When I host a national radio show and podcast about all things tech, digital security is always in every program. Take your home’s router, for instance. An outdated model can put your entire network, files, and anything connected to it at risk for hackers. Tap or click for five reasons you need to replace that old router.
Other ways of protecting your digital life don’t require spending a dime. Tap or click for four quick security checks you can do now for free.
Then there are those security tips a little closer to home. Whether you have a full house or live alone, there’s a lot you can do to feel safer where you live.
1. Connect with your community
Getting to know your neighbors can be one of the best ways to feel more secure. If you haven’t, introduce yourself. You’ll feel better knowing the neighborhood has your back.
You can get to know the broader neighborhood, too, through NextDoor. Create an account to connect with people who live nearby. Just get ready for a healthy dose of drama. I’ll never forget when I saw a post about someone driving too fast. Ahem, it was me.
A more fun way to get to your community is to join a buy nothing group. This is where neighbors pass around items they no longer use. Let’s say you’re upgrading your TV and need to get rid of the old one. Rather than go through the trouble of selling it, ask if anyone nearby would like to come and get it.
2. Set up your phone for emergencies
Your phone is always with you and can be a lifeline in an emergency. A smart step is to activate your phone’s emergency SOS feature. When triggered, this will call emergency services and send notifications and updates to your chosen personal emergency contacts.
Set up emergency contacts for your iPhone:
To call emergency services:
Once the countdown ends, your phone will contact emergency services.
RELATED: Apple watches save lives, too. Turn on these features right now.
Set up emergency contacts and SOS on your Android:
Now you need to activate your Android’s SOS feature:
To call emergency services:
Are you a caretaker for someone in your life? If you can’t always be together, a lot of great tech can help. Tap or click here for more information on the fantastic Alexa Together service, including links for the Alexa devices you’ll need to use the service.
3. Make it look like you’re home, even when you’re not
Whether you’re at work for the day or off on a week-long vacation, there are ways to make it look like your home is occupied even though it’s empty. Mechanical or smart-home timers can turn lights and a stereo or TV on and off.
Have an Echo speaker? Alexa Guard is like a pair of ears you leave at home. Your Echo device will listen for glass breaking, smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms. You’ll get an alert on your phone if these sounds are detected.
Alexa Guard can also automatically turn any connected smart lights on and off to make it look like you’re home. Tap or click for steps for this and four other clever ways to use your Echo and Alexa that you’ll wish you knew sooner.
4. Install a smart security system
Home security technology has come a long way since the days of elaborate hard-wired systems with lengthy, expensive contracts. You can now customize a system for your home that includes exactly what you want and even set it all up yourself.
SimpliSafe is a sponsor of my national radio show, and they’re a company I always recommend. Of course, there are many options at different price points.
The cheapest doesn’t translate to the best. I’d avoid the bargain basement models you can find online. Tap or click for the essential features in home security cameras.
5. Think before you post online
We tend to want to post every exciting moment in our lives on social media, but it might not be just your friends who are watching your adventures. If you maintain a public profile, anyone can see you’re exploring a new city far from home.
The simplest solution is not to post personal information on social media, including your vacation schedule. Wait until you get back to share photos and videos.
If you’re determined to share in real-time, at least be sure to restrict your accounts to trusted friends and family. Tap or click here for 10 Facebook privacy and security settings you need to change right now.
Keep your tech-know going
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.
In this episode, Netflix ads coming, Facebook and Instagram to start charging money, best golf apps, password manager pros and cons, new home wiring tips, and my smart advice with callers like you.
This content was originally published here.