As the holidays wind down and the new year settles in, now is a great time to make early progress on your new year’s resolutions. If you haven’t already thought about goals or resolutions that will make a difference for you and your family this year, why not set a resolution to increase your family’s safety? With this guide, we’ve outlined three easy ways that you can protect yourself and your family online, at home, and in an emergency, to give you peace of mind all year long against a variety of threats.
Unfortunately, too many people only think about protecting themselves in reaction to being a victim. Identity theft, home invasions, and natural disasters can all happen to anyone at any time.
Luckily, with a short amount of dedicated time and energy, you can take a few easy steps to protect yourself and your family against threats like these. Being prepared can deter and prevent threats from happening to you. It may seem overwhelming to protect your digital self, your home, and prepare for emergencies. That’s why this guide will outline the exact steps you can take to be prepared.
Protect Yourself Online
Get 24/7 digital security protection for your entire family to prevent identity theft, viruses, and more.
As we spend more time online for work and leisure, cybercriminals are getting savvier in how to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. When the pandemic struck and a deluge of people moved to work from home, identity theft and malware attacks skyrocketed. IT departments for businesses couldn’t keep up with the cyberattacks with people working outside of the business network. Even online shoppers became targets as people resorted to ordering everything via the internet and having it delivered.
“During the pandemic, we saw that ID theft and fraud were accelerated and unfortunately, many Americans were taken advantage of,” said Jake Johnson, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder at Batten. “Our data suggests a few states took action when they became aware of what was happening, and they were well-equipped to handle it. However, a bulk of states were ill-prepared and their residents paid the price. That’s why it’s critical that each American takes protection in their own hands by taking preventative measures and investing in ID theft protection solutions, which in turn will protect their pockets.”
While quarantines are no longer being enforced here in the U.S., the trend of increased cyber threats hasn’t abated. Online shopping scams are still rampant, particularly around the holidays. There isn’t a lack of creativity when it comes to cybercriminals.
Luckily, digital security tools are keeping up with cybercrime. There are several tools that you can use to stay safe while connected online. Our cybersecurity experts recommend:
Between these four digital security solutions, you’ll be able to create and encrypt strong passwords for all of your accounts, disguise and encrypt your online activity, have 24/7 credit report monitoring, and methods for keeping your kids safe on the internet.
If you aren’t sure about a few of these solutions, we recommend learning more and then choosing the best solution that fits your lifestyle:
- 5 Reasons Why a Password Manager is the Most Important Cybersecurity Solution to Start Using ASAP
- Is a VPN Worth It?
- New Study Finds the Best and Worst States in America for Identity Theft and Fraud
- Parents, You CAN Protect Your Kids Online
Protect Yourself At Home
Decrease your chance of being burglarized by 40% by installing a home security system with cameras and professional surveillance.
Burglars are drawn to homes that do not have home security systems. Homes that don’t have a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized (Source). Do the work and make your home less of a target by investing in a home security system.
Modern security systems are much less expensive and far easier to install than even a decade ago. With DIY, user-friendly systems from SimpliSafe, Scout, and Abode, there are options for every budget and lifestyle. Even professionally installed systems such as ADT have become easier to have installed and manage as a homeowner.
If you aren’t sure which home security system makes sense for you based on your lifestyle, read through our blog posts on how to choose the right system:
- What Features Should I Care the Most About in a Home Security System?
- DIY v. Professional: Which Home Security System Installation Route is Best for You?
- Batten’s Top 3 Video Doorbells for 2022
Protect Yourself In Case of a Disaster
Prepare for unexpected events by creating a family emergency plan, first aid kit, and food and water 3-day supply hits.
No matter where you live or who you are, you are constantly at risk of experiencing an emergency or a disaster. Natural disasters, in particular, are causing more damage now than ten and twenty years ago. But it isn’t just earthquakes and hurricanes that you should be concerned about. House fires are more likely to happen during the colder months. Every time you get in the car, you’re at risk of an accident. Even playing with the family dog in the backyard could lead to a trip to the hospital.
What’s important is not being afraid of every risk involved with day-to-day living, but in becoming prepared for what we might face because of these risks.
Do you live in a hurricane-prone area? It’s important to have a fully stocked and prepared emergency disaster kit before the start of storm season. Having several days’ worth of food and water supplies, along with a copy of personal documents in your go-bag, can mean the difference between surviving or thriving if the power grid goes down.
Does your area experience winter storms? Do you have a car emergency kit in your vehicle in case you get trapped in your car during inclement weather or skid off the road because of ice? Keeping a blanket, coat, water, and food reserves in your vehicle during the winter storm season could mean the difference between life and death.
We could go on and on with all kinds of threats, and it isn’t feasible to be prepared for every single threat. However, there are a few simple ways to be more prepared if an emergency strikes. Our disaster scenario experts recommend:
- Create a family emergency plan. Education and knowledge are major components of being prepared.
- Stockpile 3 days’ worth of food and water supplies. If the power ever goes out, you want food that is non-perishable and doesn’t have to be cooked.
- Invest in an alternate power source. A small generator is crucial if your area is impacted by tornadoes, hurricanes, or winter storms.
- Prepare for emergencies outside of the home. Keep a car emergency kit and ideally a first aid kit in your vehicle. If you own a car and drive it regularly, you’ll want to ensure that is serviced and prepared for the summer and winter months separately.
- Always have batteries and waterproof matches stored at home.
There are many, many other ways to prepare for a disaster before it strikes. If you are interested in learning more, we recommend the following articles:
- Introduction To Disaster Readiness
- How to Prepare for Extreme Heat Waves and Blackouts
- How to Prepare for a Water Supply Crisis
- How to Get Off-Grid Power
Start The New Year Safe and Secure
By taking these steps to protect your home and family this year, you’ll be deterring criminals who take advantage of unsuspecting victims. With the small amount of time and energy you put into setting these systems up, you’ll be protected online, at home, and in an emergency all year long. And that will put you ahead of everyone else in getting your New Year’s resolutions squared away.
Prepare today for peace of mind tomorrow.
Get occasional tips about keeping your family and home safe — delivered to your inbox.