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Aside from locking our doors at night and parking cars in a safe place, most of us don’t think about security for more than a couple of minutes a day.
In many ways, the United States is a safer country than ever. Property crimes, such as burglary, robbery, and theft, have all plummeted in recent years. However, billions of dollars are still lost each year due to property crimes.
A type of theft that is on the rise in the United States in identity theft. We are all taught the dangers of identity theft, but are rarely given specifics on how to keep our data more secure.
In this article, we’ll cover basic security tips that will keep you, your family, your property, and your data more secure at home.
Securing your home
First, let’s start with the simple things. Check the exterior of your home. Do you have accessible windows, and are they kept locked? Similarly, are any of your doors glass? If so, thieves may easily break the glass and unlock the door from the outside. At night, keep your home safer by installing motion sensor lights around dimly lit areas.
Speaking of locks, make sure yours are high quality deadbolts. Also, keep track of all keys and don’t leave keys in careless places such as under doormats or flower pots.
Use the latest tech to your advantage
Smart home technology isn’t just good for clapping lights on and off. You can use smart home security systems to lock and unlock your doors from work, check security cameras, and protect you and your family from fire and carbon monoxide all from an app on your phone.
Buy a safe
Safes aren’t just for millionaires and they don’t just prevent burglaries. A good safe will keep things secure from fire and water hazards, as well. Items you’ll want to keep secure include important paperwork, passports, social security cards, copies of financial documents, jewelry, emergency cash, and hard drives or flash drives with photos and documents on them.
Keep your home safe while you’re away
One of the most important times to keep your house secure is when you’re not in it. An empty home is an easier target for those seeking to gain entry into your home. While you’re away, be sure to let a trusted neighbor know you’ll be gone. Have them take in your mail for you so it doesn’t look like the home is unoccupied. Before you leave, check that the windows are locked and that nothing has been left on in the house except for a light.
Protect your identity
To keep your information safe from prying hands hoping to turn a profit, here are some best practices to follow.
Shred documents with your personal information, don’t throw them out with your garbage
Don’t fall for phone or email scams; unless you entered something you probably didn’t win anything
Don’t let anyone enter your home unless you called them first
Be selective of the information you share on social media. Never post photos of your forms of identification, or tell others when your family will be away (a.k.a. Your home empty)
Always keep your smartphone locked with a passcode
Change your passwords to various websites frequently. Don’t use the same password for multiple sites, and make your passwords complex. Instead of words, use pass “phrases” or series of words.
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Home automation is a budding industry. From tiny buttons to order more laundry detergent, all the way up to fully-integrated home security systems that you can run from your smartphone at work, home automation has never been more comprehensive.
Deciding which, if any, home automation systems are right for you can be difficult. As new technologies are constantly being manufactured, you’ll want to buy a product that will last. It isn’t uncommon for a product in a new industry to become obsolete just a year after purchase.
In this article, we’ll help you understand the latest home automation tech and give you some advice on which ones are likely to remain useful in the coming years.
The Amazon Dash
Amazon Dash buttons are a simple but genius idea. It’s a button that you can fix to your washing machine, or the inside of your pantry cabinet. The buttons are available for a number of common household items that you won’t want to run out. Things like trash bags, dish soap, laundry detergent, coffee, bottled water, and more.
The Dash connects to your wifi and the battery can last up to 1,000 presses so you won’t have to worry about recharging. The other benefit is that you can customize which product the button orders. So if your cat only likes a specific flavor of Meow Mix, they’ve got you covered.
One downfall of the Dash button is that its function can easily be replaced by a home assistant like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. However, if you don’t care for all of the added features of a home assistant, the Dash buttons might be a good option for you.
The latest devices in home automation are assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Since these products are new and undergoing rapid innovations, it’s likely that we’ll see several models from different manufacturers in coming years. It’s rumored that Apple is also entering the fray with their own home assistant device.
Home assistants generally come in the shape of a small speaker that you can place in your living room. They are voice activated and will begin listening if you say the magic words (“OK Google” or “Alexa” in the case of the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo).
These products can set alarms, control lights, order products, search the internet, give you directions, play music, read the news, and more.
Smart home security
Security systems have come a long way in the last few years. When you once had to approach your security keypad to set alarms, you can now do it right from your smartphone.
Also new to these devices is the full integrated of other electronic systems in your home. You can control the thermostat, lights, door locks, and more right from an app on your phone.
There are several designs on the market which has made them less expensive and more accessible to the average consumer. That also means there are several online reviews comparing the different systems which make it easier to do your research to find the best system for you.
If you don’t want a full system, there are other smart security products that you can buy à la carte. These include smart locks that you can unlock with your phone, or by using a security PIN.