You can spend as much money as you like on a state-of-the-art home security system. But you can also render it all useless in a few seconds with one absent-minded or forgetful act.
As the homeowner, you are your home’s greatest security risk! You’re the one who can keep it secure, or unknowingly leave it exposed.
A lot of homeowners have no idea that they’re basically inviting thieves into their home. Here’s how they’re doing it.
Leaving the Garage Door Remote in Your Car
Do you leave the garage door remote in your car, pinned to the overhead visor, or in the center console? These are all big security risks.
If a thieve gains access to your garage door remote, they can basically get completely unencumbered access to your entire home, without having to pick a lock or break a window. This is what makes these remotes such a hot item for modern thieves.
Opening the garage door is a quiet and inconspicuous way for thieves to enter your home. Heck, if your neighbors see a thief do it, they may assume the person with your garage door remote is a friend or family member.
Don’t leave your garage door remote in your car. It’s vulnerable, whether your car is locked or not. If you want to make your home more secure, we invite you to go to Doddsdoors.com to learn more about modern Wi-Fi-enabled openers. They can take the vulnerable remote out of the equation by turning your smartphone into the remote.
Leaving the Garage Door Unlocked
About 1 in 4 of surveyed homeowners admit they often forget to lock their garage doors. This makes it incredibly easy for thieves to enter your home, quietly and inconspicuously.
Once they enter the garage, they can close the door behind them and take their time picking the lock to your home (if you remembered to lock that one) without anyone in the area noticing. They can even use more forceful tactics like using a crowbar or kicking the door open, without making a scene or too much noise.
At the very least, they can help themselves to whatever expensive power tools or sporting goods you have in your garage.
Leaving the Windows Unlocked
You remembered to lock all of the doors. But what about the bathroom window? Many homeowners forget about the windows. Thieves do not.
The windows in the back of your house are particularly important, as those are the ones that most people can’t see. If a thief is going to slip into a window, they would prefer to do it in your backyard.
You also need to remember to lock the windows on the second floor of your home. You may not think that thieves will climb up and try them, but that’s an expensive chance to take.
It only takes a minute to ensure that all of your windows are secure. Take that extra minute.
Posting Vacation Pictures
Posting Instagram-worthy vacation photos is fun, but it’s also somewhat announcing to the world that your home is unoccupied and vulnerable.
Is waiting until you get home to upload your pictures being overprotective? Absolutely not! In fact, more and more thieves are using social media as a way of browsing to find the perfect unprotected house to rob. Even a quick weekend trip out of town to a friend’s cottage could be an opportunity for them to strike.
It’s hard to count the number of threats that you’re opening yourself up to with an unsecured home Wi-Fi network, and this includes using a weak password like ‘password.’
At the very least, you’re inviting online eavesdroppers to capture your:
- Online payment information
- Account credentials for all of your accounts
- Webpages visited
- FTP credentials
Doing the bare minimum (i.e. a decent password) to secure your home internet usage can go a long, long way to protecting yourself from being a victim of cybercrime.
Not Changing Your Locks When You Move in
Home security experts suggest that you completely change all of your home’s locks when you move into a new house. Very few people do.
In most cases, you’re given the keys to the home and they remain the keys to the home while you live there.
This can be dangerous because you have literally no idea how many copies of those keys that the previous owner(s) may have made or who they gave them too.
Any locksmith can quickly change all of the locks in your home. Or, you can do it yourself fairly easily.
Hiding Your House Key in Obvious Places
Did you leave your house key under the welcome mat for your dog walker? How long do you think it would take a would-be thief to find it there?
If you insist on hiding a key in your yard, make sure it’s actually hidden. Avoid all of the obvious hiding places such as:
- Under the mat
- In the mailbox
- On top of the door frame
- Under a flower pot
You should also avoid those fake rocks that you may see in hardware stores. Many of them are actually very easy to spot.
Be more creative in hiding your key. Or, take the key out of the equation and switch your home lock to a keypad entry system and only share the code with people that you absolutely trust.
As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to add more security to your home. In fact, securing all of your doors/ windows and your home Wi-Fi network, while being careful of what you post on social media can put you well ahead of the average thief
Contrary to what you may think, thieves, do not go after completely random people. They go after the people who seem like easy targets. They’re looking for the biggest payoff with the least amount of resistance.
Don’t be one of those easy targets. Protect yourself!