Criminals and Technology Go Hand in Hand—How to Protect Against Today's New Home Security Risk
Today's technology affords homeowners with many conveniences. From apps that allow you to choose e kitchen cabinetry to complete home security systems that can be controlled and monitored through a smartphone, computer, or tablet—such conveniences are literally in your hands.
But homeowners aren't the only ones who have their hands on today's technology.
In a recent ABC News report on a series of home invasions in Florida, one of the alleged "ninja robbers" spoke out about the methods his partners in crime used to single out their victims. According to the report, the criminals used Google Earth—today's popular virtual mapping technology—to view the structure of targeted homes, with special attention to the doors and windows of the residences. From there they planned their entry and exit strategies, along with the best way to ambush the homeowners.
While Google Earth has its benefits, the fact that anyone can view detailed photos of the doors, windows, and other exterior structures of your residence presents as a huge home security risk to you and your family. When in the hands of burglars and criminals, such mapping technology provides a convenient way to case homes and carry out crimes.
What Homeowners Can Do to Protect Themselves
When the ninja robbery accomplice was asked what his partners looked for when targeting their homes, he replied, "Easy entry." For a home security expert such as myself, that comes as no surprise.
While today's technology may make it easy for burglars and other criminals to case a home, whether or not a home allows for easy entry is up to the residents themselves. The following are important precautions you can take, along with home security technology you can use to prevent such easy entry, and keep the bad guys OUT of your home.
1. Remain vigilant when leaving and arriving home.
One of the vital lessons the ninja robbery story teaches us is the importance of remaining vigilant when leaving and arriving home. While we all deserve to feel safe in our homes, many burglars and other criminals rely on that false sense of safety to carry out their crimes.
To reduce your risk of being ambushed when arriving at or leaving your home, remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Be mindful of the places intruders like to hide, such as behind or within bushes, trees, fences, balconies, storage areas, and garages. If you enter and exit through a garage, be watchful for anyone who might attempt to slip in behind you as you pull in. Eliminating clutter and other items that pose as a potential hiding place in your garage and around your home is also a smart home security measure.
To increase your safety and field of view at night, ensure your home is equipped with outdoor security lighting. A system with motion-activated technology is highly recommended. In addition to automatically lighting your surroundings when you approach or exit your home, outdoor security lighting can have a startling effect on criminals and serve as a psychological deterrent.
2. Never answer the door to a stranger.
It's a simple lesson we've been taught since we were kids, yet so many residents still open their doors when strangers come knocking. Whether it's out of politeness or the assumption that the person at the door is an innocent solicitor, it is never a good idea to open the door to someone you don't know.
Criminals come in all shapes and sizes—not to mention disguises. There are those who will even flash a badge in an attempt to pass themselves off as one of the good guys. So BEWARE! When someone knocks or rings your doorbell, use the peephole to see who's there. If you feel it's necessary to speak to the person, keep the door closed and locked at all times. Assert your right to say, "No," and instruct the person to leave. If they persist, call the police and/or activate your alarm system—a home security device every home should have.
Other home security technology that can be of great benefit to you and your family when strangers come knocking is the OnGARD wireless surveillance system. In addition to allowing you to keep an eye on the activity around the exterior of your property from multiple camera views, if someone comes to your door, you don't even have to get up. No matter what room you're in, you can simply look at the portable display monitor to see who's there.
3. Reinforce the security of your home's most vulnerable entry points—the doors and windows.
If a criminal is going to enter your home, it's going to be through an easily accessible door or window. So it only makes sense to ensure these entry points are properly secured at all times—something that requires more than standard door and window locks. The following are two effective home security devices I highly recommend.
Security Door Brace
Experienced home intruders know how easy it is to bust through a locked door. Even when your door is locked with a deadbolt, a few forceful kicks or body slams is all it takes for today's flimsy door frames to give way. Not every criminal knocks—some like to use the art of surprise, and they are usually the more violent of home intruders.
An effective home security device for reinforcing main entry doors is an OnGARD security door brace. A security door brace is a simple, yet highly effective home security device that is specifically designed to prevent forcible entries.
With a quality security door brace in place, this relatively small, polymer device serves as a barrier that can withstand up to 1775 pounds of force. The device itself is less than $100, and it can be installed on most floor types in as little as 10 minutes. For added protection, consider installing a security door brace on other doors in your home that swing inward, such as a back entry door or the side door that allows entry from the exterior of your home into your garage.
Glass Protection Film
Even with the sturdiest of locks and anti-slide devices installed, they are of no use if the glass on your windows is not protected. That's where the technology behind today's ShatterGARD glass protection film comes into play.
When installed on the interior side of your windows, ShatterGARD glass protection film acts as an invisible barrier that keeps the glass intact, even when struck with a powerful force of a baseball bat, hammer, rock, or brick.
Breaking through glass that is coated with a quality security film such as ShatterGARD requires a lot of time and effort. Most intruders will give up before risking being detected or seen by someone who can identify them to the police. ShatterGARD glass protection film is fairly simple to install, and there are a variety of affordable glass protection kits to choose from, including a DIY French pane and sliding glass security film door kit.
Put Home Security is In Your Hands
Everyone has a choice when it comes to home security. You can be like most people and wait until you experience a terrifying crime such as that in the ninja robbery before taking the security of your home and your family seriously. Or, you can take the advice of an experienced home security expert like myself and take the necessary steps to increase the security of your home BEFORE such a crime happens to you.
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§ion=1206833Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.
Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:
The American Society for Industrial Security.
The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.
The Society of Professional Locksmiths.