Technological advancements have affected nearly every industry and home security is no exception. But with increased connectivity and support come new threats.
The basic burglar alarm systems of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s have given way to cloud-based mobile home monitoring with plenty of options in between.
“The protection concept has always been the same … but it progressed from the key to the touch pad,” said Morgan Clayton, founder and president of Tel-Tech Security Systems Inc., a Bakersfield-based company that has been providing safety and peace of mind for residents in 25 cities in California and Nevada for 35 years.
Clayton credited companies like Microsoft and Apple for revolutionizing home security, taking consumers from the analog world to the network world where everything flows through the internet. Over the years, basic home monitoring migrated from phone line to cellular to radio to the internet and consumers have a variety of options depending on the level of security they desire.
Options ranging from full-service packages, complete with installation and command center connectivity to emergency services, to do-it-yourself security systems make home security accessible and affordable regardless of budget or type of home.
“You can get as crazy as you want to get,” Clayton said.
But unlike the past, home security isn’t limited to protecting one’s home and the contents within.
With mobile technology allowing users to install apps that let them to view live video surveillance, open and close doors, activate locks, control heating and air conditioning, and much more on their phones, their mobile devices can be just as tempting a target for intruders as their homes.
“Cyber security is a big thing today,” Clayton said. “Make sure the companies you are dealing with have firewall departments that protect you from theft of data.”
Cloud-based services can provide increased security. Because data is stored on remote servers rather than one’s mobile device, personal data will still be protected if the device is lost or stolen. Cloud-based home security also saves consumers money by reducing the amount of equipment needed because everything is handled through an internet connection, Clayton noted.
One thing to consider when looking at home security is whether an organization is a full-service company. Clayton said most companies are actually retailers or dealers and the products and services offered are from third-party providers that may not be as reputable as others.
Be wary of special deals, too; if an offer looks too good to be true, it usually is. Check with the Better Business Bureau, local law enforcement and check the security company’s command center if possible. Most importantly, make sure the person you talk to is really who they claim to be.
“Online is great, texting is beautiful, but before you say yes, talk voice to voice,” Clayton said. “Make sure who you’re talking to is who you’re talking to in the security world.” ￼