Home Security Equipment is Going Mobile–What You Need to Know
As mobile technology becomes a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives, it shouldn’t be surprising that this technology is being adapted for home security. By using an app on a mobile device (like a phone or tablet), it is possible to obtain a level of remote control over your security system that has never before been possible. You can literally sit in a chair from miles away and control your security cameras, alarms, and anything else you might have installed.
Smart Home Security Systems
To control your home security system with a single app, you will need to invest in a package deal which is commonly called a smart home security system. There are many options in this department, but here is a short list of things that you should look for in a security system of this type:
- Low monthly fees
- No monitoring contract (unless necessary)
- Simple enough to install without professional help
- Compatible with your mobile devices
- Power outage backup
- Motion sensors at all potential entry points
GPS Location Tracking
Most mobile devices contain some form of GPS tracking, usually in the form of a “maps” app. These apps are sometimes integrated with home security systems. Several mobile apps, including those that are integrated with home security systems, now include the option to share your location with family members, get help through SOS emergency response, and receive roadside assistance.
However, there are some definite security concerns here. The same app that allows you to track your children (for instance) could also be used by a hacker to track them down. Also, if these apps are tied to your security system, it could allow a hacker to gain control of that as well. These kinds of apps can be beneficial, but you have to be careful with them.
Do You Need a Monitoring Service?
Some home security systems provide monitoring services. This means that the police, fire department, and/or EMS will automatically be called if the device alerts them of a potential situation.
This level of security can be especially useful if you live in a high-crime area. This handy reference website (for US areas) should help you to start your research on what kinds of crimes are common in your area.
It’s a good idea to research the crime rates in your area as thoroughly as possible. This is a good way to determine how serious your security system will need to be.
Every kit is different, but you should begin by counting the number of windows and doors in your home. You need to make sure that you have enough sensors to cover all of these potential entry points. If someone trespasses in your home, they are unlikely to break through the wall, so these are the most critical areas to watch.
Ordinarily, a kit will contain a set of motion sensors, at least one camera, and a hub unit to control the whole system. These kits may also contain smart locks that can be engaged and disengaged remotely, and/or smart garage door openers.
Thief-Proofing Your Home
While a smart home security system is a great idea, you should not neglect some of the other things that you can do to make your home and your family a little bit safer. Here is a short list:
- Invest in a strong garage door made of steel
- Get or borrow a large dog when going out of town
- Make sure that you and your family turn off the location access on your phone when the maps app is not in use
- Learn a little bit about computer security to protect yourself from hackers.
Drawbacks to Smart Security
The biggest problem by far is the fact that hackers can potentially gain access to your security system. If steps are not taken to prevent hackers from doing so, they are perfectly able to hack into most smartphones. If your phone is tied to your security system, they can gain access in that way and do whatever they want.
The concept of using mobile technology to control a home security system could be with some security risks, but the same can be said of any new technology. By going into the situation with a little bit of knowledge, you can achieve the level of security that you and your family deserve.