Celebrities such as ArianaGrande and BillieEilish recently had to get restraining orders against fans who kept showingup at their homes. These unwelcome visits likely left them fearful and determinedto beef up security. What can you do to keep yourself safe from potentiallydangerous visitors?
Showbiz Cheat Sheet chatted with Elena Mauer, consumersafety editor at SecurityNerd. She gaveus her opinion on Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande’s situation, and tips on howwe can all stay safe.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Recently Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande requested restraining orders because of fans who kept trying to visit them at home. What advice would you give them for additional ways they can keep their homes safe?
Elena Mauer: In both Billie and Ariana’s situations,trespassers came onto their properties repeatedly. Outdoor cameras with motiondetection can help you keep an eye on your property and can alert you any timethere’s movement. Some security cameras even have smart detection that can tellthe difference between a person, a car and an animal and send you custom alertsbased on what they’ve detected.
I also recommend having professional monitoring on a homesecurity system. That way, a team of trained professionals is on hand to callthe authorities if needed.
CS: What can regular folks learn from celebrities and their security mishaps?
EM: Remember several years ago, when KimKardashian had a large amount of jewelry stolen in Paris? Thieves sawphotos of the jewels on social media and knew exactly where Kim was stayingbecause of paparazzi photos. They also knew when she was out and about, andthat’s when they stole the items. After that, Kim became much more carefulabout what and when she was posting on social media.
While we don’t have paparazzi following us, there’s a lessonwe can learn from Kim’s burglary. Never make it obvious that you’re not home.It might be tempting to post photos of your vacation or your night out, butresist the urge to share them right away and instead do it later. You can evenuse a scheduling app to schedule it for a different date and time. Always beaware of who can see your posts and whether they’re public or private, and onlyvisible to people you trust.
You also don’t want to make it obvious when you’re away fromhome in the more traditional ways, like stopping your mail when you go onvacation and asking a neighbor to pick up any packages that get delivered. Youcan use an old-fashioned timer to turn on your lights periodically, so it lookslike someone’s home. Today, there are also options to have smart bulbs andsmart plugs, so you can control your lights remotely from your phone.
CS: What are the signs of a good home security system?
EM: One important choice people need to make when choosing a home security system is having a wired system vs. a wireless system. Both have pros and cons. Wireless security systems are easy to DIY install and are usually more affordable than wired systems, but they do pose more of a hacking risk. But there are some measures you can take to prevent hacking.
Signs of a good home security system are good reviews, high quality customer service, the option to have professional monitoring, and the ability to set up extra security measures, like two factor authentication and multiple user accounts.
CS: How can people ensure their digital security(computers, phones, etc.)?
EM: Digital security is important for safety. If youdon’t secure your devices and computers, then you leave yourself morevulnerable to hackers. Hackers can use the information they find to disable thesecurity system or to see a security camera’s footage, or just to stealpasswords to try to use them to access your other accounts. You can make thingsharder for hackers and keep your information safe in a few ways:
- Change all default passwords on your devices,including the security system, cameras and wireless routers, since defaultpasswords may be easy to guess. When you can, use passwords that are at least 8to 10 characters with symbols and punctuation marks. They shouldn’t be obviousthings like your birthday or address. Change the passwords often, and don’tshare them with anyone.
- To make sure your home’s routers are secured,use WPA2 security, which requires each new device to submit a password toconnect. You might have to make this option active on your router settings.
- Don’t access any important accounts or your homesecurity system when using public Wifi networks.
- Keep devices’ firmware and apps updated, so allsecurity updates are made.
- Security cameras and apps or websites withpersonal information (like your bank account) should have two-factorauthentication. That way, when you log in, it sends you an email or text with apasscode to log on. If you’re buying security cameras, look for ones that offerthis feature.
Read more: KylieJenner, Chrissy Teigen, and More Celebrities Keep Buying Homes During Pandemic
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