Safety Resolutions Everyone Should Make
Just as we vow at the beginning of a new year to eat healthier and exercise more, we should also make the same gung-ho resolutions to protect our home and loved ones. Here are some steps you can take to make this year and every year a safer time for you and your family.
Home Safety Resolutions
First thing’s first: safety starts in the home.
- Install a home security system: If you don’t have a home security system and monitoring service, then now is the time to do so. Routinely activate your system every time you enter and exit your home. When something is done regularly it becomes a habit, so work diligently to keep your system activated. Another plus for owning a home security system is it may reduce your homeowner’s insurance premium by as much as thirty percent. The best home security systems have security cameras as well as sensors. Not sure which system is for you? Read our home security buying guide.
- Lock your doors and windows: Thoroughly inspect every door, window, and other possible entryways into your home at least once a month or once every other month. Replace any lock that is outdated and worn, and always keep your door and windows locked at all times.
- Use motion-activated lights: Purchase motion detector lights and mount them on every corner of your home and at the front and back door. Bright lights go a long way in scaring potential thieves who try to sneak into your home.
- Keep a stocked emergency kit: Everyone should have an emergency kit1 fully stocked with water, canned foods, basic tools, a first-aid kit, and medical supplies in the event of a natural disaster. Important documents and prescriptions should also be readily accessible. If you or a loved one is a diabetic, keep a small storage box stocked with a blood glucose monitor, testing strips, insulin, and snacks and beverages for raising low blood sugar.
- Close your blinds: If you live on a busy street, keep your curtains closed as much as possible. By keeping blinds and curtains open constantly, you’re putting your valuables and other possessions on display for everyone to see, so you may risk getting robbed.
- Fingerprint your children: Have your children fingerprinted. Many schools now offer programs through the FBI to help protect children,2 and it’s one of the easiest things you can do for your child’s well-being. If your child should ever come up missing, a policeman can use the laminate card provided with your child’s fingerprints on it to place the information into the National Crime Information Center database where it will be shared with other officials nationwide.
Digital Safety Resolutions
Of course, dangers don’t only exist in physical spaces. There are also a ton of risks to being online, from identity theft to phishing scams. That’s why it’s important to make digital safety resolutions in addition to home safety resolutions.
- Get identity theft protection: Identity theft protection services for families protect two adults and up to 10 children in one subscription. They monitor specific criminal and financial areas, along with the dark web, for your family’s personally identifiable information. The best services also include identity theft insurance with reimbursement maximums of $1 million.
- Install antivirus software: Sure, you’ve probably thought about it in the past but didn’t want to spend the money, but this year’s your year to invest in some antivirus software. From viruses to malware, antivirus software will keep your devices healthy year round with minimal effort required on your part.
- Use a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks: Bouncing from restaurants to shops, you probably think nothing of joining public Wi-Fi networks, but this practice, while convenient, can also make hacking more likely. Instead, download a VPN app and connect to a Virtual Private Network, which will hide your devices’ IP addresses along with your web activity. What’s the best VPN for you? Read our best VPN list to find out.
- Install a password manager: This year, don’t use the same passwords, or variations of the same passwords, for multiple accounts. Instead, get a password manager that audits your passwords, generates strong, new ones, and stores all of your credentials in an encrypted vault.
- Turn on authentication: Whether it’s two or multi-factor authentication, add either a passcode or biometrics to your accounts so that you can prevent unauthorized access.
Make passcodes for your devices: In case you lose your iPhone, make sure that you create a long passcode, along with turning on Find My iPhone. The same goes for Android-users, as well.
It only takes a few minutes to create lasting changes that will keep you and your family safe for many years to come. So this year, along with your exercise and diet resolutions, prioritize safety, both online and off.
Ready.gov. (2020). Build a Kit.
FBI. (2006). A Message for Parents: How to Protect Your Kids with ID Kits.