CENTURION Mini Product Catalogue

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Get Security Fit for 2017

By this time, New Year’s resolutions have been made and broken, and that gym membership card has been banished to that murky corner of one’s wallet where good intentions go to die. You know the spot, right between your video rental loyalty card and that lotto scratch card you were so sure was going to let you quit your day job and sail around the world on your yacht, the Nauti Buoy.
Copyright: katalinks / 123RF Stock Photo

While a healthier body and mind should be a priority on everyone’s self-improvement agenda, we often neglect to direct our efforts outward and ameliorate the environments in which we exist, and we do so at our own peril.  What we’re saying is, hit that treadmill, kick that bad habit, and let’s bulk up that home security system.

In order to accomplish this, we asked three seasoned security and reaction professionals to give us their pro-tips on how to accomplish the security equivalent of the ultimate beach bod.

EPR Security

EPR Security is a firm specialising in electronic security and surveillance with its head office in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg. With over 20 years’ experience providing security and reaction solutions to the West Rand, the company has developed a keen sense with regard to identifying possible security vulnerabilities in residential premises, and implementing countermeasures.

EPR’s managing director, Johan Booysen, provides the following tips for fortifying your home against criminal intrusion:

Only make use of a security provider which is a registered member of the South African Intruder Detection Service Association (SAIDSA) as this is a guarantee that any work carried out by them and equipment installed meet the required standards

Obtain qualified advice from a security consultant who will carry out a risk assessment and recommend physical barriers and an alarm system specifically suited to your property

Copyright: fotosenmeer / 123RF Stock Photo
Gate automation will reduce the risk of an attack in your driveway when opening or closing a gate manually      

Test your alarm system at least once a month after informing your security service provider of your intent to do so

Install exterior lighting; consider lighting which is activated by a motion sensor

Reduce or eliminate foliage and bushes in the vicinity of your driveway as these act as good hiding places for criminals

Increase visibility from your home to your points of entry if possible.  Consider installing an intercom, video intercom or CCTV system to increase visibility

GSM-based intercom systems will create the impression that you are home even if you are not, as they will communicate directly with your cellphone


The APCAN Security Group is a privately-owned security firm whose rapidly-growing footprint covers Gauteng, Polokwane and Cape Town. Founded in 2004, the company is a significant player in the security arena, and its services run the full gamut of security solutions, from guarding to armed reaction.

APCAN’s Gerhard Oberholzer agrees with Booysen regarding the importance of keeping one’s driveway clear of shrubbery and vegetation that can be used as hiding places for criminals, and adds the following points:

Streetlights – dark streets attract criminals. Ensure that your house is illuminated from the outside and entrances and exits are clear and visible
Copyright: gumpapa / 123RF Stock Photo

Vagrants – vagrants and suspicious people in your neighbourhood need to be dealt with. These people monitor your movement and have time to plot criminal activity

Dumping – a messy neighbourhood attracts criminals and creates the impression that the community is also not concerned about what happens in the area. For example, if you’ve recently bought expensive electronics, be sure to dispose of the boxes properly and do not leave the packaging in the “normal” rubbish as this attracts thieves

Power – frequent power outages deplete your alarm system’s battery, so test and, if necessary, replace batteries at regular intervals. It is also a good idea to invest in a UPS or generator or an additional battery pack for your alarm system

Paul’s Gates

Long-time CENTURION partner Paul’s Gates has been around since the late 70s, and is a turnkey provider of security and access control solutions, with a diverse portfolio including access automation, electric fencing, CCTV and even turnstiles and booms.

According to the company’s Graham Salvado, 70% of burglaries occur during the daytime, and he recommends using all available lines of defence such as electric fences, gates, CCTV and alarm systems. He also stresses the importance of not letting one’s guard down and staying vigilant.

“All crime occurs when one is caught off-guard!” he says.

Centurion Systems would like to thank Johan from EPR, Gerhard from APCAN and Graham from Paul’s Gates for their invaluable and selfless contributions to the maintenance of community safety and security. We owe you a debt of gratitiude.

Friday 27 January 2017

New G-WEB PLUS Innovation Introduces the Contact List

Users of CENTURION’s G-WEB PLUS online interface will now be able to populate a useful central contact list from which they can conveniently import contacts to their devices.

The web portal, which was launched as a companion product to the G-SWITCH-22 GSM module in 2011, has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent months with both cosmetic and functional changes at the order of the day. Since its genesis, G-WEB has evolved to meet client usability and security needs, but the true epoch of its ongoing metamorphosis was when “PLUS” was affixed to the product’s name, for it signaled a new era marked by the addition of a plethora of new features.

While G-WEB was originally launched as a management and administration portal for what was at the time CENTURION’s sole GSM product, the aforementioned G-SWITCH-22, it has since become a turnkey solution complete with a device health monitor and the ability to download transaction logs indicating not only device interactions, but also changes made to the system settings.  

With the improvements to G-WEB, CENTURION is another step closer to embracing media mogul and communications pioneer Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the global village, and creating an environment in which the digital and the corporeal worlds converge.

In conclusion, G-WEB PLUS is an altogether more mature and well-rounded offering than its predecessor and, judging by the paeans of praise pouring in from the public, one that is a hit with its users. 

To set up a contact list, log into G-WEB PLUS and, on the home screen, click on the My Contacts menu item:

To add a contact, simply click on Add Contact to the bottom left of the screen:

You’ll now be presented with a pop-op screen. Once you’ve completed the requisite fields, simply click on Add to complete the addition, or click on Done Next to add more numbers.

Should you wish to add a number to a device using your contact list, navigate to that device’s access numbers, and click on Add Number from Contact List:

Have you checked out our series of G-WEB PLUS video tutorials on YouTube? Watch them here.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Social Media and Security: What are the Risks?

Social networking sites such as Facebook and its great granddaddy MySpace have created a veritable microcosm of peer-to-peer interactions, marketing and entertainment. What started out as a simple means for people to reconnect with school friends and faraway family members has to some extent spawned an entirely new reality that is, in many respects, a far cry from the pre-social media days.

This dramatic shift in our experience of social reality can be seen as an important part of the ongoing process of globalisation, the wave of digital “oneness” sweeping the globe and leaving blurred – or even completely erased – cultural, socio-political and geographical lines in its wake.

But where has this Brave New World left us from a personal security perspective? What new challenges has the Information Age wrought, and what can we do to better safeguard ourselves and our loved ones against this new generation of tech-savvy criminals?

Let’s find out.

Don’t share your password

As we mentioned earlier, social media has created a completely new world and, to all intents and purposes, your password is your key into that world. You wouldn’t go around lending out the key to your home all willy-nilly, and your social media accounts’ passwords should be treated with equal care and respect.

Letting your password land up in the wrong hands can be absolutely ruinous; from having your online reputation tarnished to falling victim to fraud, ensure that the fidelity of your social media passwords remains intact.  Cyber-security experts also recommend using a phrase rather than a single word or thought as your social media password.

Understand Facebook’s security settings

Those settings exist for a reason, and it’s important that you and your family members are completely au fait with them.

To access and configure Facebook’s security settings, click on the little down arrow next to the lock icon, which can be found in the top right-hand corner of your screen:

This will produce a drop-down menu. Click on Settings:

You’ll now be taken to Facebook’s General Settings menu, with more options on the right-hand side. Click on Security:

From this screen, you’ll be able to edit your security preferences and create a more secure social media environment.

If you have kids, know what they’re getting up to online

For all its benefits, social media has sadly also become a rich hunting ground for predators who exploit the relative anonymity of cyberspace for their own nefarious purposes. We are not advocating spying on your kids, but we certainly encourage sitting down with them and having an open discussion about the dangers of social media. The more you educate them, the more you’ll be able to allay your own feelings regarding these platforms. Empower your children to be better, more security-conscious social media users.

Be wary of advertising your absence from home

Though I have not yet been able to establish the validity of this report, there have been rumours doing the rounds regarding insurance firms overseas not paying out claims when it was discovered that the claimant had posted about his or her holiday on social media. While these claims have, in all likelihood, been greatly exaggerated, it is certainly wise not to be too specific about the dates during which one intends to be out of town. Social media wouldn’t be social media without holidaymakers showing off their idyllic lifestyles, but we recommend that users avoid posting specifics that could leave things back home vulnerable.

Don’t publish your home address

This one may seem patently obvious, but you don’t want strangers knowing where you live.

Use a secure protocol when accessing social media sites

You may know the “https” prefix from accessing your online banking profile, but chances are you haven’t given much thought to what it means. The “s”, as you’ve probably guessed by now, stands for “secure” and the presence of this protocol essentially means that the website you are visiting has been given an extra security layer to help safeguard against malicious online behaviour such as phishing.

The security protocol ensures that communication over the website is encrypted and that private information is kept, well, private. The majority of social media sites natively encrypt communication but, if you don’t see “https” in front of the URL, you can (and should) manually enter it.

Not all “friends” are friendly

We all receive friend requests every now and again from people we don’t know and, in the majority of cases, it’s a completely harmless gesture. Someone spots your profile under “People you may know” and decides to add you. No harm, no foul.

But, just like in the corporeal world, there are those individuals who have intentions far more diabolic than merely “liking” pictures of your cat.

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance’s Stay Safe Online website, just because it’s fun to create a large pool of friends “doesn’t mean that all friends are created equal”.

The website recommends “[using] tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even [having] multiple page. If you’re trying to create a public persona as a blogger or expert, create an open profile or ‘fan’ page that encourages broad participation and limits personal information”.

Friday 6 January 2017

2017 Welcome Letter

At the denouement of a particularly taxing year, it often proves difficult for us as human beings to let the scars it has induced scab over and heal. No, we tend to pick and scratch at them, analyse and dissect until we are able to figure out what exactly went wrong.

2016 was not an easy year by any definition of that word. It had to prove that it still wasn’t quite done with us by robbing the world of another two greats, beloved Star Wars actress and mental health activist Carrie Fisher (whose famous mom, Debbie Reynolds, died a mere two days later) and pop icon and “Last Christmas” singer George Michael who, in what can only be described as tragically poetic, passed away on Christmas day from suspected heart failure. One satirical image doing the rounds on social media showed Time magazine naming the Grim Reaper as its person of the year, having swung his dreaded scythe a little too enthusiastically in 2016.

But, in the words of the infinitely quotable playwright George Bernard Shaw: “we are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility of our future”. And indeed, each and every one of us has a responsibility to create a brighter, hope-filled future. We are the authors of our own destinies.

The year ahead promises to hold plenty of excitement for CENTURION customers as the FAAC acquisition continues to drive growth and the expansion of our product range with a view to penetrating new markets. Already, FAAC’s robust bollard range has seen massive uptake on the African continent. There have also been some rather exciting rumours regarding the launch of a brand new automation product (or two) for the domestic market later this year, but for now the details are being kept under wraps until we are able to give you official release dates.

Our clients will also be able to enjoy an enhanced user experience when connecting with us in cyberspace thanks to a completely revamped website boasting a much crisper design as well as optimised navigation with a decidedly user-centric interface.

With a fully responsive design that automatically adapts to the user’s screen size, beautiful graphics and easy access to a wealth of information and features – including product documentation, a supplier locator and our world-renowned blog – the new Centurion Systems website will be a fitting digital storefront for the leaders in gate automation and access control. As with our access automation products, we believe that this touchpoint should not merely be functional, but should engage the senses and offer a thoroughly immersive and pleasurable experience, and in this regard we believe we have succeeded.

The new website has been tentatively slated for a February 2017 launch.

We’re looking forward to another great year of sharing our passion – creating industry-leading access automation solutions – with you, our valued clients. #Automate2017

Thursday 5 January 2017

Property Managers: This is Why You Need GSM Access Control

Copyright: gstockstudio / 123RF Stock Photo
Orange is the new black, coffee is the new wine, comedy is the new rock ‘n roll and, if current security trends are any indication, cellphones are the new remote controls.
Say what?

While remote controls will undoubtedly always have a place in the access control environment (and in our sentimental old hearts), there are those who consider them to be anachronistic and passé, remnants of a simpler time. Technology, by its very definition, has to keep evolving and nowhere is this truer than in the case of security technology, where a single misstep in the race to stay ahead of the criminal curve could have disastrous and far-reaching consequences.

Property managers and bodies corporate are switching over to GSM access control en masse. Is this a passing fad, or is cellphone access control here to stay? What’s all the hype about?

Let’s find out.

Lower stock-holding

Copyright: twinsterphoto / 123RF Stock Photo
Is having a box full of remotes in your office cramping your style? Could that spot in the corner better be utilised by your golf clubs? A surprising benefit of using GSM access control at the property, or properties, that you manage is that it can actually free up some space as you don’t have to keep any physical devices in stock.  The tenants use their own cellphones for access.

More security

Remotes have gotten a bad rap of late as vulnerable to security threats such as copying or cloning and, in the case of code-hopping systems such as CENTURION's NOVA, there is actually very little risk of this happening. That being said, GSM offers an even more secure solution since only learned-in, authorised phone numbers can access the system, which is usually also password-protected. In addition, website administration makes it possible to draw detailed transaction logs documenting which numbers were used for access, at what times, etc.


Whereas remotes can generally only be used for control (it’s right there in the name), the majority of GSM devices offer outputs as well as inputs, which can be connected to alarm systems, electric fences and even mains power and set up to send the users SMS notifications of events such as power failures and alarm breaches.

Offsite administration

This is another major, time-saving benefit of opting for GSM access control: the fact that users can be added and deleted, device settings edited and bulk communications sent – all from the comfort of one’s home or office. A number of leading GSM products offer offsite administration via a website or online portal. This also makes life easier for tenants since they don’t have to wait for someone to come and program their remote onsite. It can be done remotely in a matter of minutes.