What To Do About the HeartBleed Bug?

By now you have probably hear about the Heartbleed bug that may have compromised your online identity. You may have even been contacted by online services like Google, Yahoo, or governmental bodies explaining any affects Heartbleed has on their systems.

In a nut shell, Heartbleed is a bug that allows your personal information to be stolen online. We have physical tools to secure our property and valuables from thieves. We can lock our doors and windows. We can uses sensors and video cameras to keep our belongings safe.

Protecting our digital identifies is far more difficult. It can take years before your stolen identify is uncovered. By then the damage has been done. It can take many months to resolve the financial issues caused by a stolen identity. What can you do about the Heartbleed bug? Here are few suggestions.

When large providers like Google and Paypal send you information about the Heartbleed bug make sure you follow their directions. Some credit card companies are now automatically doing a monthly credit check on your accounts to catch stolen identity quickly. You can use online programs to detect if any of your passwords have been accessed. Continue to check your bank and credit card statements on a monthly basis.

Below is a short video that provides additional actions you can take to make your personal information secure from the Heartbleed Bug.

  

A Home Burglary Every 15 Seconds

A Home Burglary Every 15 Seconds…Let me share with you just one important statistic from the FBI.  There is a home burglary every 15 seconds in the United States.  The FBI defines a home burglary as “Unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft”.  More than any other time in the year, summer is the time for home burglaries.  With everyone enjoying the fresh air, windows and doors are left open.  Summer habits become an open invitation to house thieves to commit a home burglary. 

Did you know that with a home alarm monitoring system, you are three time less likely to experience a house break in’s.  The prevention can be as simply as having a yard sign or window decal identifying your home alarm system.  This may be your best defense for a home burglary. 

In the coming weeks, I will share with you some tips on ways to make your summer more secure.  If you do not have a home alarm monitoring system, give us a call so we can help bring peace of mind to you and your family for the upcoming summer season.  You home alarm system is your best defense for summer home burglaries.

Hide the Spare Key–Summer Home Security Tips

Summertime means more activities in and out of your home. Where do you hid the spare key so the children can use it or you lock yourself out of the home doing outside chores? Here are some of the worst and best places to hide your spare key.

Worst Places to Hide Your Spare Key

Where will the burglar look for the key?  They will start on the top door sill, look in the porch light, look under the front mat, under the potted plant, look into the fake rock next to the front door, in the mailbox on the window ledge near the front door, or the break open the magnetic key holder.  Worst places to hide the spare key…

  • Under the mat
  • Above the door
  • Under the flower pot
  • On a window ledge near the front door
  • The fake rock out of place near the front door

Best places to Hide Your Space Key

Nothing says you need to place the space key near the front door.  Here are some better options.

  • Give a spare key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Use your BBQ grill or A/C unit in the back yard to hide the spare key.
  • A fake rock will work if you have other rocks around it.
  • Put the key in an outbuilding or shed.
  • Place the spare key under the dog house.
  • Use the new locks that open and close from your smart phone.
  • Use a sophisticated keypad deadbolt lock.

Conclusion

Don’t put your spare key in the obvious places where a burglar will look.  Choose other options away from the front door.  These places may be less convenient, but you and your family will be safer. Check in next week for another summer home security tip.

Summer Vacations–Summer Home Security Tips

Summer Vacations—Summer Security Tips. Summer time is a favorite time for family vacations.  It’s a time to build family memories.  The bad guys also know summer time is when families will be away from their homes.  You probably have a check list of items for planning your vacation.  Add to your list, these items to make your home less of a target for the burglars. 

  • You should stop the delivery of your newspapers and mail.  If you are scheduled to receive a package, have a neighbor pick it up from your door  
  • You should close blinds so a burglar cannot see into your home.
  • If you are going to be gone for an extend vacation time, have someone cut your grass so your home looks lived in.
  • Before you go, lock all doors and windows, including your garage service door and sheds or outbuildings.  It’s a good idea to keep some interior and exterior lights on.  A rotating timer works very well.
  • You want to turn off unused appliances and computers to save energy dollars.  This also eliminates items that could cause a fire.
  • With your home phone system, switch your phone to a single ring. Do not advertise how long you are going to be gone with your voice message.
  • You do not want to advertise your vacation on Facebook or other social media sites.  Social media has become a contemporary tool for burglars to identify people who are not at home
  •  Give a trusted neighbor a key or access so they can check on your home while you are gone.
  • In some locations, you can contact your local police department about your vacation schedule.  They may send an extra patrol car periodically through your neighborhood.
  • If you have a security system, let your system providers know about your vacation plans.
  • If you are going to be far away on vacation, it’s a good idea to notify your credit card companies so they don’t deny your charges because of your far away location.

Conclusion Add the above list to your “Vacation to do list” so your home and possession are more secure while on your summer vacation.  Then enjoy your vacation!    

Summer Children Safety Tips

Summer Children Safety Tips…This is the last in my series of blog posts on ways to make your home safe and secure for the summer months.  In previous posts, I have written about.

In this post, I write about summer children safety tips for your children.  Did you know that May through August has the greatest number of children injuries and deaths?  With children being home for the summer, they have less adult structures and more opportunities for injury.  Here are some areas to talk over with your children for their summer safety.

Summer Children Safety Tips

To learn more about any of these safety areas, click on the link to SafeKids.  Be safe and make sure your children are safe for the summer.

ALWAYS TEACH YOUR CHILDREN:
To know their full name, age, telephone number, area code, city and province.
How to phone long distance in an emergency, by dialing direct or with the operators assistance.
How to contact you, or another close relative in an emergency. How to contact a trusted neighbor, police, fire or ambulance services and when to make these calls.
When children are home alone they should tell phone callers that you are there, but you are busy and cannot come to the phone. The phoning party can call back later. Teach your child to cut short any phone calls with strangers and hang up the telephone if a stranger continues to talk.
When children are home alone, find out the identity of the person who comes to the door, without opening the door. If a stranger is at the door, teach your children to tell the stranger that your are busy, and he/she should go away and come back later. Teach your child not to engage in conversation with the visitor. If the child feels threatened, teach him to phone an emergency number. Emergency numbers could be your telephone number at work, that of the police or a trusted neighbor who will be home.
Where possible, your children should play and walk with other children.

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