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While the public is made aware of the use of their personal data for legitimate and abusive purposes, it does not stop people from continuing to enter personal information in online forms and to publicly share information about themselves and others. Although this information may lead to increased convenience such as through targeted ads and local search results, public sharing has led to such long lasting abuses as identity theft. Identity theft involves the false assumption of another individuals identity through use of the their readily available personal information in order to gain access to bank accounts, credit cards and other financial information usually for financial benefit. Some people whose identity has been stolen have become bankrupt, had criminal charges made against them, and the victim hours spent in repairing the damage from the theft as well as the inability to clear negative records have resulted in additional long term distress and other negative outcomes. What does the future hold?Consider the government approved group that hacks computers, the Tailored Access Operations group TAO inside the NSA. What we know is that the TAO gains access to computers remotely, using programs with fabulous secret names like QUANTUMINSERT and FOXACID. We also know that TAO has created specialized software to hack into all manner of electronic information devices including computers, routers, servers and smartphones, and that its agents often install data collection implants into this type of equipment by intercepting its signals and infecting it while in transit. It has been estimated that TAO has successfully hacked into, and is currently extracting information from, over 80,000 computers worldwide. According to the Chief of TAO, who has spoken publicly on this program, there are things you can do to limit their ability to hack you systems. He mentioned limiting access to important or private information only to those who absolutely need it, not lightening security ever even temporarily, and making sure to shore up any cracks in your security no matter how tiny they may seem. This being said he implied that while this would make is job more difficult it would not prevent you from ultimately being hacked.

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Each time we update our reviews, we also update our scores based on how customers currently perceive the products. We do this by extensively researching user reviews at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe's. When we test, we borrow some of the DIY security systems from their manufacturers and buy others. Although we may reach out for technical support or for clarification on a particular feature, the companies have no input on our testing practices and we don’t share our results or rankings with them before publishing our reviews. As we researched this topic and security systems in general, we reached out to Jamie Vos, vice president of the Electronic Security Association ESA for his thoughts on DIY systems. He emphasized professional monitoring for security systems: “If you receive a text alert, you may not be in a condition to respond and you may not hear an alarm. At that point, you have lost valuable response time, whereas a professional monitoring station can automatically alert first responders. ”We also contacted Kirk MacDowell, a board member with the Security Industry Association SIA and president of MacGuard Security Advisors Inc. He said a security system can act as a central heartbeat in the home. “Devices such as locks that can be opened remotely, home light control and thermostats that can raise or lower temperature are all tied into one convenient app and then tied into the alarm, making the operation seamless. ”How we tested DIY home automated systems For each new DIY security system, we test in two areas: user experience and ease of installation.