Four home security experts weigh in on ways to make your home safer. With all these pieces in place, thieves will think twice about choosing your home.
Obviously, we should lock doors and close windows at night. But what’re some other ways to keep your property and family safe? Let’s take a look at what the leading home security experts are saying.
Protect your home in “layers”
Most burglars are looking for a fast and easy payday. If your home is perceived as being a riskier option to rob, they’ll choose a different target instead. Just as we dress in layers when it’s cold, you should protect your home in layers, too.
Protecting your home from burglary is all about the layers… the more security measures you put in place to increase the risk and lessen the reward for would-be intruders, the less likely your home will be viewed as an easy target.
Executive VP of Global Security Experts
If you were a burglar considering breaking into your home, what would you be looking for? Your first obstacle would be proper lighting in the driveway which would expose you while trying to break into a car. Motion-activated lighting may make you wonder if there’s a security system in use. Lighting is the first layer of protection.
Thieves don’t want to deal with a security system. They know that not every house has one. So if they think your house is protected with a security system, they may as well choose another house to break into.
Even if you don’t have an ADT security system, what’s stopping you from displaying windowing stickers and yard signage as if you do? Easy!
Security while away from home
Burglars look for signs of vacancy. A vacant home is the easiest to break into.
The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when most people are away at work or school.
Expert Security Consultant
Signs of extended absence, especially while traveling, are like rolling out a red carpet for thieves. These are the three obvious signs you’ve been away for a while.
- Multiple newspapers in the driveway, or an overstuffed mailbox
- An empty driveway for several days in a row
- Constant lighting inside
McGoey suggests that “good neighbors will occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation.” Get to know the neighbors on either side of you and return the favors for them. A mini neighborhood watch makes a huge difference.
Leave nowhere to hide
Thieves are looking for three main things as they make a plan to steal: an easy entry point, the location of their desired loot, and an escape route.
Izzy Shulman, an expert locksmith, reports that burglars “often scout out homes for a few days to find the easiest entry points and track the behavior patterns of homeowners – so an overgrown garden gives them the perfect place to hide out undetected while they watch your property”.
As creepy as it sounds... that’s reality. Remove overgrown foliage if you can’t see areas from your windows. Don’t leave any way for criminals to move around your property without being seen.
Shulman also points out that items left in gardens are free prizes for criminals. “An estimated GBP 4 billion is spent each year on garden furniture, decorations, and equipment, meaning there's plenty of value to be found in unguarded gardens."
Smart home hackers!
Thieves no longer need to enter your home to steal your stuff. And while smart home technology is super useful, an unsecured network is a serious security risk. Home assistant devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Nest are especially coveted by burglars since they store payment information.
Former White House Chief Information Officer Theresa Paytion points out that “every device connected to the internet is a target”. Two of these quickest ways to lock down your network are to ensure it’s password-protected and hide it from public view. Payton says “When somebody drives by, they think you don’t have internet. They can’t see it”. Pull up your router’s menu and hide your network from public view. It’ll take a couple of extra steps for guests to connect, but it becomes less vulnerable to hacking as well.
- If you sell your smart home device, completely reset it to factory settings.
- Don’t reuse your wifi password for any other password.
- Enable two-factor authentication (like requiring a password and a text to be sent to your phone number).
- Read reviews on every smart device before you purchase.
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