Category Archives: U-Spy Questions

U-Spy Questions

Hotels Top Identity Theft List

Identity theft is the new watchword; hackers, thieves and criminals are continually discovering new methods to twist technology in an effort to steal personal information. Social media networks, cell phones, discarded utility bills and outright theft of personal property are all means employed by thieves to hijack your personal information.

Trustwave, a security and compliance company, provides security information services and end-to-end solutions for businesses in an effort to protect confidential information systems. A recent report shows that hotels are now the top source for credit card data theft, surpassing restaurants for the top spot; nearly 40% of all personal data in 2009 came from hotels/motels compared to just 13% of thefts from restaurants.

Hackers target hotel/motel booking and reservation centers due to the high-number of credit card numbers these entities keep “on-file.” Like the Internet, once a credit card is in the system, it’s available. A successful hacker can steal thousands of credit card numbers and, in essence, thousands–or millions–of dollars. Credit card numbers are used for numerous hotel services, such as bars, beaches, golf courses, swimming pools, gift shops, spas, and other recreational areas; however, they’re all processed through one main database.

Since hotels use proprietary systems, they’re easy for hackers to exploit: a computer system at one hotel is similar, if not exactly the same, as the computer system at a competing hotel.

The other unavoidable fact of hotels and motels are the number of employees who have access to the computer system and your personal data. According to an ABC News Report; “You have so many different employees going through the system that it allows them to either skim cards or put in malware that lets the bad guys hack into the system.”

In June 2010, Destination Hotels & Resorts had its computer system hacked and the credit card data of more than 700 guests from across the country was stolen; in January, Wyndham reported that their computer systems were breached and hackers accessed information from 31 hotels between November 2009 and January 2o1o. They never reported how many cards were compromised.

Credit card companies usually don’t require consumers to pay for unauthorized charges, but credit card users must report the theft in a timely manner to ensure their identity remains safe; the best method to is to check statements regularly and keep tabs on credit reports.

U.S. & Russian Spy Rings Mimic Hollywood

If you’ve been reading or watching the news lately, you undoubtedly know that the United States and Russia are in the midst of a so-called spy swap.  On June 27, the FBI arrested 10 people on charges that they were deep-cover spies working for the Russian government but living for years in the United States. Their job, according to the DOJ, was to determine U.S. “secrets by making connections to think tanks and government officials.” Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Secure the Garage!

Securing a home is something with which most of us are familiar, even if we don’t own one. Security bars, electronic locks, home security systems, video cameras, and motion-sensor lighting are all tools that help deter crime. Too often, however, the focus is on the home’s living areas, leave a “weak link” in home security that’s easy to exploit. Continue reading

Covert Video Recorders

HELP! I Need to Record this Event on Video and all I Have is My Keychain!
Have you ever run into a situation where you needed to take a picture, or record an event on video, but didn’t have your camera with you?
Whether it is a Confrontation with a Neighbor, a Run In with the Police, a Sexual Harassment Situation, or just Good Times with Friends, there are many situations where a video camera can make all the difference.

U Spy Enterprises is proud to bring you the Key Chain Camera. Continue reading

GPS and Video Surveillance in School Buses

In Richmond County, Georgia, the  Board of Education wants to install GPS tracking devices and video cameras in the county’s school buses in an effort to make the bus routes safe–or safer–for children.

If installed, parents will be provided with accurate times for pick-up and drop-off, which will enable families to keep better track of their children. Some parents, however, feel that GPS trackers and video cameras may result in stalking and spying. While many parents feel that this new technology is a good idea, some parents feel that video cameras and  may lead to stalking and spying. The parents’ concern is two-fold; it’s unethical to “spy” on children, and they (parents) fear that others may be able to track their children in order to abduct them.

The school district takes a different point-of-view: The buses are state property, and according to Georgia law, schools are allowed to monitor their assets.

The cost of installing a system for the district will run in the range of $40,000; money that the district will have to raise if they wish to install two video cameras and one GPS unit on every bus, and will ask the Richmond County Board of Education to purchase the equipment for 128 buses.

According to WJBF-TV in Augusta, the district’s intent is to install a camera in the aisle and one in the front of the bus, monitoring activity on the bus on a consistent basis.

GPS trackers and cameras will operate when the bus is running, and drivers won’t be able access either piece of equipment,  “but school authorities will be able to view any recorded information at their discretion. The school has attempted to reassure parents by stating that the new equipment is being installed to increase efficiency, and that the school board is not interested in spying on students.”

The umbrella benefit is that bus drivers, responsible for keeping children safe, fall under the scrutiny of the district, ensuring that bus drivers “…are conducting themselves in a professional manner.” Corporations, like UPS, have used GPS trackers to ensure employees stay within company guidelines while using corporate assets.

Twin Cities Teacher Snagged By FBI for Child Porn

Gregg Alan Larsen, a former St. Paul Central High high school teacher in the Twin cities has been indicted on child pornography charges. Federal agents snagged Larsen, age 49, with over 100,000 child-pornography images and videos on his home computer.

The indictment stemmed from a raid of the man’s Minneapolis home last year. A former special-needs teacher, Larsen allegedly used a hidden camera to film children in the bathroom of the foster home he ran. He was accused Wednesday under a sealed indictment that became public record yesterday afternoon after he appeared before a judge. Larsen taught special education at the Minneapolis high school when school administrators found out he was under Federal investigation. This information comes to us courtesy of the online version of the Pioneer Press.

Larsen faces a possible 90-year sentence for two charges of child pornography production, one charge each for child porn distributionand possession. Larsen was licensed in April 2000 as foster care provider, using his Minneapolis home as a childcare facility. Child protection and privacy laws prevent state officials from announcing whether any children are being cared for in the foster home, but the state indicated that endangered children would be immediately removed.

The FBI caught Larsen during a Maryland child pornography investigation in May 2009. Agents linked Larsen to 20 images/ movies of child pornography that were recovered from a network user’s folder. The images mainly involved boys who had not yet reached puberty. Five images involved victims of child exploitation.

On July 1, 2009, FBI agents raided the man’s home. According to the FBI, the charges that Larsen produced child pornography resulted from two incidents in 2006; the events took place in April, June, and July. Larsen knowingly persuaded two minors to commit explicit sexual acts so that he could record them. The Press does not mention why the indictment took place a year after Larsen was caught.

Surveillance cameras, whether small enough to be a key chain, or a full-sized video camera mounted as part of a home security for  video surveillance purposes, provide documentation on video for private investigators, large and small businesses, and also home security systems. U-Spy Store strives to sell high-quality products to reputable people. If you suspect that some one is using a hidden surveillance camera, please do not hesitate to notify us either by phone or email.

Police: Man charged with eavesdropping

Posted: Sunday, April 25, 2010 6:10 am

GLENS FALLS — A Granville man was charged with eavesdropping Saturday after his ex-girlfriend discovered a recording device hidden in a child’s backpack, police said.

Donald A. Connolly, 34, of Route 22, was charged with felony eavesdropping after someone in the ex-girlfriend’s home spotted a red light on a 4-year-old’s backpack, Glens Falls Police Sgt. Keith Knoop said.
Knoop described the incident as follows:

Connolly and the ex-girlfriend have a 4-year-old child in common. Connolly had dropped the child off at the woman’s Glens Falls home Saturday, and a short time later the light was spotted on the backpack.

They found what appeared to be a recording device sewn into the backpack, and brought it to the Police Department. Police confirmed it was an audiorecorder.

Connolly was called to the police station, and admitted he put the device on the backpack.
He did not explain why, but Knoop said it appeared to be related to a custody dispute.

He was charged with eavesdropping and released pending prosecution in City Court. Police Officer Dan Habshi made the arrest.

Should you get a Digital Video Recorder which can be viewed on a cell phone?

Do you ever wonder what is going on at your home or business while you are away? These days an Internet Ready Digital Video Recorder can be found in more places than ever and at an affordable price. Keep in mind however that not all Internet Ready DVRs are capable of being viewed on a cell phone. As a general rule of thumb, if it doesn’t say anywhere in the product description that the DVR can be viewed on a cell phone, it is probably not cell phone viewable.

Recently more cell phone (more specifically I-Phone and BlackBerry) viewable systems have become available which means a wider selection and better prices. For example, a complete package can be purchased for around $750 with 4 cameras, an LCD monitor built in, the latest H.264 compression, and capable of being viewed on an I-Phone or BlackBerry.

There are certain factors which must be considered first before buying a system for the purpose of accessing with a cell phone. First you should check with your provider to find out how much data you are allowed to download each month. Frequent live viewing can use up to several megabytes of data per day so it is recommended that your plan include at least 500 Megabytes of data per month for downloading. Second there will be limitations to viewing live video on a cell phone. For example, your video will likely not be real time which means it will not look as smooth as it would when looking at your video on a monitor at the location of the DVR.

All things considered it is still a great feature to be able to see your Security Cameras from an I-Phone or BlackBerry. This is especially true when the safety of your family and the protection of your assets are depending on it.

For more information about viewing Security Cameras on a cell phone and any other questions about Video Security, contact the experts at U Spy Enterprises or visit

Understanding Motion Activated Recording

Many customers of ours are aware of motion activated recording. This is a function of your video security system that provides recordings only when there is action or activity in the camera screen. Many people incorrectly believe this function is provided by the camera. It’s actually the DVR that senses the motion and starts recording when there is action. Any camera will not effect the Motion Activated function. So don’t worry about the security camera you buy when considering the Motion Activation feature. Here is how it really works.

The DVR has several choices of how to record. Motion Activated, Continuous, Timer or Schedule, etc. I don’t understand why anyone would choose anything but the first choice, Motion Activated Recording. This means, that in each camera, should any activity be detected, the DVR will record. And usually, the DVR will only record that particular screen. At least the higher quality (all of our DVRs) do. How the technology works is that whenever pixel motion is detected in the screen, the DVR things it is motion. So anything from a bird flying by, a tree or bush blowing in the wind or even an empty bag blowing in the wind. Other undesirable motion detection issues may be TV or PC monitors.

Another cool function of this Motion Activated Recording is the Mask or Screening feature. Let’s say you are shooting outside and there is a large tree or bush in the picture. You have the ability with al of our DVRs to screen or block out the tree. Just going to the Motion Setting area and you will be able to see the blocks or screen (depending on your DVR type) and control the area that sets off recording. You will see the entire screen in the live view or when the desired Motion areas have activity. But the tree blowing in the wind will not effect motion. Use this also for heavily traveled roads that are not critical security areas. If your business or home is near a busy street, the traffic can be eliminated.

There are other great features too. You can decrease or increase sensitivity as needed in the settings. This could be handy when you have some inconsequential slight motion like reflected lights entering the room through windows and such. A person walking through the screen should set motion recording off even in the lowest of sensitivity settings but you should test the settings before you assume everything is right.

The whole idea behind these features is to offer you the convenience of not having to watch hours of video when an incident occurred and you are unsure of the time of occurrence. So you walk into your office at 6am and discover a missing object. You can simply play the camera channel or channels that has the view of the missing object and the effort should be easy. Start reviewing your video at the time you know the object was present. As you play, only activity in the camera will be played back. Not the entire time frame.

Another great benefit is that you will save hard drive space. As you record video, you use up valuable hard drvie space. So if you can economize the amount of recordings you make through motion recording, you will ultimately have more days of recordings on your hard drive before it starts to recycle. This means you can view further back into history to check activity instead of buying a larger or an additional hard drive.

We hope you found this helpful. For more information, please visit our website’s video swcurity section or call us toll free: (888) 338-4545.