We all want to do our best to protect our homes, but sometimes we don’t realize just how inviting we are making our homes to unwanted intruders. Even when you think you are doing good by hiding a key under your doormat, or taking extra precautions at night time, you may actually be doing nothing more than giving yourself a false sense of security, and sometimes even making your home less safe. Not everyone can afford an expensive home security system however, so here are 10 easy home security hacks that will allow you to use technology and home automations to your advantage.
Hide Your Valuables Strategically
Consider buying a safe. Make sure it is a nice, heavy one that cannot be stolen and unlocked elsewhere. Alternatively hide it somewhere unlikely, such as your children’s rooms, or the kitchen. Burglars tend to spend most of their time rifling around the master bedroom.
Burglars are looking for the easiest homes to break into, so make sure that yours is not one of those. Put up a couple of signs indicating that your home is protected by a security system—one at the front of the house, and one at the back, where most burglars attempt to enter. Top companies today include Vivint, Life Shield, and Front Point. Check out their reviews to see what company would be best for you and then be sure to display the signs and stickers in all visible entrances.
Hide the Keypad
Although you want to make it clear that you have a security system, make sure that the keypad is out of plain sight. This will make sure that, when you forget to arm it, the would-be intruder won’t know.
Be Careful Online
When a group of teenagers broke into the homes of multiple celebrities a few years ago, they knew that the houses would be empty because of their activity on social media. Although you probably do not have quite the online following that these people do, it is still not advised to broadcast your whereabouts online.
Don’t Hide a Key
You might think you are being clever, but listen: everyone knows the fake rock hiding place, and even more know about the doormat. Get an automatic lock or keypad entry for your home. As a worst case scenario, give your spare key to a neighbor to look after.
Burglars will often do recon to find out whether a particular home’s residents are out of town for awhile. If you want to give the illusion of an occupied house, automate your lighting by setting it to a timer, or perhaps linking it to your security system.
Keep an Eye On Your House
By and large, burglars won’t even bother with homes that have obvious security cameras. Place them around the outside of your house and, at the very least, you will have evidence when something does happen.
Invest in a Shredder
Burglars do their research. They will often pick through a home’s trash to find out about recent large purchases or even personal information. Start shredding receipts and other documents containing personal information in order to prevent this.
Protect Your Lower Level Windows
Almost every intruder will attempt to enter the home through windows or doors on the first floor of your house. You can arm your windows with motion detectors and wireless window alarms.
Secure ALL Doors
Even if you have a fence around your yard, or a garage protecting certain doors, that does not mean that intruders will not find a way to get into them. Locks or alarms are important for every potential entry point to your home.
David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about home automation and making your home more green.