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. 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.
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Using radio signals probably sounds outdated, but security companies haven’t had a reason to change this technology, because it was never an issue… until now.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.
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 employ? 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.