Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Tips to Security Proof Your Home

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Tips to Security Proof Your Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWith the arrival of fall in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, most of us are back into the routine of kids back at school and all family members busy with activities of various kinds.  This means lots of come and go in our homes, making it even more important for our homes to be easily accessible for family members but not at all for intruders.

Security is a top priority for all home owners and their families. Technology is revolutionizing the way we protect, monitor and interact with our home. Security systems are becoming quick and customizable,  offering home owners the ability to ensure top safety and high levels of convenience.

Keyless security locks eliminate that haunting feeling of forgetting to lock the door and the resulting worry for the safety of your home. Electronic, keyless locks, like the Schlage Touch increase home protection and security because there is no cylinder to pick for potential intruders.

This technology gives home owners the ability to create codes to allow access for friends, and delete them when not needed anymore. It is important to look for touchscreen locks that are finger-print resistant that won’t rub away with continued use or due to weather conditions.

Families using electronic locks should be aware of how to set secure codes to ensure the highest level of safety. When creating a code for your home lock, there a few best practices to be aware of. Choose a code that never uses the same numbers twice and avoid sequential numbers to increase security. Stay away from commonly used combinations like 1234, 0000, and 1111 because these are the easiest for an intruder to guess. It is best to create a code that uses memorable numbers, like an anniversary, or graduation date. These are not obvious enough for an outsider to think of but have significant meaning so that your family members can remember the code.

Not only do touchscreen locks provide high levels of security but they add distinct convenience for busy families on the go. This means no more worrying about where your lost keys have disappeared to, or concerns about safety for that backup spare key under your doormat.

Take these proactive steps to keep your family and home safe and eliminate risk from potential intruders.

Looking for a new home with increased security features?  Maybe I can help.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Most of the content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

Is Your Home Burglar Proof for Back to School?

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Is Your Home Burglar Proof for Back to School? |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamLate August is a busy time of year as families in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region get ready for summer holidays to end and school to start up again.  Something you might not have thought of is the need for heightened home security when fewer people are  home during the day.

Burglary can leave families feeling vulnerable and violated. According to security experts, by far, the most common threat to our home while we are back at work and school is burglary.

Patrice De Luca, V.P. of Customer Care for ADT Canada says the first step in burglary prevention is gaining an understanding of who commits these crimes and why.  “The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when most people are away at work or at school,” De Luca explained. “Burglaries also occur at night when there are obvious signs that residents are away.”

Most home burglars are young males looking for things that are small, expensive, and easily converted to cash. Items like cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, and other small electronic devices are high on the list. Quick cash is needed for living expenses and drugs. Although home burglaries may seem random in occurrence, they actually involve a careful selection process.

“This selection process is simple,” De Luca added. “They choose an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes.”

Is Your Home Burglar Proof for Back to School? |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhat follows is a list of suggestions from ADT, providing Protectron’s line of products, to minimize your risk by making your home unattractive to potential burglars.

  • The first step, according to De Luca, is to “harden the target” or make your home more difficult to enter. “Remember, burglars will simply bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess,” he says. Most burglars enter via the front, back, or garage doors. Burglars know to look inside your car for keys and other valuables so keep it locked, even inside your garage. Use high quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts.
  • When on a long-term business trip, leave a car in your driveway or arrange for a neighbor to keep a car there and move it around from time to time. Have someone mow your lawn, rake leaves, or shovel snow and pick up your mail while you’re away.
  • Home security systems play a crucial role in a home security plan and are very effective, if used properly, especially when monitored 24-7 by ULC-listed monitoring centres. De Luca cautions that home security systems need to be properly installed and maintained to be most effective. He recommends your home security system include a loud inside alarm, detectors at all exterior doors, and motion sensors in the master bedroom and main living areas.
  • For ultimate control and peace of mind while you’re at work, he recommends you look into the new fully interactive wireless security systems where you can arm and disarm your alarm, lock or unlock your front door, control lights and your home’s thermostat at the touch of your smartphone. You can even include interior and exterior cameras with interactive surveillance that enables parents to receive alerts to view the comings and goings of their children from school or cleaning staff in video or image format on their work computer or smartphone. More information on home security is available at www.protectron.com.

Check out my other blog articles and checklists on home security:

Home Security Checklist

How Secure Is Your Home?

Summertime Home Security Tips

Home Inventory: Do You Have One?

Fire Safety in Your Home (includes Fire Safety Checklist)

Automate Your Spruce Grove Area Home With Your Smartphone

Looking for a new home with upgraded security features?  Maybe I can help. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Much of the content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

How to Protect Yourself From the Damage of Identity Theft

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

How to Protect Yourself From the Damage of Identity Theft | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County real estate | Barry TwynamThere’s no question technology has improved our lives, whether we live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere. It has streamlined communications, made it easy to buy the things we want, and lets us manage our finances wherever we are.

Technology, however, has also made us vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves who prowl the Internet 24/7, attempting to steal personal information including social insurance numbers, usernames and passwords, driver’s licenses, passport info, signatures, bank accounts and PINs. According to the most recent report from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, in 2009 more than 11,000 Canadians fell victim to identity theft, with a loss of more than 10 million dollars.

“There are many steps Canadians can and should take to protect themselves from identity theft,” says Ryan Michel, senior vice president and chief risk officer at Allstate Canada. “You can get started by adding personal record management to your annual spring cleaning check-list and by making a point to shred old bills, receipts, statements and personal documents.”

Here are five other suggestions:

  1. Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through mail or the Internet unless you initiated the contact and trust the company.
  2. Don’t carry your social insurance number with you and don’t ever give it out unless absolutely necessary (tax and employment purposes).
  3. Review your credit card and bank statements monthly and look for unusual patterns. If your bills don’t arrive on time, follow up with creditors.
  4. Don’t use easy-to-guess passwords or PINs like your birth date or address. A combination of letters and numbers is best. Change your passwords regularly and consider subscribing to a service that encrypts passwords for added protection.
  5. Speak to your insurance provider about home insurance options that cover expenses associated with identity theft.

And if you do become a victim of identity theft:

• Call the police immediately and ask for a copy of the police report.
• Contact your financial institution and other companies that provide services to you to cancel credit cards and have new ones issued.
• Contact credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
• Change your online passwords.

Michel points out that additional tips and helpful information are available at www.allstate.ca/learningcentre.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and it presents an opportunity for Canadians to be more proactive about protecting themselves online.  Check out The Little Black Book of Scams from the Competition Bureau of Canada for tons of information about how to protect yourself and your family, and put an end to scammers.

Questions or comments about the information in this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Most of the content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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