This only takes about two minutes to protect your privacy and keeps prying eyes from knowing what’s in front of your house or in your garage. In other words, it’s one less tool people can use to stalk you or that criminals can use to case a neighborhood. I got a call the other day from a friend who was looking to do some major renovations on his house. He was talking to different companies in the Las Vegas area and got a recommendation from someone for a builder. Supposedly, the builder was a great guy, did excellent work, and was incredibly wealthy because of his successful business. The friend I was talking to was going to meet this builder at the builder’s house so he could decide if he wanted to hire him.
As we were talking on the phone this friend said to me, “I have the builder’s address and just went to Google Maps to see a picture of his home. The home looks kind of run down and doesn’t look like the guy has any money.” Of course, just because someone doesn’t live in what society considers a “nice house” doesn’t mean the person doesn’t have money. I’m all about living below your means and not going into debt. However, the point of this story is how easy it was for my friend to go to Google Maps and check out this guy’s home.
The fact is, you can type in almost any address in the country and see the person’s house, what cars are in the driveway, and, if their garage was open when the picture was taken, you can see any valuables that were inside the garage. Since I’m all about protecting my privacy any way I can I personally had my home blurred out on Google Maps and I would encourage you do the same. “Hiding” your home on Google is very easy and here’s exactly what you do: First, go to Google Maps and type in your home address. Once you see the picture of your home, click on the picture and it will enlarge and take up the entire screen. In the bottom, right corner of this screen you will see the words “report a problem.” Click on “report a problem” and you’ll be taken to a page where you can request to have your home blurred out. After you’ve submitted your information, you’ll get an email that says, “Thanks for submitting your Street View report. We’re reviewing the image you reported and will email you when your request is resolved.” When I did this, my home was blurred out within 48-hours. However, if you don’t hear back from Google I would check their maps in a couple of days to make sure they took care of it.
Again, this only takes about two minutes to protect your privacy and keeps prying eyes from knowing what’s in front of your house or in your garage. In other words, it’s one less tool people can use to stalk you or that criminals can use to case a neighborhood.
How seriously do you take you take home security—not just protecting your home when someone is already inside, but securing your home so you do not become the target. Share your opinions and tips 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 credit card knife from Jason, visit www.SpyEscape.com