In today’s product review section, we’ll be looking at DataDot – a rather exciting new product we’re reviewing partly because we’ve recently been introduced to it, and partly because it’s been shown to be quite effective in crime prevention in South Africa.
Datadot, firstly, is not a tracking device, as it is assumed to be by some. It’s a forensic marking device which you place onto precious items you’d like to mark, which contains a serial number & will label it as yours. The serial number is microscopic, and uniquely yours. Once you’ve placed your miniscule dots on hard-to-reach places on the devices & items you’d like to protect, they will be extremely hard to locate & remove. And you don’t just place one dot! You may use multiple dots to ensure that your product is permanently marked.
OK, so I’ve marked my product – but I can’t track it. What’s the point?
Well, if the product hadn’t been so effective, I would have said something similar myself. The thing is, the marking is only one part of DataDot’s method. Yes, you can put between 10 & 100 little serial-numbered dots on your laptop/flatscreen/cellphone/bicycle. These dots, as mentioned before, are usually extremely hard to locate & it is impossible to remove all of them (without possibly melting the entire product down to dust, thus defeating the purpose of the theft!).
It’s the doubt & insecurity principle which really makes this product effective.
The product becomes effective in the following ways:
1. It actually helps to prevent the initial intrusion into your home with the signage that accompanies each purchase. In areas where DataDot has been applied & signs have been put up (saying loud & clear that homes in the area have been fitted with microscopic marking devices), intrusion rates have gone down drastically. Contact DataDot directly for some of the stats.
2. It helps you track stolen items. The legal system can be a little bit tricky. Even if you know for a fact that the neon pink Vespa emblazoned with ‘Frikkie’s Bike’ in some stranger’s possession is your own, it can sometimes be difficult to prove it. Once you’ve microdotted your vehicle, however, there’s no question that it is yours.
3. It helps the SAPS to be more effective. Being able to track your items through microdotting makes their jobs a lot easier. Granted, you may feel that many in the SAPS aren’t doing their jobs properly, but you’ll be the winner if you help them out in this way. DataDot works actively with the SAPS to help retrieve stolen goods.
4. Microdotting is already an essential in the motoring industry. Some insurance providers insist upon its use & it’s help to retrieve countless vehicles in the years since it’s been implemented.
5. It can be used in a wide variety of marking applications – from power tools to vehicles, from cell phones to bicycles. It’s relatively easy, and surprisingly cheap. There is a spray option as well, used for specific applications.
7. This tool is sustainable. It’s simple to use, is a once-off application, and therefore won’t require constant monitoring or involvement from you, the home owner.
Prevention: the best method
Part of why I am so eager to promote this product is that it works along with other products, like InvisiBars™ which we sell, to create a really effective barrier against intrusion. We’ve discussed before how one should layer one’s security, but we didn’t get to emphasise enough the PREVENTION part of the criminal event. Naturally, this is the bit you’d like to engage in the most – stopping somebody from even wanting to target your home. DataDot comes with signage to warn all intruders that the items in this home are marked & that they’ll be pretty hard to shift, once stolen. Why does this work? Partly because it’s unusual. Criminals in South Africa have a lot of options when it comes to selling stolen goods. However, they’ve not had much experience with microdots, and though they could still attempt to sell the items which have been marked, it makes it far less appealing to them. And, like we’ve mentioned, it’s nigh impossible to remove all the dots. The marked products are in a database registered to the product’s owner, and once you report it stolen, they’re hot goods & a danger to anyone in possession of them. Identifying them as yours, once found by the SAPS, is simple, once they’re marked.
This is a wonderful & cheap approach to protecting your home. It also avoids violent confrontations, which is fantastic.
As DataDot themselves say:
The secret is to create doubt and insecurity in the criminal mind that he will not succeed.
Here’s a list of DataDot’s tips for crime prevention:
4 Key Principles if we want to implement this condition
- Move away from the conventional. Criminals are all too familiar with our predictable approach. Become unconventional and unpredictable!
- Make yourself less dependent on Policing. Demands on policing are far beyond what SAPS can provide. It is our responsibility to protect our homes against crime.
- Do not plan independent of the enemy! Security that seems adequate to the law abiding citizen is usually no match for criminals. DataDot is like nothing a criminal has dealt with.
- The plan for your area must be sustainable. All to often communities start off with enthusiasm, only to run out of steam a few months later
Herman Van Zyl of DataDot has this to say about the use of the product:
“The blatent criminal act (of which we all have first hand experience) has got a twin brother – deceit. In order to convert the stolen item into cash, one or more unlawful business transaction must take place. DataDot aggessively attacks that end. Because of these complications, criminals know beforehand that they are about to bite off more than they can chew! They will not enter your premises if they cannot make quick money without complications”
Visit the DataDot website for more information, and we’ll keep you informed of new suppliers in your area.