GPS navigational devices are extremely common in cars and effective tools for finding your way around new cities or towns. Although these technologies are handy when you are lost or trying to get to your destination, they can also help criminals find and rob your home.
How your GPS may help a criminal
Most car break-ins take less than two minutes, usually by smashing car windows and robbing valuable contents. Thieves are interested in what is quick and easy: cash and electronics.
Keeping your portable GPS unit and remote garage door opener and/or house key in your car is a dangerous mix. If your home address is programmed into your GPS device, a thief will immediately know where you live and will have directions guiding them directly to your home. If they find a key or garage door opener in your car, they can gain entry to rob your home as well.
Here are some key things to help you protect your vehicle and home.
For your car:
- Hide any valuables or electronics in your car. If you have a portable GPS or remote garage door opener, take them with you when you leave your car. Do not have them openly displayed while you are away from your vehicle (such as having the garage door opener attached to your car visor).
- Consider programming a nearby location (i.e. a local gas station or store) into your GPS instead of your own home address. This way, a thief won’t be able to find out exactly where you live, and your GPS can still guide you back to your neighbourhood.
- If your GPS system has a password or lock, use it!
For your home:
- Remember to lock your doors. The harder you make it for a thief to break in, the more likely it is they will get frustrated and move on to another target.
- Trim hedges and bushes; make sure all outside entrances are well-lit. Burglars will avoid your house if they have nowhere to hide.
- Get to know your neighbours. Good neighbours can look out for any unusual activity happening around your home.
- Consider installing a monitored alarm system for added protection.
- If you plan to be out of your home for the day or even an extended period of time, consider locking your garage door.
Not all robberies can be prevented, but by taking a few extra precautions, you can make your home and vehicle less desirable to thieves. If you have questions regarding home or auto safety, or questions on insurance, be sure to speak with a BrokerLink broker.