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Want to Have the Coolest House on the Block? Start By Being the Best Researched House on the Block

f063f77fcd9d492379bc1aa9f3190137If you do a Google search for “home security,” there’s no doubt that you’ll get thousands of results — most of which are companies trying to sell you the latest and greatest home security technology. While that technology might be the greatest thing since sliced bread—or even the iPhone—it’s going to take a little more than a simple Google search to find what’s best for your home. By thoroughly researching your options, you can make sure that the technology actually fits your needs, your style, and your budget.

Why Research Is Important

Besides the obvious fact that you could end up with a product you don’t want or need, there are many reasons why you should always research new technology:

  • Quality

The number one reason you should do your research comes down to quality. With home security, you don’t want to waste time or mess around with a product of poor quality. If you’re like most people, you depend on that technology to work correctly when something happens. Read customer and professional reviews of products and services before you commit to anything.

  • Price

Researching will allow you to find the best possible price on products and services. You can often find all of this information online, but in some cases, you might have to go into an actual store to speak with an expert. Don’t just visit one place. The more research you do, the more likely you’ll find the best price.

  • Is It Up to Date?

Finding the newest security tech for your home means you have the latest and best versions of products at your fingertips. Criminals have a harder time with new technology because they haven’t had time to figure out a way around it.


Home Tech Blogs and Websites

Any website like, or Consumer Reports Online are great for doing research, but there are many other websites out there for research. Here are a few other great tools to use when you’re researching.

BHSC is a great resource for anyone doing research on home security tech. The site brings together experts and consumers to review and spotlight new technology, companies, and products in the home security industry.

If you want a comprehensive site that covers all aspects of home technology (entertainment, lighting, security, etc.), Electronic House is the site for you. Here, you can find product guides, reviews, professional advice and a place to find professional installers in your area.

This website is one of the best resources for people interested in home safety and home improvement. It offers all kinds of information on everything from appliances and security systems to good household tools and office supplies.

Another great site (The Sweethome is actually a spinoff of this website), The Wirecutter provides information and reviews on all kinds of technology from TVs and mobile phones to smart thermostats and software. If you need any information on any technology that’s related to home security, The Wirecutter is the place to go.

The amount of information on the Security Bloggers Network is astounding. Almost anything you need to know will be on this website. Also, if there’s any new tech that hits the market or is in the works, chances are you’ll be able to find some information about it here.

Run by Martin McKeay, Network Security Blog is all about security and privacy. The security that McKeay focuses on is cyber security and, as we all know, keeping your digital life safe is just as important as keeping your home safe.

Although Extreme Tech has information about any kind of new technology, they do a good job of covering home security technology, and other types of security technology. If you want to hear about something new, check out the website.

These research tools are just a few of the thousands out there. Whatever you read, take the time to find out if it’s coming from a reputable source. After you’ve done your research, you’re now ready to take your home to the next level.




5 Home Hacks That Will Help You Sleep Better at Night

ad204841015d6a9ef6e1cecfb7ecf768Let’s face it — we’re most worried about intruders when we turn the lights off at night and our heads hit our pillows. Possible break-in threats can sometimes cause enough anxiety to prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. While a good home security system may help prevent someone from breaking in, there are still some cool things you can do to make sure that a home intruder doesn’t even get that far. Here are five home hacks that may help you sleep a little better at night:

Prevent Lock-Bumping

It’s fairly common for burglars and thieves to mess with a regular door’s locks to enter without causing any damage. They do this by “lock-bumping,” a trick similar to lock-picking that works by inserting a key, ground to make small peaks, and then striking it with a heavy object to jam the lock’s pins up and allow entrance. Many homeowners and renters don’t know about this trick, so naturally, they don’t take measures to help prevent people from doing it. If you utilize some quick hacks, however, you can help assure that nobody will be lock-bumping their way into your home anytime soon.

Go to your home improvement store and get an anti-bumping specific door lock or even consider buying an electric or magnet lock. These electric or magnetic locks might be a little more expensive than you’d like, so installing an overhead light for the doorway could act as an additional deterrent.

Deceive Burglars

Sure, you may leave a nightlight on at home to signal that someone is home, but don’t many people do this already? When burglars see a fairly dark house with just a few lights on, that’s basically a given that everyone is in bed and asleep — and bedtime is often primetime for intruders to break in and take care of their business.

That being said, you want to actually deceive possible intruders into thinking you’re not only home, but that you’re also awake. Certain gadgets like this Fake TV® light are designed to give the impression that somebody is home and watching a movie or late night talk show. Burglars want to get in and out without any hassle. If they think you’re home, they aren’t very likely to attempt breaking in.

Protect Your Wi-Fi

Intruders come in more than just their physical form. Internet hackers can break into a Wi-Fi connection, watch what you’re doing online and even see which sites you’ve visited. Sometimes they’ll use keystroke logging (the act of capturing what someone is typing on their keyboard), which can lead to those behind the operation gaining access to your personal information and the usernames and passwords for the websites you visit.

To avoid Internet hackers from getting into your Wi-Fi, make sure you’re helping to protect your routers by setting a password or encryption (which happens to be far more secure). You can also hide your SSID number and essentially make your Wi-Fi network invisible to outsiders. Just be sure to keep all that information somewhere because you may have to enter everything in manually if you lose connection. You might also consider installing a firewall to help stop any viruses or intruders from gaining access to your computer or Wi-Fi system.

Beef Up Your Windows

Windows are generally an easy point of entrance. While broken windows are a common aspect of home break-ins, it doesn’t mean you have to allow it to happen to you. 3M™ window film  is used to beef up window security by keeping glass from shattering. It comes in different grades and can even come tinted, but the main goal of each one is to condense shattering of glass while still upholding the integrity of the entire pane. The window film is applied directly on the glass and is a sturdy, nearly impossible-to-tear substance. It’s relatively inexpensive and can make all the difference in the event that somebody tries to break into your home. Get these on all of your windows, and you can rest easy knowing that you’ve essentially created as sturdy of a fortress as you’ll find without a moat.

Disguise Your Safe

If you’re a homeowner or renter, hopefully you’ve already invested in a safe. Safes are great for helping keep people out, but if safes get stolen, you’re still out of whatever money or valuables you had inside. When thinking about the safety of your valuables and cash, consider hiding them in creative places. Hide your cash in a rolled up sock and put it at the bottom of your sock drawer. Place valuables in Ziploc bags and put them inside the grille at the bottom of your fridge. You can even find quirky products like this that are specifically designed to hide things from unwanted guests and thieves.

Installing an elaborate home security system is certainly a wise decision; but isn’t it nice to know that you’re capable of doing things to help protect yourself? By examining every aspect of your home, you’ll be able to tackle issues that can only be solved with a certain “human element.” Not every burglar or thief acts the same way, so it’s never a bad idea to cover all your bases.

Home Hacker or Mad Scientist? [Infographic]

Are you as savvy of a home hacker as you think you are? Having the most state-of-the-art gadgets is awesome, but what’s the point if you aren’t using them properly? You need to ensure that your gadgets are doing what they’re supposed to! That said,  do you think maybe you’re not using security equipment as efficiently as you should?

Check out this infographic now and find out:

Home hacker or Mad Scientist

What to Do When You Can’t Afford Everything: Simple Steps to Prioritizing Your Security Needs

Purchasing all the recommended security equipment and services is expensive, and sometimes you can’t afford to pay for everything. If and when this happens, you need to assess the situation. Ask yourself these questions: “how high a level of security do I really need? What types of security measures can I take before exceeding my budget? In what areas can I compromise?”

Prioritizing your security needs is one way of staying safe while keeping to a budget.

Think About What Is Vulnerable

When prioritizing your security needs, you need to think about what part of your home (and therefore your life) is the most vulnerable? Do you have expensive tools, bikes, motorcycles, or cars in your garage? Do you keep expensive jewelry in your home? How solid are your doors? What about your windows?These are all questions you need to ask.

Try to look at your house the way a robber would. Where would you try to break in? Find a weak spot in your home, and make adjustments to ensure it’s much stronger. The more difficult your home is to break into, the less likely it will be broken into. Before buying a security system, make sure to fix your house.

What Should You Buy First?

Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to home security. Often times, people will just contact a company and let a salesperson dictate what they should do. Don’t let this happen to you. Buying a whole smarthome system is probably a great idea, but many people can’t afford it. Start with something fairly small. At the very least, you need a security system that will alert the authorities in the case of a break-in. Also, make sure not forget about your garage.. Thieves are just as likely to break in and steal the possessions in your garage as they are your home. Finding a basic system can still be quite expensive, so shop around to find the best system for your home.

What Type of Security System Do I Need?

Even if you’re shopping around for a basic system, you have plenty of brands and companies to go with. Here are a few things to consider:

Silent or Audible?

Silent alarms make no noise but they do alert the authorities. Naturally, audible alarms make a loud noise and alert authorities. The choice is up to you, but many experts recommend audible alarms.

Do I Need a Smarthome System?

With smarthome technology, you can not only monitor your security system, but you can also monitor all of your household appliances and control them from your smartphone, computer, or wall-mounted controller. While some people don’t think they need these capabilities, it can make owning your own home much more efficient because you have total control over the energy your home uses. Also, you will be alerted via your security company’s app if there is a break-in.

There are several steps you need to take to ensure that your home is safe from break-ins. You can’t just barricade the doors at night just like you can’t just have a security system and it let it be. Having a secure home requires you stay on your toes – regardless of whether you have a security system or not… and having a security system will likely help with your other efforts.

5 Habits Of Highly Proactive Homeowners [E-GUIDE]

ProactiveHomeownersThere’s no denying that every homeowner wants to make sure their home is safe. It’s likely that you worked very hard to buy your home and you even more likely that you worked hard to maintain it. So, why would you want something like weather or theft to spoil it all?

In order to efficiently protect your home, you need to be a “proactive homeowner.” We, at Protect Your Home, want to make sure proactive; so we developed this comprehensive e-guide that will help you to learn more about:

•  Taking thorough inventory
•  Prioritizing Your Security Needs
•  Deciding on Door Upgrades
•  Proper Landscaping
•  Having an Emergency Plan

Ready to get started? Download our full e-guide, 5 Habits of Highly Proactive Homeowners now!

Home Security Isn’t About Burglars. It’s About Life!

general upkeep

After buying your own home, protecting that investment means more than just preventing robberies. Home security also depends on your ability to predict and prevent potential accidents or weather damage. By identifying key risks your home faces, you can help save yourself a lot of hassle in the future.

Your home is connected to your well-being, and having that peace of mind is directly linked to how much time and energy you dedicate to securing your home. Below are a few things to remember when identifying how to specifically help protect your home:


Depending on what region of the U.S. you’ve bought your home, the weather can be a big risk factor for your home’s security. Storms and heavy winds can cause damage to trees that surround your home; and fallen branches and limbs can cause expensive damage to your roof and windows. By hiring a professional arborist, you can get an expert opinion about the dangers that can come from weather and trees.

Of course, the risks aren’t limited to storms alone: extremely dry or extremely wet conditions can have a negative effect on your house’s structure as well. Be sure that you’re always checking up on your foundation after an especially dry or wet season.

General Up-Keep

There are several things you can do to help ensure that there’s limited risk of home deterioration: Cleaning your gutters out to help prevent water saturation, making sure your yard is adequately draining rainwater as well as resealing blacktop or cement. Not only do these tasks help prevent serious damage, but they can help maintain the value of your home and add to the curb appeal should you choose to put your home on the market.. Also, the more often you keep up with these tasks, the less likely there will be build up which worsen 5 to 10 years down the line.

Safe Storage

Weather can also cause damage to the things that aren’t within the physical boundaries of the house including: grills, cars, and yard equipment. To help protect these, make sure you always store these items in a properly locked, secure garage. If you don’t have a garage, consider building or purchasing a carport or shelter to help prevent any kind of hail or water damage.


If you own pets, you need to think about keeping both them and your home safe. Pets can cause damage to the interior of your home if left unsupervised, but they’re also at risk if they’re left in the open. Often, a simple chain link fence is enough to keep the pets outdoors without the risk of running into the street. When you’re away from home, you might also consider kennel-training your dog by making their kennel a “safe place” instead of a place of punishment or time-out.

Travel Plans: Keeping Tabs While You’re Away

How do you help ensure that your house is safe and secure when you’re traveling for an extended period of time? Working with your neighbors, you can keep tabs on the house when you’re away. Be sure to come up with a scheduled plan; and make sure that the neighbors have access to keys so they can water the plants, feed the cat. etc.It also might not be a bad idea to make a copy of your house key specifically for your neighbors if anything were to come up.

Preventing accidents and weather damage is far more important than you think. What sorts of preventative measures have you taken to help protect your home?




The Value of Being Proactive: How to Protect What Matters Most without Breaking the Bank

Do you consider yourself a proactive homeowner?

Until you lose something valuable, you may not realize how important home protection is; which is why you need to be proactive about your home security. You’ve worked hard to provide a comfortable home for your family, and they deserve to feel safe in their own home. While top-notch home security systems cost a lot of money, it doesn’t mean you need to empty out your bank account in order to have home protection. Sure, you may feel safe and sound in your neighborhood, but it doesn’t mean burglars aren’t going to snoop around and get into some trouble. Crime can happen anywhere, and so can floods, fires, and carbon monoxide leaks. A smart homeowner doesn’t roll those dice. They stay proactive and secure from the get-go. The value of being proactive isn’t just about saving money; it’s understanding that the small cost of home security can outweigh the potential loss during a home robbery.

Start with the Basics

Anything is better than nothing. If you’re cautious about spending the extra dime on a new home security system, start small. Ask potential providers about beginner options that have room to add on. In some cases, you can take advantage of special pricing to upgrade your current system for little to no extra monthly fees. Basic home security systems can still help deter unwanted guests from entering your home and do so much more. The right amount of security for you will depend on your needs and comfort levels. Shop around and find good deals on basic packages, and maybe talk about adding other features to your current package. You can even find DIY home security systems that allow you to save your wallet while still getting the security you need.

Security in Disguise

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to install a full-blown camera system on your property—though these do come in handy. You can buy relatively inexpensive false cameras to set up around the outside of your home to create little extra deterrents. If a burglar sees a camera, they’re probably going to high-tail it outta there. The same goes for inexpensive gadgets like a TV light that emits a light resembling a TV. This can be a great deterrent to potential robbers, as they will see this, and think somebody is awake, and may opt out of breaking in.


Adding a physical boundary between your property and public space can help keep burglars away from your house. Fencing is a lasting home security feature that usually requires minimal upkeep, making it very affordable in the long run. Chain link fencing is the cheapest, but tall wooden fences can help keep uninvited visitors out while giving your property a little privacy.

Be Smart About What You Show

Sometimes, home protection isn’t always about having an electrical system installed into your home — it’s about the way you present your home. If you’re taking the box of a brand-new TV out to the curb two days before garbage day, you’re pretty much giving all home robbers two days to pick up on the fact that you’re the proud owners of that new TV. If you’re not drawing blinds and closing window curtains before bed or while you’re gone during the day, you’re literally allowing these burglars to window shop. If they like what they see, you might be their next target.

Get Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance

Home owners’ and renter’s insurance covers your home and your belongings. Obviously, this insurance can’t prevent intruders from entering your home, but in the event that your home is robbed, having insurance can ease the traumatic event. Many insurance plans will cover the replacement of any damaged or stolen items, and the plans typically cover repairs needed should a tree branch fall on your roof, for example. If you rent your home, your landlord probably required you to get renter’s insurance before you moved in, but this isn’t always the case. Homeowner’s insurance isn’t a requirement when you purchase a home, but it’s an essential part of owning a home properly. Both forms of insurance are relatively inexpensive and are worth procuring no matter the cost. Home security doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Any protection is better than no protection. As long as you’re cautious and put some security measures in place, then you’re taking steps in the right direction.

Simple Steps to Becoming a More Proactive Homeowner

Taking the time and energy to proactively help protect and invest in your home can maintain its value and may (eventually) raise its value if you ever plan to sell. Simple steps can also help to raise the curb appeal of your home. While some of these tips can help to directly improve your house, others raise your awareness of what makes your home appear marketable and well maintained.

DIY Maintenance

Cleaning the gutters, routinely inspecting plumbing & water quality, and replacing/cleaning appliances that are affected by wear-and-tear don’t always feel necessary, but they can help ensure your home preserves its value. That and it will help prevent costly repairs in the future. For example, if you fail to clean the gutters of leaves and debris one season, the next season you might end up having to replace the gutter system entirely.

Timely Renovations

Whether it’s tearing down a wall to make two rooms one, or redoing the floor in the kitchen, you likely have renovations you’d like to do at one point or another. These aren’t necessarily die-hard improvements, but by starting these projects now, you can gradually increase the value of your home and can always better your home.

“Victory Gardens”

During WWII, families began to build what they called “victory gardens”. Victory gardens were normal backyard vegetable gardens that were cultivated to convey a sense of self-sustainability with less reliance on commercial goods. While you don’t need to grow a victory garden now, you should think about a regular garden to encourage similar thinking. Why buy vegetables at the store when you can grow your own? Why have someone do something for you when you can do it for yourself?

Termite/Mosquito Protection

Termites can be detrimental to the quality of your home while compromising wood structuring and causing cleaning problems. A termite infestation won’t always be immediately apparent, but by hiring professionals or inspecting your attic and other crawlspaces, you can find termite infestations before they have a chance to cause severe damage. Mosquitos will likely be an annual problem that needs to be remedied, but you can get the practice in each year so that, you’ll know exactly what steps to take to help remedy a pest problem should you choose to sell your home. Speaking of pest control, you can have the area fogged to help prevent especially large hatches, but you can also work to eradicate any stagnant pools of water, or puddles, where mosquitos are likely to begin their life cycle. That brings us to drainage…

Drainage & Yard Maintenance

Irrigation is something not every homeowner thinks about; but investing in good drainage can both reduce the likelihood of mosquitos and can lead to a healthier yard. There are several techniques you can do yourself to improve drainage, such as digging trenches, lining the trench with sand, and filling it back up with dirt. This provides a natural route for water to leave the area. Mowing the yard, raking leaves, pulling weeds and keeping up with the landscaping are all good ideas to make your home look appealing temporarily; but they can also help ensure a good-looking yard in years to come. By raking the leaves each fall, you can help your grass stay healthier. By mowing your grass at medium length rather than short, the clippings act as a fertilizer and don’t cover the still-growing grass. Investing in your home may not seem like it’s that big of a deal at the moment, but weathering and erosion can happen at any time; and it’s a lot better for you to be prepared. After all, it costs more to do damage control than it would be to help prevent the damage in the first place.

Forget the Scare Tactics: Real Talk on Why Adults Protect Their Homes

We live in an unpredictable world. Yes, there’s always the threat of a break-in at your home (and that’s obviously one of the major reasons why you’d invest in home security), but that’s not the only reason. Let’s say we forget about all the “terrifying” reasons to get a home security system. Instead, let’s think about some practical purposes home security systems can provide you and your family.

You Know Everyone Is Home

Maybe your teenagers like to stay out late on weekends with their friends; or maybe they’ve even snuck out of the house to do it. Perhaps your younger kids walk home from school every day. In any case, certain models of security systems may allow you to see when people leave or enter your home — which can give you peace of mind. Now, when it comes to your teenagers, set the alarm at night when everyone is in. Should anyone try to get out, you’ll know about it. If you have a quality system, changes that are made to the system will also be sent to your smartphone.

Be More Energy Efficient

Most modern home security systems are smart, which means they connect your whole house together under one system. In many of these systems, you can control your home’s electricity by hooking it up to electrical components in your home. This means when you set the alarm at night before bed, you can simultaneously turn off all lights and gadgets with your smartphone. It’s also good for when you leave the house and don’t know whether you left all the lights on or not. All you would need to do is pull up the smart home security app and turn them off.

Keep an Eye on Your Home

We all know that it isn’t always easy to leave home last minute to take care of some quick errands. What if you have something cooking in your crockpot? What if you don’t have time to put the dog in their kennel? Or, what if you want to see if your teens are still doing their homework? If you have cameras installed with the rest of your system, you can keep an eye on your home from your laptop or smartphone.

Monitor Who Gets In and Who Doesn’t

Speaking of not being home, home security systems are great for when you’re out of town for a few days or for when you take a long vacation. While away, you might wonder how you’re going to feed your pets or water your plants. Home security systems allow you to control who you let into your home, so if you have a friend coming in a couple times a day to feed the cats and let the dogs outside, you can easily grant them access to your home security system. A home security system would allow certain authorized guests to enter while still helping to keep intruders out of the home.

If you’re trying to decide if a home security system is worth the money, think past the scary reasons and more into the overall benefits that you can have with a smart or standard home security system. It all comes down to having complete control over your home, and that’s a priceless feeling.



3 Ways to Make Your Home More Secure in Under 30 Minutes

Home Security Beware of Dog

A good security system will help keep your home safe, but if you don’t feel like you’ll be able to have one installed soon, there are precautions you can take until you are able to have one installed. These other options are simple, and you can often do them yourself!

Live Smart

Part of avoiding break-ins has to do with the way you live. Do you leave certain things visible, like boxes for new electronics? Do you leave your doors or windows unlocked? The smarter you are about the way you live, the safer you should be. Don’t leave things in your yard or on your front porch. Make sure that no valuable possessions are visible through a window from the street, and always lock your doors and windows when you leave or go to sleep.

Don’t put valuables in an obvious place: desks are goldmines for thieves because many people put their valuable information and possessions in a desk drawer. Instead, think about getting a small safe for anything you’d commonly put in a desk. If you’re conscious of what thieves might be interested in taking, you can do a better job of helping deter crime by keeping your possessions out of their sight and out of their criminal minds.

Put Up a Warning Sign

Security systems often come with a sign that goes in your yard or the front porch. This is another great way of helping deter crime. However, if you haven’t installed your home security system just yet, you can still put a warning sign up that indicates some form of protection. For example, if you have a large guard dog, you can put up a “Beware of Dog” sign. Another idea would be to put up a “You’re Being Recorded” or “Surveillance Camera on Premises” sign – whether you have cameras or not! Many would-be thieves may steer clear of your home when they see a sign like that because the last thing they want is to get caught red-handed.

Make It Seem like You’re Home

Most thefts take place when you and your family are out of the house. More often than not, they’re only interested in your valuables; not you and your family. A good way to help deter thieves is to make it look like someone is still home. While visual cues are always good, noises tend to work even better. Try leaving a radio on, or even a TV. While this strategy will eat up some electricity, the price is worth it if it helps deter burglars.

If you’re going to be gone until it starts to get dark, think about purchasing a timer for your any of your lights. These timers are inexpensive and allow you to control when lights automatically turn on and off. Whether or not it’s dark, the lights can make a serious difference.

There are plenty of simple preventative measures you can take to help keep your family safe. While the above tips are certainly helpful, imagine how much more protection you can have eventually pairing these tactics with a home security system. Should a burglar actually break in, there would be comfort of knowing that someone would be contacted. Taking advantage of all your available options and covering all your bases is rarely a bad idea.