Smart Alarm Systems: What Is It And Do I Need It?

May 11, 2021 | From The CEO

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seven years ago, there were 8.2 million property crimes in the United States committed by criminals and 21% of these crimes are burglaries.

Looking at these ratings, it is a no-brainer why people are always thinking of home security systems and making it their top priority. These numbers were seven years ago, technology evolves and is way past and way beyond what it was in 2014. Home security systems have also evolved and have been innovated through the years. Today, home security systems have what they call smart alarms.

What Is a Smart Alarm System?

Years before Smart Alarm Systems were invented, people do not have the ability nor the technology to let homeowners manage their own home security systems. In the past, security systems were physically installed in houses and can only be monitored by a central station which is usually the home alarm company. Homeowners did not have the luxury nor the ability to monitor their own homes and had to pay other people to watch their houses monthly.

With the advancement of technology, most of us have smartphones now, we know how to use and navigate through the Internet and Wi-Fi. All of these can be synced into your smart home system allowing you to maximize and utilize the full potential of your Smart Alarm. Smart Alarm Systems have devices that you can use, then will be synced into your smartphone updating and notifying you about what is happening in your house while you are away – or even inside it.

Such devices include door sensors. Door sensors are helpful if you want to monitor the people that go in and out of your house, these sensors let you know if there is a person outside your door. Ideally and potentially, there are door locks that can be controlled and monitored from your smartphone. 

Smart Alarm Systems go hand-in-hand with our Home Insurance policies. You can protect your home and properties by paper with our Home Insurance policies while protecting them physically with your Smart Alarm Systems. Our Home Insurance policies have a wide range of coverage from your personal belongings to the structure of your home and many more. You can always contact our agents if you have any questions about our policies and we could give you the chance to get to know the options that you have for your insurance while protecting the things and people that are important to you. If you have decided to give this a try, you can contact us or fill out the form to get a quotation.  

Essentially, Smart Alarm Systems enables homeowners to control things inside their house to a point where they think it is the best for their home and properties – just by using their smartphones.

What Are the Benefits?

The population of people installing their own smart alarm systems is getting bigger and bigger. Here’s a brief list of why people are integrating smart alarm systems in their houses:

  • Price. Smart Alarm Systems are much cheaper now since homeowners do not have to pay monthly fees because they would personally monitor their own homes now. Unlike before that, they would have to hire someone to install and monitor their house for them. Now, all of this is possible with just their smartphone.
  • DIY. Since homeowners have to do almost everything on their own now, from installing to monitoring, they can now choose what technology and device they think would suit their needs. This is better than having to rely on someone else since you actually live in your house so you would personally know the problems or issues that you would want to address.
  • Control. It all boils down to this factor. Monitoring and knowing the safety of your own home and seeing it right before your eyes give out a different kind of satisfaction and assurance as a homeowner. One can sleep soundly knowing that they are secured and safe inside their homes without shedding that much from their wallet. Sure, safety has its cost but if you could have the safety right in your hands, or your smartphone, and also pay a cheaper price for it, why not grab it? This is what homeowners prefer, personal and direct involvement in protecting their homes – not to mention that this control is right at your fingertips. 

What Are the Challenges?

Technology has two doors: backend and frontend. The less techy uses the frontend while infiltrators would use the backend. Smart alarm systems are based on technology and home networks, these are still vulnerable to hacking. But with proper home network settings, creating strong passwords and security PINs or other types for your devices, hackers could have a hard time or would not be able to break into your system and seize control over your alarms.

Take these three precautions to protect yourself and your smart alarm system from hackers trying to break into your house and your system:

  1. Have a strong password. Passwords aren’t limited to letters and numbers, you can add in some special characters such as question marks or exclamation points – even apostrophes would work. This increases the security and strength of your password making it harder to “crack” or guess. Your hacker may know the literal word of your password but passwords are case-sensitive so throwing in some upper and lower cases would help a lot. Also, make it a habit to always change the default password and as much as possible avoid reusing the same password on different devices and sites. Once a hacker gets into one of your accounts through your password, hackers can use it again on your other devices and you recycle these passwords and reuse them, chances are hackers can get into your whole system.
  2. Understand the device and the data it processes. Let’s say that the manufacturer of the smart alarm device that you have has a good reputation. Would you ever wonder if you are the only one who sees what you see through the device that they manufactured? It is always good to try and understand what your device does and what data does it take in. Most monitoring devices take photos, videos, audio recordings that may pose privacy concerns, these recordings are stored using a cloud technology that can also later be used for data processing. Users of smart alarms should always be aware of these and understand the privacy concerns they may encounter while using these devices. Guide questions for such could be are the video feed in the camera kept somewhere? Are they heavily encrypted?
  3. Install software updates. Smart Alarm Systems have only been introduced recently and can still be open for programming flaws and errors. Installing the latest software updates for your devices is important as this update may include “bug fixes” addressing the errors that you may not see on your part as an end-user but is crucial to making the performance of your device better – if not, these updates may also include new features for your device making the act of monitoring and controlling your home from your phone easier than ever.

As a part of protecting your home, in the event that there is a power outage your smart alarm system may not function as it is completely dependent on electricity and Internet connection. You may want to consider getting an automatically starting home generator to provide electricity to your whole house or you can opt to install and use a backup battery that is enough to power your Wi-Fi system, and your whole security monitoring gadgets. You can think about it this way, what would be the best time for an intruder to break into your home? When it is dark and your vision narrowed. When your guards are down. It would be best not to give burglars the chance to have this kind of situation and employ your smart alarm systems 24/7 even if there is a power outage. In this way, it is up and running and thieves won’t have the opportunity to get into your house without you knowing thanks to your smart alarm system.

With all of these innovations and breakthroughs in the world of technology, we would have full control of our home and we would be able to manage many aspects of our homeownership sooner than we think. These aspects could include but are not limited to, detection of water leaks, building heat loss, opening, and closing house garages with a smartphone, turning appliances on and off also with a smartphone. The main goal of technological advancements is to make our day-to-day lives easier and to automate most tasks that we do everyday to make time and room for other tasks that we may accomplish within the twenty-four hours that we have in a day.

In case you want to embark on this personalized smart alarm system and choose the technology that you think you would want to use, let your insurance company help you build a strong security system for your home and the things, and people, inside it that you cherish the most. Don’t also hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding acquiring insurance for this.