A burglary takes place every 14.6 seconds in the U.S. Most of these burglaries take place between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Those statistics from the Washington Post are alarming enough, but here’s another one that may help you decide that it’s time to invest in your own home security system. 

Fifty percent of victims had their house burglarized a second time, usually within 30 days. 

Before you become a statistic, here are a few more facts about home security systems with cameras that can help you decide which type of security system you need. 

Smart Doorbell Systems

Smart doorbell camera systems let you monitor who is at your front door from anywhere. See when someone drops off a package at your house and keep a video record of all visitors.

Some will allow you to talk with the person on your doorstep. Others simply record the video of what’s going on.

They attach to your doorbell and when triggered by someone ringing the bell or tripping a motion sensor (across the walkway as a rule). You are notified and can answer on your phone.

Most of these are easy DIY systems that use your existing doorbell wiring. A few run on rechargeable batteries, but most work with the standard 16-volt transformer. If you aren’t comfortable troubleshooting electrical issues, you might still want to get this professionally installed.

Total Home Security Systems with Cameras

Your front door isn’t the only part of your home that should be secured. Today’s perimeter protection systems also feature flexible camera setups. 

Outdoor Camera Systems

While indoor security camera systems are as popular today as adorable pet videos on YouTube, when it comes to home security, the place to start is outside.

There are a variety of different camera brands and styles to choose from, from single “bullet” cameras to those you can monitor in real time that pan and tilt. You will need to determine what the “coverage angle” of each camera is to figure out how many cameras you need for your perimeter. 

The other major decision you’ll need to make with your outdoor cameras is determining what light levels you need. There are cameras that record “infrared” motion and some that turn on lights when triggered so true camera recordings can be achieved. Cameras are also increasingly sensitive and can capture more than shadows upon shadows in very low-light situations. 

Remember the leading statistic about burglaries, however. Most of them occur in broad daylight when there is the most likelihood that no one will be home. While many security camera salesmen tout their expensive “night-vision” systems, you need to weigh that heavily against your budget

Wireless Camera Systems

Regardless of the type of camera, a true wireless camera setup is preferred for outdoors. A camera is considered “wireless” if it transmits over Wi-Fi or if it doesn’t need to be plugged in. A true wireless setup is both. 

The other major decision you’ll need to make about your home camera setup is whether you want a done for you (DFY) system or a DIY project. Do you want to invest in one of the major monitoring programs (like ADT or Vivent)? Or, do you want to set up and operate your own independent system? 

All Around Motion Detectors

Most security camera systems are based on motion detection. Rather than have a static camera feed that captures real-time footage, these systems are only triggered by some kind of action. There are seven major types of motion detection systems. You can learn more about that here. 

1. Passive Infrared Sensors

Passive Infrared Sensors detect the infrared light in objects; warm bodies emit IR radiation that it reads. It then emits electricity that activates the alarm. They don’t pass through glass, so you won’t get a lot of false positives from someone moving around in the house. 

2. Tomographic Motion Detector

This new form of tech detects movement in an area through a mesh network of radio waves. It has nodes that you install in the area you want to protect which communicate with one another on a radio frequency. You can hide them from view and can cover up to 5,000 sq. ft. They pass through walls and obstructions. They operate on 2.4 Ghz, similar to wireless networks.

3. Microwave Detectors

A microwave detector also emits radiation. This one also creates a field between the transmitter and the receiver, but it uses electromagnetic waves. Any disturbance in the zome sets off the alarm. They have a long range of 400-1,500 sq. ft. They detect motion through walls and around corners so they are prone to false alarms. Your pets can trigger them. Their field doesn’t penetrate metals creating a dead zone behind metal.

4. Ultrasonic Detectors

These sensors use echolocation to detect motion, like bats. It’s a very sensitive motion detector which means its also very prone to false positives. Your pets may also be able to hear the sound waves which could irritate them. They’re great for offices with a lot of obstructions.

5. Photoelectric Beams

Photoelectric beams don’t have a coverage area like the rest of the motion detectors. They form a fence around the perimeter instead. An alarm is triggered if something breaches this fence made of IR beams. They’re great for outdoor use (if you choose one that can withstand the weather in your area). They catch intruders earlier than any other system.

6. Glass Break Detectors

If someone breaks some glass to gain entrance to your house, this detector will pick up on it. That’s because breaking glass generates ultrasonic and infrared frequency vibrations. When this system detects those it triggers an alarm. Place it next to your doors and windows because it does have a limited radius.

7. Magnetic Switches

This type of motion detector is also for doors and windows. The alarm is sounded whenever someone opens the door or windows breaking the connection between the piece attached to the glass and the piece attached to the frame.

Securing Your Home and Family

You can choose to design your home security system around a certain camera type, or around the motion type most likely to trigger the system. Which way you choose to start isn’t as important as making the decision to choose home security systems with cameras. 

Being able to see, and potentially capture a home burglary on video is an important step in being able to solve the crime. That’s why the cameras are such an asset. In the end, though, protecting your family is the real reason to invest in any home security system. 

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6 Reasons Why Your Website Sucks (and What You Can Do About It)

Have you ever browsed the website of a big company like Dell or Samsung? Were you impressed with how easily you found what you were looking for, despite the all the complexity of their product lines? I guess you probably were. These websites are built to the highest of professional standards. And as a result, the user experience is seamless.

But all too often, startups fail to emulate the seamlessness generated by the big companies. What seems like it should be straightforward and easy turns out to be a lot more complicated than they imagined. Here are some of the reasons why your website sucks and what you can do about it.

1. Boring headlines

In a world that’s full of low brow content and click-bait, it can be hard for your business to compete. People will click on titles that they find the most titillating, rather than the most informative. Titles which aren’t attractive aren’t going to attract much attention on the internet. They might interest specialists, but not the general public.

Making the titles on your website sexier is an easy first step to making your site more attractive. The next step is to include interesting images and perhaps infographics to reel in even more people. Often it’s just about keeping up with what others in your industry are doing, just to enable you to compete.

2. No blog

If you’ve spent any time browsing the sites of smaller companies, you’ll have noticed a trend over the last few years. They all have blogs. No longer is blogging reserved for foodies and disgruntled youth. It’s a tool that practically everybody is using to drive traffic to their websites. But why?

It all comes down to content. First off, search engines love new content. In fact, they take it into consideration every time they calculate your site’s ranking.

But also, the people looking for your product will probably want to read more about it. That’s why you’ll often find blogs on the sites of companies that sell complex products.

Legal firms, for example, make a point of running blogs that explain how their processes work in layman’s terms. It’s all designed to be helpful, accessible content for potential customers.

3. No website marketing plan

Your website is like the display window at the front of a department store. It’s the public facing part of your business. And it’s got to look good. But all too often, startup websites aren’t fronts for their brands. They’re generic templates that look as if they’ve been thrown together in five minutes.

Building brand identity through your website is an essential part of building a successful business. Because it’s your website that the public and other businesses see, this is what defines you. That’s why it’s so important that it’s good.

Take a couple of hours thinking about exactly what information you want to communicate through your website. What should it be saying about your business? And are there any graphics or logos that you should include to make it consistent?

4. Being too modest

The internet is full of people unashamedly screaming out for attention. Sometimes what they have to offer is good. But most of the time, the content itself is far from ideal.

The problem for the startup, however, is being heard above the noise. This is challenging enough in itself. But often startups will be further hamstrung because they are too modest to seek publicity.

The key to generating interest in your website is to tell your story. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, of course. It just has to be the story about why your company is unique.

Customers are most interested in your story than you realise. Stories are what draws them into your firm’s brand. It’s what gives customers an affinity with you do. And it’s what gives them something to believe in.

If your startup is an ethical company, you can build this ethical aspect into your brand by telling a story. Perhaps you wanted to set up a chain of healthy, fast-food restaurants because you objected to what the big corporates were doing. This is the type of story that people can really get on board with. And it’s the sort of thing that will align them with your brand.

5. Failing to list on established sites

Even if you do everything right, your website may still get lost in among the billions of pages on the internet. That’s why it’s worth using more established sites to get a leg up.

The first thing that you can do is make comments on other sites. The goal here isn’t necessarily to build links. It’s to create engaging, helpful and meaningful content that will build reputation. As your name floats around the internet, this will divert more traffic to your website and help improve its visibility.

The second thing that you can do is write articles and try to get them published on other websites. This will mean that more people will come into contact with your message. And more potential customers are likely to want to know more about you by going to your website. Guest blogging is an excellent way to get your site known to another site’s audience.

The third thing that you can do is connecting your site through popular social media channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all being used right now by businesses to promote their websites and their content.

6. Failing to use pay-per-click advertising

In the early days, very few people will visit your site, if any. The majority of your business will be done through word of mouth and recommendations. But there are limits to that kind of growth in a digital economy. And that’s why pay-per-click advertising is so important.

Essentially, PPC funnels interested customers to your website, dramatically increasing traffic. PPC is moderately expensive for a startup. But it’s something that can be tapered down once you build your reputation and traffic increases naturally. Often PPC advertising pays for itself. Most small businesses will use something like Google Adwords.

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Keep Your Business Competitive With These Technological Must-Haves

Running a business in 2016 is a fascinating and complex endeavour. The truth is, the world of business is unlike it has ever been before. Not only is it more competitive than ever, but the rules seem to be getting looser and looser.

If you want to succeed in business today, you need to know how to adapt continually to a changing environment. As long as you remain fair, and consistent in your vision, you can do more or less whatever you please. And that is very good news indeed for anyone looking after a company.

Part of the process of keeping up-to-date with the world of business is taking on the latest technologies. This doesn’t mean that you have to religiously follow every new trend. Indeed, if you did, people would likely think less of you and your business as a result. But it does mean that you should be taking advantage of what technology is available.

At the end of the day, you should be using whatever is available to make your business a viable competitive force in the world today. But nor is it just about being competitive. It also makes little sense to ignore certain technological advances. If they are cost-effective, and they provide a means for you to do what you do quicker and easier – then that’s just good business.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the top technological must-haves for your business this year.

Productivity tools

One of the most important aspects of running a business is ensuring that your time, and your staff’s time, is used effectively. After all, you are paying them their wage – you need to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.

That’s why it’s important to keep their productivity high. This is just good business. Fortunately, there is technology available which enables you to make the most of the time spent in the office.

Programs such as OneNote allow you to keep a much more organised digital workspace. This is great news. Too much of our time at work is wasted on trying to find the right documents for any given task.

With OneNote, you have a user-friendly, easy way of keeping everything together which needs to be together. That way, you can spend more time working.

Even if you just make this change for your own computer, your business will see a dramatic improvement in its productivity levels. Not only that, but you can use that same software to keep tabs on the productivity of your employees. How’s that for a versatile piece of software?

The cloud

Long gone are the days when you would have to copy over files from one computer to another. Thank goodness – we all remember the hassle of having to email files, or put them on a flash drive. And if the files were too big, then it could prove to be a real nightmare.

Flash drives have their place, of course. But for a sprawling business which is only set on growing bigger, they do not serve all that much purpose. Any growing business needs a method of transferring files which is fast and easy to use. It is also a huge benefit if location doesn’t matter at all.

Part of the reason for this is that growing businesses often need to have more than one location in which to do their business. If you have started kitting out a second office, then you might be worrying about data transference.

Don’t – with the cloud, it’s no problem at all. The cloud allows you to have all your files available on any connected device, immediately. There are not even any transfer times, because it is just waiting at your disposal for you to connect to.

This is the kind of technology that business has been waiting for for many years. A few years ago, this would have seemed like a dream. Now it’s a dream come true.

The main beauty of the cloud is that it is easy to use. But even if you – or any members of staff – are struggling with it, then don’t worry. There is always a helping hand available. Consider icloud sign in for all your cloud needs. Chances are, you will have your answer in moments.

Social media

Any business owner worth their weight in salt knows the overbearing importance of marketing. The way you put your business forward into the public view says a lot about your enterprise. It also dictates, to a large extent, how successful you are likely to be as a company.

Marketing should be considered as one of the primary arms of your business. Of course, the methods involved in marketing are varied. And with the advent of certain technological advances, marketing is now more effective than ever. Nowhere is this plainer than in the world of social media.

Social media is a real godsend for business owners in today’s world. With social media, you have a tool which enables you to get your message directly into people’s homes (and pockets). Not only that, but you don’t even have to pay a penny. Unless you want to, of course, in which case, it is even more effective.

Social media allow you to project your brand image however you like, day and night, to millions upon millions of people all around the globe. Never before has there been a marketing tool so immediately effective. Truly, any business would be insane not to consider social media a central part of their marketing strategy.

If you run a business, and you want it to be a competitive force in today’s world, then getting engaged in social media is an absolute must. Ensure that your business has accounts on all the main sites.

But more than that – use them! The key to successful social marketing is a lively, healthy interactivity with the general public. Take the opportunity to present your company in a bold and exciting manner. The people will find it hard to forget your brand in a hurry – and that is the name of the game.

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