Entertaining news articles would have us believe that many burglars and thieves are a few watts short of a light bulb. Hapless robbers leave behind fingerprints, wear plastic bags on their heads, or turn themselves in to receive a reward.
But the best criminals never end up in the news. They’re in an out of your home in less than 15 minutes, and they get away with your iPad, your smart phone, and your social security number before the alarm ever detects their presence.
These top-notch thieves stay abreast of the ever-changing world of security, so you can count on them to spot these outdated security techniques in a heartbeat.
1. The Hide-a-Key Fake Rock
If you frequently lose your keys, you naturally want a spare key nearby to access your home. You know that most people check under the doormat or in the nearest flower pot. So a hide-a-key rock seems like a logical way to keep a spare.
Unfortunately, many of these fake rocks look just that: fake. The plastic covering stands out like a weed amidst your carefully pruned flowers. And any determined thief who watches your habits for a day or two would quickly pinpoint where you’ve hidden your spare.
Upgrade: Keyless Entry Locks
With today’s modern technology, you don’t even need a key to open your front door anymore. Biometrics allow you to scan your fingerprints and unlock your door in a matter of seconds. If you have a little more money to invest, you could even opt for a retinal scanner to keep criminals and thieves at bay.
2. Alarm Company Signs
When your neighbors invest in a home security system, the company often provides free signs and stickers with their logo. Supposedly these signs alert would-be thieves that the home has protection and that they shouldn’t even waste their time breaking in.
But posting signs and stickers don’t do you much good if you don’t actually have a system in place. A quick glance at your home would reveal an all-too-apparent lack of security cameras, motion-detection lights, or reinforced doors.
Upgrade: Invest in a Home Monitoring System
You don’t have to be wealthy to buy a home monitoring system. Security cameras that used to cost thousands of dollars are now available for hundreds (or even less). Better still, when you opt for wireless cameras, you can access your footage from your personal phone or computer wherever you may be. As a result, you can check in on your home and call the police without leaving your vacation early.
3. Leaving on the Lights
In the past, you could tell whether your neighbors were home based on their lights. And naturally, if you left your lights on when you left for a date, many of your family or friends would assume that you were still at home.
But burglars often scope out their next target for days at a time, recording your habits and the times you leave your home. When you leave your lights on throughout the entire night, they’ll know you’ve left for vacation and won’t be back anytime soon.
Upgrade: Timed Lights
Timed lights allow you to match your lighting to your lifestyle. For example, if you normally go to bed at 9:30 p.m., you can set the timer to switch off your lights at that same time every night. Or if you typically enjoy a snack at 1:30 a.m., you can set your lights to turn on for a few minutes and off again at the specified time.
Stay Up to Date on Home Security
When you make these three upgrades to your home, you’ll have an increased likelihood of deterring future thieves.
But remember that the security world is constantly changing along with advances in technology. In a few years, even your upgrades may become obsolete. To stay abreast of these changes, check our blog frequently for updates and suggestions.