Physical safety is one thing, but you also have to be concerned with safety online, in the wild, wild world of the internet. Here are a few tips:
- Have an up to date anti-virus package for your computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets, all of your digital devices. Most of these now offer reasonably priced plans to cover multiple devices with a single family plan with automated updates to catch the latest viruses and malware.
- Make use of VPN software. If you ever use public wifi, you are putting yourself at risk. These open internet connections are a favorite of online thieves and predators as it is very easy to capture your session. Many of the anti-virus programs either come with, or you can add-on VPN protection for your connections. This will encrupt your traffic giving you another layer of security.
- Change your password. Whether it is your wireless router at home, your bank account, or your device login, change your password every so often and NEVER use the default password that comes with your device.
- Know what your kids are doing. My apologies to many out there that may disagree, but honestly when it comes to protecting children I don't care if I upset a few. Be nosey! Ask what they are doing online, who they are chatting with, what websites they are visiting. Consider installing and using parental control software for all of their devices, and make sure it has a GPS tracking option for their phones. Online predators are sneaky and are known to lure kids away for kidnapping and worse. Know where they are and who they are talking to!
Safety should not be an overwhelming worry. Just adding a few habits into your daily routine can increase your safety and well-being without constant thought. Here are a few tips for your home.
- Make sure the area around your home is well-lit. Use timers and motion sensors to turn lights on and off. Thieves want to hide, take that away from them and they will move on.
- Use timers for lights inside as well. Particularly if you are going to be away on vacation or a business trip and the house will be unoccupied. Light timers will give the appearance that someone is home.
- Never open the door to a stranger. Talk through the door or better yet a doorbell camera/voice system. A common trick is to ask to use your phone for help, point them in the direction of the nearest gas station or convenience shop. Of course, if it obvious that someone really needs help, help them. You would want the same, just have your phone in your hand and ready.
- Keep bushes and trees trimmed back. If thieves can hide behind shrubbery while breaking into a window you are providing them the cover they need.
- Make it a practice to lock doors and windows whether you are home or not.
- Install cameras with video recorders inside and out. There are several good doorbell camera systems that allow you to talk through the camera using an app on your cell phone.
- Have your phone, pepper spray and/or stun gun beside you when you go to bed.
- Close inside doors when you go to bed. Not only does it make it harder for burglars to know what is behind the closed door, it is also a fire-safety tip to reduce the spread of fire and smoke.