ZOOM Meeting

In 2019, our office began using Zoom teleconferencing software in our offices to keep in touch with staff and clients. This program has proved remarkable and has saved us a lot of time, both in and out of the office.

SECURITY seems to be in the NEWS a lot today about how “Zoom can be hacked”.  We have been concerned about that even before the NEWS started talking about it. As a licensed investigative firm, we ALWAYS take care in how we handle and safeguard sensitive information.

When we first began using Zoom, we set it up and tested it like most people do. Once you download it you can just “join” a meeting and you are in. Also, anyone else could join in also. The front door to your meeting was open! But, as a Zoom moderator, you DO have control over who enters your meeting space. You can require log ins, set up passwords and so much more. Most casual users don’t feel a need to do this or have never looked into how to lock Zoom down.

Zoom has just released an updated version (04/2020) that moves a lot of the security features up to the main meeting page where the moderator can easily see it and make changes on the fly. This is very helpful.

Here are a few of the ways Zoom can be secured by the moderator of a meeting…

  • Set up your account so it requires participates to pre-register  for the meeting.
  • Assign a password to each meeting.
  • Create a meeting that uses a unique meeting room ID, and not a personal room that uses the same ID each time.
  • Set up a waiting room that all participants connect to when the enter. You, as moderator will have to allow each one to enter the meeting.
  • Restrict participants from being able to chat with each other.
  • Restrict participants from being able to share their video, and send files to others.
  • Once the meeting starts, lock it so no one else can enter.

Also, as moderator, you always have the ability to kick someone out of the meeting.

There are more methods that can be used to help you set up a safe and secure meeting for everyone. Zoom offers free online classes and there are a ton of videos on YouTube as well. Do your homework and learn how to benefit the best way that fits your needs.

Think of Zoom like its your house. If you throw a big party and tons of people come in, and others show up that you have never met… things could get out of hand. Remember the old college day parties? That’s like Zoom with no security.

The security has been always there, but YOU have to decide to use it.

Our Investigative agency uses Zoom almost everyday and we have “Virtual Conferences” with clients and law firms to discuss cases. We would never use a platform that is not safe and secure. Each meeting may require more or less security and is set up accordingly. As moderator, the choice has always been there to do so.

Happy Zooming!


Alpha Agency Video

Get to know about our agency in this short video.

This is the most common question that we get. And when it happens, I love to answer it. Let’s face it, most people don’t call a Private Investigator everyday, so they are not familiar about our business, what we do, the services we offer, or the cost. Just know that all of this is okay… Relax, and ask questions – we are always willing to talk to you.

I will go over a few of the common questions we get here, and hopefully, this will enlighten you a little before you call us. Remember, we are just normal people too.

Hands down, our most common question really is “How much to you charge?”

The short answer is… “Depends”. The Alpha Agency offers a wide range of services to our clients and each one has a different cost involved. As an example, if you want a “Background Check” on someone. You call up and ask how much does it cost. Well, background checks can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars up to three or four thousand dollars. Yikes! Well it all depends on how deep you want to go. You may want one on one interviews with neighbors or co-workers. You may want to dig deep into their personal life, or track down marriage records.  The subject may have lived in a lot of locations or lived out of the country. All of these will make a difference in the over all costs.

Here is the best way to get an answer to the “How much does it costs” question…  When you contact the Alpha Agency to inquire about services, we would like to know a little detail about what your situation is. What’s going on that made you pick up the phone and call us? Once we know a little about your case, we can suggest a service and give you a precise cost. We never charge you for a consultation. It is always confidential. In fact, anything we discuss with you is protected by law.

Wanting to know what our services cost is a common question, and don’t be afraid to ask us. We look forward to talking to you for several minutes so we can determine what we can do to help you best. Thats what this business is really all about – helping our clients.

In the real world, no one cares one bit about what websites you’ve visited, what you’ve purchased on Amazon, and what you write on your anonymous blog about your children, your post-nasal drip, and your annoying neighbor.

They do care about your judgment, your public image, and your felonies. What a recruiter is likely to do is run a google search on your name. If pictures of you smoking questionable substances (or heck, in some companies, smoking legal substances) show up, that’s a problem. If your blog about how awful your current/last boss was pops up, that’s a problem too.

What do companies look for in background checks? It will vary greatly from company to company and State to State. Be sure to check your states laws concerning this. Most companies will look for the following…

Education verification (so don’t lie about that degree, even if you’re only 3 credits short)

Credit history (in relevant jobs, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission doesn’t really like credit checks, so many companies don’t use this tool)

Employment verification (did you really work at the companies you said you worked for, do your titles match what your resume says, and how long did you work there)

Criminal history (yes, that DUI will show up),

Certification/licensing verification (again, don’t lie, and make sure they are up to date)

Driving record (if the job involves driving)

Most likely you’ll also have to do a drug test and some companies require a physical exam. (This isn’t an intensive exam, more of a “let’s see if you have any problems to begin with” exam, so you can’t sue us for problems you had before you started working here. For jobs that involve physical activity, these can be more important tools.)

The recruiter and hiring manager will most likely run your name through Google, so do that before you start applying for jobs and see what pops up. If you have a common name, they may or may not wade through the junk to figure out what is about you. If there is someone with your name who does bad things on theinternet, you may wish to explain that this is not you. What you don’t wanted do is include non work related blogsor Twitter accounts on your resume or cover letter. Yes, you may be proud of your writing, but if it’s not related to your career, it’s more likely to do damage than help.

Now, keep in mind that when companies do internet searches on candidates in addition to the official background check, what they are really looking for is evidence of good judgment, or rather lack of evidence of bad judgment.

At the Alpha Agency, we normally customize a background check for an employer based on exactly what they need to look into. Then we work with their human resource department and help implement this into their hiring policy. That way, they a good, cost effective program that fits their needs.

Remember, the internet is forever, but if you have something up that really could be damaging to your career, you may wish to take it down and ask yourself, “Why am I putting things on the internet that I don’t wish the world to know?” Remember, the internet is not private. It is very public. VERY.

Overdose Symptoms:
Overdose symptoms can vary depending on the physical condition of the user and the overall chemical makeup of the drug that is used how often the drug is used and the amount. Some of the general symptoms users my exhibit are disorientation, delirium, blue lips and fingernails, cold and clammy skin, muscle spasms, discolored tongue and dry mouth, severe stomach cramps, and seizures. It is also important to note that subjects can overdose on heroin regardless of method they use to ingest it such as “snorting” or “injection.” The increase in heroin use is likely due to legislation, public awareness, and law enforcement interdiction on “pill mill’ pain clinics.
Common Signs To Look For That Someone Is Using Heroin:
Some Common signs that might be present when someone is using heroin or other narcotics are shortness of breath, dry mouth, small pupils, and sudden changes in behavior or actions, and disorientation. They could also exhibit periods of hyper alertness followed by suddenly nodding off, as well as having a droopy appearance, as if person’s extremities are heavy. Other signs of heroin or other narcotics abuse include possession of paraphernalia used to prepare, inject or consume heroin such as needles or syringes not used for other medical purposes, burned silver spoons, aluminum foil or gum wrappers with burn marks, straws with burn marks, small plastic bags with a powdery residue. The powdery residue may vary in color from white to tan to dark brown. In some instances it could also be a black tar like substance that contains heroin. If a citizen finds any of these items they should call 911 and have an Officer respond to properly secure these items. Some of definitive physical signs of heroin abuse are weight loss, runny nose (not explained by other illnesses), needle “track marks” visible on arms, infections or abscesses at injection sites, cuts, and bruises or scabs caused from skin picking.
Heroin Overdose Myths:
There are also a number of myths about how to treat someone suffering from a heroin overdose. Some of the myths include giving the effected person something to eat or drink or put them in the shower. Other common myths are giving the person an “upper” such as cocaine or speed, inducing vomiting or injecting them with water or milk. None of these help, in fact, they can actually make the situation make the situation worse. Your first response, if you suspect someone suffering from an overdose is to call 911. It is also a myth that the “cut” or purity of the heroin used is the only cause. The body can react poorly to heroin regardless of the purity.