Your Home Security System Isn’t as Secure as You Think

By Jason Hanson published on in General, Safety and Training

According to the FBI, a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds. These criminals tend to be desperate people looking to steal things they can turn into quick cash.

Burglar reaching through a door with a chain lock

They look for items such as jewelry, small electronics and credit cards that they can easily sell on the black market. Sadly, there isn’t much to stop these thieves from breaking in—only 17% of homes have a working home security system installed.

Moreover, criminals are becoming more brazen and dangerous these days—choosing to rob even those houses with an alarm system. In fact, many nationwide security companies are finding that their systems can be hacked with just a little bit of work. Big companies like ADT, Comcast, and Vivint have had technology issues exposed.

Nowadays, most security systems are tied to the internet instead of using a telephone landline. An internet-based system allows you to add other technology features to your alarm setup.

For example, you could add smart locks, light bulbs, and a thermostat. Then, you can control all these components from your smartphone. Despite all of this fancy technology, criminals could still hack your system. And it’s not very difficult to do.

First, let’s review how a basic home security system works. Most systems on the market today operate the same way, using sensors on the doors and windows that communicate with the home base system. If the signal from one of the sensors is broken, the alarm will sound.

Burglars do not like to be in the spotlight. Keep your house well lit.

Burglars do not like to be in the spotlight. Keep your house well lit.

The problem with this type of system is the radio signal the hardware uses to communicate can be easily disrupted. A criminal could simply order an inexpensive radio jammer from a company overseas and have it shipped to the U.S. Then, all they’d have to do is, find the frequency that your security company operates at, and they could jam the signal. The alarm would never go off.

Using radio signals probably sounds outdated, but security companies haven’t had a reason to change this technology, because it was never an issue… until now.
To address this flaw, most of the major home security providers claim to have added anti-jamming software to their systems. However, during testing, many hackers say the jamming technique still works.

In fact, one company admitted that their anti-jamming software only alerted the homeowner to an issue with the security system and didn’t actually set off the alarm. Despite this, installing a home security system is still a good idea.

Shadow of a burglar through the sheer curtains of the window.

Burglaries in the home can happen at any time

Here’s are a few more things you can do to make your house less appealing to burglars:

Place a large dog bowl near your back door.

Criminals are terrified of dogs. If they see the dog bowl, they’ll move on to a dog-free neighbor’s house.

Install motion sensor lights around your home.

First, take a walk around your home at night and locate all of the “dark spots” so you know how many lights to buy and where you need to put them.

Reinforce the locks on your doors and windows.

Put a wooden bar along the floor track of your sliding glass door. Smaller wooden pieces can go in the bottom of window tracks or along the inside of window frames.

Remember, any home security system has its flaws. You should always have a backup plan to protect yourself if you’re home when a break-in occurs.

Mine happens to be a gun (Sig Sauer P226). Yours might be a gun, knife, baseball bat, or something else. Whatever it is, don’t rely solely on your home security system to protect you.

What kind of home security system do you have or what security measures do you employee? Share your answers in the comment section.


 

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

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Comments (27)

  • Kevin

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    Ahh fake news. We love it

    Reply

  • Trainman

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    Forget the wireless stuff,,, All the sensors in my homes are hard wired and can’t be defeated. In addition to the standard loud buzzer inside the house I have a extremely loud,,, can be heard for blocks away,,, very annoying siren hidden up on my roof. Also,,, several red strobe lights are placed around the perimeter of the house which begin to flash when the alarm system is triggered. This makes it easy for authorities to find the place.
    My house is monitored thru a cell phone network, so cutting the phone line defeats absolutely nothing. By law in many places monitoring stations are required to attempt to contact the subject home by phone before calling the authorities. My monitoring service has been instructed to call and only ring the phone one time, hang up and then immediately call the police.
    My wife and I are both highly trained shooters. we are both armed with laser and strobe equipped high capacity guns and also have backup guns immediately available incase of a weapons failure. Lastly, we sleep in separate rooms at opposite ends of the house. So,,, if anyone is crazy enough to try a home invasion on us they run the risk of being shot at from multiple locations. I know this sounds rather radical to a lot of folks, but hopefully you might find some of these ideas useful.

    Reply

  • BONTON'

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    ** ACCORDING TO FBI:

    – STORM DOORS – Front -and- Back – reduce the chance of ur home being hit – by 80%!! CRIMINALS HATE STORM DOORS. Install AT LEAST “Medium” Security Quality.

    Since the majority [of criminals] love to kick-in front/back doors – STORMDOORS make it too much work! They then simply look towards ur neighbor – who DOESNT have Stormdoors!!!!!!
    – 80% LESS LIKELY!!
    – 20% of the time: windows. Put locks/alarms on…

    ** THE BEST GUNFIGHT? THE ONE(s) U NEVER GET IN! SEND THEM ELSEWHERE! DETERRENTS WORK!!!!!!

    Reply

  • FrankF

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    Think mine id pretty good, have a 100 lb German Shepherd 14 outside security cameras, an am armed. 2 of the cameras send info to remote website, dog does not let anyone he does not know in the area, driveway is 1/8 mile up the side of a mountain, night time very dark closest neighbor is almost 1/4 mile. dog hears when someone turns onto driveway, and he has chased off bears & other wild life, and you don’t dare get out of your car near the house.an you are on camera the full time. So don’t worry about anyone stupid enough to try this house

    Reply

  • Christian Marx

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    The best combination I found: Lasershield (phone line based) Burglar Bomb Interceptor (infrared triggered oc spray), a K9 and a Mossberg 500 loaded with bird-shot. The oc spray will cover a 2500 sq home in merely seconds, creating a very unfriendly environment and self dissolves after about 4 hrs without any residue or windows opened. It airs out in minutes if windows are opened and fan is on. Does not hurt pets. Little pricey, but ultimate piece of mind!

    Reply

    • STEFAN

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      OC BOMB? … HELLLLLLLLLL NO!! OC/CS, etc… CORROSIVE!!

      Everything that comes in contact with – electronics (TV, STEREO, PHONES, COMPUTERS; Wire… metals of any kind…

      ** INSTANT TRASH!!
      Actual stories out there regarding…
      NO THX! Better methods around.

      Reply

  • Norm

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    First level of security is our German Pinscher dog who has a strong bark. Second level are the lights and motion detector lights that light up the house 360 degrees. Third level are Night Lock door stops screwed into the floor to prevent door being kicked in. All door screws replaced with 3 inch long screws, to door frame. Additionally, all doors and windows, to include garage doors are alarmed. Additionally, all windows have wooden dowels in the tracks to prevent opening. Alarm system has glass breakage alarm in case of breaking glass. Motion sensor adds security inside the house. As CCW qualified, I carry 24/7 inside and outside the house to keep from having to run to my firearm if needed. Other weapons, guns, knives and other sharp objects, dot the house in case they are needed. Am I afraid? No. I just wish to live in peace and quiet. Always check to see who is at the door before opening door.

    Reply

  • TIM C.

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    My Alarm System is a Smith & Wesson 50 cal 5 Shot!

    Reply

  • John

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    Good idea using a small nylon wire tie!

    We had a recent break-in in our neighborhood where they stole a car that was in the garage, but keys left in.

    In spite of their advertisements, garage door openers provide zero security.

    Reply

  • rt66paul

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    Posting of signs only help those that do not actually have a system or those who are about to be burglarized by a first time burglar. If the signals can be blocked, why warn the thieves?

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ rt66paul,

      Not true. It is a known statistic in law enforcement and through inmate interviews that homes displaying signs are passed over by would be burglars. Their reasoning is there are simply too many other homes without signage to move on to. They say they just don’t have the time or inclination to mess with homes posted that might have an alarm system when so many others don’t.

      Reply

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