Safety and Security Measures to Prevent House Break-Ins

House break-ins usually occur when nobody is home. So, whether you are going for a brief walk or planning to go on a long vacation, always remember these simple and basic safety and security measures to prevent break-ins into your homes. Prevent break-ins into your homes by assessing its security risks. Be vigilant in noting household practices that have to be changed and weak points that need to be urgently addressed for the safety and security of your homes.

Lock up all your doors with good quality door locks that will prevent burglars from kicking in your doors. Use double deadbolts if it is allowed in your area. For sliding doors, lock it and put a metal rod on the base to make it difficult to open.

Check your windows always! Do not leave it half open even if you are only going out for a brief walk. Secure your windows with grills so that burglars cannot enter easily when they smash the glass and put a mechanism that will prevent windows from raising enough for someone to crawl through.

Keep garden tools and other equipment that can be used to gain entry into your homes out of sight. Thief use these for house break-ins on a regular basis.

Leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor because experienced burglars already know your “secret hiding places”. Your neighbor can keep watch on your house and prevent break-ins.

Illuminate your house and perimeter areas. Using photosensitive bulbs that will automatically go on and off are energy efficient and useful when you are away rather than continuously lit lights that will reveal your absence.

Do not introduce yourself to the community of thieves by painting your name on the mailbox. Getting your telephone number will be easy and they can use it to check if somebody is home.

To prevent house break-ins when you are on vacation, arrange with your mailman and newspaper delivery service to suspend deliveries while you are away. An overflowing mailbox and a yard littered with newspapers are sure indicators that nobody is home.

For a comprehensive list of ideas on how to prevent house break-ins visit InfoZooms.

10 Internet Safety and Assailant Factors

As ICT, social media, virtual reality and the information age rapidly expands becoming integral to humanities daily activities, understanding the basic tenets of these new dimensions are preponderant. In 2011, the Internet celebrated its 20th birthday. In 2012, most of humanity continues to fail in understanding the golden rule of all new territory exploration. What always comes with opportunity and new frontiers are elements unknown and potentially dangerous. It is these unknown elements lurking in cyberspace all online users must be vigilant about.

This writer strongly believes there are 20 facets of ICT’s interface with criminal, deviant and abusive behaviors that will be central themes for many years to come. Although ICT will continue to advance in both applications and purposes, the terms and themes presented below will always be integral to ICT safety and security practices. In this article, ten of the twenty factors are as follows:

1. Personal Information: The Personal Information factor is a term used to describe the quantity and frequency of personal information an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) user or business shares with other ICT users and available to known and unknown ICT users to view and prospect. Examples of personal information include: home/work/school address, full names, name of school/employer, age, gender, financial information, images, videos and online activities (i.e. passwords, usernames, profiles.) The Personal Information factor relates to the ICT user or business’s knowledge and understanding of the risks created when they post and/or share their contact or personal information about their age, gender, daily routines, sexual predilections and online preferences and/or activities.

With an abundance of popular social networking websites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Linkedin, it has become easy for Internet assailants to target children and adults to amass their personal information. Images and videos posted publicly online can leave a trail easily traceable by Internet assailants. The Personal Information factor is the most important aspect of Internet safety cautioned to all ICT users. Internet assailants heavily rely on access and acquisition of their potential targets personal information. Given their advanced ICT prowess and ability to manipulate vulnerable ICT users, many Internet assailants do not have to rely on social networking sites to obtain the necessary personal information to locate, identify and target their victims.

2. Psychological State: The Psychological State factor is a generic term used to define psychological aspects of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) user or group of ICT users at the time they engage in online activities and how these psychological factors influence their capacity to practice Internet safety and security. The more isolated, discouraged or angry an ICT user feels, the more apt they are to engage in high-risk ICT activities discouraged by Internet safety guidelines. The Psychological State factor relates to the ICT user or business’s knowledge and understanding of how cognitive, affective, behavioral and perceptual processing states govern ICT activities. Of the twenty factors designed in the Internet assailant theoretical construct, the ICT user’s psychological state is primarily influenced by their home, career and/or school environments and highly relevant to their ICT activities and risk potential.

For all ICT users, their offline stressors, conflicts and environmental obstacles have a direct effect upon their ICT demeanor and responses. When home, school, work, finances or other offline factors are causing significant distress, research has proven ICT users of all ages are more apt to be less vigilant in ICT and Internet safety tactics and more likely to engage in higher risk online behaviors. When an ICT user is in a perceived stable, encouraging, structured and consistent environment, their psychological well-being affords them to be more cautious and conscientious of their ICT activities.

3. Social Media: The Social Media factor is used to describe the online technologies and practices an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) user accesses to share their opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives related to their personal, career and/or scholastic activities on social networking websites. Social Media is defined as forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content. The Social Media factor relates to the ICT user’s knowledge and understanding of their energy, time and importance they place on their social media profiles and networking endeavors, perceived online image and their interactions with other ICT users using social networking websites.

More specifically, Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Within this factor, the areas investigated include the themes and quantity of personal and sensitive information an ICT user allows other ICT users to view related to themselves, their loved ones or their employers or academic institutions. A growing number of ICT users place an incredible amount of time, effort and thought into their social networking site profiles and endeavors. Social Media has become a driving force in many ICT users’ lives and a frequented arena for cyber bullying, cyber harassment and cyber stalking.

4. Internet Assailant Protection: The Internet Assailant Protection factor is defined as the amount of effort, time and education an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) user or business engages in to reduce their probability of becoming a target of an Internet assailant. Slightly different from the ICT Awareness & Internet Assailant Awareness factors used in the Internet assailant construct, Internet Assailant Protection emphasizes the protective measures and protection based software, hardware and applications an ICT user monitors, obtains and employs. The Internet Assailant Protection factor relates to the ICT user or business’s knowledge, participation and understanding of the necessary measures and strategies they should or should not engage in related to their ICT activities.

The Internet Assailant Protection factor assesses if the ICT user or business actively practices ICT safety, cyber security, sets appropriate online restrictions and prepared to respond accordingly if they are targeted by an Internet assailant or nefarious corporate entity related to businesses. In relationship to children, the Internet Assailant Protection factor also includes the effort, knowledge and tactics of parents, educators and the child’s support system to insulate and protect them from Internet assailant. Just as any new environment, humanity is presented; it is paramount for all ICT users to be cautious when engaged in communications in cyberspace. ICT users adept at Internet Assailant Protection are knowledgeable of all there is to protect themselves, their loved ones or business.

5. Internet Assailant Awareness: The Internet Assailant Awareness factor describes the amount of information, knowledge and conscious preparedness an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) user has related to Internet assailants and their existence in cyberspace. Vital to Internet Assailant Awareness is an ICT user or business’s capacity to understand the methods and techniques Internet assailants use to locate, identify, stalk and attack their target they deem as vulnerable and/or deserving of their victimization and stalking. The Internet Assailant Awareness factor relates to the ICT users knowledge and understanding of the tactics and techniques an Internet assailant uses. Internet assailants can be any age, either gender and not bound by socioeconomic status or racial/national heritage.

Within each category of Internet assailant, a degree of victimization lies upon a continuum of severity ranging from mild to severe regarding their intent, goals and modus operandi. The key terms examined in the Internet Assailant Awareness factor is awareness or a consistent level of caution practiced by the ICT user that is fueled by the ICT user or business’s knowledge that Internet assailant’s may launch a cyber attack. The level of Internet Assailant Awareness practiced by an ICT user is defined by their psychological, emotional and environmental stability. The less stable the ICT user is with these human experiences, the less aware they are of the nefarious and malevolent entities that access ICT for vulnerable targets.

6. Cyber Bullying: Cyber bullying is defined as threatening or disparaging information directed at a target child delivered through Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) Like classic bullying, cyber bullying is harmful, repeated and hostile behavior intended to taunt, embarrass, deprecate & defame a targeted child. Dissimilar to classic bullying, cyber bullying includes a phenomenon called Cyber Bullying by proxy. Cyber bullying by proxy occurs when a cyber bully encourages or persuades other ICT users to engage in deprecating and harassing a target child. Cyber bullying by proxy is a dangerous form of cyber bullying because adults may become accomplices to the cyber bully and may not know they are dealing with a minor or child from their community.

Cyber bullies are usually motivated by a need for peer acceptance and/or power and control. A small percentage of cyber bullies engage in these maladaptive behaviors out of ignorance of the distress they cause a target child. The most malevolent form of cyber bully, feels minimal remorse for the harm they are inflicting upon the target child. It has been speculated that children view the real world and the online or virtual world as part of a seamless continuum. Unable to differentiate reality from virtual reality, victims of cyber bullying can become psychologically devastated and/or cyber bullies targeting children.

7. ICT Forensic Psychology: Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Forensic Psychology is a sub field of ICT Psychology and defined as the study of cognitive, affective, behavioral and perceptual states in humans related to their malevolent, nefarious, deviant or criminal interactions with ICT, cyberspace and their targets or victims. ICT is an umbrella term used to define any electronic or digital communication device or application used to obtain, exchange or disseminate information. Cyberspace is an abstract concept used to describe the non-physical terrain created by ICT. Within this terrain, people obtain, exchange and disseminate information relevant to their needs, goals, developmental requirements and responsibilities.

ICT Forensic Psychology explores the individual and group manifestations of behavioral, perceptual & psychological patterns within cyberspace in the areas of investigation and prevention of criminal violations, deviant behaviors and online victimization. ICT Forensic Psychology analyzes the psychological mechanisms by which antisocial views and habits arise and take root in a person or groups perceptual world, the process by which their criminal goals and motives are formed and how these criminal/deviant goals implemented involve ICT and cyberspace. ICT Forensic Psychology works to investigate and understand the psychological, behavioral and perceptual mechanisms of individuals and groups who utilize ICT to victimize, harm, cloak or steal from other ICT users, groups or businesses.

8. Digital Citizenship: Digital Citizenship is defined as the appropriate norms of behavior with regard to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) usage. Digital Citizenship addresses the multiple levels of responsibility encouraged for all ICT users when interacting with the devices & applications of ICT and cyberspace. The rules of Digital Citizenship include online etiquette, private information protection, online safety measures, dealing with cyber bullying and harassment, digital rights & responsibilities and cyber security. Digital Citizenship endeavors to advocate, model and teach others safe, legal and ethical use of ICT including: respect for copyright, intellectual property and the appropriate documentation of sources. Educators of Digital Citizenship understand regional and global societal responsibilities in an evolving and rapidly expanding digital culture.

Although Digital Citizenship involves multiple facets, a primary goal is the practice of ICT etiquette and responsible social interactions. ICT etiquette is the electronic standards of conduct and behaviors when interacting with others and respect for the information one posts and disseminates regarding other ICT users. It is assumed the more skilled an ICT user is practicing Digital Citizenship, the less likely he/she is at being targeted by an Internet assailant. As described in the Internet Assailant Protection factor used to create the theory of Internet assailant, Digital Citizenship is recognized as an Internet Assailant Protection approach.

9. Dark Psychology: Dark Psychology is a theoretical construct designed by a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. Dark Psychology is defined as the study of the human condition as it relates to the instinctual, sociological and psychological nature of people to prey upon others that falls along a continuum ranging from purposive and/or instinctual to purposeless and anti-evolutionary or evil. All of humanity has this potential to victimize other humans & living creatures. While many restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses. Dark Psychology seeks to understand the cognitive, affective, behavioral and perceptual states that lead to predatory behavior. Dark Psychology assumes that this production is purposive and has some rational, goal-oriented motivation 99% of the time. The remaining 1%, under Dark Psychology, is the brutal victimization of others without purposive intent or reasonably defined by evolutionary science or religious dogma.

Within the next century, the growth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT,) Internet assailants and their acts of theft, violence and abuse will become a global phenomenon and a societal epidemic if not squashed. Segments of Internet assailants include cyber stalkers, cyber bullies, cyber stalkers, cyber terrorists, cyber criminals, online sexual predators and political/religious fanatics engaged in cyber warfare. Just as Dark Psychology views all criminal/deviant behavior on a continuum of severity and purposive intent, the theory of Internet assailant follows the same framework, but involves abuse, theft, assault and victimization in cyberspace.

10. Cyberstealth: Cyberstealth, a cyber forensic psychology concept is a term used to define a method and/or strategy by which Internet assailants use Information and Communications Technology (ICT), if they so choose, to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they troll and stalk a target. Given the Internet inherently affords everyone’s anonymity, Cyberstealth used by Internet assailants range from negligible to highly complex and multi-faceted. The rationale for using “stealth” in the suffix of this term, serves to remindd ICT users the primary intent fueling Internet assailants. This intent is to hide their identity by designing false online profiles, identities, covert tactics and methods to ensure their identities remain concealed reducing their probability of identification, apprehension and punishment.

Therefore, as the Internet naturally offers all ICT users’ anonymity if they decide, Internet assailants actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable.

Cyberstealth is a covert method by which Internet assailants are able to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they engage in ICT activities planning their next assault, investigating innovative surveillance technologies or researching the social profiles of their next target. Concurrent with the concept of Cyberstealth is Internet Assailant Victim Intuition. By using Cyberstealth, an Internet assailant’s Internet Assailant Victim Intuition is the aptitude to sense a target’s online vulnerabilities, weaknesses and technological limitations increasing their success with minimal ramifications.

From a nationalistic perspective, industrialized nations must now allocate increasing amounts of time, money, work force and strategic planning to address the growing concerns of homeland security, cyber terrorism and cyber warfare all due to social media and the speed and magnitude of Information and Communications Technology. In addition to the cyber threats to our national security, it is fair to assume Internet assailants and groups of Internet assailants will become willing activists attempting to access and design larger and more deadly forms of cyber aggression.

Social science experts and educators have attempted to enlighten and warn the global community, but their impact to date pales in comparison to the wrath and inevitable growth of the threat of Internet assailants and the growing number of Internet assailant groups. This writer and his future proactive associates and organizations will attempt to motivate society before Internet assailants become a common fixture in the fast growing Internet global community. Cyberspace represents a new dimension and a new territory for social exploration. Unfortunately, Internet assailants patiently wait in the shadows of this dimension expectantly.

Learn How to Ensure Safety and Security for Bouncy Castle Riders

When we think about a bouncy castle, we visualize kids jumping on it relentlessly. We generally do not think about grave consequences. But if you are planning for a jumping castle party, you should act responsibly. You should interrogate the operator about their safety practices, certificates and authorizations they possess and should also oversee the inflatable castle riders during the party. Ensuring safety and security for the bounce house users is not a bothersome job, provided you follow some simple instructions and implement best practices. Next time when you go for hiring a bouncy castle hire agency, you should keep in mind these instructions.

  • Keep in mind that the castle should be anchored at least two meters away from sharp substances (e.g. fences etc.). Why this is important? This is because riders may fall of the castle and these sharp objects would intensify their injuries.
  • You must check the trouser pockets and shirt pockets of every kid who is eager to ride the castle so as to ensure that they do not take any sharp object inside the castle. Sharp objects can cause severe injuries.
  • Make certain that children of the same age group ride on the castles. Children of different age groups and height should not be allowed to ride together. It can cause injuries to smaller kids. Some bouncy castle hire agencies put these practices in their agreement terms and conditions.
  • Allowing food and drinks is also not imperative. If the kids eat foods during jumping on inflatable castles, it can choke their esophagus. Some adults want to ride on these castles with glasses and bottles. If these items are broken, it would beget serious accidents and other consequences.
  • You should always oversee the children who use the castles. If any of the kids gets naughty, tell him politely not to do so because it may bring about dangers to himself and the other riders. If the kid still does not pay heed to you, do not hesitate to take him or her out of the castle as because as an adult, it is always your responsibility to make sure that the kids play safely.
  • Strictly follow the instructions of the manufacturers. You are likely to get a complete set of instructions from the jumping castle hire agency from whom you take the castle. If the company does not provide you with a set of guidelines, ask how many kids can ride on the castle they are providing and other details. Remember abrupt deflation is a possible consequence of too many riders using the castle.
  • Riders should not enter the castle wearing spectacles, ring, belt and other pointed accessories.

The general rule of thumb is to hire an inflatable castle which is PIPA or DIPS tested. Some of the bouncy castle hire agencies are active members of the British Inflatable Hirers Alliance. It is always wise to choose a company which is an affiliate of the BIHA.