There was a time when home security meant having a good lock, a shotgun, and a bull mastiff named Jaws. Ha, ha! I am sure you’ll agree, considering the recent riots we have been going through because of a certain water sharing issue, as well as events in almost every country across the globe, that even the most fearsome dog can be deactivated with a raw steak full of tranquilizers. A good lock gives way to an even better axe. And shotguns are often deadlier to the occupants of the house than a would-be burglar.
Today’s intruders are more sophisticated and are armed with better tools. They also have multiple ways to cause you harm than a brute-force attack on your front door. While that is still a concern, you have to be prepared with more sophisticated means of security, and protect against other vectors of harm faced in the digital age.
Someone who never leaves their basement can steal your finances and good name in the blink of an eye. Your children can be targeted by their social media activity and the GPS in the cell phone you gave them for safety. Your family protection plan has to include these factors as well.
So how does one protect one’s family and self and stay safe?
Here are 3 safety tips you can use in this age of physical and digital threats:
1. State of the Art Home Security
Don’t forget the obvious. It is easy to forget about the older obvious tech when planning for the new. Your first line of defense for your family should still be a monitored home security system like the kinds offered by ADT and others. Monitoring is roughly $36 (Rs.2400.00) a month. For that, you get the equivalent of a devoted team of neighborhood watchers keeping an eye exclusively on your place 24/7/365.
There are both wired and wireless versions of monitoring. People in apartments will want the wireless version. The equipment uses infrared motion detectors as well as door and window sensors. This is just the beginning. There are other items you can get to protect the people you love.
2. Connected Devices and Home Automation
This is your family’s security. Start by ditching the practice of leaving house keys under the doormat. Don’t put them in the plant hanging next to the door either. You are not being clever. The burglars already know about your secret hiding places.
People leave these keys lying about in case they lock themselves out of their own house, and in the event someone who doesn’t have a key needs to get in. While these are valid concerns, there are better and safer ways of accomplishing both.
There is a growing selection of smart locks that will provide electronic entry into your home for you and anyone you designate. You can unlock you door remotely, or give someone a temporary electronic key. These smart locks eliminate the need for leaving physical keys lying around the property.
These locks can also be programed with home automation to lock automatically, or on command. That way, you don’t have to wonder if you locked the doors before going to bed.
You can also install smart doorbells with built-in video. When someone rings the bell, it shows up on your phone and you can see who is there, even speak to the person at the door. It will seem as if you are at home, even if you are halfway across the world. With connected devices and home automation, it is almost not fair, to burglars, that is!
3. Smartphone Security
Your children do not always understand the value of privacy. In fact, when they are very young, they even forget to put on pants before leaving the house. Nefarious individuals easily exploit this naïveté.
Your child does not have a right to privacy. They have a right to good parenting. You should be monitoring your child’s text messages. The bad guys use text messaging and social networking to stalk and victimize your kids.
Not only do your kids have to be taught propriety about what they publicly share, they have to be taught to utilize security measures built-into their smartphone. Lock screen passcodes and biometric entry are table stakes. They also have to be taught to recognize and avoid phishing attacks.
Today’s threats are very different from what they were in grandfather’s days. So they can’t be handled with grandfather’s tools. Keep the dog as a pet. But add a monitored home security system, connected devices, and smartphone security techniques.
Stay safe. Because safety first.
Why not be prepared?