When you think of home security and ways to protect your home I’m sure Facebook isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But with today’s technology and the prevalence of apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat especially, social media has quickly made it’s way into being a tool for criminals. Last summer a family friend of mine returned home after a two week camping trip with her husband and kids to find their car missing and their house thoroughly ransacked, everything from the TV to their shampoo bottles had been taken. When the suspects were caught they revealed they knew the family was out of town when they noticed their camper was gone but used social media to find out when exactly the family would be home.
So whether you’re planning a month-long European vacation, quick weekend getaway or just out at a concert for the night, here are 4 tips to help secure your home so it’s safe and sound while you’re away.
1. Don’t tell the Internet
You’d never post a sign on your front door telling strangers you’re away, and you shouldn’t do it online either. In a recent study, over 75% of convicted burglars said they believe current thieves use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to target properties, so if you’re planning a getaway, don’t share the dates online and be sure to switch off location services on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s also a good idea to hold off on posting vacation photos until you’re back at home, but if you simply can’t wait be sure you adjust your social media settings so only your close friends can see your updates.
2. Use your neighbors
Your neighbors can be a great asset when trying to keep your home safe while you’re gone. If you’re planning a long trip, ask neighbors you trust to take out your trash, collect your mail and keep a general eye on things for you. Another easy thing they can do to make it look like someone’s home is to park their cars in your driveway until you return. The more the cars move, the better!
3. Schedule your lights
On that note, another great way to make it look like someone is home is to put your lights on a schedule. With a Wi-Fi Smart Plug, it’s really easy to do. Just plug a Smart Plug into any open outlet in your home, plug a light in and create on/off light schedules right from your smartphone or tablet.
4. Use security cameras
Even if you’re followed all of this advice and have done all you can to keep your home safe while you’re away, it’s still nice to be able to check in on things to make sure everything secure. So my last piece of advice is to set up a Wi-Fi security camera so you can see a live view of your house from anywhere, anytime – right from your mobile device. They’re easy to set up and don’t require any monthly fees. With a Wi-Fi Camera at home, you can enjoy peace of mind and stop worrying about what’s happening at home and start worrying about how to pack 3 weeks worth of outfits into a carry-on.