CheckMyCCTV Starter Pack Promotion

For a limited time, we’re offering new customers our CheckMyCCTV Starter Pack, which gives you everything you need to start checking the Health, Status, and Operation of your CCTV installations right now, at a great value price.

 

The CheckMyCCTV Starter Pack includes:

 

  • CheckMyCCTV Software (Client/Server)
  • 25 Unit One-year License
  • Remote Configuration*
  • Remote 1-hour Training Session*

Sign up for a 14-day FREE CheckMyCCTV trial today and see if your CCTV systems can be monitored for operational issues and faults, every hour of every day.

* Remote Configuration and Training session requires remote access using free TeamViewer software.

Beta support for Genie DVR released

CheckMyCCTV Genie Beta supportCheckMyCCTV now supports Health, Status, and Operation monitoring for Genie DVR products. If you would like to participate in the Beta Programme, please register to download the Trial and let us know that you are using Genie DVR products.

 

You can send your feedback, comments and suggestions to feedback@nullcheckmysystems.com and we’ll respond to every email.

CheckMyCCTV is currently supporting the Core test functionality for Genie DVRs including:

  • Network Connection
  • Time/Date Accuracy
  • Camera Status
  • Disk Recording
  • Recording Duration
For more information on Genie products visit www.geniecctv.com

 

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.

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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.

Has your CCTV been tampered with?

We’ve all seen Hollywood movies and TV dramas showing criminals tampering with CCTV systems prior to committing the crime.

Admittedly, they’re often pretty far fetched, but there are methods used by everyday criminals or disenfranchised employees to tamper with CCTV systems and leave them vulnerable.

Here’s 5 ways that your security system could be compromised through tampering, and how to detect that it is happening…

  1. Disconnected Cameras – A pretty basic one, a CCTV system can’t record what it can’t see. If the power or video cables can be seen by a would-be criminal, they can be disconnected. Check that cameras have not been disconnected from the system, especially ones around opportunist targets such as POS areas or Staff exits.
  2. Camera Tampering – As a camera that is disconnected produces an alarm condition, cameras are often moved, obscured, or otherwise tampered with to ensure the system is not recording the criminal activity. Check that the cameras are pointing where they should be, and the image is not obscured or blocked. It’s worth taking a snapshot reference image from each camera and comparing against that.
  3. Time or Date Adjustment – Adjusting the date or time on a DVR may be used to cover up a crime being committed, or at least make it difficult to find. Check that the time and date is accurate, there may only be a few minutes discrepancy either way, but that’s all it takes.
  4. Disarming the system – Some CCTV systems may use a keyswitch or timer to Arm or Disarm the alarms – especially if it is being monitored remotely. If a system has been accidentally (or purposely) left in a disarmed state then it may be leaving the site vulnerable. Check that your RVRC is receiving alarms from your site at the expected times.
  5. Disconnecting Alarms – If the site connects to a central monitoring station on alarm activations, damaged or disconnected alarm sensors can leave the site vulnerable by not signalling alarm triggers back at the central station. It could be many days before the central station realises that alarms are not triggering. Again, check that your RVRC is receiving the expected amount of alarms.

If you think it seems like a lot of work to check that your systems have not been tampered with and make sure they are working – you’re absolutely right, it would take a huge amount of resource to conduct these tests even once a day.

Fortunately, CheckMyCCTV automatically detects and reports suspected CCTV tampering and system faults every hour of every day, protecting your assets, property, staff, and your company’s bottom line.

If you are responsible for the upkeep of your company’s security systems, or if you play an active role in reducing shrinkage, try CheckMyCCTV FREE for 14-days and check the status of your CCTV systems today.

Did your CCTV system change to Summer Time?

The clocks went forward on Sunday 27th March, so it’s crucial that the time on your CCTV systems is adjusted to compensate. Last year, about a third of CCTV systems monitored by CheckMyCCTV did not update the daylight saving time, so were running 1-hour out for some time before they were adjusted.

Time and date information is critical with any CCTV system. If it is incorrect it can lead to issues searching for video evidence and events, especially if these are tied to times from other sources such as Till Receipts or ANPR collection. But not only that, if your system uses recording or alarm schedules it can mean your CCTV is not giving you the recording coverage you expect.

Recording schedules can change the record or quality patterns of the CCTV system, so it may adjust the quantity or quality of images from certain cameras at different times, if the CCTV clock is not adjusted, the record schedule will be incorrect.

Likewise, an Alarm Schedule may affect when alarms can be triggered on the system, this is especially important if your alarms are fed back to an RVRC (Remote Video Receiving Centre), as they will not receive alarms at the expected scheduled times.

CheckMyCCTV users were alerted if their CCTV systems did not change to Summer Time. Check that your CCTV system has adjusted the time using our FREE 14-day Trial.


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.