Friday, August 31, 2012

Facebook As A Crime-Solving Tool

We are large into educating our followers of our blogs about the importance of utilizing a little precaution and thought regarding the information that you post on the internet.  As, what you put out there today, will most likely still be there (somewhere) 10 years from now.  However, there are still lots of people who stupidly post on Facebook and other social networking sites.

A simple Google search will lead you to find hundreds (or even) thousands of news stories where stupid Facebook updates have led police to the capture of criminals.  These stories range from parents thinking a picture of their baby pretending to smoke from a bong is funny to the arrest of a mafia hitman who was so update-happy the FBI were able to track his GPS.

Police departments across the country are becoming more and more wise of the impact of social media.  This goes well beyond a department realizing the need for a Facebook account.  It points to  fact and are beginning to utilize social media as a valuable method of collecting evidence about crimes and criminals.

A recent article by CNN looked at a pioneer in the emerging area of collecting criminal information from social media websites.  It's becoming a big thing the city of Cincinnati.  They are collaborating University of Cincinnati's institute of Crime Science to further understand how to search for and collect information.  They started small, like many departments, and had a few officers who would look for and make note of possible criminal activities.  However, it wasn't until the collaboration that things really took off.  By working with social-media experts, they were able to learn how to more efficiently search for information.  This information (such as a known criminal's friend list) was then placed into a database, which was then able to be cross-referenced against known criminals and records. Officers quickly learned that Facebook was being utilized to set up drug deals, brag about crimes, and even as a place to share videos of criminal activities.

Although the judicial system is still largely playing a game of catch-up with the advances in technology.  However, warrants are available for the official collection of online data from all of the social networking sites out there...and that allows for the appropriate chain of evidence for the information to be utilized in court.

If social media is going to be a means of mass communications among criminals, departments across the country are going to have to become knowledgeable of how to search and acquire that information as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Dirty Is Your Communication Center?

We've done an article or two about the dirt, grime, and germs that can live in and on your computer.  If you've missed them, your computer can be quite disgusting.

Over time, lots of stuff can accumulate both on and under your computer keyboard keys (as well as your LCD screen, mouse, and your work station).  The majority of what is on and in your computer is comprised of food crumbs, minor drink spills, and generic household dust (which is comprised of everything from dirt to dead skin cells).  This grime can cause your computer to stop working properly or even make you sick.  As for making you sick, the dirt can be harboring a lot of potentially harmful bacteria (such as staph or E.coli).  Some studies have even found that many work stations rival the germ-factor of public restrooms...particularly if they are shared by multiple people.

You can clean your personal computer by gently shaking out crumbs and using a little disinfectant cleaner (always onto a lint free cloth and never directly onto the computer, of course).  But, what do you do about your communications center that is manned 24/7?

Most departments have a janitorial staff that cleans the room.  However, they rarely manage to clean in/under/around the workstations of the employees....and they definitely don't ever touch the computers to clean them.  So, how dirty are your communication centers?

The bottom line, it's pretty dirty.  Getting it cleaned will probably help to keep the employees that work their healthier as well!  A company called Console Cleaning Specialists specialize in cleaning 911 centers, dispatch centers, and other mission critical offices throughout the United States.  Utilizing a team of trained professionals, they (quietly) clean your mission critical offices without affecting your ability to continue to do the essential daily jobs with minimal interruptions.  This is not a regular daily or weekly janitorial cleaning.  A cleaning from Console Cleaning Specialists is a once or twice a year deep cleaning of your work stations.

To schedule an appointment or to get an estimate of the cost to clean your communication center simply request a quote on their website!