Burglary and Identity Theft
The majority of crimes in the US are property crimes, with three out of four homes experiencing a break in at some point. Burglary is a common property crime, with 88% of burglaries being home burglaries. However, identity theft is the fastest growing time of crime in both the US and Canada (Source). That’s a bit worrying. The actual numbers vary from place to place, but the overall picture is that at some point, you’re likely to experience someone trying to break in. What can you do about it?
Rapture Audio – an expert in smart home technology in Cache Valley – suggests a few simple tech upgrades can help.
3 Tech Upgrades That Can Improve Home Security
1. Smart Locks
Most burglars don’t want to come into your house if they think someone’s home. You can reduce chances of a burglar trying to break in by having lights on in the house while you’re away at night, and by parking your car somewhere highly visible, but these aren’t guarantees. Another thing that burglars try to avoid is forceful entry. The noise of breaking down a locked door or window is bound to draw attention, especially if you have to make more than one attempt. So, if your door is locked, it’s a safe bet that burglars won’t try to break in.
A smart lock is a great way to make sure your doors are locked. By integrating the lock with your smart home hub, you can lock and unlock your doors from anywhere. When it’s late at night and you don’t want to walk all the way to your front door, just pick up your phone and lock it remotely. If you’ve gone out of the house and can’t remember if you locked it or not, you can check your phone and find out. Did you forget? You can lock it from your phone and not have to worry for the rest of your shopping trip. If you rig your smart lock into your home security system, you can even get alerts sent directly to your phone if someone tries to force the lock
2. Smart Doorbell
Some burglars get daring enough to actually try ringing the doorbell to see if you’re home. Less common because of the risk involved, some may try to trick you into opening the door by ringing the bell and force their way in. In both cases, ringing the bell comes first. What if you could just know who’s at the door without needing to open it, though?
Smart doorbells will let you do that. As soon as the doorbell rings, it alerts your phone. Cameras built into the doorbell will send video feed to your phone so you can see who’s calling. Some even have intercoms that let you talk through it. Now, just imagine a burglar rings your doorbell while you’re out to see if you’re home, and suddenly you start talking through the intercom? They’ll think you’re home and take off.
If you don’t go with the intercom option, you can still view the video feed. Even more, some brands of video doorbells will have motion sensors that activate when somebody approaches, letting you know someone’s coming even if they don’t ring the bell. If the person then tries to break in, you can see it happen and call the police. Catch the burglar off-guard and have him sent to jail without even needing to be home!
3. A Home Security System
Speaking of home security systems, a home security system is probably a good idea as well. These days, home security systems are more advanced than ever. You can attach them to any possible entry in your house and connect them to your smart home hub. So integrated, your smart home will not only alert the police if someone attempts to force their way in, it will also send an alert to your phone. You’ll know immediately what’s going on.
Integrated into the smart home system, you can also activate and deactivate it with your phone. If you’re worried you forgot to turn it on when you go somewhere, worry no more! Just bring up the app on your phone and you know it’s armed.
Bonus Tip! Better Wifi Passwords
Not all crimes involve physically breaking in. Identity theft is a serious issue that can cost you a lot of money without anyone actually getting into your home. The best basic defense is a strong password on your WiFi. A lot of people don’t bother to chance the default WiFi password and username, but this is a mistake. WiFi modems and routers have a list of default passwords and usernames that each company uses. If that list of passwords is discovered and leaked, suddenly the default password is a liability.
Furthermore, if you have a smart home, cracking the WiFi router is a quick way for a tech savvy burglar to get access to your home. All of the security upgrades listed become irrelevant if they can access your system. That’s why it’s vital that you change the WiFi password and username regularly. Each company’s device will have a different way of doing so, so you’ll need to read the owner’s manual to find how.
Be sure to do this. You should change the username immediately and change the password at least once every other month, though changing it once a month is even better. You can find plenty of good advice for making secure passwords, and just about any username other than admin is better than the default. On top of protecting your smart home devices, this can also help protect you from identity theft, as it keeps others from accessing your wireless network.
Burglars Aren’t Daring
Burglary is mostly a crime of opportunity. The severity of the punishment for burglaries goes way up if violence or force are used, so most don’t want to risk that if it can be avoided. Locks and alarms are effective deterrents for most casual home invaders. It’s just not worth the risk of extra charges for what might be found inside your home.
Still, you do occasionally get those who might be willing to try and force a door or window open. Maybe they’ll try to kick in the door or break a window if they think you’re not home. For such occasions, smart home upgrades can help you deal with it. Integrating home security features with your smart technology will let you always know if something happens, letting you take the appropriate action the moment it does.
There are so many options for home security, so many ways to get yourself some peace of mind. What we recommend here is only a small list of many possibilities. These are the most effective we’ve found, though. If you’re worried about burglars, these will give you the best protection you can find. If you want more, though, there’s plenty to find. All you have to do is look around and see what’s on the market.