With so much focus on security measures to combat the threat of online fraud and cybercrime
it is sometimes easy to neglect the need for basic security to protect our money and property.
Time and time again we hear that so called secure internet sites, banking or security systems have been breached. Take the example of contactless cards, one minute we are assured they are safe and the next we hear that stolen cards can still be used years after they have been cancelled. However, despite the fears, internet and mobile technology is so convenient and essential to our lives, many of us just hope for the best. But perhaps the tables are turning.
Cyber crime is obviously a massive ongoing issue and even though official (ie manipulated) crime statistics indicate a downward trend in burglaries, ‘old fashioned’ crime is still a major problem and old fashioned locks and bolts seem as good as anything.
Many motorists, fearing that cyber criminals can easily overcome key fobs and other ‘modern’ security, are returning to older protection and I have seen a number of crook locks on steering wheels of late.
It has always been difficult to keep a determined and well equipped criminal out, but with any security device using electronic or digital technology now seemingly capable of being hacked, there is an unease about computer security. We may not see a return to people keeping money under the mattress, but there is meaning and comfort in the old adage ‘under lock and key’. Lock and fob just doesn’t do it.
Some criminals may have retrained as cyber hackers and fraudsters, but there are plenty of burglars around and they can be very ingenious. It isn’t just the use of the high tech gadgets that we have seen in the Bond and Mission Impossible films, modern inventions can have other uses, so selfie sticks are being used to fish keys through letter boxes to get into homes and cars.
The latest trick in London is for thieves to saw through bike racks and put gaffer tape over the cuts. Cyclists lock their bikes to the rack and the thieves simply remove the cut section of the rack to steal the bike. However, my favourite remains a claim at a Golf Club from years ago where thieves, faced with a noisy anti-tamper proof alarm bell simply dug a hole, ripped it off the wall and buried it.
Perhaps this ingenuity is why the British public have always had a fascination and romanticised the likes of Dick Turpin and the Great Train robbers. They were hardly in the Robin Hood mode, but had a grudging respect as to their exploits, particularly when the victims are the mega-rich, banks or big organisations and any violence committed along the way was sometimes forgotten.
The media still love the high profile cases, but the reality is that most theft is by opportunists, frequently to finance a drug habit. Little romance, just victims, so lock up!