knocked, she decided that it would be more efficient if she could use a camera hooked up to a wireless monitor to see who was at the door in case it wasn’t anyone she wanted to open the door to anyway, and so the wireless security camera was invented! Mrs Van Brittan Brown’s husband Albert was an electronics engineer, so it wasn’t hard for them to develop the concept further by adding a microphone and speaker together with an electronic device which could release the latch and allow people in simply by using a remote control. Read more

Protecting Your Ring Camera From Hackers

smart home security, cctv camera, home cctv, home security,Amazon’s Ring Smart Doorbells and access control have been under scrutiny over the past couple of months because of lapses in security. Most customers have nothing to worry about thanks to several factors, including the scarcity of people with the expertise to be able to bypass the security settings which are in place if customers follow the installation instructions carefully.

However, if you buy a Ring doorbell and don’t update and personalise the security features it’s not very difficult for anyone with a mobile phone to be able to breech your home security systems. As Smart devices, including home security and monitoring become ever more popular it’s natural that the number of devices which are installed poorly or not personalised at all is going to increase. Such an increase makes it possible for the wannabee hacker to travel around looking for systems worth infiltrating and exploiting.

Controlling Who Can Go Where

You can give access to your Ring account to a number of different people who will them be able to talk to visitors, let people in, and watch in real time as people move about from their phones or tablets. It makes more sense to add users from an admin than give log in details to others, so for example if you have friends or family come to stay, or you want to give people staying at your house via AirBnB access, you can add them or remove them without having to pass on any log-in details. Read more

Need To Know Who’s Calling Before You Go To The Door? Talk To Us About Access Control

security door control access monitorHome security is a high priority for many of us today. Crime figures for burglary and vandalism are falling across the UK and many think that’s because of the security measures householders take to ward off intruders before they’re tempted to break in or damage our property. Naturally physical barriers are the bluntest tool to use in protecting our homes but a steel shutter over the front door doesn’t look very appealing. The next best thing to deter would-be thieves is a comprehensive security lighting and camera system which would rather more discreetly tell people to keep moving. However, some people still don’t find these to be subtle enough.

Nobody wants to live in a prison, and locking your home up like Fort Knox is no way to live. So what is the best way to keep an eye on your front door without making your visitors feel like they’re entering the Big Brother House when they drop by to call?

The access control that Briant Communications sell would appear to be the perfect solution. We supply and fit intercoms which look exactly like any other bell push, only ours come with a few extras as standard. So let’s compare and contrast. Read more

Making Everyday Life Easier Isn’t A Luxury For Those With Disability

Child watching television in a lounge filled with furniture.It’s thought that up to 1000,000,000 alive today have some form of disability, that’s 14.3% of the world’s population who have trouble performing tasks that the able bodied are able to do without much effort.

With that number of people struggling it makes sense that technology should be deployed to make life easier, which is why we need to stop thinking about Smart home solutions as a luxury for those who can afford it, but a necessity for those who need it.

Jaquelline Fuller of Google.org, Google’s charitable arm, said that “historically people living with a disability have relied on technologies that were often bulky, expensive and limited to assisting with one or two tasks. But that’s to change. Together we can create a better world, faster.” So, as we see further developments in connected home devices, the more we see how they can be deployed in such a way that helps those who have trouble seeing, hearing, reaching or even moving a great deal.

Lifestyle Isn’t Luxury

Many devices exist which are a welcome addition to the array of goods which people suffering from mobility and sensory disability will appreciate, yet they’re not marketed at these people because to get the best bang from the buck, marketing departments overlook people with disabilities because they are regarded as a low take-up group with too small a budget/income. Instead the obvious advantages they have for these people are sublimated to the convenience that the devices hold for cash rich time poor individuals for whom total automation and intuitive voice control are the holy grail. Gimmicky gadgets detract from the advances that Smart devices are making. Newspapers and magazine writers take delight in mocking the latest innovations, often because they solve a problem that the writers take for granted or don’t look at from any angle beside face value. Because of this Smart devices are considered luxury goods or needless developments that boffins come up with simply because they can. However, a lot of that ‘luxury’ technology is a godsend for people who know the limitations of living in a world which isn’t designed for them. Read more

What You Should Be Putting On Your Wireless Wishlist

With Christmas coming, what could be a better time to start thinking about your IoT and wireless enabled Smart home? With so many Internet of Things devices available, and your Christmas list still looking scant, maybe ‘new tech’ should be your standard answer whenever anyone asks what you want. Better to ask for a smart home hub and get a smart switch than saying ‘Oh, I don’t know, anything you get me would be lovely’ and ending up with another ugly Christmas jumper.

With Smart home technology you can take complete control of a vast range of different gadgets and consumer durables from anywhere on earth with an internet connection. Or you can sit in the comfort of your own front room and control everything from blinds, lights, air conditioning and heating, CCTV and an intercom, all by simply calling out and telling the house what you want it to do. (If you’re struggling to justify the cost of replacing perfectly good tech that you bought five minutes ago which isn’t Smart, offset the cost by selling your superannuated goods on Gumtree or eBay. You make a bit of the money back, save landfill and someone gets some lovely gadgets for a great price.) Read more