Cat Flaps or Cat Doors Undermine Security | PoC
Cat flaps can undermine the security of your home. I am not saving that they are a critical factor in making your home less secure against burglars but there is no doubt that they are a weakness and we should do all we can to strengthen security particularly at times of financial hardship, such as during a depression or recession, as this is when burglaries tend to increase.It appears that cat doors in the US are generally larger than those in Europe or at least the UK. A dog flap or door or a multipurpose one is certainly larger.They may be large enough for a thin or small person to crawl through. Generally they will be far too small for that but they still present a security risk.Let's take what might be a typical scenario. You have a cat flap (called "cat doors" in the US) in the back door of your home. The back door is not overlooked but there is fairly easy access to it from the street.You tend to come into your home through the back door. You put your keys down on a counter top and forget about them. The keys are say 7 feet from the back door. Not problem you think. You aren't even thinking about security because you have never been burgled. You go to bed. A burglar can put his arm through the cat door and using a long thin stick he or she can fish the keys off the counter top to steal the keys. He or she may come back weeks later and enter your property when you are away. Even if the door has bolts on it the burglar can still get in by using a pole to release the bolts.Keys should be placed well away from cat flaps and pet doors. And cat or dog doors should be small enough to prevent small people crawling through them.In the following video two burglars entered through a "pet door".This must have been a very large pet door! What is interesting is that the owner had internal security cameras (hence the video) and the images where transmitted to her work place. She saw it happen and called the police. The burglars were caught apparently.This seems a bit odd to me because she had great internal security and systems but a wide open entrance to the property. It is far better to prevent criminal behavior than to have systems that allow you to catch criminals.Anyone who has suffered a burglary, and I have (at night), will know how it affects you. Police under rate its impact on the home owner's mental state. The experience can stay with you for years and affect sleep for years. It can make you feel insecure and it might force a house sale.Cat flaps or cat doors are extremely useful and commonplace but they pose a potential security risk. We should always be vigilant and present simple barriers to the casual burglar.
As a result, in order to underpin its smart catflaps, pet doors and feeders, which are controlled by a pet’s existing veterinary-implanted microchip to prevent daring forays by intruder animals, SureFlap spent a great deal of time and effort pondering how it might best implement an effective and secure IoT back-end system. As Hill explains:
If you're installing the magnet permanently, use tape while you test that the sensor works properly. Once you're happy with the alignment, use cyanoacrylate (superglue) or hot melt glue to secure the magnet permanently. Use a layer of tape to enclose the entire glued assembly - this will help keep it from sticking to or catching on the cat. Make sure the glue is fully dry and tack-free before the cat is allowed to use the flap!After building an HTTP polling infrastructure that was more suited for traditional client/server model web applications, SureFlap began looking for IoT platforms that could accomplish their requirement of fast, secure, and cheap connectivity. Xively was a top choice for executing on SureFlap’s connected pet product vision.In 2008, SureFlap founder Dr. Nick Hill needed a way to keep neighborhood cats out of his home but let his own cat come and go freely and securely. Like many outdoor cats, his pet did not wear a collar but was microchipped. This gave Dr. Hill the idea of using his cat’s unique RFID chip as an electronic door key to get through the cat flap door and into the house without letting intruders in. But this was just the beginning. SureFlap also began offering in 2014 a pet feeder that uses the same RFID detection technology to monitor a pet’s diet.The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap is the secure flap for you and your cat! Install a SureFlap to rid your home of intruder cats. Your cat will feel secure in his own home, safe in the knowledge that they neighbour's cat can't get in to steal his food, spray in his territory and invade his space.
The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap uses your cat's existing identification microchip as an electronic door key. SureFlap is powered by 4 x AA batteries which last up to a year with normal use.
SureFlap uses patented RFID technology and is able to read all the standard identification microchips used for cats worldwide. SureFlap solves all the problems associated with magnetic and infra-red cat flaps as it only opens for your cats and does not require and expensive collar mounted key.
More information on the product and availability can be found on .
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