Read the latest news and blogs surrounding access control, time and attendance systems and integrated security solutions with Tensor plc.
PIN Number Security Is Users’ Responsibility
With only days left until the Chip and PIN deadline on 14 February 2006, when retailers rather than banks will be held liable for any fraudulent transactions, it is still down to card users to ensure their PIN numbers are as secure as possible. Human error and complacency can often be factors in card fraud. It only takes someone to see your PIN number when you enter it, then if your cards are stolen and one number fits all, they will have access to all your accounts. Whilst taking measures such as frequently changing PIN numbers and memorising them can be difficult, they should be changed at least once a year. If this is not done they should at least be changed every time a new card is issued. To ensure PIN number security , credit card users should follow the following advice: A PIN number is not required for telephone, online or mail order purchases, so never give out your PIN when making these types of transactions. When choosing a PIN number be sure not to use an obvious or popular sequence of numbers – avoid numbers like 1111 or 1234 or your date of birth. Never share your PIN number with anyone. If you suspect that someone knows your PIN number, change it immediately or request a new one from your bank. If you have a joint account, each cardholder should have an individual PIN number. Avoid writing your PIN number down, but if you have to, never keep it with your card. If you have more than one card, have separate PIN numbers for each one. Don’t be afraid to shield the Chip and PIN terminal when you are entering your PIN number. Check your account details regularly for any suspicious transactions. If you see anything untoward, report it to your bank immediately. Remember, your bank will never ask you for your PIN number. Change your PIN number(s) at least once a year and every time you are issued with a new card. A total of 127 million Chip and PIN cards have been issued since the system was launched in 2003. The Chip is a smart card and cannot be skimmed like its predecessor, the magnetic strip card , and combines two-factor authentication which is a lot harder for a fraudster to compromise. Fraud reduction was the driving force behind the implementation of Chip and PIN and it is now proving very successful. According to The Chip and PIN Programme, there has been a reduction of Â£36 million in counterfeit, lost or stolen fraud on plastic cards in the six months from January to June 2005 compared with the same period in 2004. Tensor smart cards are based on the same technology as Chip and PIN cards, and provide unparallelled security for your access control system. Powered by RF technology, they provide a consistent read range, and can be combined with other technologies, such as cashless catering.
CCTV To Help In Blaze
CCTV is renouned for it’s detterant and crime detection abilities. However, following the Buncefield oil depot fire, footage is now being studied after detectives discovered that the security film survived the blaze. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are confident that the camera footage could hold the key to what triggered the inferno, and are due to investigate the causes of the blaze once the fires have been extinguished and the site is accessible to forensic experts. While much of the forensic evidence is expected to have perished in the blaze, police and HSE investigators are relying on the accounts of staff, oil tanker drivers, and surviving CCTV footage could hold vital clues. Digital CCTV camera and recording systems are available from Tensor, providing evidence quality footage to protect your property.
Five Million Unpaid Britains
The UK’s reputation for long working hours has been bolstered by a new study claiming 5 million Britons work on average an extra day a week in unpaid overtime. Millions of workers are still putting in up to an extra day a week for free, but there are now some welcome signs that some employers are beginning to realise that endless hours of unpaid overtime are often a sign of an inefficient workplace and not something to celebrate. The Confederation of British Industry is less convinced there is a problem and points to the increasing number of workplaces offering flexible hours. The study has reveled that despite full-time employees in the UK working the longest hours in the EU (excluding the new member states), Britain came only 12th out of 15 countries in terms of productivity per hour, with productivity per worker just 92 per cent of the average. The report comes as the UK faces new pressure from trade unions and other EU member states to relinquish its opt-out from the European Working Time Directive, which aims to limit the working week to 48 hours. The government, despite criticism from its union allies, claims the opt out is vital to protect the UK’s economic competitiveness. British unions however believe the government will eventually be forced to give way. The European Court of Justice delivered another blow to its position last month when it decided that working time of junior doctors should also include time spent "on call".
CBI Chief Says Business Must Review Security and Safety
CBI Director General, Sir Digby Jones, has urged firms to re-assess their vulnerability to security and safety threats in January 2006. He said that everyone in business needs to spend some time this January re-assessing their business risk after a year that has seen a major increase in UK mainland terrorism and a major incident at the UK’s fifth largest oil and petrol distribution depot. The CBI has identified six main areas where companies need to concentrate their efforts. These include: Controlling Entries & Exits; Physical Security Technology; Physical Security Basics; Validation of Staff. Sir Digby concluded, "Having the right plan and the right people in the right places can ensure that your business survives no matter what. It is a vital self-help insurance policy that everyone in business must have." As a key UK security company, Tensor has the products and technology to help companies follow the advice of the CBI.
Keep Thieves From Your Door
Homes and businesses left empty at Christmas make easy pickings for burglars. Securing your property not only gives you peace of mind, but can also cut your insurance premiums. So how can you protect your premises, even when you aren’t there? Security on the Cheap Have a noisy property. A front drive or roadway with deep gravel creates a loud crunching noise to deter trespassers. For those who live or work in the country and have a bit of land, geese make for excellent security and a gaggle can be bought for less than Â£100. They make an ear-splitting racket when disturbed at night, are cheap to feed and can live to at least 20. Thorny shrubs beside windows and property boundaries are great for ripping tell-tale bits of clothing and impaling uninvited guests. But beware growing a hedge that provides cover. Potential muggers and burglars may also use the undergrowth to spy on your property and launch an unexpected attack. Electronic Deterrents A recent survey of convicted burglars showed that of the 35 interviewed, two-thirds rated alarms highly for deterring a break-in, 63% said that they would probably or definitely not burgle a property which had CCTV and 86% believed security lighting could be an effective deterrent. Tensor are experts in providing CCTV systems for industrial, commercial and domestic premises. All of our systems provide the evidence quality footage needed for the pictures to be used by the Police for investigative purposes. Whether you require covert or just a regular CCTV solution, give Tensor a call.
Another Failure To Agree On WTD
EU employment ministers have again failed to reach a deal on rules for working long hours, despite the UK’s shift on the opt-out clause from the 48-hour week. The revision of the working time directive has been sparked by a ruling in Europe’s top court that all time spent by workers on duty – whether actually working or just making themselves available – should be regarded as proper "working time". The UK presidency was determined to push for an agreement at the last employment and social policy council under its chairmanship, but its final compromise position was rejected by 15 out of 25 countries, including Germany, France and several new member states. The ministers failed to agree on whether or not a date for the eventual scrapping of the opt-out should be made clear in the revised directive. On top of this, they ended in stalemate over the issue of workers’ contractual time limits. In an attempt to reach a deal, the UK presidency agreed that working longer than the average limit of 48 hours per week should be regarded as an exemption to be gradually reduced and "eventually made redundant" . The rejected compromise also included several stricter measures to ensure workers are not forced to sign contracts stipulating long hours.
Tensor Christmas Cards 2005
Each year Tensor’s graphics department produce yet another amusing card for us to send to our customers, suppliers and friends just before Christmas. What probably is not known is that as we produce the Christmas cards in-house and do not purchase them from a charity, we make a charitable donation on behalf of Tensor, it’s customers, suppliers and friends. This years donations will go to the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) and the MacMillian nurses.
Biometric Security Breakthrough
Biometric security, at least in theory, has been around for a decade. But the use of biometrics for computer security and user authentication has failed to attract much practical interest to date because the clunky devices were costly, inconvenient and intrusive. All that is about to change with the introduction of the Tensor range of "plug and play" biometric fingerprint scanners. A finger scan is required to gain log-on access to the computer and its contents, delivering simplified access to password-protected personal and financial information, web sites, documents and e-mail. The bar has been raised on security for the entire PC industry. What was once considered sci-fi technology is now available to all PC and notebook users. The subdermal capabilities of the Tensor range mean that the biometric scanners capture more than just the fingertip’s surface area, helping to prevent misidentification. By actually scanning the subdermal layer of skin, even fingerprints contaminated by dirt and grease can accurately be scanned. The recognition process takes less than a second, with the fingerprint having been scanned and compared to the previously stored templates of authorised users. In addition, registration of authorised users is quick and easy, and is ideal for beginners or experienced computer users alike. We have three different models of "plug & play" fingerprint scanner, guaranteed to fulfill your biometric requirements.
Benefits of Better Health and Safety Standards
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, in partnership with a network of Euro Info Centres has launched a new website to provide businesses with good practice information on occupational safety and health at work. The website – http://osha.eu.int/priority_groups/business – enables businesses to quickly find relevant information on health and safety legislation and includes a special section for SMEs to guide them to sources of advisory services and good practice to ease the compliance process. Statistics released by the Health and Safety Commission in November 2005 show that in 2004/2005 levels of various workplace incidences fell by eight per cent on the previous year but companies must continue to do more to improve health and safety standards in UK work places. Last year in the UK 220 workers were killed and 30,213 workers suffered major injuries whilst a further 120,346 other employee injuries led to their being off work for more than three days. As a result British business lost 35 million working days overall in 2004/05 and the cost is estimated to run into billions of pounds – 2001 figures from the Health and Safety Executive stated that the cost to business was up to GBP2.8bn from workplace injuries. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work said: "If you run a company, especially a small one, you may be misled into thinking that securing safety and health is difficult and costly. In fact it is the other way round as the business cases we have looked into demonstrate that higher safety and health standards lead to higher productivity. This is the message we would like to send to companies across Europe". Maive Rute, the European Commission’s SME Envoy and Director responsible for the Euro Info Centres network confirmed an increasing interest among SMEs in safety and health issues: "Small companies often find it difficult to ‘translate’ and absorb new regulations into their daily operations. By pooling the resources and expertise of Euro Info Centres and the network run by the European Agency, we are better equipped to address their practical needs." The new website offers firms a collection of good practice examples, which they may easily and economically implement in their workplaces. A directory of national sub-sites provides access to safety and health regulations at the national level. In addition the website offers an overview of recent studies into business aspects of occupational safety and health, such as Corporate Social Responsibility, the impact on productivity and economic incentives for safety and health.