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8 Ways to Secure your Home Against Modern Burglars

“It was like ‘Ocean’s Eleven,’ just without [the movie stars],” is how assistant U.S. attorney, Chris Caffarone, explained a recent crime ring. “This is, in my experience, likely the most sophisticated burglary crew that I’ve encountered,” said Rick Whelan, chief of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

These quotes, from a recent episode of CNBC’s American Greed, highlight the sophistication of modern burglars. The story details a burglary crew that hacked a target’s wireless network, looked for security systems, used information from social media, surveilled targets, and even searched for hidden keys under doormats.

There were no limits to the techniques that were used to steal an estimated $10 million over five years from Long Island businesses.

Here are the eight tips recommended on the show by expert Don Aviv of the security firm Interfor International.

1. Think Like a Burglar

You’ll likely never be able to eliminate all security vulnerability of your home or business. After all, even banks and jails have had breaches.

The goal is to secure your property so that it’s more difficult or more inconvenient than what the criminal wants to take on. Just as a pickpocket will choose the easiest mark in a crowd, a burglar will choose the easiest property that he or she can find.

home security protects against modern burglars

karamysh – stock.adobe.com

2. Physical Property Modifications

Address your property’s doors, windows, locks, lighting, and landscaping. Areas that are shadowed or hidden from the street make for easy opportunities for criminals. Trim overgrown landscaping away from your building, and add motion-activated lights.

Also, remove that spare key you’ve hidden under the doormat or flowerpot.

3. Think Before You Tweet

Your social media posts could be giving burglars the inside scoop that you’re leaving for a vacation or that you’ll be away from home. By using digital snooping, burglars can find out when they’ll have an easy opportunity to rob your house.

4. Secure Your Local Network

Access to your Wi-Fi can provide a burglar with a gateway to your information, your habits, your bank accounts, your smart home devices, and more. Make sure that your router’s firmware is updated, password protected, and is not using default login credentials.

Additionally, check all of your smart home devices including Wi-Fi printers and personal assistants to make sure that your gadgets are updated and secured. For criminals who are digitally savvy, unsecured IoT objects can be a portal into your local network, which could then leave you vulnerable to a burglary.

5. Install a Modern Security System

Aviv explains that newer alarm systems can be strong deterrents for burglars, but only if used correctly.

smart security detects modern burglars

With the high-stakes of today’s burglaries, a criminal will use physical surveillance to watch the patterns of a home’s residents. After identifying the best possible time for a home robbery, they can then test your doors and windows to see if you remembered to set your security system.

One way to advance your security is with systems such as Ooma Home which offer an automated arming and disarming feature. Subscribers to the Ooma Home Secure plan benefit from the geofencing technology which uses the GPS location from your smartphone to automatically arm your security system when you leave home and disarm it when you return, helping you avoid the problem of growing careless about your security.

6. Implement Multi-Device Security

The best security system is one that integrates several types of devices and gives you complete control over your home security. An alarm or a camera work best when coupled together, says Aviv.

With Ooma Home, you can install an unlimited number of sensors including door and window sensors, motion sensors, garage door sensors, sirens, and even water sensors to protect against environmental threats.

Ooma Home also integrates with the Ooma Butterfleye smart security camera. Those who subscribe to the Ooma Butterfleye Home Secure plan for $9.99 per month have access to advanced functionality including facial recognition which can immediately alert you if the detected activity is from someone you know or a potential intruder.

Ooma comprehensive security fights burglars

Moreover, you can customize device interaction so that an activated motion sensor at the front door could set off the siren or trigger the Ooma Butterfleye to start recording video footage. With remote access via the Ooma Home app and Ooma Butterfleye app, users can see live footage, access system status, and more.

7. Protecting What’s Inside

Aviv also recommends that you avoid keeping valuables in common places. Master bedrooms are key targets for cash, passports, jewelry and other valuables. Additionally, unsecured safes can be easily carried out of your house and opened later.

However, if a burglar does bypass all of your security protections and you need help quickly, Ooma Home’s Remote 911 feature gives you immediate access directly from the Ooma Home app. This feature connects you to the 911 dispatcher that’s local to your home address rather than to a national 911 call center. Additionally, your address automatically transmits to the emergency services team. With Remote 911, you could save valuable time during an emergency.

8. Being Neighborly Helps Safety

When creating a more secure environment, you’re not in it alone. Good neighbors and neighborhood watch groups contribute to the overall safety of our communities.

Not only can collective human awareness be helpful, but police investigators are increasingly able to access additional footage of perpetrators by asking neighbors for video from their security cameras.

Learn how the Ooma Home security system can protect your home from today’s creative and high-tech burglars.

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Thad White

Thad is the Director of Product Management at Ooma, responsible for driving great user experiences across Ooma’s portfolio of hardware devices, mobile apps, and services. Thad has more than 20 years experience building and managing consumer tech products at leading tech companies including Yahoo!, BlackBerry, and 3jam (acquired by Skype). He has worked on messaging and communications products used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Thad holds a BA from Rice University in cognitive science and linguistics.

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