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Holiday security tips and advice

Holiday security tips and advice

Whether you are choosing a staycation or jetting off, it’s important to stay aware and to prepare your home to ensure it’s safe, secure and not on the wish list for a burglar!

Already this year there has been a massive surge in the number of burglaries across Britain, fuelled not by mere opportunists, but by determined organised crime gangs.

Recent figures show the UK’s wealthiest areas such as Surrey and Hampshire have been the hardest hit by the rise in offences. In Surrey, residents suffered a 78% rise in the year end to September compared to the previous period.

The MET police warn that the opportunist burglar is increasingly being replaced by sophisticated criminals using social media to monitor and track down worthwhile victims, co-ordinating their attacks via WhatsApp.

Often these thefts are so well organised that goods stolen can leave the country within days.

With this in mind, here are some pointers on how to prepare this summer…

Say no to the Selfie

According to a recent report delving into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter between June and July this year, holidaymakers made 750,000 public posts, such as selfies on the beach, with just as many checking into places with their exact location. 

We say try and avoid posting holiday snaps, airport selfies or mentioning dates when you are away on holiday on social media. It’s best to save broadcasting this information until you’ve arrived safely at home and posting them then.  It’s worth refraining friends from doing the same and tagging you in posts. Check that location tracking data is disabled on your smart phone, as with a simple internet stalk, image search, internet directories and Google Street View, a lot of information can be gleaned!

Think before you post

As social media can play a vital part of one’s life, it is easy to lose perspective and, whilst you may think you are just chatting to your friends, be aware that you are also, privacy settings depending, broadcasting to potential criminals. They can piece together information you share to the world such as your place of work, hangouts, where you live and even your daily routines.   

Double check privacy settings

Don’t share personal details such as address, birth dates or where you’re heading to, especially if you are traveling alone. Explore and update your social media profile privacy settings regularly. Make sure that geotagging (a setting on most smartphones using built in GPS capability to embed your exact location into the files of photos) is disabled, otherwise exact location can be determined from your snaps!   

Secure all areas of your property both inside, outside and garden and garages.

You guessed it, using Blink classic indoor and XT outdoor home security cameras you can monitor the interior and exterior of your property and achieve peace of mind whether you are in the UK or abroad. Blink is super simple to set up and use, detecting motion and sending live feed direct to you smart phone so you can check or dismiss key goings on.

To find out more about Blink products click here

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Ways to Secure Your Home for a Long Weekend

Ways to Secure Your Home for a Long Weekend

Packing suitcases, getting travel money and passports means you’re all ready to go on holiday… Or so you think. Does your mind suddenly fill with uncertainty, already contemplating turning the car around, or even double, triple checking you’ve locked the door because you can’t be sure you’ve secured everything?

Nobody likes starting off a holiday this way. Whilst you’re supposed to be embarking on a stress-free, sun-filled getaway, you are instead racing home in a panic, worried that this one slight oversight might make you late for your beloved escape.

No matter how often you may travel, you should always create a checklist of all the major and minor things you need to do before you leave. This is especially true if you don’t have a Blink system, you can't check on your home after you’ve already gotten in the car and driven off!

Recent figures released from the Metropolitan Police end of year crime statistics show burglary of homes and businesses is up by 11%.Therefore it's a key priority to ensure your home is safe and secure.  

Not sure what to put on your checklist? Here are some items you should consider, just to get you started:

  1. Close the garage door.

We are all guilty of it – simply take that second glance as you’re pulling away. I guarantee that craning your neck now will hurt a lot less than the whiplash you will get later from that sudden U-turn.

  1. Turn the lights off.

Or, better yet, set a light timer if you have one (these turn the lights on automatically at a pre-determined schedule while you’re away, for better home security). Either way, do a final walk-through of your home to make sure all lights are off or all timers are set and working.

  1. Turn off all appliances and electronics.

This can be a hefty list depending on your house, but a whole number of things can cost you money while you’re away or worse, cause a fire. Take the time to check your various items before you leave so you don’t have to worry about any nasty surprises when you get home. Some items to consider: TV, speaker system, curling/straightening iron, coffeemaker, stove, computers, etc.

  1. Take care of [insert adorable pet name here].

Speaking of avoiding nasty surprises – whether you choose a pet-sitter or opt for the kennel, confirm with your caretaker the dates, times, and expectations for their care while you’re away. If you have a pet you can leave at home alone, double-check that they will have plenty of food, water, and space for taking care of their business. You can keep check of this using a Blink camera!

  1. Turn off the water.

This may not be necessary if you are just leaving for a weekend, but better safe than sorry. Shutting off the lines to your washing machine, toilets, etc. will ensure that the first step back into your house isn’t into a layer of water.

  1. Stop the mail and newspaper.

Or, if you’re lucky enough to have super-friendly, trusted and helpful neighbours, ask them to pick up your mail and newspaper each day. If you forget to do either of these, an overflowing mailbox or packages left for days outside will send an obvious signal to people that you are either away or dead, both of which frankly make your house an appealing target for break-ins.

  1. Arm your home security system.

It’s very important that you have a plan B in case you do forget to stop your mail and newspaper. Now I know what you’re thinking, “too expensive, too difficult,” but the reality is that home security solutions are becoming increasingly popular and affordable thanks to the invention of DIY systems. Take Blink for example– at £129.99 (and no monthly fees), you simply download an app to your phone and just like that you can arm or disarm your system from anywhere. Better yet, you can also receive real-time video clips of any activity within your home, whether it be someone saying hi to the dog-sitter or someone trying to break-in while you’re away.  

  1. Lock all windows and doors.

This can be time-consuming depending on your home, which is why you should always aim to give yourself at least a half-hour breathing space between when you are all packed and ready to leave and when you really need leave. In these 30 minutes you should be able to carefully secure, turn off, unplug, and close all necessary items before legitimately being able to enjoy a worry-free vacation.

Start preparing for that worry-free getaway by ordering a Blink system today – systems start at just £129.99 with no monthly fees!

To find out more about Blink products click here

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Home security tips and advice for the elderly

Home security tips and advice for the elderly

Feeling safe and secure at home or in your property is a key priority for obvious reasons, but more so for the elderly and disabled. Censuswide recently conducted a survey and found a staggering 46% of Londoners over 65 know someone who has been burgled. One in eleven over 65s have forgotten to lock the door when leaving the home in the day.

A real worry is the likelihood of being vulnerable to burglaries and attacks from home or even being victimised and being burgled is a very traumatic experience. A practical way to stay secure, monitor who is arriving at your property or ‘casing the joint’, is to invest in a home security solution, which guarantees peace of mind.  

Using a smart home security camera can help ensure the elderly can have more independence. They can be safe in the knowledge their home is protected whether they are at home, in the garden or abroad.  Aside from ensuring your property is securely locked, what other steps can you take? We outline our top five tips below.

Open doors are easy access…

Therefore, it’s essential that doors and windows remain shut and locked to stop criminals entering easily, even if you are pottering in the garden, it’s a vital precaution to take. Especially at night, don’t feel pressurised to open the door if you are not expecting someone. Ask for ID, contact friends or family if you have a neighbourhood watch scheme and don’t be afraid to say you’re busy if you are unsure or have a hunch something isn’t right.

Make a noise

If you have a driveway, putting gravel down is another proven trick to deter criminals as the noise made is sufficient to make them think twice about targeting your property.

Bright lights

Ensure all entry ways are well lit by scheduling lights or installing motion sensor lights to deter criminals, making them think twice in case they get spotted.  

Toughen your protection

Make sure your doors are sturdy, with multiple locks or even deadbolt locks on exterior doors and gates. Certain windows could be altered to have one-way glass, helping protect valuables but also provides privacy. A security film could be easily added to windows, making it harder to break in.

Blink for home and peace of mind

Install a wireless, smart and cost-effective home security and monitoring system on your porch or front door to act as a peephole. You then don’t have to be at home to see who’s lurking outside your property! You can double check the right people are on the other side of the door remotely, with live footage and notifications sent straight to your smartphone. These HD video cameras can also be used to monitor caregivers, or babysitters with footage accessible live wherever, and whenever.

Explore all the Blink products and accessories here

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