All those steps are good ones, but there may be some security risks you have overlooked. It is easy to overlook the simple things when securing your home, and it is easy to put your property and your family at risk. If you are doing any of the following, you could be putting yourself at risk.
#1 – Social Media
Oversharing on social media is perhaps the biggest security risk there is. How many times have you logged on to a friend’s Facebook page and read about their upcoming vacation or planned weekend trip? In the back of your mind, you may have wondered about the wisdom of such sharing, and you were right to be concerned.
The problem with social media is you never know who is looking. Even if your Facebook page is properly secured, someone could be looking over your friend’s shoulder or reading your page without their knowledge. Criminals are very crafty, and letting them know you will be out of town is a big mistake. Feel free to share your vacation photos all you want – just wait until after you get back.
#2 – Home Improvement Workers
Unless you are a contractor, you will probably need to hire a professional to fix things around the home. From a burned out hot water heater to a shaky back deck, there are some projects that are beyond the abilities of the average homeowner.
Most of the home improvement contractors you use will be honest and trustworthy, but there are always a few bad apples out there. If you are finding your home improvement workers on Craigslist or in the parking lot at Home Depot, you could be putting your home and family at risk.
You can protect yourself by hiring contractors through a service that screens applicants carefully. Ask about background checks and other safety precautions when you call, and make sure every person entering your home is properly licensed by the state you live in.
#3 – Using Yesterday’s Security System
Security systems have come a long way in the last few years. If it has been more than 5 years since you installed your security system, you might want to look at an upgrade. Older style security systems rely on landline telephones, and they can easily be disabled by cutting the line. Newer systems use wireless technology to protect your home, and they are much harder for thieves to foil.
You can enhance any security system with a few well-placed cameras. Security cameras make it easy to keep an eye on your home when you are away and notify the authorities if you see anything suspicious. The mere presence of a security camera is also a valuable deterrent; thieves often look for cameras and avoid homes where they are present.
#4 – Failing to Secure Your Home Network
An unsecured wireless network may not give anyone physical access to your home, but a virtual security breach could be nearly as bad. If you fail to lock down your network, a hacker could take control of all your electronics and even steal your identity. The intruder could also turn on the webcam on your laptop or use the camera inside your TV or computer to spy on you and your family.
If you have not already assigned a strong password to your Wi-Fi network, now is the perfect time to do it. Do not rely on the default password that came with your router; that password is easy to find for anyone with an Internet connection.
You should also set up a guest connection if you often have visitors who need to use your home Wi-Fi. A guest network allows visitors to surf the web and check their email while protecting your personal information.