NEWPORT — As part of National Crime Prevention Month, Chief Travis Bingham and the Newport Police Department wish to share with residents ways they can keep their home safe from criminals, both in the real world and digitally.
October is National Crime Prevention Month. One of the best ways to take an active part in crime prevention is to become more alert and aware of what is going on around you, including in your home.
“There are several simple steps people can take to improve the security of their home, and better protect themselves, their loved ones, their belongings and their homes from falling victim to a break-in or burglary,” Chief Bingham said. “Most importantly– always lock your doors and windows at night and when you aren’t home.”
Newport Police encourage residents to take the following precautions to protect their homes from burglaries and break-ins:
- Always lock doors and windows to your home when you are not there and at night.
- Close blinds and curtains to windows at night.
- Install deadbolt locks on every door. Make sure your locks are solid and cannot be easily broken.
- Leave spare keys with a friend or a neighbor instead of in common “hiding” places, like under a doormat.
- Do not let strangers in your home, and install a peephole.
- Make sure your doorway, porch, walkway and driveway are well lit.
Newport Police also encourage residents to review the following home WiFi network security tips, courtesy the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, to ensure their home is not the victim of a cyber attack:
- Update your home network’s software regularly. Regular software updates are one of the most effective steps you can take to improve the overall cybersecurity of your home networks and systems.
- Remove unnecessary services and software. Disable all unnecessary services to reduce the attack surface of your network and devices, including your router.
- Change default log-in passwords and usernames. Most network devices are pre-configured with default administrator passwords to simplify setup. These default credentials are not secure — they may be readily available on the internet, or may even be physically labeled on the device itself.
- Use strong and unique passwords. Choose strong passwords to help secure your devices. Additionally, do not use the same password with multiple accounts.
- Run up-to-date antivirus software. A reputable antivirus software application is an important protective measure against known malicious threats. It can automatically detect, quarantine and remove various types of malware, such as viruses, worms and ransomware.