Can you believe summer has come and gone already? Big yellow buses fill the streets, classrooms are populated by our nation’s bright and promising future, and meanwhile homes are no longer consistently occupied by parents, children and family alike. With school back in session, schedules change and routines are being set. For this reason, it is more important than ever to ensure your daily activities promote a safe, secure, and smarter lifestyle to prevent any unwanted surprises from occurring.
A Security Checklist for Homeowners in a Rush
More often than not, you may hit the snooze button a few too many times (If you need help avoiding the snooze button, check out this article.). Assuming you have a fairly consistent or time-sensitive morning routine, each 5-10 minute snooze can cause you to either perform certain tasks faster, or simply forego performing a task all together to make up for lost time, and therefore risk forgetting something. That something could be anything from skipping breakfast to forgetting to lock the back door or even arm the security system.
It is important to create a short list of all points of entry into your home, assure they are accounted for and secure. Typical areas of interest include:
- Sliding back door
- Front-facing windows
- Front door lock and deadbolt
- Kitchen window
- Side-facing doors and windows
Checking the necessary doors and windows to ensure they are closed, locked and secured shouldn’t take more than 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your home. Even in the event that you are hard-pressed to get out the door and off to work on time, this process of verifying that your home is secure should be considered an integral part of your morning routine. However, if you have a habit of running out the door without checking the above key entry points, don’t fret! With a Capital Connect Security Package, you can download a free mobile app to your smart phone or tablet that lets you control and monitor everything in your house from anywhere. So if you forgot to lock a door or set the alarm manually, consider your phone a mobile control panel and access point to your home security system.
Using Internet in the Dorms, the Classroom, and at the Coffee Shop
For many vacationers, time away from home may have also been time spent away from technology. With school back in session, everyone is fully geared and ready to surf – the web that is. You may have recently purchased a brand new tablet or laptop computer from your local or online retailer. Odds are it has some sort of anti-virus software installed to help you feel more secure when browsing sites online. While this is well and good, there are several things you should do to ensure your personal information is truly secure:
FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD? TIME TO RESET
Most web users have several accounts on a myriad of sites. Each of these accounts has a username and password associated with it. We recommend you change your password every couple of months (write it down and keep it stored in an area only you would think to look in case you forget what it is) on each of these sites. Try to use a different password for each site, as cumbersome as that may seem. The strongest passwords are 8-14 characters in length and include a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols (i.e. $!*&). Resetting your password fairly often (again, once every month to two months) will greatly reduce the chances of your personal or financial information from being stolen by online cyber-criminals.
LOGOUT WHEN YOU ARE DONE
Each time you input your username and password successfully into a website’s login form, you will be logged in. Once logged in, you can of course use that site’s content – be it updating your Facebook status, purchasing items on Amazon, or checking your bank account balance. When you are finished using the site, it is important to successfully log out and end your session. On a laptop, simply closing the top or minimizing the browser does not necessarily log you out. If not done successfully, your session may not end, and you may remain logged in idly. This opens your account up to possible cybercriminals searching for open connections on the Wi-Fi network you may be using. So, always remember to successfully log out when you are done using the content of a website to avoid having any information stolen or used in a fraudulent manner.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
Going one step further than simply logging out, it is smart to turn off and close your laptop when it is not in use. If in a dormitory or residence hall at your university, this will greatly help prevent friends and roommates from inadvertently browsing your personal files. If you are in a coffee shop or classroom, we recommend you lightly pack your laptop or tablet into your backpack or handbag and carry it with you if you need to step away for even a drink or restroom break.
Teach your Kids about Home Security
A majority of children K-12 take the bus home, especially if parents work 9-5 days and cannot pick up their kids directly after school lets out. If your children take the bus home, whether being accompanied by a close friend, it is important to teach them about properly unlocking/locking main doors, arming/disarming the alarm system, and answering unsolicited calls. We recommend creating a checklist or schedule (much like the one you created above for your morning security routine) and reviewing it with your children to ensure they can successfully control and monitor your home while you are at work or running errands. Of course, as we mentioned above, with a Capital Connect Security Package you can download a free mobile app to your smart phone or tablet that lets you control and monitor everything in your house from anywhere. So if you want, you can check in towards the end of the work day to confirm your children made it home safe and the alarm was correctly disarmed.
Enjoy a Safe and Secure School Year
With school back in full swing and families resuming their more traditional daily routines, it is more important than ever to remember the small ways that you and your family can ensure that valuable items, especially those that may contain personal information, are safe and secure at all times. Plus, with remote access to your home from your mobile device, you can confirm at any time that everyone is just as you left it.
If you are considering adding a home security system, a security camera or home automation; contact the security experts at Capital Connect Tucson. Capital Connect Tucson can help you with all of your home security needs. Call (520) 209-2525 today. Request a Quote online or come by the office located at 6400 E Grant Rd #270, Tucson, AZ.