A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. When it comes to security systems, you could have the Fort Knox of systems, but be vulnerable because of a weak link. And what might that weak link be? More often than not, alarm codes are the weak link. Here are some reasons why your alarm codes could be making your home or business more vulnerable to a break-ins and what to do about it.
Picking Predictable Alarm Codes
Today, pin codes are used everywhere. We use them when we shop, we use them to access our voice mail and we use them for alarm codes. But the problem is picking a secure sequence of numbers to use for any of the pin numbers you use. According to research, over 26 percent of four-digit codes consist of the same 20 numbers, with “1234” being used almost 11 percent of the time at the top of the list. And if you’re thinking ok, but my code is “4321.” Well that one came in at #18 out of the top 20 codes.
But it’s not just these codes that are predictable. Many people choose to use codes that represent significant dates including their birthdays or those of their children. Anniversary dates are also popular choices. Today, with information readily available through social media and the internet, it’s easy to find personal dates. Your best bet is to always create a random number that would be difficult to guess.
Giving the Same Alarm Code to Everyone
Think about all the people you may have shared your alarm code with…contractors, pet sitters, cleaning services, etc. It’s fine to use the same alarm code as your spouse, but if you want to accurately track who is coming and going from your home, unique alarm codes are the way to go. And this includes for your children, too.
By creating unique alarm codes for everyone, it also makes it easier to delete codes if they become compromised or a worker with a code is fired. You can simply delete the compromised code without affecting the codes of others. Unique codes are great for being able to check individual access histories to monitor whether your kids or workers have been at your home or business when they said they were.
Using the Same Alarm Code Year after Year
Just like you are frequently required to change passwords to access your online banking or credit card accounts, you should routinely change your alarm codes two to four times a year. This protects your home or business if you have given the code to people you might have forgotten about. An easy way to remember to do it is when you change the clocks and the batteries on your smoke detectors for daylight savings time. You could also do it when you test your alarm system.
It’s a good idea to give out new alarm codes to your family or workers all at once to prevent setting off false alarms. It also helps to put a post-it note saying “USE NEW CODE” on your control panel during the first week after a code change.
SafeTouch Security is always committed to your safety and ready to help if you need assistance with setting your alarm code. Contact us to learn how you can protect your Jacksonville area home or business with security products and plans to fit every need to keep you and your family safe.