Family vacations are something I think we all look forward to. It’s a time to just be together as a family. I’m sure everyone has that one trip they’ll never forget. I’ve sat through countless slide reels of my grandparents vacations from when my mom was a kid. The process of documenting and sharing those moments sure has changed. According to Statista in 2016, there were 21.3 million smart phone users in Canada. That’s a whole bunch of cameras ready to take pictures and post them on social media without even leaving the beach.
Here’s a couple cool social media facts for you:
Facebook – 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2017
Twitter – 313 million active users – 2017
Instagram – 700 million active users – May 29, 2017
What does this have to do with security? Let me show you an example:
People constantly post pictures of their loaded up car, tweet about how they’ll miss their pets, or share an article about things to see at the Grand Canyon before a vacation.
Lets say you have 200 Facebook friends and post that picture of your luggage at the door.
All 200 of your friends can see it. They can also like or comment.
Sally comments “Have a great trip!! We’ll see you in two weeks” – Now all of her friends can see it – Add all 350 people who she’s friends with.
Frank (who knows Sally but not you) gives it a like – His 150 friends can now see it.
You just told 700 people that your house is going to be empty for two weeks. What if Frank has someone in his friends who’s a bad guy?
How’s that for a breach in security? I encourage you to think twice before posting details about your vacation before you leave. You never know who’s looking at those posts.
Give me a call or email so we can discuss some of the many options we have available to help you keep what matters most safe while you’re away. We have everything from smart phone enabled alarm systems to chains and padlocks.
This is the time of year that many of us start thinking about holiday visits to relatives or warm weather destinations. It makes good sense to think about your empty home whether you’re leaving for the winter, the week, or just the weekend. There are simple steps you can take to keep the bad guys guessing and not shout out to them that your home is vacant.
If you know a snowbird who leaves for the winter, pass this blog along to them and tell them I’ve included some solid tips for winterizing their home for an extended period. Here and Here
Quick side note: Neither article mentions putting RV antifreeze in the toilet or drains…flush the toilet first and then put it in the bowl. A cup or two down the drains keeps sewer smells out.
For the rest of us who are here for the winter months, some consideration needs to be taken when out of town.
Snow removal should be high up on your priority list. It doesn’t need to be pretty but snow accumulation SCREAMS empty home.
Lights on timers make it look like someone is moving around the house. Previous Security Tip Here
Our alarm systems can include a sensor for air temperature or water pipes. Yours should too. If your existing system doesn’t have this feature, we can certainly add it for you. Its far cheaper than your deductible when you have to call your insurance to tell them your pipes have frozen.
Social Media should be used to post photos AFTER the trip. We’re all excited to leave. Posting a selfie with your mountain of luggage is funny but sends out the wrong message
Unplug all non essential appliances. It takes 30 seconds to program the clock on your coffee pot. That’s less than the cumulative electrical waste of all these electronics sitting there idle while you’re gone.
Finally, lower the temperature on your thermostat. Most programmable units have a “Permanent Hold” feature that wont let the schedule resume. We can also integrate a thermostat into your alarm system so that it lowers the temperature whenever you’re away regardless of the schedule. Trust me…it’s cooler than the other ones on the market and if you call me, I’ll happily explain why.
I hope you find these tips useful. If you want to offer feedback or need anything security related, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’re not close by, we can certainly find a security expert who shares our passion for keeping what matters most to you safe.
You’ll be hearing from me again before the holidays but if you’re leaving early, everyone at Northern Security hopes you have a safe trip.
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