Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some brilliant stuff from our local police about combatting new technology crime

Police Home Watch monthly newsletter for Kensington, Fairfield and Tuebrook

Dear all,

Welcome to the re launch of the Home Watch monthly newsletter.  You will notice that this is coming to you by way of an attachment rather than the link previously used.  We hope this will make it more accessible, quicker to load, and avoid all the problems associated with computer security settings.
The idea of the newsletter is to keep you informed about crime in your area, trends, and advice on preventing crime.  It links Home Watches, partner agencies, and residents together, and is designed to be a quick read of only 3 to 4 pages.  We hope you find the content useful.  

New Technology

Embracing new technology can be a daunting process, particularly as you get older, and it can be difficult sometimes to see the value of it.  Well, I’d like you to consider a couple of ideas for preventing, and recovering stolen mobile phones, laptop computers, and hopefully putting a few thieves behind bars.


Prey lets you keep track of your laptop, phone or tablet whenever stolen or missing. It's a lightweight, FREE open source piece of software that gives you full remote control of your laptop or mobile phone, 24/7.  Copy and paste the web address above and have a look at how Prey can help. 
Basically a tiny agent is installed in your PC or phone, which silently waits for a remote signal to activate the software on the computer or mobile phone. This signal is sent either from the Internet or through an SMS message, and allows you to gather information regarding the device's location, hardware and network status, and optionally trigger specific actions on it. Some of the key features of Prey include:

  • 100% Geo location aware.  Prey uses either the device's GPS or the nearest WiFi hotspots to triangulate and grab a fix on its location.
  • Wifi auto connect. If enabled, Prey will attempt to hook onto to the nearest open WiFi hotspot when no Internet connection is found.
  • Know your enemy.  Take a picture of the thief with your laptop's webcam so you know what he looks like and where he's hiding.
  • Watch their movements.  Grab a screenshot of the active session. If you're lucky you may catch the guy logged into his email or Facebook account!
  • Keep your data safe.  Hide your Outlook or Thunderbird data and optionally remove your stored passwords, so no one will be able to look into your stuff.
  • No unauthorized access.  Fully lock down your Laptop making it unusable unless a specific password is entered. The guy won't be able to do a thing!

Mobile Phone Security


Available for iPhone, Androids & Blackberrys. To use InstaMapper, you create a FREE account. Registration takes only a minute or two and all you need to provide are a username, password, and a valid email address. Next, you install a small application on your GPS-enabled phone. When you run the application, it periodically sends your GPS location to InstaMappers own servers
Login to your InstaMapper account and you will see the current location of your phone plotted on an interactive Google map. With InstaMapper, the object you track is a moving dot on a map. Positions are updated depending on how often you ask the application to report your phones position. The map updates automatically every few seconds. The beauty of this system … and where it beats Apples “findmyiphone” application for the older generation phones is that it plots and saves the route of a phone.  The advantage of this is that the known route can be checked for local CCTV. For a demo, copy and paste the above link into your browser.

Google Latitude   

Download and install the Google Latitude app. This is free software from Google that assists you in locating your phone or members of your family and friends using the Internet or your mobile phone. It uses WIFI and GPS (global positioning system) plus location data to track or locate people. It can be turned on or off giving you the option whether you want be seen or not, and you could also choose the people who could see you.
To avail of their services, you need to register. After the Google Latitude app is installed, those using their PCs and laptops can start by going to the Latitude official site and follow the instructions to install it. Mobile phones that do not contain any GPS chips can still enjoy the services of this program since it will access any Wifi points. The program uses three different types of signals namely 2G-4G mobile, GPS and WiFi. Your device will use any of these signals to work out your location.

Find My iPhone
If you misplace your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, the Find My iPhone app will let you use another iOS device to find it and protect your data. Simply install this free app on another iOS device, open it, and sign in with your Apple ID. Find My iPhone will help you locate your missing device on a map, play a sound, display a message, remotely lock your device or erase all the data on it.
If the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch you want to locate is running iOS 6, Find My iPhone also includes Lost Mode. Lost Mode locks your missing device with a 4-digit passcode and can display a contact phone number right on the lock screen. While in Lost Mode, your device will keep track of where it has been and display its recent location history when you check in with the Find My iPhone app. Please note that Find My iPhone must be enabled in the iCloud settings on your device for you to locate it with this app.  So you will also need to create an iCloud account if you havent already done so. 

Remember, if you act quickly and provide the tracking system you use, the username, and password to police…. There is a chance we can do something about it.


Immobilise is the world's largest FREE register of possession ownership details and together with its sister sites the Police's NMPR and CheckMEND forms a very effective tool in helping to reduce crime and repatriate recovered personal property to its rightful owners.
Immobilise can be used by members of the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets, and exclusive to Immobilise, account holders registered items and ownership details are viewable on the Police national property database NMPR. This online checking service is used by all UK Police forces to trace owners of lost and stolen property. In addition Immobilise is checked daily by a range of recovery agencies and lost property offices.

As a direct result of Immobilise there is over 250 cases a week where property is returned or information collected that assists the Police in investigating criminal activity involving stolen goods.

Consider this…A Police patrol spot an individual acting suspiciously near a carpark often targeted by thieves. They perform a stop and search on the individual and find him to be carrying several mobile phones and MP3 players. They radio through the serial numbers of the devices to their control-room that search the numbers on the NMPR. The results come back instantly; two of the phones were reported as stolen via Immobilise only a few hours earlier. The suspect is arrested and taken to the station for interview. The possession of the stolen phones gives reasonable grounds for the Police to search the suspect's home where they find numerous items, which again are checked on the NMPR

If it’s not registered … how are you going to get it back!

Vehicle Crime

So you’ve started the Christmas shopping, arrived back at your car, loaded it onto the back seat, and headed off to get something to eat.. You’re now sitting in the restaurant waiting for food to arrive and thinking … 

Did I park the car in a secure enough location?    Err …no, you never gave it a thought …or didn’t want to pay! Finding somewhere to park can be difficult. Try to park in secure well-lit car parks, or those covered by CCTV

Did I see anyone hanging around where I parked?    Err …no; you didn’t consider the group of youths watching you. Perhaps you could have moved your vehicle.
Did I check to see if the car locked securely on the remote keyfob?    Err …no; you just assumed it did as you walked away.  Although not prevalent at the moment it is possible to buy a device for as little as £40 that blocks or drowns the signal from a key fob used to secure and alarm your car, when used by an offender within a certain distance.  Merseyside Police have already arrested one individual caught in possession of such a device.   

Did I hide the presents from view?    Err …no, you put them on the back seat, remember.  Ensuring valuables are stored away from view is the easiest way not to attract attention.  Consider taking Sat Navs and iPods with you, and never leave a mobile phone on display.  Consider leaving the glove box open, and wipe telltale accessory sucker marks off the windscreen.

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