Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

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Apartment Security

Why go with a Wireless Security System?

…able it. However, do not let this turn you away, because when installed right, a wireless system has many benefits: Full remote access from your smartphone or any connected device. Easy install and easy removal if you are an apartment dweller. Wireless systems can be as robust as wired and include security cameras. You may be a candidate for wireless if: You want to feel safer checking on the status of your home before going inside after being…

How to freeze your Child’s Credit

Identity thieves are after children’s Social Security numbers. With this number, a thief can do so many things like open a credit card account and rent an apartment. Kids’ SSNs have great appeal to crooks because: A child’s record is usually very clean. This means fertile opportunities for new credit lines. Kids usually don’t check their credit reports and thus the fraud can go undetected for years. Parents should consider putting a freeze on…

How Water Leak Sensors protect your Home

…the dishwasher and washing machine are among the many sources of potential leaks. Obviously, a hot water heater can leak. A leak can also emanate from the plumbing of a toilet. Roofs leak all the time. Your neighbor in your apartment/condo may spring a leak. Though a water leak may sound like a minor nuisance, it can actually be very costly if unchecked. A worst case scenario is an untreated leak causing mold to proliferate in the house’s walls…

How to secure your Apartment

I love that show, “Forensic Files.” Every so often there’s the case of a person who was found murdered in their apartment due to some forced entry. Which brings me to the topic of apartment security. New Apartment Don’t delay in doing a walk-through of the entire premises, including the laundry room (where a crime can occur after a creep spots a vulnerable-looking woman enter the unlocked room). Take note of any portals through which a burglar…

10 Ways our Privacy is invaded

…there is the old fashioned way of intruding upon someone’s privacy: stalking them (on foot or via car), or peering into their house’s windows. Reverse peephole. A person could tamper with a peephole on a house’s front door, apartment door or a hotel door, then be able to see what’s going on inside. Remote access technology can be malware installed on your device designed to extract all your sensitive data. Make sure to keep your devices…

Summer of Home Invasions

Even three men in a house aren’t immune to a home invasion, as was the case in Bedford, Massachusetts recently, says a report at boston.cbslocal.com. Three men broke into the apartment’s second floor at 2 a.m. and attacked the three male occupants. Three men, especially when one has a gun, really don’t care what gender the occupants are. In fact, one of the residents was shot in the leg, and the three intruders are on the loose. However, police…

Tips to destroy and shred

…the way, anything with your signature can be a gem to the dumpster diver, as your signature can be forged. Diving for Dollars Dumpster diving is legal if the trash can is in a public spot including the big trash bin at your apartment complex. Dumpster divers aren’t necessarily homeless men dressed in rags looking for discarded food. They may be professional identity thieves, and if they’re extra smart, they’ll dress like a vagrant to fool…

Protect your Packages from Theft

…over it. Small boxes can be placed under the foliage, hidden from thieves. Arrange for UPS, if that’s the delivery company, to alert you with a text or e-mail when the delivery is imminent. Another option, if you live in an apartment or condo is to have the delivery made to the front office. Additional Safeguards If you want a package picked up from your place, don’t leave it outside. Surely there’s a way around this, such as bringing it to a…

Burglar Leaves Porn in Kid’s Bedroom

Maybe you’ve heard of burglars stealing porn…but leaving it at the victim’s house? A man in Salem, Oregon, broke into a woman’s apartment, leaving behind a porn video in a seven-year-old girl’s bedroom. Police think the man broke in earlier and hid in the girl’s closet, then made his move soon after midnight, replacing the cartoon film in the DVD with a porn film. Three miles away another break-in occurred, but the man fled after the female…

Home Security in a “Blink”

…uely appealing, in that users can truly place it anywhere–on a bookshelf or desk, flush on the wall, or in a corner–without having to worry about the nearest outlet, or unsightly wires draped across their home or apartment. Make it easy to customize and manage. Blink allows users to create a system that suits their lifestyle. Want to make sure your garage is safe? Arm Blink’s motion detection, and receive an alert and video clip if a…

Early Detection Will Save Your Life

…. Preparation Safety begins by getting a smoke detector that always stays activated, even when you’re cooking. The device is designed to detect smoke first, not fire, for a reason. If the alarm goes off, get out of the house/apartment before your lungs get poisoned. And stay out. Call 9-1-1 from outside. For the hearing impaired and heavy sleepers, smoke detectors are available that flash lights and set off a vibration beneath a pillow. What…

Burglary leads to Murder

…rk in Manatee. Then she’d go straight home and walk her dog. One day, she was waiting for her son, Charles Van Orden, 61, to call at 9 pm as he did every night to check on her. She didn’t answer, so Charles went to her small apartment next day and found his mother’s dead body in the living room. The suspect in the murder is Richard Wayne Matthews, Jr., 32. Charles believes his mother was killed for her credit cards, purse and car. The victim’s…

Home Invasion ends in Death

A man died at the hands of two intruders who invaded his home in Sacramento County recently. The 30-year-old victim had been shot. According to witnesses, two intruders barged into the apartment, then shot the man, but not before stealing some of his belongings. Can something like this be prevented? Most likely, even though we don’t have the details. How were the intruders able to force their way into the apartment in the first place? Did the…

Hidden Covert Cameras found in Woman’s Home

…placed by a stalker. She discovered something odd when she one day set the alarm; it wasn’t her clock. Stories like this are happening more commonly. Recently a Kansas City, Missouri woman discovered 11 hidden cameras in her apartment—placed there by her landlord. As for Muscara, turns out a good friend of hers (whom she had initially refused to suspect) had put in the camera clock. It’s common to not know you’re being stalked, or if you do, not…

Kim Kardashian’s Identity Theft Case cracked

…better: Authorities linked Flores to fraudulent activity involving Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton, U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton and former FBI director Robert Mueller. The flash drive was discovered in Flores’ apartment by the Secret Service. In it was the bank and credit card accounts, credit reports and SSNs of all the victims named prior, but also those of Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Beyoncé Knowles, plus other…

3 Essential Post-Burglary Tasks

…urance claim. Clean up Burglary and home invasions can have long lasting emotional and traumatic affects on a person. Your goal here is a fresh start so the impact of the robbery doesn’t take over your being. If your home or apartment develops a “black cloud”, then moving may be your only consolation. After the police are finished, clean up. Promptly remove furnishings or appliances that are no longer functional, as these will otherwise serve as…

Home Invasion results in Child Casualties

Two young girls died after a man broke into their second-story Cleveland apartment and set it afire. This was after the man forced the 55-year-old babysitter (the children’s’ aunt) into a bathroom, where she remained—until she began smelling smoke. Then she fled to outside and later reported that the man had started the fire. Ironically, in the week prior, the victims’ mother had been robbed at gunpoint. The man who broke in and the man who…

15 Tips to protect holiday packages from theft

…nds an e-mail or text message to the customer just prior to package arrival; it will be rerouted if nobody is home. Insist that the driver leave the package in an inconspicuous area. Have the driver leave the package at your apartment’s or condo’s office. Retrieve your mail as quickly as possible after delivery. If you can’t retrieve it daily, have a trusted person get it. If you’re traveling, have the post office hold your mail until you get…

Digital wallets will save us!

When you leave your home or apartment in the morning, you might pack up a small bag of whatever you need for the day, which might change daily. But what doesn’t change is the three things you always have, and that’s your keys, mobile device and wallet. They are three essentials we can’t function without. Fortunately, at least two out of the three are going away. Many locks for homes, businesses and doors are keyless, using a touchpad or…

Prepare now for device and data theft

…risks by keeping your devices close when riding the subway or on a bus. Never put down your devices and walk away, such as in an airport or coffee shop. Lock all doors in rooms where your devices reside, including in a home, apartment, dorm or office. Lock/locate/wipe: There are numerous tools available to lock your device if it isn’t password protected (which it had better be!), locate via a GPS or internet/WiFi connection, and wipe the data…

House Keys for the Kids…When Your Children are Ready

Education.com reports that according to the U.S. census, one third of all school-age children in the United States are, for some part of the week, latchkey kids—that is, they go home to an empty house or apartment. The total number may be between five and seven million children between five and 13 years old. (I say five is just way too young.) Anyway, the Census Bureau found that 15 percent were home alone before school, 76 percent after…

Top 10 Components of the Ultimate Home Security System

…ions to control the system from any tablet, mobile phone, computer or laptop. 10. Sensors for light control, fire, carbon monoxide, extreme heat or freezing. All of this can be had for under $500 if you have a small house or apartment; as you add more rooms, it adds up. I have most of this above, and it was around two grand for my 3000 sq ft home—and it was, and is, worth every dollar. Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to…

Know the 10 Warning Signs of Identity Theft

…hard to earn honest livings. When their personal information was compromised, thieves opened up financial accounts in their victims’ names, and when these new accounts were opened, it affected the victims’ ability to rent an apartment, buy a car or buy a home. When your good name is stolen and stained, you are thrown into a position where you are responsible for fixing it. This means you are delayed in getting the car, home or apartment you…

6 More Tips for Apartment Security

…ry 15 seconds in the United States? And if you live in an apartment, the National Crime Prevention Council says you will have an 85 percent greater chance of being burglarized than a single-family dwelling. When looking into apartment living, consider my first six tips on apartment security, as well as the following: Gated access: Keypad, remote controlled and including an emergency firebox. Key building access: Look for a schedule that involves…

Classifieds Ripe For Rental Fraud

…post, I emailed abuse@craigslist.com with the link. Craigslist was very responsive and took the posts down. The scammer was equally diligent, however: I had to do this almost 20 times during the period I was renting out the apartment. How can you protect yourself from scams like this, or other scams that take advantage of online classified ads? Use common sense, be smart and pay attention. If you do that, you won’t fall for these types of cons….

6 Tips for Apartment Security

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments have an 85 percent greater chance of being burglarized than a single-family homeowner or rental property. Apartment security should be a priority for landlords to provide for tenants, but it’s really up to you, the tenant, to ensure your security. When hunting for a security-minded apartment complex, consider the following: Home security systems: Today’s systems are wireless and…

6 Ways You Are Vulnerable On Wi-Fi

…past decade and a half, however, WEP has been cracked, hacked and decimated. #4. Sharing network passphrases. You might share a wireless connection with people you trust. Perhaps you have roommates, or you live in a condo or apartment and like your neighbor so much that you give her your passphrase so she can hop on your wireless internet. But by doing this—and no matter how nice your network-sharing friends may be—you are letting other devices…

Identity Theft Crime Ring Leader Gets 25 Years

…the magnetic strips of the credit and gift cards with stolen account information, and used the cards to purchase high-end merchandise, including designer handbags, jewelry, clothing, and electronics. At Shirit’s Aliso Viejo apartment, investigators found a forgery lab designed to encode credit cards in the process of being set up, and credit card writers, and thumb drives with thousands of hacked and stolen credit card numbers. In a similar…

9 Warning Signs Your Identity Has Been Stolen

…ebts debts you never incurred. You may find out when you apply for a mortgage or car loan and learn that problems with your credit history are holding up the loan. You may find out when you get something in the mail about an apartment you never rented, a house you never bought, or a job you never held. The most efficient way to protect your identity is with an identity theft protection service and get a credit freeze. Robert Siciliano personal…

Vacation Rentals Are Scam Bait

…ive scammy communications from supposed buyers. This means scammers are on the site as buyers and sellers full time. Certainly there are plenty of legitimate ads for vacation rentals however many are suspect. I rented out an apartment I own in the past and a Craigslist scammer set up a duplicate ad with my photos and everything and cut my price in half. If you choose to engage in a rental and a security deposit is required it is best that you…

Keeping Tabs On Your Home When Away

You may have a single family home, second home, or apartment. And no matter what your abode sitchy is, there is no place like home. Whenever I leave, I miss my family, house, and stuff. When we go on vacation, we are always happy to go home. I hope your sitchy feels the same. And whenever I leave there is always a discomfort that when I’m not there to guard the castle, I’m concerned that something can go wrong. Mother Nature can make a mess of…

Do You Own a Safe? Why Not?

…sh and valuables and save you the hassle of replacing important documents in case of a fire. I’ve had four different safes over the past twenty years, because my needs have changed. While living at school and then in a small apartment, I had a portable, fireproof safe for documents and jewelry. (Yes, I wear gold jewelry, but that’s another story.) Then, when I owned a multifamily building, I upgraded to a medium-sized safe. And now that I have a…

Victim Jumps from Second Floor in Home Invasion

…in an apartment building that just happens to be in yelling distance from a police station, a man jumped from his second floor window screaming for help. Fortunately the police were able to catch the two guys who invaded his apartment. Apparently he didn’t have a home security alarm system, which is an option in an apartment and something to consider. Two men kicked in his door threatening the man with a gun and proceeded to tie the guy up. When…

Burglars Pose As Doctors, Victims Take Pills

…e as a doctor” scam with a placebo pill in hand and got an astounding 86 percent of people to take the pills!!! Can you say OMG!?!? In other parts of Turkey the police tested people at apartment complexes to see what kind of apartment security systems may be in place. Most buildings have some form of intercom with a buzz-in system to let people in. But when the police would randomly select an apartment number and the person responded, the cops…

Stalker Caught in Madonna’s Mansion

…f glass film is affordable and doesn’t affect the clarity of the window. The Sun reports “Madonna has had several stalkers. In October one was found with an ice pick after scrawling “Meet me” outside her New York apartment. Ex-Beatle George Harrison survived being stabbed by an intruder in Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, in 1999.” Stalking is messy. Stalking is about domination. It is one or more persons continually making efforts to control…

Robbers Put Gun To Baby’s Head During Home Invasion

…e state. “Pee Dee” who knew? Seems it was named after an Indian tribe. Makes sense. Anyway CarolinaLive.com reports: “Just before 3 a.m. on a Friday, a woman says she heard someone knocking at her front and back doors to her apartment. According to police, the woman cracked open the door and that’s when four masked, armed men forced their way inside. They made the woman and her baby lie on the floor. At one point, the robbers put a gun to…

Craigslist Scams Are A Persistent Threat

…dupe and hurt people. Just this week in Boston, Fox News reports “Mother and son used Craigslist to scam people into renting fake apartment” “Police say a mother and son scammed people out of $4,000 by trying to rent out an apartment that was not theirs. Police believe they took out a Craigslist ad and took deposits for an apartment they were living in for a short time. Medford police say they have received at least 4 reports from people saying…

College Students At Risk For Identity Theft

…orld isn’t all about keg parties and raves. Here are a few more interesting statistics: 89% of parents have discussed safety measures with their kids, yet kids continue to engage in risky behavior 40% of students leave their apartment or dorm doors unlocked 40% of students have provided their Social Security numbers online 50% of students shred sensitive data 9% of students share online passwords with friends 1 in 10 have allowed strangers into…

Woman Becomes Victim of Craigslist Scam

I have a love/hate relationship with Craigslist. I love the occasional deal I get (like the 25 hp outboard motor I just got) and I love how people use it to find stuff I’m selling or renting out (like an apartment). But I hate the way some people completely over price what they are selling, thinking that old boat motor is worth what a new one costs. Or worse, when scammers contact Craigslisters every time they post an ad trying to get them to…

Condo, Apartment Neighborhood Watch Safety Is Key to Peace of Mind

…yer of protection is a good one. “A neighborhood block watch, which residents can initiate through local police, bands together an educated public to work with police on safe neighborhoods. But it is just one of many ways an apartment or condo resident can help to improve security. Other protections run the gamut from doormen to alarms and surveillance cameras.” A home surveillance system is effective in 2 ways. The best way is for it to be…

Apartment Security

Apartments Likely Targets of Burglary

According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), apartments are 85% more likely to be victimized by a burglary than any other form of housing. There are many reasons why apartments are targeted for burglaries. Here are a few: Problem: In an apartment setting the residents live among other people. One tenant in a complex who has a propensity for theft may target units within. When he knows you aren’t home, that’s when he breaks in….

As Crime Witness, Security Camera Can Speak Volumes

…ery law enforcement began tracing back her steps and detectives started looking for cameras along her route of travel. “In the days after [the murder], residents provided police with a list of cameras at local businesses and apartment buildings. Soon, detectives were working around the clock, viewing hundreds of hours of footage taken by dozens of cameras.” Cameras caught the suspect as he was on his bicycle in the area of the murder. One video…

Renting and Securing an Apartment

…e if they have even been bankrupt. Ask the landlord about options for installing an apartment security alarm for maximum safety . Apartment security systems today are easy to install for a do-it-yourselfer or certified alarm dealer. Often they require minimal wiring which means the landlord should have a problem with it. Wireless home alarms are even easier and only require batteries and two sided tape. If the landlord opposes an apartment

Steel Bars Hamper Rescue from Burning House

…untry, generally in big cities where crimes are higher, steel bars are a significant part of the home security landscape. We don’t see many new installations of steel bars today. If you live on a fist floor or basement level apartment, steel bars may be a consideration for windows and sometimes doors . However , newer technologies are available that are not only close to as effective to prevent a burglar , but are also safer when it comes to…

10 Wicked Inexpensive Ways to Secure Your Home

1. Call the cops. Most communities have programs in place where a law enforcement officer will inspect a personal home or apartment and make recommendations based on exiting vulnerabilities. Generally they will make those recommendations within your budget upon request. 2. Install signage. I bought 2 “Beware of Dog” neon signs for $1.98 this week. One for the front door and one for the back door. The same hardware store had “This House is…

Cold, Dumb and Drunk Intruder Crawls in Dudes Bed

…n not locking your doors, but having a bat near you r bed? And the irony of not locking your doors and a guy crawling in to your bed . The whole story stinks of dumb. Lock you r doors. Require a peep hole on your door. In an apartment a sk if you have permission to install an in-apartment home security system with motion detectors . Require it. Wireless home security systems are non-invasive and not expensive. Robert Siciliano personal security…

Apartment Security 101

…secured. If a stranger is in the area or paying unwanted attention to us or the property, we call each other to decide what we may do in response. There’s always strength in numbers. If you are looking to make a move and an apartment is in your future, make sure you do your homework. While the landlord may interview you, you should interview the landlord. Find out what his/her processes are for security. What is their annual investment? What is…

Woman Captures Alleged Theft on Video

…hat goes along with being able to securely and remotely monitor over the I nternet, what goes on at your home. “ A Chicago woman says someone stole her boyfriend’s brand new computer that had just been delivered to her apartment building lobby. S he caught the theft on videotape and police tell her there have been dozens of similar cases in the past two weeks. A security camera set up in the lobby of the building clearly shows a delivery…

Security Breach Threatens Soldiers' & Civilians' Personal Information

…rs, employees and their families were potentially exposed after a laptop computer containing the information was stolen over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the military says. T he security breach happened where the rental apartment of an employee was. The computer contained “names and personally identifiable information for slightly more than 42,000 records including name s , Social Security number, home address, date of birth,…

I Bought an ATM off Craigslist for $750 w/1000 CC#s on it. Yup.

…re. So my search began. I started looking on e-bay and found plenty of new and used ATMs ranging from $500-2500 but quickly determined I didn’t want to pay $300 for shipping. Next was Craigslist, where anyone can rent out an apartment, buy a boat, get an erotic massage and buy an ATM. I quickly found an ad from a bar north of Boston. They were selling pool tables, Budweiser neon signs and an ATM. I took my hacker with me and met Bob. Bob rented…

Insider Identity Theft Can Be Most Damaging

…s opened and the fun begins. In the Bank of New York Mellon case, investigators found dozens of bank and credit statements in the names of the victims at the thief’s home address. Think for a moment about your house or apartment, and how you might break in if you lost your keys. If a burglar knew what you know about where you hide and store your stuff, how much damage could he do? Insiders pose the same problem. They know the ins and outs…

Social Media Banned, Creates Identity Theft Risk

…al media. I recently reported on Sir John Sawers, the incoming head of MI6, the British equivalent of the CIA. His wife posted sensitive personal information to her Facebook page, including the address of the couple’s London apartment and the locations of their children and Sir John’s parents. Military personnel should held to a higher standard. We are talking about national security here, and we can’t risk leaks that could jeopardize…

College Students At Risk For Identity Theft

…8217;re 30. Here are a few more interesting statistics from the Campus Security Survey. 89% of parents have discussed safety measures with their kids, yet kids continue to engage in risky behavior 40% of students leave their apartment or dorm doors unlocked 40% of students have provided their Social Security numbers online 50% of students shred sensitive data 9% of students share online passwords with friends 1 in 10 have allowed strangers into…

Social Media Privacy and Personal Security Issues

…ld his wife? Sir John Sawers is the incoming head of MI6, essentially the British equivalent of the CIA. His wife posted sensitive personal information to her Facebook page, including the address of the couple’s London apartment and the locations of their children and Sir John’s parents. She also posted family photos that included her half-brother, who was an associate and researcher for a historian who has been convicted of…

Identity Theft Scammers Targeting Online Classifieds

…s become a launchpad for criminal activity. Everything from online affinity or advance fee scams to baby killers and the Craigslist killer have hampered the website’s reputation. I use Craigslist to find renters for an apartment that I own. Last year, scammers copied my advertisement verbatim, except for the contact information, which they replaced with their own, and the price, which they reduced by half. The scammer, who claimed to be…

Preventing Inside Jobs, Keeping Inside Hackers – Out

…st a week and cost millions and millions of dollars. In this true crime story, an observant programmer, still employed noticed the code and disabled it before the damage could be done. Think for a moment about your home/flat/apartment and how you would break in if you lost your keys. And if a burglar knew what you knew about where you hide and store your stuff. How much damage could he do, knowing what you know? Insiders pose the same problem….

 

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