Remember that scene from Home Alone, where Kevin sets up that elaborate home-defence system using cardboard cut-outs, a train track, and an awesome soundtrack?
Yeah, you don’t need to do that anymore.
Here are some super-simple ways to keep your home safe, beyond the whole ‘lock your doors and close your windows’ thing, with an assist from old mate technology.
1. Set up a guest Wi-Fi network
When most people think about ‘home security’ they think about their physical home. But your Wi-Fi network – and every device connected to it! – are certainly worth protecting too. Your broadband supplier (which is Dodo, right?) will let you set up multiple Wi-Fi networks on a single router so you can control who’s online and when. You might have one for parents, one for the kids, and one for guests – you can even set up a separate network to dedicate to all of your smart devices. Split everything up to make it harder for cyber-snoopers to access. And always go for WPA2 encryption.
2. Set up an intruder alert on your smart home
Most smart homes give you the option of setting up customised actions. In Google Assistant, for example, they’re called routines. If you have a few smart gadgets kicking about your home, you can set up a pretty clever intruder alert that’ll scare the living daylights out of anyone who comes-a-breaking-and-entering. If you have a Chromecast audio and some smart bulbs/plugs, for example, you could set up your routine so that as soon as you said: “Hey Google, Intruder alert!” it’ll turn all the downstairs lights on and off and play some super hectic death metal. Kevin would be proud.
3. Throw your voice
If you can’t be bothered setting up a routine, you can use your smart home speakers to talk through. If you wake up to some rustling in the dead of night, you could open your assistant app and broadcast something like, “Keep the change ya filthy animal,” a phrase that is almost certain to strike fear into the heart of any would-be intruder. And if it turns out that the rustling was just your housemate going for a midnight snack, it’ll just be a funny story for the morning.
4. Get into keyless locks
Keys are sooooo 2019. In 2020, everyone’s using keyless locks. And by everyone, we mean some people. These things are operated by smartphones, keypads and Bluetooth – some even by voice recognition. Many of them also keep a history of failed entry attempts, so you’ll know if anyone’s been tampering while you were out.
5. The whole kit and caboodle
You can if you want to go the whole nine yards, you can pop down to your local electronics stores and drop literally thousands on high-tech cameras, sensors, door-opening monitoring devices, smoke alarms, and more. They can all be hooked up to your phone, accessed from anywhere, and feature endless customisation, tracking and other bells and whistles. If you want to go the simpler route, you could also just nab a couple of cameras for under $100 and pop them in front of your entry points. Your call.
6. Door stop alarm
OK, this one probably doesn’t count as ‘tech’, and it’s definitely not ‘high tech’, but sometimes simple is best. Literally, a wedge that you place behind a door, these things make a super-loud wailing alarm sound if anyone attempts to enter unannounced. Pair one of these bad boys with your death metal intruder alert, and you’ll be the safest house on the block.*
*Not a guarantee. Just a thing we said.
Keen to streamline your home with even more tech? Our next blog might have something for you.