ROCKPORT — As part of National Crime Prevention Month, Chief John Horvath and the Rockport 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.
“It’s imperative that residents remain vigilant about the steps they can take to fortify their homes from possible crimes and dangers, and we hope the following tips can serve as a helpful guide for community members looking to improve the security of their homes,” Chief Horvath said.
Rockport Police encourage residents to take the following steps, courtesy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, as a way to combat common home security threats:
- Install solid, easy-to-use locks on your doors and windows, including sliders and garage.
- Use deadbolt locks on all the doors.
- Leave an extra set of house keys with a trusted neighbor or friend in case you get locked out of your home.
- Never open the door to strangers. If a stranger asks to use your phone, offer to make the call for them.
- Ask service technicians or care providers you don’t know for ID before you open the door.
- Trim trees and shrubs to eliminate hiding places.
- Keep your home well lit at night, inside and out.
- Draw the curtains and blinds at night.
Rockport 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.