Most crimes are committed by opportunists looking for an easy target. Fortunately, there are a number of actions we can take to protect ourselves and our homes from this type of criminal. From being social media savvy to installing a home monitoring security system, here’s how you can better protect your home when traveling.
Make Yourself Invisible to an Opportunist
When it comes to both home and personal security, it’s important to remember that most crimes are committed by the opportunist. Opportunists look for easy targets, vulnerabilities, a reason to pick you. An open window, an easy lock, information that you’re not at home…
The bad news is that we’re all potential targets for an opportunist. Especially when we make mistakes, like forgetting a window open or taking that dark shortcut alone at night. But the good news is that we also have a degree of control over whether or not we provide this type of criminal with any opportunities.
It’s something we should always be aware of, both at home and when we travel. In regards to our personal safety, there are many different ways to become invisible to an opportunist. Anything from not wearing or showing any valuables to not being alone on the streets at night; choosing a handbag that zips shut rather than an open tote; keeping your mobile phone in your inner instead of outer pocket, etc…
However, beyond making sure all the windows and doors are locked, it can be harder to protect our homes. At the same time, social media has made it easier than ever for opportunists to target them.
Post about your trip on social media after you return home
Your actions – from sharing photos of your sparkly new engagement ring to “checking into” places and posting stories while you’re still there – can put you at risk of catching the eye of an opportunist.
For example, there have been a number of high-profile cases where an opportunist has monitored a celebrity’s social media activity before committing a robbery. But it can just as easily happen to us regular folk. Of course, public accounts carry a higher risk of these dangers, but even private accounts can be vulnerable through tags or “friends”.
Unless you use social media professionally or have a need to post in real-time (and better bodyguards than Kim K), I strongly recommend you wait until after your trip to start posting.
Install visible cameras and/or a home alarm system
Unfortunately, there are still many other ways an opportunist can find out if you’re away and decide to give your place a try. Whether they noticed your lights are no longer on at night, or they heard about your trip from someone you know (a friend, a colleague, a worker) – it helps to have an additional layer of security other than your locked front door.
Even with all windows and doors locked and secure, your home can still become a target for the opportunist. One of the most effective deterrents is to install a home security monitoring system such as cameras and/or alarms. The moment the opportunist realises you have cameras or an active alarm system he will likely go elsewhere, so it’s important that these are both working and noticeable.
Arlo: Home Security System Review
When I lived on the top floor of an apartment building without a lift, I wasn’t very concerned about my home security. The stairs alone were a sufficient deterrent for the opportunist! But when I moved into a first floor flat, I knew it was time to buy a home security system.
The system I recommend is from Arlo. Despite some mixed reviews on Amazon, Arlo is widely recognised as the best product on the market. It’s one of the few totally wireless monitoring systems that’s quick and easy to set up, and definitely the best looking. For a detailed features list, read the section below.
I have the Arlo Smart Home with 3 cameras placed throughout my house. The first thing anyone who enters my home sees is an Arlo camera pointed at my front door.
The cameras have both motion and sound sensors, notifying me from the moment someone breaks in. And I get the chance to collect video evidence of the crime and report it to the police in real-time.
Above all, the peace of mind it gives me when I’m out of the house or away traveling is worth every penny.
Awesome Arlo Features
- Totally Wireless – allowing you to place the cameras wherever you like since they don’t need to be plugged in
- Easy installation – taking under 15 minutes to set up cameras and base station connected to your network via Ethernet cable
- Rechargeable batteries – uses either disposable or rechargeable batteries lasting up to six months from a single charge
- Control via mobile app – schedule, arm and disarm from your iPad, smartphone, Alexa or Arlo web portal
- Geofencing – option to automatically arm and disarm when you are away from the house
- Motion and sound detection – will only begin recording videos when triggered (saving battery power); and immediately notify you via push notifications or email
- Optional alarm – under circumstances of your choosing a loud alarm can also be triggered
- Live remote video streaming – check in anytime with live streaming capability
- Storage – back up video content locally through USB storage or on the cloud
- Weatherproof – suitable for use both indoors and outdoors
- HD resolution – most models have 720p sensors and a wide-angle 130-degree lens with night vision; whereas the newest Arlo model has 1080p sensors
- Free subscription – for users of under 5 cameras and 1 GB of video storage and competitive monthly fees for users with higher requirements
- Magnetic ball mounts – mount and position at any angle thanks to the magnetic ball design; or attach directly to magnetic surfaces
- #CaughtOnArlo – share your criminal evidence with the Arlo community on Instagram!
Shop my product recommendations
“Total peace of mind, anytime, anywhere. With brilliant HD video quality, two-way audio, live streaming, included 7-day cloud recording, instant alerts, and other smart features, the Arlo family of smart security cameras lets you watch over what you love from every angle, indoors and out, day and night.” – Arlo
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Disclosures: This post uses affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Feature Image Photo Credit: Photo by Nathan Walker on Unsplash
Lara, this is fantastic and especially from working in law enforcement for 30 years it drives me crazy when folks broadcast that there home is empty! The home security system is also an added layer of comfier and safety. Have a great evening! 🙂
Thanks Mike! I didn’t know you worked in law enforcement, which dept? Christmas always sees a spike in home burglaries so whether you’re at home or away, it’s a good time to check that those cameras are installed and working! Best x
Interesting post Lara and great advice. The Arlo system sounds like a great investment to any home for peace of mind. B x
Unfortunately Christmas time tends to see a lot of home robberies so an operating camera system is a very good idea whether you’re at home or away. My husband got the Arlo and we’re very happy with it, there are also lots of different options on the market x
Thanks for this post! It’s a very important topic!
Debs @ https://tiger-mint.com
These are very important tips… Posting on time images on social media is not always a good idea… makes one vulnerable to miscreants.
Thanks for the recommendation. We don’t realize the dangers in posting about check ins, travel eyes on a picnic social platform. This is educating.
Thank you Sindhura. Yes it’s very important just to think through our actions and if you are posting while not at home, have a plan B! For example, a flatmate, alarm or camera system!
It becomes crucial to think about security when you are traveling…you have put forward some great tips! This security system seems quite promising!
Great advice! We recently installed a security camera…at the time it was because of a crazy neighbor LOL…but now I’ve seen the benefit of having it when we go away. It’s so wonderful to have that peace of mind!!
Oh no, crazy neighbours are the worst! I had one too but fortunately that was in our old place! I love that I can live stream to check in on my home while I’m away, as well as know that I’ll be alerted if anything moves in there! Peace of mind at last 🙂
Thank you for the really good advice here – we’ve been looking for a security system like this – so I’ll be investigating further.
Great advice, especially regarding Social Media. Very often I see posts from people with their current vacation location tagged…
I need a security camera, for sure! I also ask my neighbours to remove newspaper from my porch and to place some garbage on the curb during the garbage days. But since we have a cat now and some nice people agreed to take care of her during our vacation, it’s less stressful knowing someone visits your house 🙂
That’s very clever! You can never be too careful. It’s always a good idea to let neighbours you trust know that you’ll be away to keep an extra eye out, while cameras will give you that added level of peace of mind!
Wow – this sounds like such a great security system and I love how minimalist and sleek it looks! This is definitely one for us to consider! Charlie xo
There are cheaper models out there but for me this one ticks all the boxes and is worth the price tag. Think of it as insurance!