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Criminals and Technology-How Criminals are Using Technology to Compromise Your Home Security and What to Do About it

Today’s technology offers residents a myriad of conveniences. From home design applications to security systems and smart home devices that can be accessed remotely via a smartphone or computer, such conveniences have a way of making life easier.

But with technology also comes a variety of risks and dangers. 

How Criminals are Using Technology Against Residents

According to an ABC News out of Florida, the perpetrators of a series of home invasions admitted to using Google Earth, a popular online mapping application, to scope out the homes they targeted. The ability to view the various doors and windows of the homes made planning their home invasion strategy much easier. 

Though Google Earth was not designed to be used to carry out crimes, its availability to anyone who wants to view pictures of your home in detail makes it a real home security risk that you and other residents need to take seriously.

Another way criminals are using technology against residents is by hacking into their smart home devices, including their home security systems. Once they gain access into your account, they can turn off security cameras, disarm alarm systems, and even unlock your doors if you make use of locks with smart home technology. 

What You Can Do to Protect Against Technology Security Risks

According to home security expert, Jordan Frankel, one of the things criminals look for when targeting a home is “Easy entry.” Even the criminals in the above-mentioned story admitted to choosing homes that offered easy points of entry. 

Though technology may allow criminals to view the entry and exit points of your residence, whether they gain entry into your home is up to you. To prevent a home intruder from entering your residence, be sure to implement the following home security and safety measures. 

  1. Never let your guard down. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home, but sometimes that false sense of security can be used against you. It is for this reason that you must remain vigilant at all times and never let your guard down. This is especially true when entering and exiting your home. 

Many criminals look to ambush their victims when they arrive home or exit to leave for work. To minimize your risk, stay aware of your environment and what’s going on around you. Stay mindful of the potential hiding places outside your home that a criminal can lurk in. If you park your car in a garage, keep an eye out for anyone who might slip in behind you. When possible, eliminate landscaping and areas of clutter around your home to reduce the number of potential hiding places and your risk of being ambushed.

  1. Ensure your property has adequate lighting. Having adequate outdoor lighting is important to your safety and security at night. In addition to illuminating your property when you arrive home at night, an outdoor lighting system with motion-detection technology can be very effective at deterring criminals. The key is to ensure your outdoor lighting system uses bright LED bulbs, as bright lights tend to startle prowlers and cause them to abort their plans. 
  2. NEVER open the door to a stranger.

Most kids are taught by their parents to never answer the door to strangers, yet so many adult residents fail to heed this advice. If you are not expecting someone, you have no obligation to answer the door. Simply ignore it.

Some criminals are very crafty with their schemes. From posing as police officers to claiming to be solicitors for local charities, you cannot trust that the person at your door is who they claim to be. So BE CAREFUL! 

If you must check to see who is at your door, do so through a wide-angle peephole. Better yet, have a wireless home surveillance system installed so that you can see who’s outside your door from any room in your home. If you decide to speak to the person, do it through the locked door. If a person continues to linger on your property after you’ve kindly told them “no” or asked them to leave, call the police or, if you have one, push the panic button on your home alarm system. 

  1. Fortify the security around your home’s doors and windows. Doors and windows are the main entry points criminals use to gain access into a home. In addition to keeping your doors and windows locked, it is important to add another protective layer of security. For front doors, this includes a heavy-duty deadbolt and a security door brace.  When installed at the base of your door, a security door brace can prevent a thug from breaking through your front door. 

To prevent your windows from being opened or shattered, place a solid wooden or metal rod in the tracks to prevent them from being opened and line the interior of glass panes with glass protection film. Do the same for sliding glass doors. With glass protection film such as ShatterGARD installed, an invisible barrier is created that can prevent breakage of the glass even when struck by hard objects such as rocks, bricks, and even a baseball bat. Such protective glass film comes in a number of affordable kits premade for the glass on sliding doors and French doors. The film can also be installed by the average consumer.

Use Today’s Security Technology to Protect Against Home Intruders

Don’t wait until a criminal breaks into your home and threatens your safety and sense of security. Take the advice above and use today’s security technology to protect against the very criminals who are using technology against you. 

Source:

ABC News (2014). Alleged ‘ninja robbers’ caught on camera. ABCNews.com. Retrieved from http://a.abcnews.com/GMA/video/alleged-ninja-robbers-home-invasion-caught-camera-24534954?tab=9482931&section=1206833