Monthly Archives: April 2014

Are Hardwired Home Security Systems Still Worth It?

burglar alarm maintenanceWith the emergence of user-friendly, easily configured wireless alarms, you may understandably be wondering whether hardwired alarm systems are still worth the investment. After all, on the surface they seem to require much more labor and hassle for around the same price as a wireless unit. So have hardwired systems become the VHS tapes of the home security world? Not so fast. There are a lot of impressive wireless technologies out there, but don’t write off the wired classics just yet.

Is Your Home Wired for a Security System?

Wireless home security systems were initially developed to accommodate residences and businesses where hardwiring is difficult or even impossible. When purchasing a new home or commercial property, you should always determine if a structure is already wired for a security system. The previous owner(s) may have had a system in place, and that can make it much easier to install a new system. If you’re planning to install the system yourself, you’ll still have to contend with the programming process, but even that chore becomes easy with a bit of affordable, professional phone consulting.

Hacker-Proof Technology

The more primitive technologies have certain advantages. Landline phones aren’t subject to wireless signal loss, old school video games are impervious to viruses, and of course, hardwired alarm systems are incapable of being hacked and manipulated. Criminals may try to cut your wires and disable your system, but as long as you don’t leave any of the wiring exposed, you won’t be vulnerable to this type of interception. The big threat with wireless alarms is that tech-savvy criminals will surreptitiously gain access to your automation features and disarm your system without you even realizing it. You never have to worry about this problem when you have a hardwired model.

Multifaceted Expandability

Wireless systems tend to be fairly homogenous. For instance, if you purchase a control panel from Brand A, you typically cannot use peripherals from Brand B. But with hardwired systems, you can usually mix and match components from different brands in order to create a truly custom system. Quite often, you can even modify your control panel to communicate with wireless components, thereby turning your simple hardwired security system into a versatile hybrid mechanism that allows for the maximum protection all around.

60-511-02-95Less Need for Batteries

One of the downsides to owning a wireless home security system is that you constantly need to replace the battery in each component. With a hardwired system, you’ll need nothing more than a backup battery for your most essential accessories, and most of the time you’ll never need to worry about powering your alarm. The whole thing virtually takes care of itself.

Aesthetic Value

Hardwired home security systems are literally constructed into the home itself, which means fewer protruding parts. The keypads are built into the wall, the door and window contacts are typically invisible, and the control panel is discreetly tucked away. In other words, when you take the hardwired approach, it’s much easier to build a system that doesn’t clash or interfere with your home décor.

Thinking of Purchasing a Home Security System?

Don’t underestimate the power of a good hardwired security system. If you’re looking for virtually impenetrable security at an affordable price, check out the wide selection at Home Security Store. We offer a wide assortment of top-quality systems from top brands like DSC, Honeywell and GE Interlogix. Just take a look at the selection and secure your home like never before.

The Top 10 Burglary Films

best heist filmsWhat do the Muppets, Alec Baldwin and Richard Nixon have in common? They have all been the subjects of popular burglary films. Over the past century, Tinsel Town has seen its fair share of robbery and heist movies, and not all have been noteworthy. For instance, we’d all love to forget about Ping, the story of a hang gliding chihuahua who foils a home invasion robbery (yes, that actually happened). However, a select few of these burglary/heist films have stood the test of time and become true Hollywood classics. The following list includes comedies, dramas, horror films, recent blockbusters and Golden Age essentials (in no particular order). Did any of your favorites make the list? Tell us your favorites in the comments below.

10 Films for Your Consideration

Home Alone: Ah yes, who can forget that incomparable 1990 classic starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern? It’s so cheesy, so unfeasible, and yet so endearingly John Hughes. Much as we’d like to mock and poke fun, we can’t help but return to it every holiday season, for better or worse.The film spawned multiple sequels of progressively diminishing quality, but there’s just no beating the original. After all, when you combine a tarantula, a shovel, and a couple of witless burglars, you have a recipe for comedy gold. 

glengarrygrGlengarry Glen Ross: With an all-star cast that includes Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin and Alan Arkin (basically every Al in Hollywood), it’s no wonder GGR is such a timeless epic. What really makes this film, however, is its powerful performances and electrifying melodrama. Fierce competition can drive honest people to dangerous extremes, including burglary and sabotage.

All the President’s Men: Here we have a tale about the most famous burglary in American history: the 1972 break-in at the Watergate complex. Based on true events, this story would forever change the face of U.S. politics while solidifying the already impressive Hollywood legacies of Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.

The First Great Train Robbery: If you haven’t seen this one-of-a-kind action comedy from Michael Crichton (who would later go on to Jurassic Park fame), you’re truly missing out. Starring screen legends Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and Lesley-Anne Down, it’s the perfect marriage of Old West mischief and British sensibilities…and if that sounds too bizarre to be true, you’ll just have to watch the film.

To Catch a Thief (1955): One of the more underrated entries in the Hitchcock canon, this gripping romantic thriller stars Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, who find themselves involved in an unusual game of cat-and-mouse. Grant is sublime as John Robie (a.k.a. The Cat), a former jewel thief eager to reclaim his honor after being falsely indicted in a series of robberies.

muppets_2849681bMuppets Most Wanted: This critically acclaimed caper is the 8th Muppet movie to hit theaters, and it shows the beloved Henson creations in top form. Featuring Ricky Gervais and a sinister Kermit lookalike as insidious—albeit somewhat bumbling—jewel thieves, this film is actually the second Muppet heist movie to come along. You may also remember The Great Muppet Caper from 1981, starring Charles Grodin and Diana Rigg.

The Asphalt Jungle: If you love classic noir, first watch The Maltese Falcon. Then watch The Asphalt Jungle. This film is quite simply recognized as one of the best movies of all time, nominated for four Academy Awards, and recently selected for preservation by the National Film Registry and the Library of Congress. This caper film even features a young Marilyn Monroe in one of her first on-screen appearances, and according to Film writer David M. Meyer, “The robbery is among the best-staged heists in noir.” Check it out.

Absolute Power: Directed by, produced by and starring Clint Eastwood. Do we really need anything more than that? In this powerful political thriller, Eastwood plays a master jewel thief who—while carrying out a robbery—stumbles upon a murder at the hands of Secret Service agents. The events that follow are nothing short of heart pounding.

best heist moviesPanic Room: This edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller features Jodie Foster in one of her most spellbinding performances. Imagine being terrorized by a team of burglars while confined within the walls of your own panic room. If this one doesn’t get your heart racing, you probably don’t have a pulse.

Small Time Crooks: This is heist comedy as only Woody Allen can pull off. Featuring an all-star cast that includes Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant and Michael Rapaport, it tells the story of a group of inept would-be bank robbers who find fortune in cookie sales. And that’s just the first act.

Burglaries may be exciting, electrifying or even hilarious in the movies, but there’s nothing funny about being the victim of a home invasion. If your home isn’t secure, check out the wide selection of home security systems available from Home Security Store

Free Home Security? Yes, It is Possible

burglar-break-in-1We all love the word free. Free gift, free beer, free apps…how about free home security? Yes, it is possible, and while you may not be able to pick up a 192-zone alarm system without opening your wallet, there are certainly things you can do right now to quickly and easily enhance your home security, no credit card required. So whether you’re on a budget or just looking to enhance your existing home security plan without breaking the bank, consider the following tips.

Adopt a Dog

The benefit here is twofold, because you’re providing a loving home to an animal in need while also gracing your home with a fully functional canine alert system. Burglars will typically avoid homes with dogs—especially small, yappy dogs—because the incessant barking draws attention to the crime. You don’t need sirens, motion sensors or window contacts to put this particular alarm system into action. You just need lots of love and the occasional Milk Bone.

Trim Your Hedges and Trees

Is your yard looking a bit unkempt? Has your simple porch morphed into the hanging gardens of Babylon, complete with towering hedges, overgrown bushes and spiraling vines? At the risk of upsetting Sting, it’s time to tear down that rainforest. When you allow your foliage to flourish with reckless abandon, you provide a source of cover for thieves, and your home may be targeted as a result. Leave the bad guys with nowhere to hide, and your likelihood of being victimized will drop significantly.

Lock Your Doors and Windows

We hate to point out the obvious, but this tip is definitely worth emphasizing. Many homeowners leave themselves vulnerable by simply failing to exercise common sense. Some criminals will move from home to home in search of an easy target, and you don’t want to provide a simple means of unlawful entry. If you leave your windows open for fresh air, make sure to open them no more than 6 inches, and then lock them in place.

Reinforce Your Windows and Sliding Glass Doors

While we’re on the subject of doors and windows, just how secure are your windows? A simple latch doesn’t provide much security, but you don’t necessarily have to run out and purchase an impenetrable stainless steel window lock from your local home improvement store. You can improve the security of your windows using items that you probably already have in the home. For instance, you can use rods or bars to prevent people from opening the window more than a few inches, or you can drill screws along the perimeter for the same purpose.

Doggie DoorLearn Responsible Social Media

Want to keep the burglars away? Stop checking in on Twitter and Facebook every time you take a trip to the local Coldstone Creamery. As we recently reported, a staggering 80 percent of burglars use social media platforms to seek out victims. So resist the temptation to constantly publicize your whereabouts, and NEVER announce your vacation plans ahead of time. You never know who’s monitoring your feed, and you don’t want to return from Hawaii to find that your home has been looted.

Close Your Curtains and Blinds

You can’t always be home, but you can prevent thieves from assessing the value of your property while you’re away. Don’t provide free advertising to criminals by leaving your consumer electronics on display through the window. When you leave the house, close those curtains and blinds. And if you do notice any strange individuals who appear to be quietly observing your block for extended periods of time, notify the police right away. You may be able to prevent a crime in your neighborhood before it even occurs.

We all love free home security, but everyone should still have a professional system in place. If you’re looking for a top-grade home security system at an affordable price, check out the wide selection at Home Security Store. Arm your home with the ultimate protection, and experience renewed peace of mind.

Summer Home Security Tips

iStock_000006224314SmallApril is almost at an end, and that means that summer is right around the corner. When we think of summer, we think of pool parties, suntan lotion and fireworks, but did you know that summer is also the busy season for burglars? According to Jerome McKean, an associate professor of criminology at Ball State University in Indiana (as quoted in the Wall Street Journal), property crime rates are highest during July and August, so if you’re preparing for that big U.S. road trip, there are a few things you need to know.

Why Does Crime Increase During the Summer?

Research shows that the average burglar is male and under the age of 25. In fact, the peak age for property crime arrest is 16. Why is this relevant? Because 16-year-olds are out of school during the summer, and that may account in part for the spike property-related crimes during July and August. Additionally, summer is the most popular season for family vacations, and burglars love to prey on vacant homes. The crime increase isn’t about atmospheric conditions; it’s about opportunity and circumstance.

Installing Quality Home Security

A home without a security system is three times more likely to be burglarized than a secured home, so step 1 is to invest in a quality home security system if you don’t already have one. If you’re planning to travel during the summer, consider also purchasing security cameras with remote streaming capabilities. For instance, the Lorex Vantage Wireless Home Security Camera can record video footage and transmit it directly to your smartphone while you’re away. It can even use motion activation technology to begin recording in the event of a home invasion.

Doubling Up on Burglary Deterrents

A home security system makes an excellent deterrent, but it’s not the only deterrent. If you want to maximize your home security for the summer, it’s important to incorporate a wealth of disincentives into your home security game plan. For instance, if you don’t have a dog, you might invest in a dog bark alarm, which wards off potential intruders with realistic sounding barks. If you can’t afford a surveillance system, you might install a dummy camera on your porch. Burglars can’t distinguish it from the real thing, and the sight of a security camera is like Kryptonite to a would-be thief. Finally, don’t forget your yard signs and decals.

SpyingStart a Neighborhood Watch Program  

With the summer sizzle slowly inching its way into our consciousness, now is the perfect time to start up a neighborhood watch program. If you’re not sure how to get the ball rolling, check out our in-depth neighborhood watch article, which contains 8 simple steps for assembling the ultimate watch in your town. When you get the entire community involved, you can sleep easier at night and enjoy heightened security at all hours.

Note to Businesses

Do you run a retail business? It’s absolutely essential that you have a quality security system in place. Commercial theft, much like home invasion, increases during the summer, but in the business world, there is a second spike that occurs during the month of December. If you’ve been managing your enterprise for very long, you’re probably not at all surprised by this revelation. But if you step up your security plan today, you’ll be more than ready for summer and the holidays.

Stock Up On Home Security Supplies

Don’t wait for spring to drift into summer. If your home or commercial security system is less than optimal, check out the selection at Home Security Store and get a head start on your summer safety strategy. Home Security Store offers the best deals on the most sophisticated wired and wireless security systems available, and our customer service is second to none. Take control of your security today, and spend your summer focusing on more important things, like your tan.

What to Do if a Neighbor is Being Burglarized

neighbor-burglaryIf you have ever been the victim of a burglary, you understand firsthand just how terrifying and traumatic the experience can be. But what do you do if you witness a robbery in progress at a neighbor’s house? The homeowner may be away or unable to phone for help, and if they don’t have a home security system installed, they may have little recourse. You don’t have to just sit by and let it happen, but you do need to be careful about how you proceed.

Remain out of Sight

When you spot the occurrence of criminal activity, the first and most important step is to make yourself scarce. You don’t want to expose yourself to potential danger, because you don’t know if the intruders are armed or aggressive. You don’t want to give the burglars any indication that you’re aware of their presence (such as by suddenly turning off all your lights), but you do want to remove yourself from plain view.

Lock your Doors and Arm your Alarm System

If you don’t already have a home security system installed, you should. There are more than 2 million burglaries in the U.S. every year, and a quality alarm system can quite literally be a lifesaver. If you do have a home security system, arm it as soon as you notice signs of burglary in your neighborhood. Also take a few moments to lock all of your doors and windows if it is safe to do so.

Call the Police

Depending on the circumstances, your neighbors may have already phoned the police, but you can never be sure, so call 911 as soon as you notice signs of criminal activity on your block. Calmly explain the situation to the dispatcher, and explain that your neighbor requires immediate police assistance for a burglary in progress.

Note Any Pertinent Details

If it’s safe to do so, try to note and recall any relevant details about the burglary. For instance, did you get a look at the burglars’ faces? What were they wearing? What kind of vehicle were they driving? Did you happen to get a glimpse of their license plate number. Don’t endanger your safety by running out in search of this information, but write down everything that you can remember, and pass it along to the police when they arrive.

1128279_77303851Remain at Home Until the Police Arrive

When you witness a crime so close to home, you may feel tempted to get as far away from your house as possible, but again, this may jeopardize your safety. Also, the police will want to speak with you after they arrive and the scene is cleared, and the information you provide may very well ensure that justice is served, and that the perpetrators are put away for a long time.

Be a Good Neighbor

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, remember that your neighbor has undergone a seriously traumatic experience. The best thing you can do at this point is to offer your support and friendship. Even if nothing valuable was taken, and even if the neighbor was (hopefully) away from home, they’re going to need moral support at the very least. So show them that you’re there for them, take them out for a beer or a meal, and just make yourself available. It’s the neighborly thing to do.

If you’re looking for a top-grade home security system at an affordable price, check out the wide selection at Home Security Store. Arm your home with the ultimate protection, and experience renewed peace of mind.  

Dallas Burglary Victim Has a Warning for Other Homeowners

ThiefImagine the horror of experiencing a carefully orchestrated burglary firsthand. First you hear a fierce pounding at your front door. Then suddenly the power goes out. You look out your window and find the burglar scurrying straight toward you. He shatters the glass and leaves you virtually helpless, unable to even access your home security system in light of the sudden power outage. It may sound like the plot of a horror movie, but this actually happened to one family in Dallas. NBC reported the story earlier today, and it’s shedding some important light on key burglary prevention measures.

Background

When Dallas resident Paris Sunio described his ordeal to reporters, he recalled the terror of realizing that his home was being invaded. It all took place on Friday, and it began, as previously mentioned, with increasingly loud knocks at the door. “Each subsequent knock would be a lot louder, by the tenth one it became a bang bang bang,” he told NBC, “maybe eight minutes later my power goes off.” Sunio had suspected that the invaders might be burglars from the moment they began knocking, but what happened next truly took him by surprise. Total power failure.

The Aftermath

After the power went out, Sunio hurried to the front window and peered through the blinds. That’s when he saw the burglar marching toward him. “He kind of made a motion and punched the glass, and then I opened up my blind and started yelling whatever I could to startle him like ‘intruder, call the police!’” Sunio then called 911 and barricaded himself inside his office. Thankfully, the police arrived and nobody was harmed, but Sunio won’t soon forget this terrifying experience. Police suspect that the burglars had been casing his home for some time, as there were slats missing in the fence between Sunio’s home and a nearby alley.

1377152_35794384The Lesson

Sunio is now encouraging others to lock their outdoor breakers. If a burglar cuts off your power supply, you may find yourself stranded in the dark, or worse, completely unable to access your home security system. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your security system has a backup power supply, whether in the form of a battery or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If your system uses a backup battery, make sure to check it often to ensure that it doesn’t require replacement.

Additional Tips

Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about optimizing your home security system to withstand a power outage, but what if you don’t have a security system to begin with? If your home lacks a safety net, now is the time to do something about it. A home without a security system is three times more likely to be burglarized, so don’t underestimate the importance of professional home security. Oh, and if you see strange men watching your home from a nearby alley, you should probably call the police.

If you’re looking for a top-grade home security system at an affordable price, check out the wide selection at Home Security Store. Arm your home with the ultimate protection, and experience renewed peace of mind as a result.  

Apartment Burglary Prevention – What You Need to Know

apartment home securityIs your apartment secure? If not, it’s time to take action. Apartments are every bit as vulnerable as houses when it comes to burglaries, and in fact, many burglars actually favor apartments for the simple fact that these living spaces are far less likely to have a security system in place. Lest you should join the ranks of the more than 2 million yearly home invasion victims, it’s critical that you take steps to protect yourself, your family and your property. Securing your apartment is not only easy; It’s also remarkably affordable.

Go Wireless

Chances are, your landlord isn’t too keen on the idea of you tearing up your walls and installing an intricate, hardwired security system. Therein lies the problem with apartment security. Given your installation limitations, wireless security systems are a real godsend. A few short years ago, it would have been virtually impossible to install a quality alarm system in an apartment, but with today’s wireless technologies, you can easily assemble the system of your dreams without tearing up your walls or infuriating your apartment manager.

Warn Potential Intruders

To the criminal element, apartments are often more difficult to case than houses, due to the enclosed nature of apartment complexes, and the limited visibility of the apartments themselves. As a result, apartment burglars are more likely to invade without adequately assessing the environment. Most burglars won’t know whether or not you have a security system, and you can usually ward them off with a few meticulously placed warning signs. Consider purchasing some home security decals and placing them on your windows and front door.

One Word: Surveillance

Much like the aforementioned wireless security systems, surveillance cameras are now more affordable and versatile than ever before. Wireless cameras can be mounted just about anywhere, and many can even be integrated with your mobile phone for round-the-clock monitoring. Apartment burglaries are often committed by residents of the complex, and if you do become a victim of intrusion, you may catch one of your neighbors in the act. Reliable surveillance is essential for any home security plan, because it puts a face to the crime and increases your odds of recovering your stolen property.

deadbolt home securityImprove Your Locks

Does your apartment door use generic locks? Thieves are using sophisticated devices like bump keys to quickly infiltrate traditional locks, so speak to your landlord about improving the locks. If possible, you’ll want to install a grade 1 or 2 solid metal deadbolt for added reinforcement. Just make sure to clear it with your landlord beforehand, and provide them with a copy of the key. Failure to do so may result in punitive action or even eviction.

Lock Your Windows

Does your apartment reside on the first floor? If so, thieves may target your windows for entry. Far too many apartment dwellers rely on the simple latches that rest on top of each window, without taking the time to reinforce those potentially vulnerable entry points. Use window bars or additional locks to secure your windows in place, and never leave them unlocked. If you leave your windows open for fresh air, never open them more than six inches.

Secure Your Apartment  

If you haven’t yet moved into your new apartment, you can start by researching the various local neighborhoods. Sites like city-data.com and neighborhoodscount.com allow you to view detailed crime indexes not only for cities, but also for individual neighborhoods and even blocks. So do your homework, and be proactive about your apartment security. You can find affordable wireless security systems and accessories (including window bars, security cameras and decals) at Home Security Store. Get yours today, and feel a little safer between those four walls.

Protecting Your Mobile Devices from Thieves

iphone-app-store2Ten years ago, nobody knew what a smartphone was. There were no angry birds of which to speak, and Siri was nothing more than a gleam in some developer’s eye. Fast forward to 2014, and mobile devices are ubiquitous. It seems that everyone is walking around with an iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle or other handheld computing mechanism, and not surprisingly, these technological marvels have become supreme targets for thieves. If you want to protect your property and your personal information, you’ll need to take a proactive approach.

Keep Your Phone at Your Side  

Approximately 1.6 million mobile phones were stolen in the U.S. in 2012, according to Consumer Reports. That number increased in 2013. It’s imperative that you keep your smartphone close at hand at all times, and never leave it out in the open. Mobile devices are very popular targets for burglars, so if you charge your phone at night, keep it near your bedside, and don’t leave it another room or downstairs. If you find yourself in a busy social setting, don’t set your phone on a table or counter and assume that no one will take it.

Install GPS Apps

Androids, iPhones and popular tablets can all be equipped with apps that enable you to locate, lock and even wipe your phone in the event of theft. Take a few moments to download some security apps onto your phone, and prepare yourself for any eventuality – no matter how unlikely. If a theft does occur, you won’t have your personal information compromised, and you may even be able to locate the device.

Password Protect Your Phone

Did you know that you can input a custom password or passcode that prevents other people from accessing your Home screen? Yeah, it can get a bit annoying when you have to constantly punch in that four-digit code every time you wake up your phone, but if your device is ever stolen, you’ll be glad you opted for the inconvenience. You can create and update your password using your Settings application, and you can even customize it so that the password is only required after 1 minutes, 5 minutes or even an hour of inactivity. For security reasons, try setting it for 5 minutes or less.

visonicappDon’t Share Personal Information Over Public Wi-Fi

It’s not just the phone itself that thieves are after. You may have your personal information compromised and stolen without the phone or tablet ever leaving your hand. Passwords, credit card numbers, banking information – savvy criminals can intercept this information by monitoring your activity over a public Wi-Fi network. So next time you’re at Starbucks or the local library to surf the Web, don’t enter any personal information. You never know who’s watching.

Don’t Jailbreak or Unlock your Device

We all want to break free from the shackles of “the man,” but there are serious security risks associated with jailbreaking a phone or tablet. Without the general system restrictions in place, you leave yourself vulnerable to malfunctions, viruses and even spyware. Cyber-thieves will use any vulnerabilities to their advantage, so don’t give them the opportunity.

After a Theft

So what if the unthinkable happens? You turn around to find out that your phone has already been stolen, and the perpetrator is nowhere in sight. First, you need to stop what you’re doing and contact your carrier, be it AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or anyone else. Let them know of the theft so that no additional charges may incur on your account. If you have any remote tracking or locking apps installed on your phone, make use of them right away. By 2015, all mobile devices will be equipped with an optional “kill switch,” which allows users to automatically lock and erase their device in the event of theft, but until then, we all need to be diligent about making these preparations ourselves.

If you want to customize your smartphone, check out the selection of accessories at Home Security Store. We offer a wide selection iPhone pepper spray cases, smartphone-compatible security cameras and even iPhone-driven home security systems. Put your mobile device to work for you. 

10 Startling Burglary Statistics

Dumb BurglarBurglary. The very word sends shivers through your spine, especially if you have ever been a victim. If you know what it’s like to experience those incomparable feelings of anger, shock, violation and vulnerability, then you probably already understand why a good home security plan is so essential. But if you have never experienced burglary firsthand, you—like so many people out there—might be complacent, assuming that it won’t likely happen to you. Consider these startling statistics, and see for yourself why this all-too-common scourge demands to be taken seriously.

Did You Know…

  • A home invasion occurs every 13 seconds in the United States, with more than 2.5 million burglaries occurring each year. Burglars commonly steal cash, jewelry, consumer electronics, firearms and power tools.
  • In 2010, just over one million burglaries were attributed to forcible entry. An additional 600,000 burglaries were attributed to unlawful entry (entry without the use of force). If you leave your doors or windows unlocked, you’re practically asking to be burglarized.
  • Also in 2010, a total of 127,251 reported robbery case involved a firearm, and more than 129,000 cases involved the use or threatened use of physical violence. This represents a small percentage of total invasions, but it’s all the more reason to ensure that you have a quality home security system with 24/7 monitoring.
  • The top 10 most burglarized cities are Cleveland Ohio, Toledo Ohio, Memphis Tennessee, Detroit Michigan, Cincinnati Ohio, Indianapolis Indiana, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, St. Louis Missouri, Tulsa Oklahoma and Oakland California. Of course, a burglary can happen anywhere, so even if you don’t live in Ohio (which, apparently, burglars are quite partial to), you should always be diligent about your home security.
  • burglarThe most common means of forced entry is to kick in the door. If you don’t already have one, install a security door made from solid wood, metal or fiberglass, and reinforce all other points of entry.
  • The majority of burglaries are committed by males under the age of 25. Some of these kids are motivated by drug addiction, others by financial hardship, and others by greed. Which leads us to our next point…
  • Eighty-five percent of break-ins are committed by non-professionals, and the majority of these individuals scope out the easy targets.
  • Only 13 percent of burglaries are ever solved, and only about 15 percent of stolen property is ever recovered. So hide the jewelry and lock down those consumer electronics.
  • What are some of the most common tools used to commit a home invasion?  Screwdrivers, pliers, pry bars and hammers. Not exactly the high-tech burglary swag that you typically see in heist films.
  • It’s not all bad news. Between 2001 and 2010, U.S. robberies decreased by 19.7 percent, and between 2009 and 2010 alone, burglaries decreased by 10.5 percent. The outlook may seem bleak, but the long-term statistics actually show a continuous positive trend).

Don’t Become a Victim

If all this burglary news sounds a bit frightening, take heart. You can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim by simply installing a quality home security system and exercising common sense. For instance, post plenty of signs warning potential intruders of your home security system (even if you don’t have one yet), don’t allow mail and deliveries to pile up while you’re away, and make sure to install additional security reinforcements like deadbolts and windows bars. Remember, the vast majority of burglars are amateurs in search of easy targets, and the more difficult you make it, the less likely you’ll come home to find a crime scene in your living room.

Home Security Store Responds to Heartbleed Concerns

home security store heartbleedEverybody’s talking about it – it’s the dreaded Heartbleed security bug! News of the dastardly defect has been making the rounds since its discovery was announced on April 1st, and quite understandably, we’ve been receiving a lot of questions from customers about whether their Home Security Store accounts are vulnerable. So we’d like to take a moment and assure you that your information is 100% secure on our site. Home Security Store was not affected by the bug, and your secrets are safe with us.

A Bit of Background

For those unaware, Heartbleed refers to a recently discovered security bug in the open-source OpenSSL cryptography library. In other words, the very library widely responsible for encrypting your personal information may actually be used by unscrupulous people to steal your personal information. The bug allows security certificates to be stolen, and recent reports indicate that skilled hackers may even use the bug to create fake websites that look exactly like the real thing, thereby enabling cyber-thieves to trick consumers into submitting personal information. The vulnerability was discovered within the Heartbeat Extension used by the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) protocols, hence the name “Heartbleed.”

Which Websites are Affected by Heartbleed?

A repaired version of OpenSSL was released on April 7th, but many businesses have yet to implement the update as of this writing. The bug is said to impact up to two-thirds of the Internet, including major sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Tumblr and Amazon Web Services (though not Amazon’s retail site). If you’re wondering if your favorite websites are affected, you can use this helpful Heartbleed checker to determine whether or not your information is vulnerable.

What to Do Now

It’s time to start changing your passwords. In fact, many tech industry experts are recommending that you change all of your passwords, even for sites that don’t use OpenSSL. For instance, if you use the same password for Facebook (vulnerable) and Amazon (not vulnerable), a hacker may use your Facebook password to access your Amazon profile. So just to be on the safe side, take some time to update all of your passwords if you haven’t done so already.

Your Information is Safe with Home Security Store

As previously mentioned, Home Security Store is immune to the effects of the Heartbleed bug, because our site does not use OpenSSL. Nevertheless, if your Home Security Store login password has been used on other websites, we recommend that you take a moment to change your password. Your security is of the utmost importance to us, and we go to great lengths to ensure that your personal information is always safe. Thank you for choosing Home Security Store.