CheckMySystems launches Referral Scheme

Know a business who may want to use CheckMyCCTV? Refer another business to us, and you’ll receive £2.50 for every license they purchase in the first 12 months –  up to a maximum of £1,000 per referred customer. All you need to do is complete a simple contact form and we’ll do the rest.

Please ensure that the business is aware that you are referring them, you will only receive the referral fee if they acknowledge that you referred them.

Comments or questions are welcome.

* indicates required field

 

RVR Service powered by CheckMyCCTV

Remote Video Response (RVR) has launched a new service designed to continuously monitor the health of its customers’ CCTV equipment.

RVR, part of UTC Fire and Security, is to roll out the new service in partnership with CheckMySystems Ltd.

It has been built around software designed to enable cameras, detectors and recorders to be checked hourly.

Colin Walters, RVR general manager, said that the potential weak link in any CCTV installation, monitored or otherwise, is the efficacy of the products installed: “Some believe that once a system has been installed, then they can forget about it because it will always be working. Sadly this is not the case, as our research has shown.

“Now we are able to regularly check each element of a CCTV system to monitor the network connection and ensure the hard disks have not failed or the system has stopped recording,” he said. “All of this can be done remotely, taking the benefits of RVR to those that would not normally use our services.”

Darren Rewston, managing director of CheckMySystems said customers were noticing that despite buying expensively maintained solutions for their premises, their systems could often have a fault for many months without anyone noticing: “Engineers normally only check the equipment once or twice a year as part of a maintenance package,” he said.

“But the RVR service, using CheckMyCCTV software means that the CCTV installation is being constantly monitored and warning when an issue occurs. Installers using this service will be informed exactly what the issue is, so it reduces the need for lengthy on-site diagnostics, and increases the chance of a fix in the first visit. The potential cost reduction for service calls can be huge.”

New Feature: Daily Status Reports

Get a daily status update of all your CCTV installations

CheckMyCCTV’s new Daily Status Report function allows you to generate automatic ‘snapshot’ status reports for all your sites, every day.

This function is designed for people who do not need the granularity of individual alerts which are generated when as issue is discovered. By receiving the Daily Snapshot Report, they will see the status of their entire estate in a single email at a user defined time each day.

Typical recipients could be Security Managers, Facility Managers, Loss Protection Managers, and even the End-Users. Daily Status Reports can be configured on a Global, Customer, Site, or Unit basis, so group security managers could receive a status report for all sites, and local security managers would only receive a status report for their own sites.

The report can be customised with your logos and layout, and you can choose whether it is exception driven – only sent when issues are discovered, or a complete report with all sites displayed regardless of their current status.

Daily Status Reports give you and your customers an ‘at a glance’ summary of the issues on your sites, and has been optimised for traditional email clients as well as iPhone, Android, and other Smartphones that can display HTML emails.

New Feature: Camera Tamper Detection

CheckMyCCTV Camera Tamper Detection launched

A CCTV system is only as good as the images it is recording. So if your cameras have been tampered with, your CCTV system may be as good as useless if the cameras are not recording the intended target area.

The problem is, how do you know when they have been moved? If the cameras are tampered with the system would carry on recording and the user would be blissfully unaware that their CCTV system is severely compromised. A manual check could be done, but this would be a hugely time consuming exercise comparing a ‘reference’ image against the current image.

CheckMyCCTV already monitors for camera faults, but it now goes one step further and monitors for camera tampering.

How does it work?

The Camera Tamper Detection function in CheckMyCCTV works by taking snapshots from each camera every day at user defined times (usually one during the day, and one at night). These are analysed and compared with images from the previous day, if the new image changes its view by more than user defined threshold, an alert is generated.

Camera Tamper Detection is a semi-automatic check, meaning that although CheckMyCCTV will generate an alert when the image has changes above a certain threshold. It is designed to augment manual camera checks, giving the operator an indication that a camera may need to be investigated further.

What can it detect?

Using the Camera Tamper Detection feature, CheckMyCCTV can now monitor and report when cameras are moved, obscured, covered, or sprayed, using existing network connected CCTV recorders without having to purchase additional equipment.

A typical application for Camera Tamper Detection could be in a shop or retail environment, where cameras are trained on the Till areas, or at entrance/exit doorways of buildings. An alert would be triggered if these important cameras are moved or obscured.

We’re not going to claim that camera tamper detection is 100% accurate, it is designed as an automated ‘first pass’ to give the operator a means of quickly checking whether reported cameras have indeed been tampered with.

 

Why is your CCTV not password protected?

We’ve all seen the recent stories of pretty much any device or account being hacked for malicious means; phones, bank accounts, email accounts, Twitter, Facebook etc. etc.

But what about CCTV systems? There are more and more systems being connected online to allow remote viewing, but how safe are they from hackers?

Whilst we have been installing CheckMyCCTV on customers’ sites, it’s been astonishing just how many systems either use the manufacturers default password, or no password at all – 8 out of 10 CCTV systems were using the manufacturers default password.

If a CCTV system is connected to a broadband line and is using the default passwords it can be very easy for an unauthorised user to gain access and do some or all of the following:

  • View and copy images from the CCTV system.
  • Reboot or shutdown the system.
  • Stop cameras from recording.
  • Disable alarms or connection to a Remote Video Receiving Centre (RVRC).
  • Delete or overwrite recordings.
  • Lock out authorised users.

You wouldn’t install a lock and give a key to anyone who happens to knock on the door – which is exactly what you’re doing if you don’t change the default passwords.

Check with the manufacturer regarding how to change the passwords, and put it on your checklist to complete before signing the site off – The integrity of your customers’ CCTV system and your reputation may depend on it.

Visit all your sites, without leaving your seat

With today’s high fuel costs, making unnecessary maintenance visits to customers’ sites can add a pretty high hidden cost to your bottom line. For example, a typical 100 mile round trip will cost in excess of £15. In isolation that may not seem a great amount, but how many miles do your service engineers cover in a month?

CheckMyCCTV can reduce the number of service visits you make by connecting to all your sites and automatically diagnosing issues before an engineer goes anywhere near the site. If a site visit is required, it can be made with all the correct replacement parts and tools without having to make a return trip, saving fuel, time, and manpower, and in an ever increasing green economy, reduce your carbon footprint.

CheckMyCCTV can not only help reduce the number of service visits, but also ensure service visits are more targeted, and improve efficiency within a service team. This was demonstrated to us this week when a hard disk failure was reported by a CheckMyCCTV monitored system – the end user was blissfully unaware of any issues because the system looked like it was operating correctly, it just wasn’t recording!

The installer was immediately alerted to the hard disk failure by CheckMyCCTV, which also indicated the required replacement hard disk size. The installer then contacted the customer to let them know they would visit to repair the faulty unit, before they were even aware there was a fault.

One check, One call, One visit, One happy customer!

Try CheckMyCCTV now and see how it can improve your service efficiency.

Are your retail CCTV systems being checked?

CCTV is an integral part of retail loss prevention, security, and health and safety, and modern CCTV systems are powerful devices which store many days, weeks, or months of unattended footage.

Fit and forget?

Digital CCTV systems are often seen as a ‘fit and forget’ solution, and in an ideal world they would be, but the fact that they operate with very little human intervention can also mean that it could be many days, weeks, or months before any problems are noticed, and often only after an incident has occurred.

There are plenty of things that can reduce the operational performance of a CCTV system at any time – such as cameras becoming faulty or being tampered with, the hard disk storage failing, alarm connections coming loose, and even the clock loosing accuracy.

Supplement your maintenance contract

Even in this digital era, when many CCTV systems are connected to networks, maintenance contracts are still based on one or two site visits a year from the installer to ensure that the systems are working effectively, but this can leave a large part of the year when your stores are vulnerable if there is a failure.

Manual checking can be a time consuming and mundane task, especially across multiple sites. This is where CheckMyCCTV can help by running multiple operation checks on all your CCTV systems every hour of every day, alerting you when any of issues are detected so they can be resolved quickly with reduced downtime and maintenance costs.

CheckMyCCTV is used to monitor thousands of retail stores to reduce the risk of faulty CCTV systems, contact us at sales@nullcheckmysystems.com for a FREE 14-day trial or to discuss how CheckMyCCTV can help you.

 

New Release: CheckMyCCTV version 1.1.3

CheckMyCCTV version 1.1.3 is now available to download. This version fixes a few minor issues we had found or reported by customers using feedback@nullcheckmysystems.com. Current users can update their software by clicking Help > Check for updates and follow on-screen instructions.

Note: The Updates pop-up box is sometimes hidden behind the CheckMyCCTV screen, you can see it by minimising CheckMyCCTV. This issue is also fixed in version 1.1.3.

Improvements include:

  • Pop-up windows are no longer obscured when the map is displayed.
  • Improved the methods of detecting false readings from the DVR.
  • The Ping bar can now be hidden if the Ping function is not used.
  • The Unit Summary information can be re-read manually by clicking the ‘Refresh Unit Summary’ button rather than an automatic daily update. Useful if a unit has been replaced or modified.
  • The ‘Reset’ button in the Map now sets the marker back to the default location when no location has been set previously.
  • Added 72h threshold limit to the Text Recording test.
  • Fixed an intermittent issue when a site is renamed and a new tab is immediately selected causing an ‘Object Not Found’ Error
  • Fixed issue which occurs when a site is renamed, the view now displays the renamed site rather than the global view.
  • Fixed intermittent display issue when changing sites in the tree, sometimes the tabs on the Site Information page show the previous sites results.
  • Fixed an issue where the Software Update pop-up box is hidden behind the software.

We recommend that this update is applied to all existing installations.

Can you check your CCTV in under 20 seconds?

You can with CheckMyCCTV! The latest updates to the test engine now make it possible to comprehensively check your Dedicated Micros CCTV system and cameras in under 20 seconds*.

As an installer or RVRC, your customers may expect (or demand) that you regularly check their CCTV system. CheckMyCCTV is a simple and most cost effective way to ensure that your customers sites and your reputation remain in good health.

CheckMyCCTV automatically and autonomously checks many aspects of the CCTV system and gives you a status report in less than 20 seconds. If you had the time, patience, and persistence, you could (probably) manually perform all the tests that CheckMyCCTV does.

If you want to give it a try, here’s the tests you’d have to perform……on your marks….get set……GO!

  • Check that you can connect to the DVR.
  • Check that the time and date is correct.
  • Check that all the cameras are working.
  • Check that the unit is recording. (Are you sure it’s recording?)
  • Check that the hard disks are working.
  • Test the network bandwidth of the DVR. (Are you losing the will to live now?)
  • Take a daily configuration backup from the DVR.
  • Check that the DVR is actioning alarms. (Are we nearly there yet?)
  • Check that the DVR is connecting to a central station on alarm, etc etc.

I think you get the picture. In all there are up to 22 individual checks that CheckMyCCTV performs on every unit, every hour of every day.

So, do you really have time to check your CCTV systems manually? Find out how much time and resource CheckMyCCTV can save you, contact us today for a FREE 14-day trial.

 

* Tests conducted on a standard BT Broadband connection at 6Mb/s download and 330Kb/s upload using a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 PC.

Is your CCTV faulty?

Are your CCTV systems working right now? It’s a pretty simple question but in reality a difficult one to answer. There’s often no quick way of knowing if remote CCTV systems are operating as expected, which is where CheckMyCCTV can help.

In many cases faults are often only discovered when an incident occurs that has not been recorded, and by then it is too late.

We wanted to discover how many sites had typical faults or issues which were undetected. So with the help of our customers, we gathered statistics from a sample of 300 sites and included only the initial test result to represent of the state of the CCTV system prior to using CheckMyCCTV.

The results were surprising, 75% of all units tested had at least one issue which affected operational performance requirements as highlighted in the UK POLICE REQUIREMENTS FOR DIGITAL CCTV SYSTEMS document.

45% of units were recording for less than 31 days.
31% of units had the time set more than 1 hour fast/slow.
24% of units had the incorrect Timezone/Daylight Savings time configured.
16% of units had one or more failed cameras.
6% of units had problems with Alarms not activating.
2% of units were not recording at all.

Fortunately, CheckMyCCTV identified these issues and they were rectified by the installer. However, without using CheckMyCCTV it may have been several months before the issues were noticed, leaving a critical security gap in the users CCTV coverage.

It seems that there are plenty of documented cases where CCTV systems have been installed and are assumed to be working, but were not. I quickly found a number of examples by entering ‘faulty CCTV’ into Google search:

CCTV cameras weren’t working during Digbeth club shooting

Blackburn town centre CCTV cameras ‘faulty’

Quarter of council’s CCTV cameras not working

There were many more listed in the search results, and along with the Van Gogh painting which was stolen from Cairo Museum which I wrote about in a previous blog, it seems that faulty or incorrectly configured CCTV systems may not be as uncommon as first thought.

Want to find out if your CCTV systems are operating correcting? CheckMyCCTV automatically performs a number of checks on all your CCTV installations every day to ensure you systems are operating as expected. Contact us today at sales@nullcheckmysystems.com to trial CheckMyCCTV FREE for 14-days.