A home security system complete with video surveillance cameras and around-the-clock monitoring is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family against crime committed in your home.
According to Vivint Smart Home, the biggest deterrent reported by burglars is a monitored home security system. About 60% of burglars interviewed said a security system would make them choose a different target.
The one thing to remember about home security systems is that none are perfect. A security system is a tool like any other, with certain strengths and weaknesses. The homeowner’s goal is to fill in the gaps that security systems do not cover. He or she is ultimately the strongest link in the security chain.
To help you better understand the principle being discussed, here are five life hacks that will help you get the most out of your security system:
1. Protect Your Wi-Fi Network
Wireless security systems connect to a home’s wi-fi network for normal operation. Knowing this, is your network secure with both encryption and password protection? If not, it should be. Having an unprotected wi-fi network gives criminals open access to your security system.
The starting point is to protect your network with one of three protocols: WEP, WPA, or WPA2. WPA2 is the most secure option. Along with it, the password should be changed frequently. By no means should you stick with the factory password – it can easily be found on the internet.
Next, consider hiding your network. How do you do that? By going into your router settings and disabling public broadcasting of your network’s SSID. It is much harder for criminals to break into a network they cannot find.
2. Change Your Locks
Statistics show that burglars and home invaders prefer the front door as the main entry point. Next in line is the rear door and first-floor windows. So forget factory-installed door locks. Replace them with heavy-duty dead bolt locks. For the windows, get yourself some heavy-duty locks designed to prevent burglary.
3. Make Curb Appeal of Priority
We often talk about curb appeal in terms of selling a home. But did you know that the same curb appeal principles that can increase the value of your home can also be a deterrent to burglars? It’s true. When a burglar notices how meticulous a homeowner is about exterior maintenance, it creates a seed of doubt. He or she has to wonder if the homeowner is just as meticulous about security procedures.
The other side of that coin is a home that is not well maintained. Homeowners who do not put much effort into upkeep tell burglars they are probably careless about security procedures as well. This makes them attractive targets.
4. Maintain Your Privacy
In the era of social media and online narcissism, people are a lot less private than they used to be. The average American is more than willing to spill the intimate details of his or her life as these unfold. But such openness is a recipe for disaster. You will be a lot more secure if you maintain your privacy.
Do not live your life on Facebook. Do not post your plans for the entire world to see. Do not leave your first-floor drapes open when you are out of the house. Don’t do anything that would give criminals any insight into who you are and how you live your life. The less criminals know about you, the harder they have to work to exploit you.
5. Don’t Trust Strangers
When your mother warned you to avoid talking to strangers, she knew what she was doing. The final life hack is as simple as not trusting strangers. If someone knocks on your door unexpectedly, do not let that person inside. Do not step outside to speak to him or her either. Instead, send the person away.
Remember that a people with a legitimate reason to be in your neighborhood will be identifiable. He or she might have name tags, they might drive official vehicles, etc. You can always contact the company they work for to check on identification.
A home security system is a great tool. It’s not perfect though, which is why it is your job to fill in the gaps. Hopefully these five life hacks are enough to get you pointed in the right direction.