Tips To Keep Children Safe When They Are Home Alone

It’s hard for a parent to feel comfortable leaving their children home alone. Luckily, we’ve gathered some child home safety tips to help you be sure your child is home alone safely and responsibly.

One of the easiest solutions that provide peace of mind is your home security system that’s already in place. You can rest assured knowing your home surveillance system and security cameras are there to keep them safe. And you can even monitor them while you’re away, no matter where you are.

Child Home Safety Tips: Home Alone Age Guidelines

But is your child even old enough to stay home alone? You know your child better than anyone and the responsibility they may or may not be able to handle. But for reference, there are some general age guidelines to keep in mind.

7 Years Old And Younger

These children are too young to be left alone for any period of time. They should never be left unattended in cars, playgrounds, backyards, or even inside your home.

8 To 10 Years Old

These children should not be left alone for more than an hour, especially at night. If you plan to leave your 8 to 10-year-old home alone, make sure it is during the day.

11 To 12 Years Old

These children are capable of being left alone but should not be left home alone at night. It is recommended to leave them only for around 3 hours at a time.

13 To 15 Years Old

These teens are safe to leave unsupervised but probably not for an entire night.

16 To 17 Years Old

This is the age where they can be left at home alone for longer periods of time. They are old enough to take care of themselves and capable of taking care of any issues that may occur. Additionally, they likely have a cell phone and can get in contact with you if need be.

Child Home Safety Tips And Rules To Teach

Aside from teaching them the basics of your home security system, it’s always good practice to teach some basic home safety practices. No matter what their age, here are some safety tips to go over with your kid whenever the time does come to leave them by themselves.

  1. Tell Them To Lock The Doors

Even if you have a home security system, you should always remind your children to lock the door as soon as they’re in the house.

  1. Never Open The Door To Strangers

This rule applies even when you’re at home. Your child should never open the door for anyone that they do not know. Remind them to always look through the peep hole or window before opening the door for anyone, even if they are expecting someone. This includes anyone with a delivery as well.

  1. Talk About Telephone Rules

It’s important to teach your children how to communicate on the phone. Most importantly, they must never tell anyone that they are home alone. Teach your children to tell whoever is on the phone that you are busy and to take a message, even if you aren’t there.

  1. Use Social Media Responsibly

Social Media is becoming more and more common among younger children. It is important they never post about being home alone. Teach your children to be cautious with what they are sharing online. And be sure to brush up on your cyber security practices as well!

  1. If They Leave The House, They Need To Tell You Where They’re Going

Many parents are okay with their children heading over to a neighbor’s home or playing in the neighborhood. However, you need to teach your children to communicate with you when they reach their destination and whenever they plan to leave where they are. This is important because if something were to happen, you would have an idea of what your child was doing and where they were.

  1. Teach Them About Fire Safety

If you plan to leave your child home alone, make sure they are old enough to understand fire safety. Let them know that if they see or smell smoke, to immediately leave the house and call the fire department. Find a trusted neighbor that they can go to in case of an emergency such as this.

And be sure your home is always protected with monitored smoke and CO detectors.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

Talk to your kids about staying safe in your home. Make sure they know what to do in case an emergency does happen. The more you teach them about safety, the better off they’ll be when left home alone. Again, you know your child better than anyone, especially in terms of what they can comfortably and responsibly handle by themselves in the home. But it never hurts to be sure your child knows and understands basic home safety practices!

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

 

6 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe in 2022

Even if you don’t own a home security system, there are inexpensive tactics you can implement to protect your household. Boyd & Associates experts offer some key tips below.

Identify potential risks. Before you move to a new neighborhood, connect with families in the area to evaluate whether it is in line with your expectations and needs. While it may seem safe, don’t be misled by appearances or notions presented to you by your realtor.

Do a gut check. Evaluate what you are most trying to protect and use that as a starting point to develop your home security program. The wellbeing of your family members will likely come first, with valuable assets falling next in line.

Don’t underestimate old-school locks. Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, ensure that door and window locks work appropriately and are used. If necessary, install window stops for an added layer of protection. Unwanted visitors typically look for easy access to a home.

Leave the light on. Leaving lights, and even a radio or TV, on in the house can go a long way in making your home look active. Implement inexpensive motion sensor lights to add safety for anyone coming home late and to deter burglars.

Commit to landscaping and upkeep. Trim bushes and shrubs, mow the lawn and remove leaves and snow. Don’t allow newspapers or mail to pile up whether you’re home or on vacation. A groomed appearance gives the impression that you are regularly present and protect the value of your home.

Participate in the community. Knowing your neighbors is invaluable to your home’s safety. Develop relationships with families on your street to ensure mutual safety. Notify each other of suspicious activity or nearby threats.

The Ultimate Level of Security

Though the above tips help, a home security system backed by a 24-hour monitoring center is the ultimate safeguard. If an emergency occurs, a security system will ensure responders are dispatched through Central Station monitoring, saving critical time for your family.

Smart home security can also alleviate the inconveniences associated with managing home safety on your own, such as maintaining your alarm system, remembering to lock up, or turning lights and appliances on and off. Through a mobile application, homeowners monitor and control smart devices from anywhere and at any time.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

3 Tips for Thanksgiving Cooking Safety

You know it’s fall when the smell of roasted turkey, stuffing and all things pumpkin fill the air. Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of many; however, heightened safety risks associated with the feast can foil your plans. Follow these three tips to keep your loved ones safe this Thanksgiving.

1. Understand Food Prep Safety

When a meal is the center of the festivity, you better be sure it’s prepared safely. Foodborne pathogens are a risk during the holiday. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever.

An unclean or cluttered kitchen, coupled with improper sanitary food prep standards, can put you and your family at risk.

To maintain food prep best practices:

  • Thaw poultry in the refrigerator. When poultry is stored in warm places, such as out on the counter, foodborne bacteria can multiply quickly.
  • Thoroughly wash hands, cooking instruments, and surfaces that come into contact with raw meat.
  • Heat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Contain contamination. Use separate cutting boards for meat versus non-meat food items.
  • Use or freeze leftovers within three to four days.

2. Prevent Kitchen Fires

Putting together a Thanksgiving meal can be tricky. You’re preparing so many foods that it can be easy to lose track and let something cook too long, which is a fire risk. The below pointers can help:

  • Write out a cooking schedule. Include what time you will put each dish on the stove or in the oven.
  • Label timers — either with built-in technology functionality or a post-it note. This will help you keep track of what timer correlates with which dish.
  • Do not leave your kitchen unattended while food cooks. An unattended stove or oven is a recipe for disaster.
  • Follow cooking safety protocols. Deep-fried turkey has become a popular tradition for many families. Be sure you have the right equipment, attire and safety precautions in place for this or any unique cooking method.

Most importantly, test your smoke/fire detectors to ensure that they are working properly. If something goes wrong, you and the local fire department will be alerted immediately.

3. Keep Kids Safe

If your kids have a tendency to wander around the kitchen, take extra precautions to ensure their safety.

  • Turn pot and pan handle toward the back of the stove, so that nothing is accidentally reached for or pulled down.
  • Ensure kids are always supervised by an adult in the kitchen.
  • If helping cook, teach children proper kitchen hygiene — i.e. to sneeze or cough away from food, to wipe hands on a paper towel instead of a dishtowel, and to wash hands between each task.

We’re here to help

If you do experience a fire or medical emergency on Thanksgiving, remember: Boyd & Associates is here for you 24/7, and that includes holidays!

Don’t have a Boyd & Associates professionally monitored fire alarm system? Call us today to speak with one of our security experts.

Halloween Safety Tips

Planning to trick or treat this year? Halloween is a night when some of our best childhood memories are created…just so long as things are fun scary, not actually scary. With a bit of planning, you can keep everyone safe this October. Make sure your children have an enjoyable, secure celebration with these child safety tips on Halloween.

Design Costumes for Visibility

Glow sticks, flashlights, and even reflector tape can help to ensure that any drivers see your children in the street. Incorporating these safety features into the theme of your child’s costume might take a little creativity, but they often can add another layer to really take the festivities up a notch. Think a glowing ghost or the bright lights of a Star Wars character. Plus, it’ll give you that extra peace of mind.

Also keep in mind that makeup is generally preferable to a mask, which can obstruct your child’s vision and put them at risk.

Take it Slow

Slowing things down a bit is a key safety tip on Halloween. Be sure kids walk slowly rather than run from home to home, especially as they cross neighborhood streets. While everyone is on the lookout for trick-or-treaters, children can dart in front of motorists, who may not have enough time to react. Try to plan to spend the evening in a neighborhood you know has sidewalks and is particularly active with other trick-or-treaters. These areas are less likely to cause potential risks with motorists.

Make Eye Contact with Drivers

A good habit to generally teach the kids: when crossing the street, make eye contact with the driver to make sure that they acknowledge you before you step into the street. And nothing beats the golden rule of intersections: always look both ways before you cross!

Know Where to Go

If your kids are getting to the age where they can trick-or-treat without an adult escort, make sure they stick to familiar areas and that you know the route they will be taking. Sharing their location on smartphones is an easy way to keep tabs on their whereabouts.

If you need to make a trip by car, drive slowly, and turn your headlights on early in the evening so that you can see the kids, and the kids can see you.

Home Safety Tips on Halloween

Halloween night can be easy pickings for burglars since they already know that so many families are out and about. Not to mention, they can knock on your door to see if you’re home without drawing suspicion. If your home isn’t passing out candy and welcoming visitors, keep an eye on things while you’re out with your home automation features.

For More Home Security Tips and Solutions, Stick with Boyd & Associates

The safety of all children comes first on Halloween. With some basic precautions, you can help to ensure a safe, fun night out, and with Boyd & Associates, you can rest assured that your home is safe.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at www.boydsecurity.com. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

Burglary Prevention: 7 Signs Your Home Is A Target

One of the major keys to burglary prevention is awareness. And much of that awareness comes from understanding the ways in which your home may be a target for would-be intruders. There are many tell-tale signs to watch out for, and some are less obvious than others. For your home burglary prevention, here are 7 signs to look out for that may indicate your home is a target for burglars.

  1. Strangers Surveying Your Property

This one might be a little more obvious, and will also depend greatly on your neighborhood or general area you live in. Is it heavily populated? Is it normal to see people you don’t know? You shouldn’t be paranoid every time a stranger walks by your house. But there’s a major difference between someone passing through, or even taking a passing glance at your home or property, and someone potentially surveying your home for a future break-in.

And, if you notice someone suspiciously snooping around or intruding on your property in a way that makes you feel comfortable, take note and even call your local police if necessary. Burglary prevention is a community effort; be sure to share with neighbors any suspicious activity and work together to keep one another safe.

  1. Random Strangers Knocking On Your Door

It sounds simple, but one of the oldest tricks to get into someone’s home is to just knock on the front door. Maybe this mystery guest asks to use the bathroom or even tries to sell you a fake product. Always trust your gut in these instances; you don’t have to answer the door for everyone. And always be wary of any strangers that ask to enter your home.

A great SmartHome solution for burglar prevention is a doorbell camera. Screen visitors before you ever answer the door and have video evidence on-hand of any suspicious activity.

  1. Uncertified Workers

You may contract for work to be done on your home, whether on the interior or for outside projects. But make sure all the workers are certified. In some instances, a burglar may see workers coming and going and use it as a chance to survey or even to enter your home. You should know the scale of the project at hand and the size and specifics of the personnel doing the work. Always make sure to contact the company if you are unsure of a worker’s legitimacy.

  1. Unsolicited Fundraisers 

Much like random strangers knocking, other burglary prevention comes from being aware of who is right at your front door. A twelve-year-old girl selling Girl Scout Cookies may not be a threat to your home, but other solicitors should always be treated with caution. Burglars are looking for any opportunity to see the inside of your home and any potential valuables and points of access.

  1. Strangers Taking Photos Of Your Home

These days, everyone is a photographer. With advances in smartphones, it’s easier than ever for anyone to stealthily take photos. And that ease makes it a great tool for burglars to canvas your house and create an intrusion plan. If you see anyone take a picture of your home, you need to immediately act. Notify local law enforcement, document what you see, and share with your neighbors and community leaders. Two can play the photo game; if possible, take a picture of the suspicious photographer as well. Just be sure to do so safely.

  1. Stickers Or Flyers

Promotional flyers or coupons and menus from local establishments aren’t necessarily a burglary threat. But if you’re noticing a higher volume of stickers or flyers on your front door, or stickers and flyers you don’t recognize, it could be a sign of potential danger. A burglar may attempt to use this method to see if a home is well guarded or not.

This, of course, is not always a signal that someone is trying to break into your home, but it is something to keep an eye out for. If you’re going to be away for a period, have a neighbor check in on your home to ensure nothing is piling up on the front lawn.

  1. Strange Markings On Your Home

Many burglars will use subtle markings to identify a house they are casing. This could be a simple symbol like a string placed on the house or a marking on your lampposts. If you see any unexplained marking that doesn’t appear to have happened naturally or accidentally, move it immediately.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

It’s important you’re aware of what is going on around your neighborhood. You can protect your home and your neighbors by keeping an eye on anything that may seem out of place. Communicate with your neighbors so they can be aware as well.

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

 

Vehicle Theft Prevention

Motor vehicles are the primary mode of transportation for most of us, and often an indispensable part of our lives. But what would happen if your vehicle suddenly disappeared? Over 700,000 drivers fall victim to this costly crime each year.

Reducing Motor Vehicle Theft

In 2019, about three-quarters of a million vehicles were stolen in the United States—and nearly half of those thefts were due to driver error. Vehicle theft is a multi-billion-dollar crime, with the cost of stolen vehicles coming in at about $6 billion in 2019 alone. 75% of those vehicles were automobiles. Summers prove to be the worst season for vehicle theft. So, to help drivers keep their vehicles safe, NHTSA is continuing its annual Vehicle Theft Prevention Campaign during July — National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.

A motor vehicle was stolen every 43.8 seconds in the United States in 2019.

Use common sense when parking and exiting your vehicle:

  • Take your vehicle’s key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
  • Park in well-lit areas if possible.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle.

Thieves want vehicle parts and valuable items, too.

Radios and wheel covers aren’t the only popular stolen vehicle parts thieves take. They want whatever sells, from the mandated labeled parts to those that aren’t. Some of the most popular vehicle parts or valuable items stolen from vehicles include doors, engines, transmissions, airbags, radios, GPS units, cell phones, iPads, laptops, and purses.

Protect Your Ride

There are numerous antitheft systems and devices designed to make vehicles more difficult to steal or easier to trace and recover. Here are how some of them work:

  • Audible and Visible Devices: These devices, such as a horn alarm, deter theft by bringing attention to an unauthorized attempt to steal or enter a vehicle. Visible devices create a visual threat/warning/deterrence, such as the use of steering-wheel locks, as well as theft-deterrent decals, flashing lights, and window etching.
  • Immobilizing-Type Devices: These prevent thieves from bypassing a vehicle’s ignition system and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some incorporate computer chips in ignition keys or disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine.
  • Vehicle Recovery Systems: These devices use electronic transmission technology that helps law enforcement reveal the location of stolen vehicles—and possibly catch the thief in the act.

Where’s My Ride?

If you are a victim of vehicle theft, follow these steps:

  • Contact police immediately to file a stolen vehicle report. You will need a copy of the police report and/or a case number to provide to your insurance company. You may also be asked to provide the following information:
    • License plate number
    • Make, model, and color of your vehicle; and
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and any identifying characteristics.
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of your vehicle being stolen.
  • If you find your vehicle before authorities do, contact the police and your insurance company immediately.

For More Security Tips And Solutions, Stick With Boyd & Associates

If you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at Boyd & Associates. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.

7 Tips to Reduce Neighborhood Crime

When you turn on the evening news, it may seem as though there is constant neighborhood crime throughout the nation. However, the FBI recently reported that crime decreased across all categories between the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2021. In their report, they show robberies falling 7.4% compared to the prior year. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that crime can make its way into any neighborhood. There are plenty of preventative measures you can take to promote safety in your neighborhood.

So, what can we do?

We can work together toward a safer community and consider getting more involved in crime prevention. As a matter of fact, throughout the 90’s, there was an average of a 30 percent decrease in burglaries nationwide due to communities getting more involved in crime prevention.

So, let’s keep it up. Check out these seven ways for more community involvement to keep it safe.

  1. Join the Town Watch (or Start One)

Join in a town watch program (or get the community involved in one). Staying in tune with the neighborhood’s regular activity and keeping streets and homes well-lit can deter any possible burglaries. When criminals see a well-marked neighborhood with town watch and security system signs, it makes them think twice before committing a crime. Town watch programs have helped communities experience a 16 and 26 percent reduction in crime compared to areas not involved in a town watch.

  1. Get to Know Your Neighbors

Whether you are going on vacation or heading to work, knowing your neighbors can provide an extra set of eyes on your house (and maybe an extra set of keys in case of emergency). People care about those they know, so getting to know your neighbors and building relationships provides that layer of community and a sense of wanting to watch out for each other.

  1. Educate Kids About Bullying

Educate kids on a safe way to help others. Encourage confidence in resolving problems peacefully and not through violence. Make it clear that you expect kids to take action if they see someone being hurt, or if they are hurt themselves. By leading by example, you can teach empathy rather than violence.

  1. Initiate a Buddy System

The buddy system is not just a system for kids. It’s less likely a criminal will approach two people instead of one vulnerable person. A buddy can be more than just a walking partner. Your buddy can also make sure that you have everything you need to be safe. Whether from a long trip or just a simple walk down the street. And, of course, a buddy can always be there to call for help in those times of emergency services.

  1. Get Involved in Local Organizations

By getting involved, neighbors become better acquainted and make the connections necessary to keep the community safe. The Bureau of Justice Assistance offers ways your community can get involved and pair with local businesses and organizations to create a safer community.

  1. Create a Favorable Rapport with Local Police Enforcement

Encourage involvement from local law enforcement in community events. Get to know who they are and what they do. By creating trust with your local law enforcement, you can communicate community concerns more effectively and build a better relationship.

  1. Stay Current with Crime Trends

Knowing what is happening in your neighborhood and those around you can help you understand the possible warning signs of impending crime. Know what is happening and report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement. Staying up to date with the news and crime trends can help your community stay proactive and involved.

By focusing on a safer community, you can work toward protecting you, your family, and those around you from falling victim to crimes that could leave your community devastated. By getting more involved or following any other tips mentioned above, you can help lead the way in creating a safer community for everyone.

 

What Does the End of 3G Mean for Your Security System?

Carriers like AT&T and Verizon have announced their sunsetting 3G wireless networks at the beginning of 2022 and the end of 2022, respectively.

Just like 2G, the 3G network has become outdated as more wireless customers demand greater bandwidth and faster speeds. Shutting down the older network will drastically increase data capacity and speed on 4G, 5G and LTE networks.

If you are like most Americans, your cell phone no longer runs on a 3G network anyway. And many carriers are no longer activating devices on the 3G network.

But what about your security system?

What is 3G and What is the Difference Between 3G, 4G and 5G?

Before we get into how the 3G sunset could affect your security system, here’s a quick rundown of the different networks available.

The “G” stands for generation. The newer the network, the more capacity for more devices to connect to that network. Introduced in 1998, 3G and is now considered a slower network compared to the current standard 4G. As more people get access to mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, as many as 24 billion devices are expected to need cellular network support by 2024. That’s where 5G comes in, offering peak capacity and latency.

Do Security Systems Run on 3G Networks?

Yes, some security systems run on cellular networks. 3G networks were the standard communication technology used in security panels starting in 2016.

When landlines became obsolete, there was a shift to wireless security systems that use cellular technology to relay messages. These systems were more reliable, convenient, and accessible than their landline counterparts.

Cellular security systems also do not have onsite wires, which can be tampered with by a burglar to render your security system useless.

What Does a 3G Sunset Mean for My Home Security System?

If your alarm system was installed with a 3G-compatible communicator, it will no longer work properly once carriers begin to sunset 3G networks—regardless of who your security provider is.

Although wireless carriers have published specific dates for 3G termination, this does not guarantee 3G services will be fully available until the sunset. It is common practice for carriers to reduce coverage during transition periods.

That is why it’s imperative to take action as soon as possible to avoid service disruptions.

What Can I Do to Limit Disruption to My Home Security System?

The cellular communicator on your security system will need to be replaced to operate on the new networks.

Your security provider should proactively reach out to ensure there is no lapse in service for your system. If you do not hear from them or you want to get the ball rolling on updating your system, contact your provider and ask the following questions:

  • Will the 3G sunset impact my security system?
  • When are cellular carrier changes expected to roll out in my area?
  • What is your company’s timeline and plans for customer updates?
  • Can I update my system in advance, or do I need to wait for a tiered rollout?
  • Will I be charged a service fee to upgrade my system? If so, how much?
  • Do I need to purchase new equipment, or will it be provided free of charge?
  • How can I schedule a service call to update my system, if needed?

Your home security provider should be willing and able to answer all of your questions about the impact on your system and should have a plan in place to prevent disruption.

If you want more information about how Boyd & Associates is handling the 3G sunset, just reach out. We are happy to work with you on getting your system updated.

5 Security Tips for Safe Online Shopping

E-commerce has made shopping faster and more convenient. Today, approximately 69% of Americans have made an online purchase. By 2023, the United States will have 300 million online shoppers (91 percent of the country’s population).

However, online shoppers who do not properly secure their personal data are more susceptible to cyber attacks and identity theft.

Below, we provide five tips to secure personal and financial information online and ensure safe delivery of online purchases.

  1. Buy from Credible Websites

Understand the potential risks of shopping online, such as identity theft or fraud, to properly safeguard your sensitive information.

Shop only on credible websites. Cyber attackers often pose as e-retailers to obtain personal and financial data or gain access to devices. Avoid falling victim to a cyber attack with the following precautions:

  • Avoid clicking on suspicious emails or links. Cyber attackers may use vicious malware in emails or links to obtain sensitive data, such as credit card information or social security numbers.
  • Familiarize yourself with the e-retailer’s privacy policy. Ensure your confidential information will not be disclosed or sold to a third party.
  • Read customer reviews. Research unfamiliar online retailers and be wary of particularly negative reviews, and look for suspiciously positive reviews (which may be false or unreliable).
  • Understand the e-retailer’s return policy. Be aware of proper return procedures should you be unsatisfied with a product.
  1. Connect to a Secured Network

An unsecured network could leave your personal and financial data vulnerable to attack, as it is easily accessible to cyber criminals. Be aware of online shopping risks while on the go, and use the following security tips:

  • Avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Cyber attackers may easily intercept sensitive data through an unsecured network.
  • Connect to a virtual private network (VPN) whenever possible. VPNs encrypt your data and protect sensitive information from being stolen.
  • Shop on websites that contain “https://”. Look for sites that include “https://” in the address, which indicates that data is encrypted and not accessible to cyber attackers.
  1. Use Secure Payments

Compromising personal payment information could lead to identity theft or fraudulent use. Credit cards are the safest payment method for online transactions as opposed to ATM or debit cards. This is because online shoppers are typically less liable for loss from unauthorized use. Take the following actions to secure online payments and protect financial data:

  • Continually check credit card statements for irregularities. Identify and promptly respond to any fraudulent activity. Contact your bank to see if an automatic feature that alerts you of suspicious account activity is offered.
  • Never store credit card data on your devices. Re-enter credit card information for each transaction to prevent users with access to your device from taking advantage of stored information.
  • Refrain from providing unnecessary information. Avoid supplying retailers with highly sensitive information, such as your social security number or date of birth.
  • Utilize “virtual” credit cards. Use the alternate card number provided by the issuer to protect your actual credit card information in the case of a breach.
  1. Protect Smart Devices

Shopping on a mobile device offers convenience for shoppers. However, it can significantly increase security risks. Properly secure your smart device to mitigate the risk of compromising personal information:

  • Download and purchase from credible retailers’ mobile applications to ensure secure transactions.
  • Install updated security software, such as antivirus or anti-spyware, on your device as it becomes available.
  • Protect your phone with a unique and complex password, PIN or pattern.
  • Use two-factor authentication to confirm your identity with at least two types of credentials. For example, your phone may require your passcode and your fingerprint to unlock, or your email may require a password and a numeric code sent to your phone.
  1. Utilize Video Surveillance Cameras

After making an online purchase, ensure your package arrives safely at your doorstep with surveillance cameras or doorbell cameras. Monitor your front door from any web-enabled device in real-time to:

  • Confirm your package arrives on time.
  • Ensure delivery workers handle items with care.
  • Ward off or identify burglars who may attempt to steal your packages.

Cyber security should not be taken lightly. Work with your trusted security provider at Boyd & Associates to properly equip your home and devices for the best cyber protection.

Research: How We’re Managing Our Home Deliveries in 2021

Have you disinfected a package delivery to protect yourself from germs lately?

You’re not alone. In fact, one in three Americans do the same, according to new research. We’re relying more on home deliveries, and we’re taking new precautions as we adapt.

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans by OnePoll, the average person now receives 10 home deliveries a month: a 60% increase from the pre-pandemic average of 6. It’s a trend that’s likely to stick.

With social distancing and shortages in stores as a root cause, we’re using home deliveries to get everything from clothing to essentials like milk and toilet paper, as well as to support local businesses. Along the way, we’re discovering extra benefits that we’ll want to keep—as well as a few new worries to navigate.

Here’s what we discovered:

We’re waking up to the benefits of home deliveries.

  • 53% of Americans have ordered a delivery to support a local business in the last year.
  • 48% say that home deliveries feel safer than shopping in stores.
  • 44% say that deliveries are more convenient.
  • 36% say the items they need are sometimes sold out in stores, or online-only.
  • 70% say that they appreciate delivery workers more than they used to.

Safety worries don’t stop at the front door.

Pre-pandemic, package theft was the main concern for online shoppers. Today’s deliveries arrive with new concerns: worries about our health, and the health of others.

  • 29 % of Americans worry about being exposed to germs at the front door
  • Two out of five now wash their hands after handling packages.
  • One third disinfect their deliveries before opening them.
  • One in six let their packages sit unopened to give germs time to die.

We’re still wary of opening the door to strangers.

Although we’re concerned about deliveries being left outside, we’re also hesitant to open our doors when they arrive.

  • 68% of Americans say they don’t open their door unless they’re certain they know who’s on the other side.
  • 35% wait until delivery drivers leave before they open the door.
  • 31% are worried about potential burglars posing as delivery drivers to case their home.
  • 41% say they don’t trust that visitors are always who they say they are.

Help is at hand.

If you’re looking for a better, safer way to manage your deliveries while protecting your home and family, look no further. Boyd & Associates has a variety of systems and tools to help you and yours feel safe and protected.  Contact us today to learn more!