There’s a lot of bad advice in this world, but in most cases, bad advice doesn’t result in awful consequences. Bad advice in the kitchen may mean hard-as-a-rock cake; bad fashion advice can make you look the fool; and bad movie advice means $15 and a few hours wasted.
Bad security advice? Well, that’s a whole other ball of wax. Bad home security advice can mean thousands in stolen goods, broken windows, and the loss of impossible-to-replace jewelry, antiques or heirlooms. Bad home security advice can mean breached WiFi networks and stolen passwords. And in the most tragic cases, bad home security advice can mean injury to your loved ones.
When it comes to home security, bad advice isn’t just bad – it’s disastrous. Here’s some of the worst home security advice we’ve ever heard:
1. A self monitored system is just as good as a monitored system.
Here’s the deal: DIY systems – and by that, we’re talking about mostly low-cost, wireless systems that notify you (or other phones) when an alarm is triggered – can be great as a basic system. But that does not mean they’re as good as a monitored home security system.
A monitored alarm system is directly connected to your security company, which will notify the police, the fire department, and the paramedics in case of emergency. Police notification can mean the difference between stolen goods and thieves behind bars – not to mention, monitored homes are about 15 times less likely to be burgled in the first place – but more importantly fire and ambulance notification can save the lives of loved ones. There’s no compare.
2. Change your password, and your smart home network is secure.
Most smart home devices – say, smart locks and smart appliances – are designed with ease-of-use, not network security in mind. But as the Internet of Things and home security become intertwined, it’s incredibly important to secure your smart home against hackers – hackers who could find their way into your network via your smart fridge.
To secure your home, first secure your wireless network, preferably via Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol and a complex password. Give your network an unidentifiable name: think “UFO Space Station,” not “The Joneses.” And always, always change each device’s manufacturer password to a unique (as in, not shared with any other device) password.
3. Home Security – One & Done!
This one needs a bit of explanation. First, yes, sticking with one monitoring company for whatever you can – example: burglary, flood, and fire prevention – is a great idea. You’ll get a better package price, and won’t have to keep up with multiple companies.
However! The best home security is like an onion: it offers layer after layer after layer of security – layers guaranteed to make would-be burglars cry in frustration. Your best bet is to purchase the best home security system you can afford, and then layer on third-party extras like outdoor security cameras, Wi-Fi enabled doorbells, and even low-tech extras including interior door hinges (can’t be easily removed), strong window locks, and metal bars for your sliding door tracks.
Your turn: What is the worst security advice you’ve ever received?