Image to Text

Have you ever been at a meeting or conference and wanted to transcribe a slide or document? If you are like most folks nowadays, you snap a picture with your smart phone. But did you know that there are now apps that can convert your picture to text? Yes, actual text! Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has gotten very advanced in the last few years. Search the Google Play or Apple App store for OCR apps. My favorite one is Prizmo, and there are a lot of other good ones.

How to Make Google Alerts Work For You

Do you read the news daily? If you want to get the most up to date news try google alerts. You can set up an alert for just about anything. For example you can set up an alert for your company name + shoplift. Once the alert is set up you can get the news directly sent to your inbox. It’s free and easy to set up. Go to to get started.

CONTROLTEK’s Popular FlatGuard™ Tag Receives an Upgrade

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., (February 15, 2018) – FlatGuard™, the world’s first EAS tag for small leather goods, has received an upgrade expanding its range of uses.  According to Tom Meehan, CONTROLTEK’s Chief Strategy Officer, the new version of the tag will have a stronger outer shell to accommodate placement on jackets, in addition to its current uses in wallets and other small leather goods.  The tag now also comes with an RFID option.

“The FlatGuard has been really well received by the LP community,” said Meehan.  “One comment I often heard was, ‘why hadn’t anybody came up with a tag like this before?’  The second most common comment was the suggestion to change the tag in a way that would allow its use for a wider range of merchandise.  The uniqueness of the tag is in its super-slim design.  We made it specifically for wallets, but we see an adoption in other merchandise too, such as handbags, suits and now jackets.”

According to Meehan, CONTROLTEK is also adding RFID as an option to this tag, which is another response to the feedback from the industry.

Need Down-to-the-Minute Precision Forecasting? Try Dark Sky.

Dark Sky is an app and web-based weather prediction service. It is remarkably accurate when it comes to rain predictions and provides down-to-the-minute precision forecasting. If you travel frequently, this app may save you time and keep you dry. The service has won countless awards.

The Dark Sky is available for IOS and Android, and a web based version can be found at Give it a try and stay dry.

2018 Emerging Trends in Cyber Risk for Retail

(This article originally appeared in Loss Prevention Magazine)

LP Magazine‘s columnist Tom Meehan, CFI, shares his top five predictions for cyber risks retailers can expect in 2018:

1. Ransomware attacks will increase in 2018 and will become more sophisticated. Ransomware has been more prevalent in the past two years. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, these attacks have gone up by more than 250 percent. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to computer files by encryption. A hacker will demand a sum of money to be paid to get your files back.

2. Attacks in both digital and physical worlds will become more serious. In the United States, we are increasingly likely to experience our first large-scale attack on critical infrastructure, designed to disrupt government and private sector. In 2017, there were several large-scale airport, airline and utility company outages that were made possible by errors and outdated systems. In 2018, we can expect more of this.

3. Governments will continue to be prime targets for cyber attacks. The attacks will be organized by a variety of players, including rival governments and private actors. Cyber warfare will be a more recognized and used term. Cyber warfare involves the use and targeting of computers and networks in warfare. It can include both offensive and defensive operations for the purposes of espionage and sabotage.

4. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will improve threat detection. AI is already being widely adopted in searching for and analyzing of potential threats. Use cases will include endpoint, firewall, network traffic and exception reporting. However, keep in mind the bad actors are working with AI as well.

5. Attacks on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices will reach a new high in 2018. IoT devices can already be found everywhere and are becoming even more popular. Hundreds of millions of connected devices have little or no defense against hackers, making them easy targets. In a retail setting, IP cameras are one of the many such devices that can be vulnerable to hacks. IoT device makers are slowly making progress in securing their products. That won’t help the millions of devices already deployed that are not secure and are difficult to patch.

Our risk in retail is continually evolving. The rapid change in retail is making it increasingly difficult for us to mitigate risk. We must remain vigilant and take a balanced approach that focuses on prevention and how we respond to a cyber event.

Tom’s column regularly appears on every issue of LP Magazine. To subscribe to the printed version of the magazine and enjoy other great content visit