Do Fake Security Cameras Actually Work?

A fake security camera working with a red light.

In recent years, fake security cameras (dummy cameras) have become an alternative to traditional security cameras. Cheaper than real cameras, they are designed to look like the real thing. This has made them popular with some people. However, before you’re tempted to buy one, inform yourself properly.

How Do Fake Security Cameras Work?

Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, they are made to look like a real security camera. Unlike a real security camera with a functional surveillance system, they work on a non-functional surveillance system via batteries. They usually have a blinking red light, their most prominent feature.

Cons of Fake Security Cameras

These cameras are cheap for a reason and ultimately come with more cons than pros for homeowners and business owners.

Blinking Red Light Gives Them Away

The blinking red light is rarely found on real security cameras, so this is an instant give away. It might deceive an amateur burglar, but to an experienced criminal, it’s easily detected. The red light exists to give people an impression of a functional security system being in place.

Gives You a False Sense of Security

It’s relatively easy to get a false sense of security with these cameras. You can become comfortable and somewhat lax with your own personal security measures. It’s easy to think a camera is better than no camera. You might even accidentally tell neighbours and other people. They could use this knowledge to their advantage.

Records No Criminal Activity

Given they have no control system or actual recording hardware, video footage cannot be recorded. Thus, if criminal activity has occurred on your premises, you won’t have any easily identifiable evidence to assist the police in solving the crime.

Legal Trouble

You might find yourself in legal trouble with these fake cameras. In the case of a business, your staff may be depending on these cameras to assist in protecting them. If a violent crime or theft were to occur at your business, staff may take issue with these cameras not actually recording any footage.

In all, it’s better to invest in a real camera that gives you real security. The extra cost can be well worth it. Contact our Australian security experts today to find out more about our great range of real security cameras.

4 Tips to Teach Your Children Good Security Habits

A child securing their bike at home.

Instilling good habits and routines with your children from an early age is important for their development. This will help them not only as a child but as a young adult and throughout their adult life.

Leading by example is a fantastic way to teach your kids good values. Plus, through following these good habits yourself, you and your children help protect your loved ones and the prized possessions of your family.

You’ll want to supervise these security methods at first when instructing your children. As they become competent at these, start to introduce more useful habits.

Lock the Doors and Windows

Show your children how to lock the doors and windows of your home and any external buildings, like a shed. Get them into the habit of doing so when you’re leaving the house or before everyone is going to bed.

Quality locks are a straightforward and standard way to keep opportunistic thieves out. Don’t underestimate the benefits of a good quality lock.

Looking after Their Possessions

Bicycles are a great catalyst for teaching your kids about the benefits of keeping their possessions safe. Teach your kids to not leave bikes on the front lawn, driveway or path, away from opportunistic thieves passing by (and away from becoming a tripping hazard for you). Show your children where to store their bikes and how to securely lock them away.

The same goes for other toys left around, particularly those toys left outside and in public view. By storing these away when they’re done playing with them, they can keep them out of sight of opportunistic thieves and again, away from becoming a tripping hazard.

Teaching kids how to look after their possessions helps them develop a sense of responsibility, passing on as they get older and while they’re living with you, helping keep your home tidier.

Being Prepared for Emergencies

Have a plan for when things go wrong and your children are home alone or their supervising adult is unavailable. Provide them with a list of numbers of trusted people they can call in an emergency. This could include 000, a trusted neighbour or family friend or your partner’s mobile phone.

Answering the Door and Phone Calls

If your children have a phone or your place has a home phone, instruct your children on how to answer the phone properly.

Teach your kids that they shouldn’t detail they’re home alone. If someone wants to speak with you, instruct your children that they should tell them that you’re busy. Your children can take a message and should get the caller’s name, number and reason for their call.

You children should not give any information like their address, phone number or name or school name.

When answering the door, teach your children about talking through the door. Like when answering the phone, they shouldn’t tell people that they’re home alone. Install a peephole so they can see who they’re talking to.

If the person at the door doesn’t leave, instruct your kids to call a trusted adult.

COVID-19 is Moving People Towards Touchless Security Systems

Person using facial recognition touchless security system.

The pandemic is causing many businesses and not-for-profits to reconsider how they interact physically with stakeholders. Consumers are pushed more towards touchless payment systems, like Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass. Some airports are making the switch to touchless systems for check ins. Even security and access control systems like key cards and biometric scanners are being reconsidered to deal with the pandemic situation.

Biometric Security Systems

Biometric access control and security systems have become standard for many businesses and the convenience that they offer. No complex constantly changing passwords are required, instead using a person’s fingerprint or a form of retina or facial recognition. These systems are a lot more difficult to breach than some more traditional security methods, partly thanks to further improvements in biometric technology like liveness detection and 3D facial recognition.

Access Control

Along with biometric options, numerous access control systems exist on the Australian market which can vary greatly in complexity. These system include and are not limited to key based options, key cards, intercoms, digital door locks and keypads. The benefit of access control can be fantastic for helping businesses, organisations and residents improve and monitor their security.

Moving Towards Touchless Systems

Where some of these security systems mentioned above fall short throughout the pandemic is when users have to touch them. Numerous members of the public have fears that some surfaces could hold virus risks, prompting people to avoid physical security systems wherever possible. The revenue of and investment in contactless biometrics is expected to increase this year ( Systems like touchpads/keypads, physical keys and fingerprint scanners may see a drop from the pandemic.

Fortunately, for the safety of your stakeholders, touchless alternatives do exist on the market today and are being readily improved. Facial recognition technology doesn’t require a user to touch anything. Various teams throughout the world are working on technological improvements so users can continue wearing masks and the facial recognition will continue to function properly. Numerous key card systems also allow you to place the key card near the sensor without having to actually touch it.

Twenty First Security has implemented numerous touchless systems over the years and we keep on top of the security industry developments to benefit all of our customers/clients. Enquire with our expert security team today if you’re interested in moving towards touchless systems and protecting your stakeholders. Stay well, look after yourself and those around you.

Why Businesses Need to Remember Physical Security

IT technician in a data center doing a security check.

Staying on top of your cyber / computer security is absolutely important, though too often we see businesses forget about their security on a physical front.

After all, cyber security measures can be made useless if someone is able to simply walk into your building and steal drives, devices and equipment, or if a staff member is careless and loses a device.

Poor physical security of premises can lead to more than just theft of equipment. If a malicious person is able to obtain the sensitive data of your company, this could incur massive detrimental costs to not only the finances of your company but to the reputation as well.

Instilling Security Conscious Behaviour in Your Staff

Make a security-conscious attitude part of your work environment and educate your staff on your security practices and technology, along with their benefits. Mobile devices like smartphones, laptops and external hard drives are portable and easy to move around, making them more susceptible to theft. Consider encrypting devices that are provided to staff with strong passwords, helping prevent unauthorised physical access.

Monitoring and Controlling Access to Your Premises

Access control systems are one of the strongest forms of security you can use to protect your property. They include and are not limited to key card based systems, keypads and various powerful keyless systems.

Various access systems allow you to monitor who, when and where people access your business’s areas. These can be combined with a quality Australian surveillance monitoring service to enhance your security further by making sure your premises are monitored at all hours.

If you’re looking to confidentially discuss and upgrade the security of your business, our skilled team are here to help, with over 33 years of experience. Contact our security team now for expert advice and solutions.

4 Tips to Remain Secure While Renovating Your Home

Tradesperson in Melbourne checking home security during renovations.

New renovations can really brighten up your home, creating that ideal space that you’ve always dreamt of. The last thing you want during this process is to have someone violate the security of your home, causing theft of your valuables or damage to the property.

Unfortunately, we’ve heard some true horror stories of opportunistic thieves taking advantage of renovations on a home. Do your research and implement these simple measures to protect your property and valuables during renovations.

Communicate with and Research Your Contractors

Not all builders / contractors are created equal. When selecting the right contractor, do your research about them, check any reviews, plus ask what training and credentials they have. Ask when they’ll be at your property and how many will be working at your property. See what measures they have in place to protect their clients/customers.

Install Effective Lighting

Keeping any entries/exits well lit at night is a valuable addition for any property. The last thing a thief wants is to be lit up like a Christmas tree and spotted in the act. Security lighting (like motion sensor lights or lights in fixed, difficult to remove positions) also works well in a space of active renovations, reducing any cover criminals may have in a normally dark or dim area.

Relocate Valuables to a Safe Area

Do you particular valuables such as jewellery or family heirlooms that you’re concerned about? Consider moving these to a safer, locked area of the house or if need be, keep them at the residence of a friend or family member that you trust. High security storage services also exist in Melbourne and parts of Australia.

Use Locks With Quality Keys or a Access Control System

Ensure your property has high quality locks and if you need to provide your tradesperson with a key, use the types that cannot be duplicated easily without a particular level of authorisation from you. Access control systems exist that allow you to control who enters your property. When integrated with various security products, access control systems can also record who enters and exits your property and at what time they do.

If you’re looking for more advice about securing your home during renovations, contact our expert security team. We’ll provide you with industry leading solutions and product options to suit your home and family.

Tools and Resources to Check Australian Crime Hot Spots and Stats

Australian police tape around a crime scene.

Included is a state-by-state/territory list of online tools that provide you with statistics about crime, hot spot information and various details about reporting a crime in Australia.

Victoria (VIC)

For Victoria, the Crime Statistics Agency regularly release statistics, tools and information via their website,

You can also view Victorian crime by location.

Tasmania (TAS)

A yearly Crime Statistics Supplement is created for Tasmania. The recent 2018-2019 report can be downloaded as a PDF.

New South Wales (NSW)

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) provides a Crime Mapping Tool and publishes regular reports. Visit the BOCSAR crime statistics page to get access to these reports and tools.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

ACT Policing regularly release online news article, crime statistics and data. Visit their Crime Statistics page to view crime stats by location, certain time periods and by various offence types.

Queensland (QLD)

Multiple options are available to view crime stats and information related to Queensland. The Online Crime Map from the Queensland Police Service gives the user the ability to view the types of crime in an area, including the ability to filter the type of criminal activity and when it occurred. The Queensland Crime Statistics page includes a column chart, detailing the number of offences in a selected area, the type of offence and when they occurred.

South Australia (SA)

Numerous crime statistic reports and a crime map are available from the South Australia Police website.

Northern Territory (NT)

To access crime statistics for the Northern Territory, access the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency website. These are updated monthly.

Western Australia (WA)

The Western Australia Police Force website contains a Crime Statistics page. This includes year to date crime comparisons and details about the amount of criminal activity in particular areas of WA.

4 Processes to Secure Your Business Property

Using key card to securely protect a business.

Implementing effective security practices for your business will help deter criminals, enhance the safety of your employees and improve the trust of your customer or client base.

Criminal activity towards businesses is something business owners need to be aware of. According to the Crime Statistics Agency Victoria, crimes relating to “Property and deception offences”, which includes theft, increased in 2019 compared to 2017 and 2018.

The 4 processes included here to secure your business property are useful for small, medium and large-sized businesses.

1. Instill Security Conscious Habits into Your Team

The security of your property can easily be hardened by instilling security conscious habits throughout your team.

As simple as it may sound, make sure your employees lock up if they’re the last at your location. Train them on using any computers in a safe and secure manner, along with ensuring software is up to date where applicable.

Require strong passwords and multi-step authentication where possible. This can relate to access control systems and various digital, web or intranet systems that your team uses. These extra long passwords and multiple verification methods may take a little bit of extra effort at some points, though these extra security methods can greatly enhance the protection of your business.

2. Access Control Systems

Protocols to control the access of anyone entering or existing your business is an incredibly effective method of tightening your security. Modern access control systems and biometric systems allow you to use a range of different methods of verification. A very common method of access verification is equipping your staff with key cards and sensors that verify the key card allows access, thus unlocking the door.

3. Ensure Entrances and Windows Have High Quality Locks

Not just a tip for homes, high quality locks do make a difference in protecting your commercial property. Make sure all windows and doors include strong locks that can withstand a degree of tampering. Locks can also deter opportunistic thieves.

4. Lighting and Surveillance Make a Difference

Criminals, particularly the burglar type, don’t want to be under the spotlight nor do they want to be recorded. Lighting and CCTV systems are great visible deterrents. If a crime were to occur, the footage can help you report the issue to the police. Make sure your light fittings and cameras are difficult to reach, remove or damage for any opportunistic criminals.

If you have questions about enhancing the security to protect your business and you’re in the Melbourne area, contact our expert team. As licensed security technicians with over 33 years of experience, we’ll use our industry-leading knowledge to help you quickly, thoroughly and cost-effectively.

4 Easy Methods to Improve the Security of Your Home

Melbourne based homes in St Kilda.

Enhancing the security of your home can give you that extra piece of mind, knowing that your loved ones and property have a security advantage. Unfortunately even the safest of neighbourhoods can experience burglaries. These simple security methods can really make the difference, helping you keep thieves and vandals away from your home and if the worse were to occur, help you catch them or more so, report them to the police easily.

1. Add Exterior Lighting

House burglars don’t want to be in the spotlight, drawing attention. Make sure the entrances to your home are well-lit. You can also place your lights in fittings / covers that require tools to remove, making it more difficult for burglars if they try to remove light bulbs to darken the area.

2. Install Cameras

CCTV cameras act as a fantastic deterrent, scaring off potential vandals or thieves. Place cameras in positions where they can cover all entrances/exits to your home. When selecting a camera, watch out for cheap products – they can leave you with more headaches than solutions. High quality outdoor cameras exist on the market that can endure the rain and brutal Australian conditions. Depending on your system, the footage can be accessed by your devices using mobile apps or web-based applications, giving you the ability to easily monitor your property and record problems if they occur.

3. Make Use of a Security Consultation

Licensed security experts and some locksmiths can provide you with an onsite security consultation where. They will inspect your property, confirm with you your security goals and then provide you with a range of recommendations to suit you. Use only quality Australian licensed / certified security providers that are experienced with residential and/or commercial security.

If you’re in the Melbourne area and are looking for a high quality, trained and licensed security consultation for your property, our expert team are able to assist. Simply contact us to find out more and book your consultation.

4. Utilise Integrated Smart Technology

The internet of things tech and similar smart technology can help you automate and protect your property easily and conveniently. Many modern camera systems allow you both view and listen to video and audio from the camera, using mobile apps or web browsers. Various smart lights can also be configured to turn on during certain times of day or turn on at random patterns, particularly useful if you’re away as this can give the image that someone is home and moving through the rooms.

Bonus Tip: Get a Dog

For some, you could already have a dog, it could be a fantastic addition to your family or a dog may be not as straightforward as these other methods for some home owners. The fact is though that dogs are fantastic deterrents for residential properties (and can be for commercial properties as well, such as card yards/wrecking yards).

According to The Guardian and 12 former burglars interviewed by Co-op Insurance, loud barking dogs are one of the greatest deterrents that would scare them off from breaking into a place. Many burglars are opportunistic and want a quick robbery job, avoiding complex situations where they could draw attention.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a CCTV System

Factors of a CCTV system to consider.

CCTV has become a standard of many security systems used throughout the world today. Lower costing systems have enabled more and more people to protect their residential or commercial property. There are numerous cameras on the market, some of these are great, some of these can leave you with more problems than they solve. We focus on high-quality CCTV systems that work well in the Australian environment. If you want a CCTV setup that works well for you in Australia, there are some factors you should consider to make an educated purchase that suits your situation.


The lighting in and around your premises will affect the cameras that suit your unique situation. Improving lighting can help here, such as at entrance or special points so the cameras can pickup images better. There are also multiple cameras on the market that work well in low-light or very dark conditions.

Monitoring the System

There could be situations where you want the system to be monitored easily and continuously. Options to monitor a CCTV system include mobile apps, web browser-based applications and onsite computers / monitors. If allocating time staff to the role is difficult, consider a monitoring service from a security provider. As part of our specialisation with security products, we do offer a very high-quality 24-hour monitoring service with various options available to suit your needs.

Ease of Use and Complexity

Consider the scale of the CCTV system that suits your requirements and the level of complexity you’re comfortable with. Your security system should integrate seamlessly and as comfortably as possible, so you can focus on business, projects or personal life.

We really see a difference when quality security systems are used throughout properties, including a simpler user experience for the operator, extensive capabilities and better durability. If you’re interested in further information, contact our team today.

COVID-19 Scams on the Web and Phones

A person using a computer for web browsing.

At a time when more of us are at home and we’re aiming to do the best for the communities around us, we need to be aware of people maliciously taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation in the form of scams on the web, via emails or even by phone in some cases. Most web-users have had to deal with a scam or dodgy site and unfortunately, this stuff still exists during such a difficult period.

We’re passionate about helping people protect what’s important to them and while our focus is on physical security products, this short article will highlight the importance of smart security on a digital front, as more and more of us use the internet in different situations during this challenging time.

According to Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), they received 94 reports of COVID-19 scams between the 1st of January 2020 to the 20th of March. These scammers are attempting to obtain people’s personal data, sell dodgy COVID-19-related products and steal people’s hard-earned money.

The good, smart habits that we use to protect ourselves on the web and in general also translate over to dealing with COVID-19 scams. If you do experience a scam of any sort, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website.

These scams and malicious attacks can come in multiple forms, including:

Phishing Emails and Phone Calls

Numerous reports have detailed that users have received phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities such as government organisations, the World Health Organisation and various businesses.

Fake / Dodgy Products

Various malicious websites are offering products that claim to offer vaccines or cures for COVID-19, though are ultimately of no use and just take your money. At the time of writing this, no vaccine or cure for COVID-19 currently exists.

Misinformation by Text, Social Media or Email

Malicious texts, social media posts/messages and emails are being sent out from impersonators and fake organisations, offering users a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 or other information.

Do not respond to unsolicited calls, emails or messages that request intricate personal information or financial details. Hang up on these callers or delete these messages.

Mobile Malware

Users are reporting malicious apps that can potentially infect your mobile device with malware or steal personal information. Some of these apps pretend they’re offering information about COVID-19.

Do not install apps from unofficial sources. Do your research and read legitimate reviews before installing any applications on your devices. Keep your device security up to date.

This is just a shortlist of the scams out there. It’s always a good habit to play it smart on the web and when protecting what’s important to you.

As always, we’re open and our team is here to help you with protecting your physical property.