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Home Security In A Digital Age

In this day and age, online and home security matters more than ever. Did you know that online scams and fraud are costing the British public hundreds of billions each year? With so many Brits now working from home, everyone is spending more time online than ever before. Even our home security systems now typically use the internet to function and while that brings many benefits, keeping you and your loved ones safe means understanding technology as well as physical security.

Online scams

Internet and cold calling scams are unfortunately more prevalent than ever. Equally worrying is that they’ve become more elaborate and harder to spot, especially for people who don’t understand technology. Pensioners therefore make the ideal target for scams and sadly are losing millions each year to these criminal enterprises. The best way to keep your loved ones safe is to learn to keep yourself safe and pass on that knowledge.

Familiarise yourself with the most common scams and know their warning signs. If something online looks too good to be true, it probably is! The same goes for the opposite situation. Scams will often try to play on your emotions whether that’s with the promise of a prize or the threat of fines and jail time. If you receive any such communication by phone or email triple check its veracity before giving it any serious consideration. With that in mind, internet pop-ups should always be ignored. They are a relic of an older age and now used almost exclusively by advertisers and scam artists. Some scams aren’t so easy to pick up on however. Because of the potential for emotional connection and vulnerability, online dating is rife with scammers looking to take advantage. It’s difficult to stay safe with something like this but the best practices still apply. Don’t share unnecessary personal information and never send money to strangers.

Physical security

Today’s home security market is bursting with new and exciting technologies promising to keep you and your family safe so finding where to start can seem incredibly daunting. As with any big project the best way to start is by getting a sense of your requirements, limitations and budget.

Until recently, home security installation was almost exclusively handled by professionals. While this has some big advantages it comes at a price that will be beyond the budget of many households. For most people then, DIY home security is the only viable option. Luckily the market has evolved significantly over the last few years meaning it’s now easier and cheaper than ever to install basic levels of home security such as cameras and alarms. This is largely driven by big tech companies like Google and Amazon whose security products are now integrated into their wider smart home ecosystems. That integration makes them easy to install  and set up as well as convenient to check from mobile devices when you’re out and about.

Home security is a very different challenge today than it was twenty years ago. A virus or scam could put your money at more risk than a burglar. As such, while locks, alarms and cameras will go a long way towards keeping you and your loved ones physically safe, staying financially safe requires a different kind of effort. So make the effort and learn and share best practices for online safety sooner rather than later.

Article by freelance writer Karoline Gore 

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