2020 has been a tough year for everyone due to the pandemic, but despite the hardships, the one thing most people have been looking forward to is the holiday season. While the holidays could mean different things to different people, it surely is going to see some changes this year. For instance, planning those long-drawn international trips or going to visit your friends or family who live far away might not be possible. However, certain traditions will remain, such as shopping for gifts, taking advantage of all the holiday sales, going skiing, and so on.
Although it's very easy to get carried away by the holiday cheer, it's also important to remember to be safe and cautious. Those with malicious intent are aware of the fact that people stay away from their homes a lot during this time of the year. This is how burglars and thieves plan their vicious strategies. This is just one of the reasons that make having elements such as spy cameras and nanny cams installed in your home so very crucial. Let’s take a look at some of the easy and practical ways in which you can keep your home safe during the holiday season:
Don’t Inform the Internet
With social media taking over our lives, we are constantly posting about almost every little detail of our daily activities on the internet. Whether it's eating at a new restaurant, buying a new dress, getting a pet, and so on, it's all out there. The same happens whenever we travel during the holidays. This is one of the first things you need to avoid in order to keep your home safe during the holiday season. Don't post on any social media before leaving for your holiday because that alerts people regarding when your home will be empty.
Don’t post about where you’re going or when you will be back. Make sure to turn off the location on your phone as well, and ensure your home address never gets leaked on the internet. If you can’t wait to share photos or sneak peeks till you’re back home, be sure to share them in a manner such that they are only visible to your close friends on social media.
Inform Your Neighbors
Having helpful neighbors is truly a boon, and you can inform them before you leave for the holidays and put them to use. While you’re away, they can act as your spy cameras and nanny cams. Ask them to keep an eye on your house and notify you if they notice any suspicious activities. You could either stop the delivery of mail and newspapers till you’re back, or ask them to collect those while you’re gone. Another little trick they could follow is parking their car in your driveway so that there’s movement around your house and it doesn’t raise any suspicion among those with prying eyes.
Recheck Your Household Insurance
Look up your household insurance before you leave for your vacation. See if it includes all the necessary items and if it still holds in case you’re away for a certain number of days. Perhaps you could ask a sitter to look after your pets while you’re gone. In that case, see to it if your insurance still covers the required bit when non-family members stay in your home. Certain insurance companies also require you to notify them in such cases- therefore, make sure to check that as well.
Invest in Smart Technology
Technology has progressed in a manner such that you can keep an eye on your house even if you’re away. This is why investing in smart technology is imperative to keep your home safe during the holiday season. Installing spy cameras and nanny cams is something you should be doing anyway, and to take it a notch higher, you can transform your home into a smart and secure one. This can be done through home automation devices that can be controlled using a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Locks, sensors, spy cameras, locks, and even light switches can be controlled using smart technology. You could get a smart doorbell that detects any sort of motion and allows you to have a view of your front door on your smartphone. Smart lights can be installed that send real-time push notifications and alerts if someone is lurking around on your front porch, or perhaps blare alarms on the app if required. All- in-one smart security solutions exist as well, which combine self-installable cameras with alarms, motion sensors, and more.
Home Upgrades are Worth It
Considering home upgrades to keep your home safe during the holiday season is a good idea as well. Materials such as glass or wood can easily break if an outsider or intruder puts pressure on them. For this reason, get your front door to be made of stainless steel. In case that does not suit the aesthetic of your home, be sure to get a deadbolt that requires a key on both ends. Smart locks should be considered as well because they provide extra security and are also easy to install. Wannabe burglars can also be detected by installing motion-detecting lights, which are pretty affordable and don’t eat up a lot of energy.
Strengthen Your Online Security
One might wonder what online security has to do with securing your home. The reality, however, is that the stronger your online security, the better you will be able to protect your home from thefts and other malicious activities. For instance, make sure that you keep updating your devices and installing the latest versions of your respective antivirus plans.
If you use public wifi on your device, remember to switch on the VPN while doing so. While shopping online, see to it that the websites are safe and have a valid encryption certificate as well. All of these steps ensure that your private details, including your account details or travel plans stay safe and don’t get easily transferred into the hands of criminals.
Smart Lights is a Wise Idea
One of the best pieces of smart technology to make use of when trying to protect your home during the holiday season is the element of smart lights. You can either set timers on some indoor lights or also install programmable light switches. The latter can turn on and off so as to give outsiders the idea that someone is inside the house. This prevents petty thieves or burglars from knowing that the house is empty.
Smart bulbs can also be installed, as these can be controlled using an app on your smartphone. These are user-friendly, convenient, and can be moderated as per varying schedules when you’re away from your home during the holidays. A simple step such as the lights switching on every time the front door is unlocked is also a helpful step to integrate.
Lock it Well
Although the simple advice of ensuring you have locked your home well goes without saying, at times it is indeed this one small step that could make or break your entire plan. Double or triple-check your locks if needed before driving away. Smart locks have become the go-to option for this very purpose because they allow you to check the status of all the locks around your house through a smartphone app.
Don’t leave your hidden keys under the not-so-hidden spots such as under the doormat or inside a pot, because those are extremely common hiding areas and can easily be detected. In order to stay completely safe, leave an extra key with your neighbor as well in case you need to ask them to get inside and do some urgent checks.
Look Out for Package Thieves
We live in an era where online deliveries keep happening every now and then. When you're away, one of the easiest signs that gives it away is the presence of packages in front of your door. This is like an open invitation to the thieves and burglars who instantly know that no one is home.
In case you live in a city or somewhere where the foot-traffic is high, you could get an Amazon Locker. This allows you to pick up packages at your convenience. Packages can also be redirected to your office address, and if it’s a USPS order, you can collect them from the post office as well.
If you have purchased something from a retailer with a brick-and-mortar location, you can have your order shipped to the local store to be picked up. If you find that to be a lot of work, just remember that certain shipping providers give you the option to postpone deliveries till you’re back home. FedEx and UPS also give customers the option to provide directions for where to drop off the packages. If you know when the delivery is going to happen, you can also leave a note inside an envelope addressed to the respective delivery person. The note can state where you want the parcel to be left or handed over to.