WHITMAN -- As part of National Crime Prevention Month, Chief Timothy Hanlon and the Whitman 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.
“National Crime Prevention Month is a great time for families and residents to review how they can improve the safety of their homes and lower their risk of being victims of a crime,” Chief Hanlon said. “It is important to not only protect your physical home from a threat but also your home’s digital network.”
Whitman 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.
- Don't hide extra keys under the doormats or in planters, etc. Leave an extra set with a neighbor or friend.
- Install a peephole and make sure you use it.
- 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.
Whitman Police also encourage residents to review the following home WiFi network security tips, courtesy of 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.