From the dawn of humankind, security has been a top of mind concern for homeowners. Some threats have changed with time. We don’t have to worry about being mauled in our caves by prehistoric predators, but home break-ins still happen about every fifteen seconds, and result in losses averaging about $1,600. While having a good home security system installed is always a best practice, at Vigilante Security we know all too well that it’s no substitute for getting some fundamentals right.
Make Your Home a Hard Target
Depending on where you live and your age, you probably remember a time when people could go to sleep with their cars and homes unlocked. Those days are behind us. Make sure that every key entry point — your doors and windows, garage, basement windows, and even pet doors — has a lock, and that you’re using those locks. Stow ladders and tools. Change the security codes periodically for safety, and also to keep wear on your keypads uniform (it sounds silly, but thieves can often identify your codes by the wear on your keypad). Also check the structural soundness and hardware on doors and windows, repairing or replacing to ensure strength and safety.
Don’t Get Left in the Dark
Thieves love your valuables, especially if you’ve got something they can fence quickly. One thing they don’t like? Being seen. Good outdoor lighting, especially in tandem with security cameras, has a proven deterrent effect. Indoor light helps, too, since it can keep your home from looking unoccupied even when you’re not there; timers and smart home systems can help in this regard. Just don’t leave shades or blinds open, since you don’t want to give away any hints as to your home’s contents or layout.
Keep An Eye on Your Trash
Some thieves will never set foot in your home, but they know plenty about your life. Identity theft is more common now than ever before, and part of your security plan should include securing your identity. Shred your papers. Bought electronics? Collapse the boxes and take them to the dump so they don’t alert thieves (or nosy neighbors) to your expensive purchases. If you have to dispose of electronics, remove and destroy SIM cards, SSDs, and hard drives (a drill press will do the trick, or you can call a reputable company that specializes in secure disposal).
Protect Information, Too
The tips on trash apply to other aspects of your life as well, since there are other ways you can and should safeguard your personal information. Going on vacation? Don’t talk about it to your acquaintances or out in public; the person you’re talking to may be trustworthy, but the person eavesdropping on your conversation might not be. Similarly, take steps to secure wireless communications. Secure your Wi-Fi and anything connected to your home network — smart thermostats, baby monitors, and any number of “smart” devices are a lot easier to hack than you think, and can leave you exposed. Non-electronic data that must be saved, like bank statements, tax documents, loan information, and passports, should be put in a fireproof safe or lockbox, or may be stored offsite in a safe deposit box.
Get a Helping Hand
We find that most homeowners are diligent about home security when they’re left to their own devices. But experience has taught us two things: first, even diligent people slip up. Second, your own knowledge and even a Google search that leads you to an article like this one isn’t a substitute for a helping hand from a security professional. If you’re trying to beef up your home security, Vigilante Security will evaluate your home and the steps you’ve already taken. We’ll identify the gaps in your protection and help you close them.
As times change, so too must our approaches to keeping our homes and families safe. We don’t have to start a fire in the living room to ward off bears and wooly mammoths, and moats with alligators went out of style several centuries ago. Our tools and methods have evolved, and Vigilante Security is here to help Troy homeowners protect what’s most important to them. Contact us for a consultation and home security system installation today!