One of the reasons I love Gmail (as if you needed another) is that since day one, Google has allowed you to encrypt your entire session. Gmail has always encrypted your login information, but typically turns off SSL afterwards. This has the unpleasant side effect of allowing anyone to view your mail (and calendar, and docs) when you’re in a public environment such as a WiFi hot spot.
After reading my last two posts, you already know why you need a security system and how to design / install your own. Security systems — even the inexpensive, do-it-yourself ones — can do a lot more than just tell you when someone breaks into your home. With all the news of prowling over on the west shore and the recent activity in the city, it’s a safe bet that more than a few people are looking at security systems. And I hate to see people sucked into those $40-per-month monitoring fees and forced into alarm systems that are locked to one particular monitoring company, so consider this my public service to the community at large.
A few days ago I wrote a post as a very rough primer on home security systems. Crime is steadily creeping up locally, and a decent security system provides peace of mind (not to mention a degree of protection) for not much money. I’m a big advocate of security systems partly because they’re fun to design and program, but also because they’re such an effective crime deterrent.
Newsflash: home burglaries are on the rise. This happens every summer and is pretty much usually best attributed to bored kids + warm weather. It is not easily dismissed as a “midtown problem” or a “hilltop problem”; it happens everywhere. Everyone knows the general tips on protecting your home — lock your windows & doors, install security lighting, keep valuables out of sight — so I’m not going to rehash those here. Sara published a pretty good list a few weeks ago if you need a refresher. One footnote: if you get security lighting, get the kind with flourescent or LED lights. Especially with dusk-to-dawn lights and the forthcoming massive utility rate hikes, the energy savings will pay for the added cost in a matter of months.