Security Tips

How to Protect Your Home While You are Away…

Burglars hit a house, apartment, or condominium every ten seconds. But if the burglar picks your place instead of the one next door, you probably helped invite him there. He looks for what the police call “targets of opportunity”.

To protect yourself, make your home look occupied when you’re away. Chances are the thief will pass it up for an easier target. Also, look into making a reasonable investment in good locks, outdoor lights, and an alarm system. It will pay off in security and peace of mind. Here are some specific measures you can take.

Keep garage door closed and locked. This helps protect any valuable property you store in the garage and prevents access to interior doors. Electric doors should be disconnected and, if practical, consider padlocks on the garage door tracks.

Have your lawn taken care of. Dry, uncut grass and build-up of excessive leaves and debris says you’re away.

Display “Beware” signs. If you have a dog or an alarm system, put up signs that say you do. They deter thieves.

Ask for police patrol. When you’ll be gone for an extended time, ask the police to check your home periodically. And be a good neighbor. If you see unfamiliar or suspicious activity, call the police.

Consult a good locksmith. Different kinds of doors and windows require different kinds of locks. Deadbolt locks are recommended.

Don’t keep expensive jewelry at home. Keep it, along with other small valuables and important documents, in a safe deposit box.

Light the outside of your house. Use automatic light sensors near doors and the rear of the house where thieves do most of their work.

Secure patio doors. A steel rod in the door channel can work. A pin-type lock or a key lock is better. Additionally, secure two or three screws in the overhead track to reduce the chance of lifting the doors out of the track.

Ask a neighbor to use your garbage cans. An empty garbage can is a tip-off that you’re away.

Keep shrubbery trimmed. Thick, tall shrubbery provides cover for a burglar that lets him work undetected.

Leave interior lights on. It’s best to use automatic timers to light different rooms at designated times.

Leave a radio on. It says someone’s home. If you have a volume adjustment on your telephone bell, turn it to the lowest level.

Leave drapes and shades open. When they’re closed, they’re a sign of an unoccupied home.

Park a car in your driveway. If you have a second car, leave it in the driveway. Or ask a neighbor to park there. This not only gives the appearance of an occupied house, but prevents burglars from backing up a van or truck for loading.

Take care with keys. Don’t leave a key under a doormat, flower pot, or a window ledge. Burglars look there first.

Mark valuable items. Marking things a thief would be likely to steal, like the TV and stereo, will help police trace them and return them to you if they are recovered. Use an engraving pen, available at most police stations, and mark your driver’s license number with state abbreviations on items.

Put peepholes in doors. The type with a magnifying glass lens lets you see who’s out there without opening the door. Consider heavy-duty door chains as well.

Look into an alarm system.
They vary in sophistication. (We like this one)

Businesses are vulnerable to crimes that include burglary, robbery, arson, equipment theft and data theft.

Be Alert – Businesses should always be alert and vigilant. The most important times when people need to be very conscious of their surroundings would be during opening and closing hours. It’s very important for employers to pay extra attention to both employees and those outside the company during these key times because many people will try to take advantage of any distraction.

Provide Proper Lighting – Bright lighting should be installed on all the doors and parking lots to improve security for both the business and its employees. Make sure that your business is clearly visible from the street so that any police or security people will be able to see into the store or area clearly. Remember that burglars often target offices and businesses located in areas not viewable from the street.

Get Help from a Security Company – It also pays to have good security installed on your premises. Getting a proper alarm system for your business is really quite affordable and it could pay for itself the first time it is triggered.

Take Care of Your Data and Limit Access – The information that you get from your customers as well as the information you have for your business should be well protected. Don’t wait for a breach in security to secure all of your information. A mistake like that can mean spending a lot of time and money to make up for it. It’s best to always take precautions to avoid leakage of sensitive data.

Always Use Firewalls – The use of firewalls is to contain communication to within a specified network and to disallow communication with other networks not related to the business. Firewalls should be activated for all computers in your business. This really will increase the security levels of your company to limit any unauthorized access coming from outside your network.

Have Emergency Plans in Place – Make sure that you already have documents outlining steps to follow in case of an emergency. It’s best to always be prepared for eventualities such as fire, theft, floods and the like. And even if it does sound cheesy, having drills performed regularly will pay-off, and is sometimes required by fire prevention or insurance agencies.

Conduct Audits – Audits of all the information and data that your employee’s store in their computers or in their profiles should be done regularly to reduce security risks. Apart from the softcopies of the files, make sure to also do audits on the hard copies kept in their drawers. Make it a rule that all paper documents containing client or business information should be shredded on a regular basis once it is no longer needed. This protects not only you from liability, but it also protects your customer’s personal information.