Magazine article Security Management

APBS Via PC

Magazine article Security Management

APBS Via PC

Article excerpt

Another in the wave of security-related on-line computer networks is rolling out of Chicago, with future plans to expand nationwide. Up and running since mid-1994, The Security Network, developed by SeNet Corp., is now being expanded in conjunction with Wells Fargo Alarm Services, Inc. The network is intended to help businesses exchange crime alert information regarding activities such as credit card fraud and bad checks, explains SeNet President Thomas Hines.

When subscribers sign on, they see a windows-based program that allows them to send or receive bulletins or access other functions. If a subscriber wishes to send a bulletin, he or she describes a crime or incident through a series of prompts. For example, one prompt asks whether a vehicle was involved in the crime; if the user clicks 'yes,' further prompts ask for vehicle type, make, model, license plate number, etc. Users can type in their own narrative to cover details not solicited or provided by the prompts.

Subscribers can receive bulletins by crime type, geography, or other categories. For example, a bank might choose to receive only bulletins about armed robberies and financial crimes. When a "flash" bulletin comes in via PC, the receiver decoder supplied by SeNet - which decodes encrypted bulletins - starts beeping, even if the PC is turned off. If a printer is connected, a bulletin automatically prints out. Subscribers can also search through archived bulletins by date, location, type of crime, and other categories.

With less than two hundred subscribers and limited availability, the network has not resulted in any apprehensions so far, according to Hines. But he says that the bulletins can help subscribers ward off crime by taking defensive measures.

Hines says most crime bulletins originate from subscribers, but the board's operators also post general advisories. …

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