Spokane, Wash. — New security systems can help law enforcement investigate property crimes through handheld technology, like a smartphone.
Security features in and around a home, like activated flood lights, video cameras and a video doorbell can be accessed by a smartphone and alert the homeowner instantly.
“The nice thing about 2017 is the technology that we have,” Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chris Johnston said. “Technology is something that sometimes hurts us and sometimes it helps us. But having a house that's connected is a fantastic thing.”
It’s a fantastic thing, as the deputy says, because authorities can use recordings for evidence.
But beyond providing evidence after a crime has taken place, Deputy Johnston said this kind of technology can be very effective at preventing crimes in the first place.
“Video is a fantastic deterrent. Generally, if you go out to commit crimes, you know if you can be identified you can be arrested and charged with that crime,” Deputy Johnston said. “So video works as a deterrent in that regard.”
“I like to tell people: not only have video, but have signs that say there's video here. It's running. We know you were here, we know you are here,” Deputy Johnston said.
If you choose to go with the digital technology for your home security, there is one thing to keep in mind: If the system connects to the internet, which many modern security systems do, it may be vulnerable to hacking.
CNET.com shows you should always keep your software and apps up to date, since they often include security upgrades that can help prevent hacks.
The cheapest type of video doorbells, like the “ring” system will set you back around $100. The price goes up from there as you add features.
“If you're concerned about packages being delivered or somebody knocking at your door when you're not home, it's a great way to know who's there, exactly when,” Deputy Johnston said. “It's good peace of mind.”
If a technologically advanced security system is not for you, Deputy Johnston has more advice to prevent package theft:
- If you are not home, have your package delivered to a neighbor you trust.
- Keep the mail at a distribution center
- Have the package delivered to a locker
- Keep packages locked and under surveillance camera