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Using Emerging Tech to Hack Your Home Into a Fortress

neighborhoodEmerging technology in a home security system is becoming more and more prevalent. There are a lot of different things that you can have attached to your security system that can help beef up your protection plan and help keep your family and home safe. From lighting control to thermostat control, you’re able to build the best security system that allows you to stay in control even while you’re away.

Lighting Control

Hooking up your home lighting can be a big asset not only for home security, but also for your wallet. Say you’re having a fun night out with some good friends, and it’s getting dark. Having the ability to turn on some lights at home to make it look like you’re there can help deter potential threats. This also comes in handy when you’ve left home in a hurry and forgot to turn off some lights. Just pull up your security app and simply turn them off remotely.

Thermostat Control

Thermostat control is a new sensation in home automation. While you’re gone, you can adjust your thermostat temperature to help save money. When you’re on your way back, you can set it to a comfortable setting so that it will be ready for you when you arrive. This is particularly useful when you’re away for a number of days on a business trip or vacation, and you want to get your home back to the temperature you like it before you return.

Door Locks

With smart door locks, you are in charge of who enters and leaves your home, even while you’re away. This is especially handy when you’re at work, and your kids are getting off the bus. If they have access, the door will unlock for them. With many smart door locks, you can even grant access to anyone at any time; making it easier for family and friends to get in for a short period of time while you aren’t home.

Home security is all about feeling comfortable in and out of your home. When you’re gone, you still want to feel at ease and know your home is in good hands. This is when a live-streaming camera feed will help you to feel safe, even when you’re out of the safety of your home security system.

Recent advancements in smart home technology can really help families improve the quality of their lives. Instead of worrying about the vulnerability of your home while away, you can control the security level with just the click of a button. Not only does controlling your security system in real time help deter criminals, it helps to give you the peace of mind you deserve.

I’m a Landlord. Should I Get A Security System For My Tenants?

apartment_rentHome security systems aren’t just for homeowners they can also be for landlords who rent out their property! Being a landlord means a lot of work, but the pay-off—and sense of satisfaction—can make it all worthwhile. If you’re new to the rental property scene or you’re just now considering whether you should install a home security system or not, we’re here to explain why it is a good idea to beef up on the home security… not only for your tenants, but also for you!

For Them

As a landlord, you should think about the quality of home you provide your tenants. Even though they’re temporary residents, word will spread after they leave and you’ll want to maintain a satisfactory approval rating. Not only do you want your tenants to feel comfortable, you want to help them feel safe inside your home. Keeping your tenants at ease while they stay on your property will only help increase their satisfaction. This can even increase retention, which is a great bonus because we all know how difficult it can be sometimes to get new tenants into a rental property, especially in off seasons.

For You

Installing a home security system in your rental property goes beyond caring for your tenants. It is, after all, your property, and it’s likely very valuable to you. Aside from being an asset, it’s also a place of work for you. In the event of a break-in, you’ll not only need to repair and fix any broken entrance points, but you’ll also have to fix any other damage caused to the property during the event.

Installing a home security system will help deter the crime on your property and help make you feel more at ease. Feeling secure means knowing you’ve taken the extra steps to help protect your property even when you don’t live there.

Beefing Up Your Assets

To be a good landlord, you should, at the very least, have an updated system installed in your property and offer it as an option for your tenants. Yes, it’s understandable to be a little skeptical about putting more money into an endeavor that’s meant to yield money for you, but home security systems only help to add to your assets.

When you tour prospective tenants through the rental property, having a security system installed can act as an enticement. You can give tenants the option to pay for the service if they want to.

In the end, security systems can help beef up your property assets (and your resident’s assets) and even work to help keep them safe and secure. Besides the additional cost, there’s essentially no wrong that can come from having a security system installed. Showing your residents that you care, even just a little bit, makes all the difference between someone who renews their lease and someone who breaks their lease followed by a bad review. Simply put, home security systems can benefit everyone.

5 iPhone Apps Your Smart Home May Need

Home automation helps to make your life easier, and help to save you money in the long run. Smart home technology can, and really should, be run from your smartphone or tablet. If you aren’t using the product’s apps, you aren’t fully utilizing the technology, and what’s the point of owning technology you never use? Here are five great apps for your iPhone or iPad that work to help make your home smarter.


The HomeSavvy app allows you to customize your home automation to best fit your needs. With the app, you can customize your maintenance schedule and program reminders for certain maintenance tasks. HomeSavvy also provides advice and information on seasonal adjustments and products, gives preventative strategies, connects you with recommended home maintenance and home automation professionals, and much more. In short, HomeSavvy helps make everything to do with your automated home easier to manage and utilize.

SmartThings Mobile

The SmartThings mobile app allows you to monitor your home. It helps you keep track of everything from who is coming and going, to what lights are on or off. The SmartThings app works with smart technology in your home to help provide you with the safest and easiest lifestyle possible. Everything you could want to adjust or monitor is at the tips of your fingers with the SmartThings mobile app.


Created and run by Belkin, WeMo is a series of products and an app that will automate your home. The product plugs into your regular wall outlets, and then you can plug any device into the WeMo plug-in. The app allows you to control the device—and it can be almost any device—via your iPhone through the app. Also, there are WeMo motion sensors that can help you with the security of your home. The app will alert and update you on the status of your home and its devices.


No more worrying about losing your house key. No more worrying about having a key for a visiting friend or family member. Now all you have to do is use your phone. Lockitron is a door lock and app that allows you and anyone else you trust to have keyless entry into your home. If you don’t want a person to have access, you simply don’t allow them to access your door with the app. Lockitron is especially useful if you forget to lock your door or aren’t sure that you did. All you have to do is check your phone. Keeping your home locked and secure has never been easier.


Ever lose your garage door opener or forget your code? With MyDoorOpener you’ll never have to worry about that again. The garage door opener available through MyDoorOpener allows you to fully automate your garage door. You’ll have to install the opener yourself, but once that’s done, all you have to do is download the app, follow the configuration instructions, and you’ll be able to open your garage door with just the swipe of your finger from anywhere.

How Do I Know If My New Security System Is a Good Fit for My Needs?

security systemBecause security systems are so common these days, there are many offers to bundle systems into packages. While these systems may work fine for some people, they aren’t necessarily the right fit for everyone. Homes vary greatly in architecture, age, condition, layout, and landscaping, and no two families are exactly alike, which means there isn’t one security system that will work for everyone. Before you blindly purchase the first security system you come across, take some time to really assess your home and your situation to help ensure that you choose the right system.

Look at the Possible Entrances and Exits

Where are the doors of your house? How many are there? What about windows? Outer basement doors? When you’re trying to assess whether or not you have the right security system for your home, you need to think about all of the points of entry into your house. Think about more than just your front and back door. Burglars may use windows, basements, or whatever they can to get into your home. Any possible entrance is a threat, and should be covered by your system. Once you have a count of the number of entrances and exits, look at your security system. Does it cover all of these spots? Can it be altered to do so? If the answer is no, you might want to think about upgrading or finding a new system that fits your home.

Look Over the Layout of Your Home

While the entrances and exits are probably the most important, you also need to think about the layout of your home, and how that will affect your needs. Are there two doors or a door and a window that can be covered by one sensor or camera? Sometimes you’ll be able to simply adjust your current system so that it keeps track of all areas of your home. Does your home have one level or two? Just because the second floor is pretty high doesn’t mean you don’t need any security measures on that level. Pull out, or draw up, a blueprint of your home and strategize with your home security provider.

Where Are Your Valuables?

Something you’ll probably look at when you consider your home’s layout is the location of valuables. Are expensive, important possessions near an exit? If so, you may want to think about moving them to another location. Valuable items very close to a window or door can easily be stolen even if you have the best security system for your home. Someone could break in and make a quick grab. Keep anything you can’t live without away from windows and doors.

What Does Your Current System Cover?

Before you go out and buy a new system, consider what your current system already covers. Sometimes you’ll find that with a few minor adjustments your current system is fine, while other times you might have to make one small addition. In any case, don’t just rush out and buy a new system. It’s almost always best to try and work with what you’ve got, but if there is a major need, get a professional out soon before you have any problems.

If you’re looking for help crafting your protection plan, make sure to reach out to your friends at Protect Your Home!

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Incorporating New Technology into Your Home Security Plan

incorporating new technologyInvesting in home protection technology can feel daunting as you discover just how many products and systems are available to help keep your home safe. Many would have you believe that you need to make a rushed decision, and install it all at once.

Luckily, that’s not the case at all! In fact, you can begin implementing simple new technology initially, and then upgrade as you become more familiar with protection technology. Something as simple as an automatic door lock can lead to an understanding of how eventually installing automatic lights, window locks, alarm systems, and security cameras can help protect your home. Here’s a step-by-step guide for beginners to help you better understand what you need, and how to integrate protection technology into your home.

What Does Your Home Currently Have for Security?

If you haven’t thought about updating your home with protection technology, the first step is to identify what security you currently have in place in order to evaluate how useful it still is. The fact of the matter is that old protective devices—deadbolt locks, fences, chain-locks—while great, really won’t help keep you and your home as safe as they might have in the past.

Make a list of everything you have in place to keep your home safe. Next, begin researching technology that might help improve those lines of security. For example, if you have always relied on a deadbolt lock, look into upgrading to an automatic locking service.

Has Your Neighborhood Changed?

Your neighborhood may have become more or less dangerous over the years, which is why you need to evaluate how protected your home is based on how the area around you has changed. This is as easy as looking up crime rates in your area over the last ten years and determining how likely a break-in or other crime might be. If you notice a rise in crime, you might want to consider improving the security features in your home in order to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Are You Keeping Up on Home Maintenance?

Overgrown trees outside of windows, bushes and plants that cause shadows in your yard, gutters or parts of your roof that are prone to falling – these are things you, as a homeowner, should be paying attention to.

For the most part, wear and tear happens slowly, so it’s difficult to know when routine maintenance is overdue. Re-evaluate the area around your home, and be sure to make any improvements that will help deter burglars from targeting your home. For example, if that tree limb has grown to an upstairs window, it might be time trim it back, or install automatic locking windows.

What Do You Actually Need from Technology?

At some point, you’ll wonder just how much technology you need to incorporate into your home. With all of the new security systems on the market, and taking into consideration all the ways automation technology can be implemented, it’s hard to know what constitutes as going overboard, and what is actually helping keep you safe. Based on the area around you, your house, and your own sense of comfort, decide what is absolutely necessary before buying all of the bells and whistles of larger, more elaborate security systems.

What Other Ways Might You Be at Risk?

At some point, you also want to think about the other ways, beyond physical, in which your home may be at risk. As you update your home with high-speed Internet, cable, and other technologies, you need to make sure these are secure, too. Make sure all technologies are password-protected, and that you continually update your firewalls. By doing so, you can help ensure your home is protected inside and out.

The number of home security options out there can certainly be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Customer representatives at almost any security company will be willing to field any questions you have about their products and services. If you aren’t sure about what you want, someone will very likely be able to point you in the right direction. Home security stems from being a proactive homeowner, but that doesn’t mean you have to go about it all alone.

Can Your Home Security System Keep You Safe Even When You’re Not At Home?

smartphoneWe’re finally in an era where home security isn’t just about helping keep you safe when you’re actually at home; it’s also about extending a little bit of that neat technology to help provide a boost in home security while we’re away from home, too. Okay, you might be thinking: “How would my home security system help keep me safe when I’m not at home?” Luckily with smartphone technology, the answers to that question are many.

Don’t Come Home

Unless you’ve already experienced a home break-in with a smart security system in place, you’ve probably never received a mobile notification that your system has been triggered by what could be a potential break-in. These triggers are safety-approved because it tells you, “Hey! There’s some serious things happening at your house so you might want to warn the authorities and keep your distance until everything is resolved.”

Time to Freak Out the Intruders

So you’ve been given a notification that your system has been tripped and a potentially dangerous person (or troop of dangerous persons) are inside your smart-secured house. The authorities have also been given the 411 and are hopefully en route. Now it’s time to do what you can to help protect your valuables and help get your home back to its normally safe state. If you have control over anything in your home through your smart security system, it’s now time to play master of the house and spook your intruders into leaving.

There are all kind of systems that can and will give you the power to reign over your entire house through one main security hub, like ADT Pulse®, which allows you to flash your lights on and off, lock and unlock doors, maybe even set your thermostat for intense heat or cold. Essentially, you can attempt to turn your home into a haunted mansion and get the bad guys out of there as fast as you can.

Safety as a State of Mind

Security systems are obviously set in place to help protect your home in the event of a break-in, but they mainly help provide security through state of mind. A smaller scale security system can sound an alarm and notify you when a break-in happens, but it doesn’t give you much control or access while you’re away from home.

Smart systems that link to smartphones allow you to have that remote access and control over your home, which can help you during a possible break-in. They can allow you to access camera feeds to see what intruders are doing in your home (which can help you create a list of stolen items later on and identify the thieves). Not only can it assist you during the event, but it can help provide a comfortable state of mind that only comes with knowing you can control your security system even when you’re way. This means being able to arm your system when you’ve left in a hurry and forgot to set it, and even disarm it when you have a friend coming to drop something off that you don’t want to sit on the porch until you get home.

Mobile security can help provide safety through a number of comprehensive controls and notifications that help you to be more involved with the actual protection of your home – and it’s having that control that brings you comfort even when you’re away from home.

5 Simple Ways to Tell if You are Helping Keep Your Home Safe from Burglary

safe inside looking windowSometimes, it can be quite difficult to determine whether or not your home is safe. In fact, many people come to this unfortunate realization after they’ve come home to find that someone has stolen valuables from their home. While it’s not always easy to tell if you’re securing your home adequately, here are some things you can do in order to gain a better understanding of what it may take to help protect home and belongings from break-ins.

Indoor Cameras

Some people are a little hesitant to use cameras, but they are, by far, one of the most useful tools you can include in your home protection plan. Cameras not only let you have a video of intruders, if they break into your home, but they can also help you establish if your security system is actually keeping people out.

Outdoor Cameras

Setting up some outdoor cameras is a great way to see what people are doing before entering your home. If you have some strategically placed cameras outside, you can see around your house and be able to assess if your property around your home is safe and secure. You may also be able to spot potential threats before they strike.

Use Your Phone

Nowadays, most smartphones, when connected to your security system, are able to send you updates and notifications whenever there is a disturbance or break-in. If you have the option, you will likely be able to use your phone to monitor your entire system, helping you to gauge the efficiency of your system. The security company you use may offer such an app for your smartphone. Download it and use it! That’s really the only way to know in real-time whether or not your system is operating optimally.

Talk with Neighbors

If you’re close with any of your neighbors, discuss your security concerns with them. If they agree to keep watch, they can help keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior around your home. In return, you might want to tell them that you’ll be happy to keep an eye out for them as well. Your neighbors would likely have no problem reporting something odd or uncommon to either you or the police.

Pay Attention to New Tech

A basic security system is better than nothing, but burglars may easily find a way around traditional home security measures. Read up on what’s new in the home security world. If you pay attention to the news and read enough reviews, you’ll be able to make an educated decision about when to upgrade your home security system. New technology comes out all the time, and it’s important to know about new apps and new models of security systems. The home security system technology is just going to keep advancing, and the more it advances, the more important it is to stay up-to-date. If you want to help keep your home as safe as it can be, you really need to know about the latest and greatest technology.

Given the number of choices out there, looking for a new home security solution can be a bit intimidating; however, this type of research will help you to stop crime before it can directly impact you and your family. Regardless of your level of confidence in the security of your home, it never hurts to take a second look. Being aware is what being a proactive homeowner is all about!

Putting Your Plan Into Action: Incorporating Your Bells & Whistles

researchingSometimes it’s hard getting used to new technology around the home – especially when it comes to home security systems. Initially, you may have some difficulty integrating it into your everyday life, especially if you’ve chosen a smart home system as part of your protection plan. There might even be times you forget to arm and disarm your system. Here are a few tips that should help you become accustomed to your new home technology:

21 Days

There’s an old rule out there that supposedly originated from a book called Psycho-Cybernetics that says it takes 21 days for a new habit to stick. What this really means is that it takes a few weeks for you to get used to something new. When your new home security system is installed, don’t think that you’re going to get used to it overnight. Getting used to and feeling comfortable with something like a new home security system takes some time; especially if you’ve never had one before.

The more you interact with your home security system, the quicker you’ll get used to it. Take the time to get to know the system’s ins and outs, and find out how you want interact with it.

Your Cell Phone

Newer home security systems can often be accessed via your smartphone. Even if you don’t plan to access your system much with your phone, you should take the time to at least explore the app that goes with your system. If you have any questions, all you have to do is call a representative from the company monitoring your system and they should be able to help you out

You might also consider going to a store to speak with someone face to face. While there, you’ll likely be able to walk you through any necessary processes or setup. The bottom line is that your phone is a useful tool. If you are indeed paying for that particular service, you might as well use it.

Consider Running Some Tests

Depending on your system and what it’s able to do, you might need to contact your security system company before really running any tests. In order to fully familiarize yourself with the system, you need to know what happens when the alarm is tripped. Have a representative come out and run through some tests so that you know what to do if an alarm goes off.

Keep in mind that many smart home systems are also integrated into smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and other monitoring devices. This is why it’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with each alarm You don’t want to follow the plan you have in case of a break-in if there’s actually a fire and vice versa. The representative from your security system company should be able to tell you everything you need to know and get you prepared for anything that can happen.

No matter your level of tech expertise, familiarizing yourself with your home security system takes a bit of time. Chances are, there will be laundry list of instructions to read and an even longer list of things that need to remembered: passwords, arming/disarming, etc. So, don’t give up too fast when you get frustrated. Use ever and any resources available and you should be set

Do-It-Yourself Security: A Step-By-Step Worksheet To Help You Prioritize Your Protection Plan

DIY Worksheet

Figuring out your home security needs can be tough, and nothing is more helpful than having a professional do a thorough walkthrough of your home to assess your needs. Before you call the pros in, however, you should take initiative and do a walk through yourself. This worksheet can help you prioritize your protection plan so you can make a smarter decision when buying a home security system.

Download our Step-by-Step Worksheet here!