By definition, traveling means you are leaving your home behind. In those last minutes as you leave your home, you run through a mental checklist – stove off, lights on, doggy door locked, etc. Is your identity on that checklist? Not to worry, because we have some tips to keep your identity safe when you travel.
Get a locking mailbox
Criminals have easy access to information if they can get to your mail. A locking mailbox ensures that only you have access to you and your family’s sensitive information. Check out the top rated security boxes at Amazon.
Lo-Jack and other GPS Trackers
Lo-Jack and other GPS monitoring devices have become ultra portable and can be used to track any electronic or a valuable device you own. If a thief recognizes that the device is enabled with a tracking system, there’s a good chance it may not be stolen at all.
Once a technology that was limited to retail business locations, video surveillance systems have become more affordable in recent years. While strategically placed cameras monitor your home, the most modern systems let you check in on home from anywhere on the Internet. Web-based control panels lets you control cameras, monitor live, rewind, or see what happened at a certain point in time from any location. If you leave home and can’t remember if you closed the garage, having a camera can give you piece of mind. Also, if you do catch someone on surveillance, you can record the clip and use it when you file your police report. Features of many of these systems allow you to set both motion and sound alerts. There are many easy to install devices such as the Samsung SNH-1011 WiFi IP Camera that lets you see and record what’s most important to you anytime, anywhere! It’s simple set-up and there is no monthly fee. You can monitor your home or business from your Mac, PC, or Mobile device.
Social Lips Sink Ships
We live in a digital world that is becoming increasingly social. One risk to consider is when you’re on the Internet anybody could be watching or reading. Social media amplifies this risk.
Wait until after your trip before you start posting information about your trip. Before you go and announce to your friends on Facebook or another social media outlet, think about whether you want strangers to be aware of your plans. Friends and family might, accidentally, increase awareness of your leave by re-posting your feed. Again, wait to post your news until after you get home.
Stop your Mail and Newspapers
There’s nothing like a pile of tell-tale stack of mail in your mailbox that says you’re not home. Call your local post office to stop mail delivery until you get back. The United States Postal Service holds mail from three to 30 days.
Yellow newspapers at the edge of your driveway tells everyone you’re either gone or suddenly don’t care about the news. Call and have delivery stopped and make sure a neighbor checks for newspapers in your driveway in case they don’t actually stop service.
If you plan on being gone a while, an untended yard could be another sign you are not at home. Hire a professional, ask a neighbor or pay a kid on the block to ensure the yard looks like it usually does. Also, don’t change anything on the outside of your home (like moving plants from your front porch to your backyard to be watered in the sprinkler) – anything out of the ordinary may suggest to the wrong people that you are not at home.
Hire a House or Pet Sitter
You can recruit a pet sitter take care of your pets at scheduled times while you are away. You can also hire services to watch or even stay at your home; a relative or friend could do this. A neighborhood watch group in your area may be willing to look in on your place. At a minimum you should have somebody checking on your home from time to time because you can’t anticipate everything.
There are various types of timers that can help create the illusion that you are home. From timers that turn lights on and off at preset times, to sophisticated controllers that can control several devices throughout your home on a custom schedule, the options are many. You can also find several devices that allow you to control your lights remotely such as the Belkin WEMO Light Switch.
Untracked Keys – Use a Lock Box
People leave keys for their home out for babysitters, house cleaners, relatives, children and even themselves in hidden places outside their home. Thieves know these spots better than you think, so round those keys up before you go anywhere. Lock boxes for keys are used by more than just real estate agents. At your home, they are great for kids after school that need to get into the house. Just put the house key in the lock box and it’s waiting there for them everyday.
If There’s a Lock, Use It
If you have a safe, put your important documents and valuable items inside. Click here to learn what to look for when you purchase a safe. Take precautions on your computer, put a logon password in place and be sure you have backed-up your files to a location that is not in your home. Click here to learn how to create a secure password. Check for windows and doors that are open and lock them. Do a final check just before you leave home so you won’t be wondering if you left that side door unlocked on the way to the airport. For those of you with too much on your mind before a trip; those who can’t remember if you locked your doors or not, check outRemoteLock. Lock or unlock your door remotely. Know who enters your property and when. Receive text alerts when codes are used. Issue new codes or delete codes from your computer or phone. Even give temporary codes to neighbors or guests.