The 1980-90s period was boom time for home security systems. A plethora of products claiming advanced security technologies flooded the market and provided home-owners with immense peace of mind. People felt safe knowing they had the latest, smartest products available. They also installed security systems because it gave them a 15-20% discount on insurance premiums, based on the level of sophistication of the system.
Traditional systems have become obsolete
Yet, today, the scenario has undergone a sea-change. Traditional systems have become obsolete, out-dated and ineffective. Most criminals have already figured out how to bypass or disable them. If they malfunction, they’re not worth the trouble or money it takes to get them repaired.
Today, professional security systems companies and technicians have arrived at the conclusion that a smart crook who is determined, persevering and clued-up can certainly compromise security. In fact, anyone who installs and uses a security system must actually think like a burglar or intruder to really test the effectiveness of the system! Studies show that merely indicating that you have a security system installed can be quite an effective deterrent to opportunistic criminals. A sign or window sticker saying that you have security can be quite effective. Intruders would rather move onto a less guarded place than take a risk.
Meanwhile, how do you tell whether things are in perfect condition?
Effective Or Not?
- Good Systems Have The Following: a) Motion detectors at main entry/access points in the home. When they are breached, alarms should sound. b) Video cameras for constant surveillance. c) Central monitoring via a professional security firm that can alert the authorities in case of breach. d) Key-pad or other interface to control entry/exit/access.
- Effectiveness Depends On: The quality and features of the system, proper installation, efficient response in case of emergency and regular maintenance. Talk to trusted sources and purchase the right product for your needs. Check the company’s rating and reputation before you purchase.
- What Data Does It Capture? Your home security system may consist of CCTV cameras, motion sensors, alarms etc. You need to check in what direction the cameras face. This would be based on the direction from which you perceive the threat to come from. If your cameras face outwards, do they cover the widest possible range? The cameras themselves have to be secured and impossible to disable or destroy.
- Does Your Device Have Default Settings? In many cases, standard devices come with default settings and passwords. There are products available on-line that can allow a crook to find out these settings and use them, unless you have changed the default passwords. Some devices may not allow you to change your password – avoid these. Instead, change the default settings immediately and choose strong passwords with combinations of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Do Your Security Systems Use The Common Network? Modern wireless routers allow the set-up of multiple access points from the same device. However, it’s wiser to have one that’s dedicated to your security system, phones and computers. Keep your TV, home-automation etc on a separate router. Network segmentation is an important aspect of an effective home security system.
- Who Has Access? When you own smart devices, ensure that unauthorized persons don’t have access to them, especially if they have USB ports. There are many back-door entries through which crooks can gain access through Google etc. If your security systems provider doesn’t give you prior information about maintenance staff arriving unannounced to conduct checks etc, this is not the right one for you. Your system should be completely fool-proof against attacks or attempts from opportunistic crooks too.
Evaluating the effectiveness of your home security systems, the first thing you need to do is to understand and thoroughly know everything about it – how it works and what are the features etc.
So, does that mean you throw out your existing systems immediately and install a brand new one? No way!
What you need to do is to stay vigilant, monitor your existing system and check whether it’s still functional and effective. Perhaps it just needs a supplement or some extra add-ons. Get a trusted expert to evaluate the entire set-up and make recommendations.
Installing an effective home security system is crucial to your safety, privacy and the prevention of loss/harm/damage. It can save you from intruders, protect your privacy/valuables and keep your children and loved ones safe. However, you need to regularly monitor the effectiveness of your system and ensure that it’s in perfect working condition.
Best Home Security Systems Guides:
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