Tips to Prevent Burglaries

Based on recorded instances reported to police across a selection of 94 countries there were over 5,250,000 burglaries globally in 2014. Add into that any number of unreported crimes and clear under-reporting from some countries (Sierra Leone 625, Jordan 3, for example) and you get a very large figure indeed.

 

Now this may seem like a depressing statistic, but the good news is that a good deal of them could be prevented by following some simple steps. A combination of awareness, common sense and a little self-education can help you protect your home or business.

 

  1. Be overt with your solutions.

Burglars don’t like security systems and unless they’ve deliberately selected you they will move on to an easier target. Signs work as a deterrent, whether it be ‘alarm system installed’, ‘Warning: Smoke Screen’, ‘Beware of Dog’, ‘SmartWater in use’ etc. Advertising the risks will make a burglar take the path of least resistance.

 

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.

By this we mean make sure windows and doors are closed and locked when you’re not in (on all floors). Leave lights on, or have them on timers. Devices that mimic the flickering of TV screen are now readily available as well. Reduce the efficiency of their hiding places, like cropping back bushes and hedges.

 

Be aware of daytime scams as well, if someone suspicious knocks on your door, always use your door viewer and chain, ask for ID. Be polite, tell them you’re not interested and ask that they leave. If they are particularly convincing then ask them to call back later while you call the company they are representing. Be mindful of distraction techniques as well. Someone could be trying to sneak in round the back while you are busy at the front door. Feign needing your glasses or fetching a letter or the like and quickly check (and lock) the other entrances.

 

  1. Actually have a working security system.

Fake cameras and boxes with flashing LEDs are all well and good, but you run a bit of a risk that experienced criminals might be able to discern them. A loud alarm, the prospect of being on CCTV footage or getting DNA-marked is enough to stop some burglars, the opportunistic ones in particular – though you might need something a bit more hardcore to stop a really determined one. For businesses a remote monitoring system works wonders.

 

For domestic, you could install motion-activated home security cameras so you can check on your home throughout the day using your phone. Plus, you’ll receive an alert if the camera detects motion, so you can evaluate the situation immediately. Or you could just scare them witless with a security fog/strobe combo and be done with it (but we are going to say that aren’t we!) Remember to arm your system each time. And test it regularly.

 

  1. Have bright lights.

Burglars hate bright lights. The brighter the better. And noise. They don’t like loud noises either.

 

  1. Try and mix up your routine.

Be a bit unpredictable. This will totally unsettle anyone watching you or your business waiting for the opportune moment to strike. A recent study carried out in the United States suggests that most domestic robberies occur during daytime hours – between 10am and 3pm. Makes sense, most people will be at work or school reducing the chances of being seen / caught. Consider popping home for lunch some days.

 

Businesses should vary the times they make trips to the bank as well.

 

When you go on holiday make sure you ask a friend or neighbour to pop round now and again for a check, take out your rubbish etc.

 

  1. Get a dog.

Going back to point 1 for a moment, if you’ve got a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign then why not get a dog as well. Your best friend, your security guard, your new fitness partner!

 

  1. Never hide a spare key outside.

It won’t matter if it’s under the mat, or cunningly concealed in that realistic rock. Leave one with a friend/neighbour instead.

 

  1. Use other hiding places.

Speaking of hiding, there are a whole host of affordable and effective concealment devices out there. The old faithful tin of beans, the fake plug socket. It’s worth looking into these. Burglars want to be quick, in and out in minutes, they will go for the obvious first like jewellery and cash in the master bedroom. They certainly won’t be in your food cupboard.

 

  1. Go for quality.

It may be tempting to get a security system installed on the cheap, but you’ll regret scrimping on costs. Ideally you want good quality gear that conforms to Standards, installed by accredited engineers. Then you can guarantee it will at least work when needed. Rather than niggling over price, just consider how much value you put on the following: peace of mind, protecting your family, protecting your business / staff, protecting your stock, downtime with no stock, increased insurance fees. It’s so important to get it right. Most companies offer a monthly fee so you don’t always have to worry about finding a lump sum all at once.

 

The FBI conducted some research in 2014 that concluded the average amount (dollar value) stolen in each domestic burglary (US) was $2,251 – and that doesn’t include repairs or emotional/psychological damage. Food for thought.

 

They also calculated that less than 14% of all burglaries (again US) resulted in an arrest, citing the extreme difficulty in solving this type of crime. And even if the criminal is caught, you may not get your property back.

 

The moral of this tale is that prevention is key. Stop them before they start.

 

Original Article Here: Tips to Prevent Burglaries

Related Article Here: Burglary Prevention Tips: Four Ways To Prevent Home Break-Ins

 

Burglary crime rate is very alarming. Secure your homes now by investing on home security system.  Locksmith Service Chamblee can help you with this!

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Burglary Prevention Tips

Whilst your home insurance covers the financial loss you suffer as a result of a break-in, nothing can protect you from the emotional trauma and shock suffered when a stranger ransacks your home and rummages through your belongings. However, there is a lot you can do to help prevent it from happening in the first place.

All External Doors

Fit five-lever mortice deadlocks (or their equivalent) to all external doors and you should lock these doors even if you are out for just a short time.

All Accessible Windows

A large number of break-ins occur through windows. Fit security locks to all accessible windows, i.e. those on the ground floor or near any drainpipes of flat roofs.

Going Out at Night

When you go out for the evening, it’s a good idea to draw the curtains and leave a light on in the living room or bedroom. Leaving the hall light on is not a good deterrent. Keep your garage/garden shed locked. Do not leave garden implements, especially ladders, lying around. They could help a thief gain access to your home.

Original Article Here: Burglary Prevention Tips

Related Article Here: Tips: Home Security & Burglary Prevention

 

Don’t let this problem happen to you! Keep your place secured all the time! Contact Locksmith Service Chamblee for security solutions applicable for your needs!

Ignition Cylinder Problems; What to do About it!

In a way, your car’s ignition system is like the heart of the car. It sends the electrical pulses needed for the battery to run and for the engine to start and stop. All is good when your ignition cylinder does its job, but what about when it doesn’t? What then? The sad part is that you usually don’t know that you have ignition cylinder issues until you are inside the car, all buckled up and ready to go somewhere! Talk about plans thrown off-course; who needs that? Here at Locksmith Service Chamblee our automotive locksmith pros service vehicle ignitions on a regular basis. We understand how vital it is to have a reliable and safe working ignition system no matter what make or model of car you drive. While you are always free to call our shop here in Chamblee, GA there are a few things you can do on your own that may just resolve your ignition cylinder problem completely. Try these tips first, and then if you don’t get the results you need, call your favorite locksmith shop! 

ignition problem

Not my fault! 

If you turn the key and the ignition doesn’t start, it’s a faulty ignition system, right? Guess again! The real culprit could be any number of things so it’s best to go down the list and check them off as you go. Let’s start with your gear shift. In order to start your car, you absolutely must be in the right gear. This means PARK and nothing else. You can’t be almost in PARK and be off just a tad; you must be firmly in gear. Modern cars are built to exacting specifications when it comes to starters, gears and ignitions; there is no “almost in gear”; your gear shift must be in the place in order to start your engine. Many a locksmith or auto repair service call has been needlessly scheduled when all the customer had to do is wiggle the gear into PARK. In fact, people are injured and even killed when their out of gear vehicles roll forward or backward onto themselves or a loved one. Always remember to put your parking brake on when doing any kind of auto work or adjustments; all it takes is a second for your vehicle to lurch forward or roll! 

Check your steering wheel 

Often, the ignition key won’t turn because the steering wheel is locked. It’s easy to lean just a little too hard on the steering wheel while getting in or out of the car. Sometimes, this added pressure locks up the wheel temporarily. Not to worry; some pressure on the wheel will release this lock and allow you to start your ignition or remove your transponder key from the ignition lock. AAA reports that many service calls are in fact, due to this steering wheel locking up and that all the customer needed to do was move it back and forth. 

Your next step; check your battery! 

A low battery can cause ignition system problems. Check the power of your battery; the symptoms are often the same as having ignition problems; stuck key and the inability to start the engine. This test is very easy. Put your parking brake on and then with the engine off, try and turn on your headlights or your car radio. You can also test your windshield wipers, power windows or power seats. If they work as usual, it’s not your battery that’s the problem. 

Did you insert the right key? 

At first, this seems like an odd question. Of course you did or how else could the key go in? In reality, this happens more often than people know. Almost all modern day car keys are of the transponder type and often they look very similar. If you live and work with others that have transponder keys, it’s very easy to grab the wrong one and yes, they do often go inside the lock and of course, they won’t work as they don’t have the correct chip embedded in them. Another problem with wrong key insertions is that not only do they not work right; but often these keys tend to get stuck in the lock. If this happens to you there are a couple of remedies. You can try lightly tapping the key from the top downward. Be careful; you don’t want to drive the key in too far; only to loosen it. Don’t get frustrated or too forceful; a broken off transponder key is yet another problem to fix and expense. Our best recommendation is to spray your stuck key with electrical contact cleaner. Just do a spritz or two and follow this up with a spray of silicon lock lubricant. Together, these two sprays perform a dual action that not only cleans your lock; it also lubricates it enough to release the stuck key.  

Don’t call just anyone 

It’s easy to say “call for help” but some kinds of help are well meaning but often, not good. We all know someone that fancies himself or herself; an expert on something. It can be cooking, auto mechanics, massage therapy, interior design, tattoos or anything else for that matter. It’s always nice to have someone that cares enough to offer assistance, but keep in mind that your car is your responsibility and any repairs or adjustments made to it can either help or offer hindrance. The burden of fixing the “repairs” is often an added expense that is simply not needed if something goes wrong. 

Are you ready to say a locksmith? 

There’s no shame in calling in the experts. A good automotive locksmith can be affordable, fast responding and highly convenient. Not only do the best shops offer mobile service direct to your location, they also provide same day service, free price quotes and quality locksmith hardware. Unlike auto repair shops, an automotive locksmith can save you time and money by not having to tow your vehicle in to the repair shop. Try the above recommendations and if you need to; call a locksmith pro! 

Top 10 Tips To Find a Locksmith

It can be agreed upon that one of the most frustrating first world problems is getting locked out of your own house if you’ve misplaced your keys or forgotten them somewhere like at work or home. Another major problem is getting your new home’s locks made. A third one can be changing the locks in case a break-in has occurred. What do all these problems have in common?

  1. START LOOKING FOR ONE AS SOON AS YOU GET A NEW LOCK

If you’ve just moved into a new house, it’s best that you start looking for a locksmith right away. Look for a local locksmith on the internet and make sure you get your locks done as soon as possible. Make sure you tell them to make a spare key as well, just in case.

  1. DO SOME BACKGROUND RESEARCH

Once you find a locksmith nearby, start digging up the internet and asking a few locals about the reliability of the service. You wouldn’t want sub-par services for something like this because it is a matter of your house’s security.

  1. AVOID CALL CENTRE LOCKSMITH SERVICES

It’s best that you personally look up a reliable local locksmith than approach a call centre for availing services. These call centers usually contact any random local service and send them to assist you. You might want to personally ensure that the locksmith working on your locks and doors can be trusted.

  1. ASK YOUR NEIGHBOURS

It is entirely possible that someone among your neighbors must be aware of a trustworthy locksmith. You can even ask them for the contact number of their preferred locksmith. In the instance anything occurs, your neighbors might also be able to help.

  1. LOCKSMITHS DO MORE THAN JUST LOCKS AND KEYS

You might want to find out what kind of task the locksmith you’re considering specializes in. There are a number of things Locksmiths can do other than just locks and keys and a lot of them specialize in certain tasks so in case you’re looking for a specific task that needs to be done, you can approach a Locksmith that specializes in it.

  1. ASK FOR IDENTIFICATION

When the locksmith arrives at the door, make sure you ask them to show a visible proof of their identity. Most of them have identity cards from the place they work for. Licensed locksmiths happen to have a Master Security License Number provided for identification purposes, which is usually visible on their vehicle and identity card.

  1. GET A WRITTEN ESTIMATE OF THE FEES THEY’LL CHARGE

It is entirely possible that your locksmith gets away with overcharging if you do not take a written estimate. When it comes to a locksmith’s job, they should, in most cases be able to provide an estimate on how much it should cost you once they’re done reviewing the situation.

  1. AVOID PAYING BY CASH

All licensed businesses nowadays take credit cards or debit cards. Make sure you don’t pay cash so that in case you need to trace your transaction, it is possible to do it.

  1. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST WITH YOUR LOCKSMITH

If you think you’ve found a locksmith who can be trusted in the long run, make sure you build a relationship of trust with them, so that they can come to your aid whenever you need their services.

  1. GET SPARES DONE

For every key, they makes, make sure you ask that they make spares. It is important that you have a spare key of your house and any important rooms/safes on you at all times, just in case something happens.

Original Article Here:  Top 10 Tips To Find a Locksmith

Related Article Here: 5 Tips to Finding a Locksmith You Can Trust

Looking for a trusted locksmith? We are proud of our good reviews from our satisfied customers! Locksmith Service Chamblee is open anytime when you need our locksmith service!

POLICE PROVIDE TIPS FOR HOME SECURITY IN WARM WEATHER

As the weather turns warm, Colonel Vaughn Bond, Jr., chief of police, would like to remind the public of some tips to keep your home secure and make it less enticing for burglars in the summertime

Protect Your Home’s Exterior

CLOSE AND LOCK ALL DOORS AND WINDOWS. Use deadbolts with at least a one inch throw. Window screens do not stop a burglar.

Make sure all first floor window air conditioning units cannot be easily removed.

Display your house number in plain view. Reflective numbers are even better.

Install lighting at all entrances, including decks, porches, sheds and garages.

Trim back any overgrown trees and shrubs from window ledges. Overgrown landscaping provides burglars with a place to hide.

Neighbors, passing motorists and police officers should be able to see your windows and doors. Close your blinds at night.

Do not leave ladders in your yard. Be sure to secure them in your garage or shed.

Reinforce sliding glass doors with slide bolt through the frame and a block in the track.

Do not hide keys outside your home.

Do not leave your garage door openers inside your vehicle. Lock interior garage doors.

Alternate the location/direction of your parked vehicle (s) to avoid predictability

Protect Your Home’s Interior

Install dead bolt locks on all entrance and exit doors and make sure you use them every time you leave the residence. Many burglaries occur when a homeowner leaves for only a short time. If you leave it—lock it!

Install window locks. Always make sure ground floor windows are securely locked.

Beware of ‘distraction-style’ burglaries. There are bands of burglars who are organized. One will distract you, typically with home improvement solicitations, while a partner burglarizes your home.

Install a “Door Viewer” or “Peep Hole” so you can see who is knocking at the door. If you don’t know who it is, do not open it.

Do not leave information on your social networking sites or voice mail detailing your travel plans.

Use timers on your lights to give the appearance that someone is home. Consider leaving a radio or television on.

Cut up, fold or recycle boxes from recent expensive purchases instead of leaving them curbside.

Do not leave your garage door open when outside doing yard work or other chores.

 

Original Article Here: POLICE PROVIDE TIPS FOR HOME SECURITY IN WARM WEATHER

Related Article Here: 3 Summer Home Security Tips

Lock problems? Need to upgrade? Turn to Locksmith Service Chamblee now and they are willing to serve you anytime!

Locksmith Tips To Safeguard Your Home During Holiday Season

Holidays are a time to relax and rejuvenate. It’s the time to travel, party and enjoy. With friends and family getting together to enjoy some cherished moments, you’ll certainly not want to come back to a ransacked home. As a lion’s share of burglaries is carried out by opportunistic thieves, holidays give them the perfect time to be on the lookout.

So if you too are heading off on your much awaited vacation, ensure that your home is safe and well protected from unwanted intruders.

Here are a few tips and techniques to keep your property safe:

Inspect and Assess Your Locking System: Your locking system should be effective and worthy. Before leaving check the status and effectiveness of your locks. If they are flimsy and worn-out, go in for an upgrade and installation of a robust security system.

Install High-Quality Lock Gear: High quality locking system comes across as a comprehensive package. From lock and key devices to technically advanced keyless locks, security camera and alarm systems, ensure everything is in place.

Pack the Duplicate Keys Carefully: If you are planning to hide your duplicate keys in your backyard or front lawn; we strictly recommend against it. Instead you should pack and keep them safely. In case you happen to lose your master key, call in a locksmith expert to help you in.

Don’t Broadcast Your Plans: Your vacation plans, your departure and arrival date, all should be a hush-hush affair. Barring a trusted few, do not discuss your plans with others. Also, if you are too much into social networking, put up pictures and videos only once you are back from the vacation.

Check Doors and Windows Too: On the D-Day, don’t just lock and main door, check windows too. Check all possible entry points to your house and lock them properly.

Install an Alarm System: Installing an alarm system can be a great idea. In an attempt of a breakthrough, the ringing alarms will make the neighbors and passersby cautious, preventing a probable theft.

When it comes to upgrading your security system and keeping your home safe, a proficient and expert locksmith can provide you tips and suggestions to help protect and safeguard your home.

Original Article Here: Locksmith Tips To Safeguard Your Home During Holiday Season

Related Video Here: How to Secure Your Home While You’re on Vacation

For any locksmith concerns or help that you need, Locksmith Service Chamblee is here to solve your security problem!

5 Tips To Prevent A Home Burglary

It’s hard to prevent a burglar from finding their way into your home, but it always helps to be prepared. Before getting into it, please note it is not my intention to instill fear or paranoia, but rather to inform you of what burglars look for when considering which homes they view as a potential payday.

Hopefully, with these tips, you can help prevent your home from making it on that list.

Let’s start with some interesting facts about burglaries:

  • Most burglaries occur between 10AM-3PM.
  • The average amount of money stolen in a single burglary is $2,000.
  • Burglars will usually go for small yet expensive items (ex. Laptops, iPods, phones, jewelry).
  • Only about 13% of burglars get arrested.
  • The typical burglar will spend 8-10 minutes in the home.

Avoid leaving newspaper or mail outside if possible

Burglars look for left-out newspapers and mail in the mailbox. Either of these signs can tip off a burglar that the residents are not home during a specific time or are out on vacation. If you go on vacation, it would be helpful to cancel the newspaper and hold the mail or ask a friend to pick it up for you.

Keep an eye out for flyers and cards placed in the cracks of the front door

Burglars will sometimes place a fake advertisement or service card in the crack of the door. This is a good indicator as to whether or not the resident is home. It’s a good idea to grab these as soon as you see them. If you are going out of town, it is helpful to ask a neighbor or friend to grab these for you (daily) as well.

Don’t leave valuables, garage door openers or spare house keys in your car if parking outside

This one is pretty obvious, but it never hurts to mention again. Car burglaries are likely to occur at night with a car left in the driveway of a home with a garage. Some burglars will break open the window in hopes that they will find one of those 3 items. If they do find the garage door opener, they will proceed to take what they can find in the garage. While it may be a good idea to leave a car outside when leaving for vacation (to give the illusion of being home), keep in mind burglars will have tools to easily break in and search inside.

Keep an eye out for strangers

When a stranger knocks on your door offering a service, product, or asks to use the bathroom, it could be a way to scope out the home to see if it is worth burglarizing. In other words, be mindful of strangers.

Get a dog

Not only are dogs the best animals (just my opinion), but they are a great alarm system. Yes, the barking can sometimes be annoying, but they help add a sense of security and protection. Many burglars will think twice about robbing a home with a barking dog. While this may be the case at night, it is not necessarily true during the day. Most dogs are kind and easily paid off with treats by burglars when the owners aren’t around, so an actual alarm system may be the best option.

Hopefully, with these things in mind, you may prevent a potential burglar from finding a way into your home.

Original Article Here: 5 Tips To Prevent A Home Burglary

Related Article Here: Top 10 Tips to Help Prevent Theft and Break-Ins

Still worrying about your home security? Locksmith Service Chamblee can help you with this matter. Contact them now!

10 Things a Burglar Doesn’t Want You to Know

Successful burglars have lots in common — home owners who unwittingly give invitations to robbery. Here’s how thieves thank you for your generosity.

burglar-prevention-pic

You come home to an open front door, a ransacked house, and missing valuables. How did a burglar know you’d be gone? How did they get in?

In these 10 thank-you notes, your friendly neighborhood burglars share advice on how to stop lending them a helping hand.

  1. Thanks for the Ladder!

Call me a social climber if you will, but I did discover a ladder in your back yard. Thank you for leaving it where I could lean it against your home and easily reach a second-story window. I really love it when upper story openings aren’t wired to a home security system!

So, if you want to keep me out, store your ladder in the basement or a locked garage. And call your security company to wire upper-story windows into your alarm system.

Vertically yours,

A rising star

Tax papers stored in a home office

Avoid Costly Financial Mistakes

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  1. Loved Your Trash

Can’t tell you how much fun I have driving around neighborhoods on trash day (especially after big gift holidays) when the empty boxes on the curb reveal what wonderful new toys you have. Your thoughtfulness made it possible for me to land a new laptop and a flat-screen television in one easy trip to your home!

Next time, break down the boxes and conceal them in the recycling or trash bins.

Happy shopping!

Curbside Cruiser

  1. Dear Can’t-Get-Around-to-It

Recently, I noticed you hadn’t trimmed trees and shrubs around your home, so I knew I’d have a wonderful place to hide while I worked to break into your home. I really can’t thank you enough for all the great new things I grabbed.

Next time, trim back bushes and trees near windows and doors. Make sure entry points to your home are easily visible from the street — I much prefer to work in private! While you’re at it, install motion-sensor lighting. I’m scared of bright lights!

Cordially,

The Tree Lover

  1. Su Casa Es Mi Casa!

I was sincerely relieved to find your back door was a plain wood-panel door. I had no trouble kicking it in (my knees appreciate how easy that was!) Imagine how silly I felt when I discovered that your windows weren’t locked anyway.

You may want to take a cue from your neighbor and install steel-wrapped exterior doors with deadbolts on all your entries. And be sure your windows are locked when you’re away.

All the best,

Buster Door

  1. Bad Reflection on You

You’d be surprised how many home owners position a mirror in their entry hall so I can see from a window if the alarm system is armed. (Yours wasn’t, but I’m guessing you know that by now!) Thanks for taking a lot of pressure off of me.

A little free advice: Relocate the mirror so your alarm system isn’t visible if someone else would peer through a window.

Fondly,

Mr. Peeper

  1. The Telltale Grass

Wow, isn’t it amazing how fast the grass grows these days? I swung by now and then and noticed your lawn was uncut, newspapers were piling up on the front steps, and your shades were always closed. To me, that’s an open invitation.

Next time, hire someone you trust to mow regularly, pick up around the doorstep, open and close various window shades, and turn different lights on and off (or put a few on timers). One more thing: Lock any car you leave in the driveway, or I can use your garage door opener to get in quickly.

Best,

Your Trip Advisor

  1. Getting Carried Away

Many thanks for putting your valuables into an easy-to-carry safe that I could carry right out your back door. (Nice jewelry, and thank you for the cash!)

You may want to invest in a wall safe, which I rarely attempt to open. Or, rent a lock box at your bank.

With appreciation,

Mr. Safe and Not-So-Sound

  1. Dear BFF

Thanks for alerting a professional acquaintance of mine via your social network that you were away for the week in Puerto Vallarta, having the time of your life. Me? I enjoyed a very relaxing visit to your home with no pressure of being caught.

If only you had known that posting comments and photos of your trip on social networks is fine — but do that after you return so you won’t broadcast your absence!

Sincerely,

Cyber Savvy

  1. Tag, You’re It!

Where are you? When you use popular geo-tracking apps, such as FourSquare and Glympse, I might know if you’re not home. Web sites such as http://www.pleaserobme.com help me keep track of your whereabouts.

If you prefer that I not visit your home, be careful about geo-tagging. But, otherwise, thank you for the loot!

— Just Tagging Along

  1. Thanks for the Appointment

Thanks for inviting me into your home to view the laptop you wanted to sell. I do apologize for the scare I gave you when I took it (and your purse).

Did you know that some large U.S. cities are averaging one so-called “robbery by appointment” per day? If you want to sell high-ticket items to strangers, I suggest you arrange to meet at the parking lot of your local police station. I definitely won’t show up, and you’ll still have your valuables (and your purse!)

Regards,

A Tough Sell

Original Article here: 10 Things a Burglar Doesn’t Want You to Know.

Related Article Here: Tips: Home Security & Burglary Prevention

Locksmith Service Chamblee is now here to assist your locksmith needs!

Is your home smart? Start working on your network security

We are only a button away from controlling our homes or, more correctly, just a fingerprint or voice control away. Smart water valves and thermostats, home controllers, fancy door locks, switches, plugs, light bulbs, alarms and surveillance systems, baby monitors, toys, fridges and even pet feeders are among the many devices that communicate with each other via internet.

 

This communication, though, is not always encrypted, which makes room for DDoS and man-in-the-middle attacks.

 

At the top of the list for manufacturers, consumer smart devices make up a fast growing sector. Some 5.2 billion units will be in use in 2017, according to Gartner analysts, accounting for 63 percent of the total number of devices.

 

“Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes, while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be most in use by businesses,” said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner.

 

The smart home is real – it’s no longer an image of the future. But how many users are aware their homes fit the pattern? Many are confused as to whether they live in a smart home and disoriented in general when talking about smart homes and the internet of things, found a recent Bitdefender study.

 

“On average, a household from the United States carries 13 smart devices or accessories,” the study says. “There are 12 in the UK and Australia, and 10 in France, Romania and Germany.”

 

This is fantastic news, except users are a bit unsure when questioned about the smart home concept. Globally speaking, users in the US and France are more up to date on the smart home concept. Still, only 30% of US smart home residents and 20% of those in France are aware they live in a smart home. Those in the UK, Romania and Australia are even less aware of their connected ecosystem, the study found. The most prevalent devices were smartphones, computers and tablets, smart TVs and wireless gaming consoles.

 

We want our coffeemaker to know when we wake up so it can have coffee ready, the pet feeder to feed for our pets while we are on vacation or for the egg holder to let us know when they are expired so we buy a new carton. Such an abundance of connected devices, however, often comes with lax security.

 

Why don’t manufacturers make IoT security a top priority instead of rushing to launch a product? Most likely because users don’t ask for it, since they don’t even know they are living in a smart home. The worst part is that they’re not looking at the bigger picture – hackers are not necessarily interested in them personally, but in what they can do with the exploited infrastructure.

 

“More people need to realize that attackers are not targeting only the device,” says Alexandru Balan, Chief Security Researcher at Bitdefender. “They look for an easy entry point into your home network, to see how they can break into other connected machines and steal any unsecured information passing through the network.”

 

Security is a top priority for Australians and Romanians, who are mostly concerned about hackers stealing their data through unsecured smart devices and then leaking it online. Other concerns at the top of the list are losing control over their devices that hackers will exploit for illicit activities such as large DDoS attacks and surveillance.

 

So how can users make their smart homes more secure? First of all, enable network encryption and always update device firmware. Software updates are extremely important so they should be performed regularly, yet users tend to neglect this aspect. As many as 42 percent of US users have never performed firmware or default software package updates. Romanians (51 percent), UK and Australian users (38 percent), Germans (27 percent) and French (34 percent) are just as negligent with their security, blaming it on lack of tech knowledge and time, says Bitdefender.

 

Besides regular updates, always use strong, unique passwords for all devices and accounts accessed through the infrastructure. Never reuse passwords! Pay close attention to the apps to make sure they are legitimate, pause the in-built camera of the devices when not in use, never click on suspicious links appearing on the smart TV and use a professional home security solution to prevent attacks and malware infection.

 

“Although manufacturers are not always quick to push security updates for known vulnerabilities, users shouldn’t postpone installing them, once available,” Balan says. “Cybercriminals often infiltrate home and corporate networks through outdated software – so, whether it is a laptop or a smart device, security updates should be installed with the same diligence by users. Administering intelligent devices within the household is a full-time job that requires energy and a new set of skills that need to be learned.”

 

Original Article here: Is your home smart? Start working on your network security.

Related Videos here: The Best Smart Home Tech to Keep Your Home Safe!

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Today’s connected home security is about both safety and peace of mind

Daniel Herscovici is the SVP and GM of Comcast’s Xfinity Home. He is at the forefront of driving the transformation of the traditional home security industry with a variety of connected services that are not only enabling peace of mind, but also improved lifestyle experiences.  We sat down with him to hear how Comcast is engaging their customers in this new world.

 

Daniel Herscovici:  The home security industry is more than thirty years old.  It’s based on a simple premise: offer a local system that sounds an alarm and alerts the authorities in case of a life-threatening emergency.  The technology was pretty basic: if a wire is tripped, then it automatically triggers a phone call to a monitoring station to call the police.  The offering expanded to include making calls for an ambulance or the fire department.  Over time, that service grew to reach about twenty percent of U.S. homes, but that’s about it.

Through Xfinity Home, we’re telling consumers they should expect a whole lot more than just traditional home security service.  Connectivity to your home and your system should also be available when you’re not at home.  Whether using a smart phone or a web browser, customers should not only be able to arm and disarm their home security systems anytime, anywhere, but also see whether or not doors are opening and/or closing.  They should also have the ability to receive notifications and get updates before the police are alerted and arrive at their doorsteps.

Don’t get me wrong, today’s home security services are undoubtedly better than they were thirty years ago.  But, new IoT innovations are evolving the industry beyond life safety or emergency services.  Connected Home Security is also offering consumers more “peace of mind” experiences to check in on the things that matter most while they’re away and this is establishing an emotional connection to their homes and family while the homeowner is away.

As these capabilities become more well known, consumers are increasingly updating their services.  We’re at an inflection point just like before the introduction of the smart phone.  Back then, everyone had a flip phone because mobile phones were about making phone calls anytime, anywhere.  When smartphones launched, the initial transition was limited to early adopters, but soon accelerated.  Today, we can’t imagine life without smartphones and the apps that run on them.  I think we’re in the middle of a similar transition today.  Traditional home security is like the flip phone, but consumers are switching to smart connected home security systems that unlock so many more exciting and easy to use experiences.

Credits to: Today’s connected home security is about both safety and peace of mind.

Related Article here: Tips To Secure Your Apartment Against Burglaries

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